The National Hockey League season is still a ways away, but it’s creeping up on us. And with it, comes the sweet embrace of fantasy hockey.
The folks at Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports department unveiled their Top 100 NHL fantasy player rankings yesterday in advance of the kick-off of sign-ups for the season. Five Calgary Flames players made the list.
#37: Mark Giordano
Calgary’s captain creeps in at #37. He’s (obviously) listed as a defender, behind Erik Karlsson, P.K. Subban and Kevin Shattenkirk. Giordano’s been reliable point generator this season, and it seems that Yahoo’s crew thinks that he’ll keep it up on an amped-up Flames blueline.
#72: Johnny Gaudreau
The super sophomore, coming off a nearly Calder-winning rookie campaign, comes in at #72. He out-scored Monahan by two points last season, and there’s a decent chance that Monahan’s relied on more for penalty-killing and defensive starts so that the Flames can give Sam Bennett a lot of high ground. Gaudreau? He’ll probably get tons of power-play time, so he’s a slightly better fantasy bet than Monahan.
#87: Sean Monahan
There’s easily 20+ centers ranked ahead of Monahan, so I stopped counting. He’s good for 30+ goals it seems, even when he gets buried with defensive zone starts. As previously mentioned, there’s a good chance the Flames continue to sacrifice Monahan’s zone starts and line match-ups to give Sam Bennett an easier time in his first season.
#88: Jonas Hiller
Hiller is the 18th goalie ranked in their Top 100. He’s behind, curiously, guys like Cory Schneider (53rd), Roberto Luongo (63rd) and Ryan Miller (77th). Weird. Hiller will probably continue to be used in tandem with Karri Ramo (or Joni Ortio), so his ranking is likely a reflection of other guys getting leaned on more by their teams.
#92: Jiri Hudler
Jiri Hudler was 8th in NHL scoring last year. He’s 92nd on this list. He can play either wing. He’ll probably get a ton of time on the Flames power-play. I’m actually shocked that he’s this low.
T.J Brodie and Dougie Hamilton, two players I thought could creep into the tail-end of the list, were outside of the Top 100.