2021-22 NHL FANTASY PREVIEW: Goalkeepers and defencemen

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It’s again to regular ­— nicely, as regular as we are able to get in these occasions — for fantasy hockey poolies learning up for the drafts and auctions that may preserve us glued to NHL scoring summaries and highlights via to subsequent spring.


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We’re again to a full 82-game schedule, being performed out in entrance of precise followers and in opposition to a full slate of opposing groups.
The one factor, hopefully, that we’ll must concern ourelves with is who hasn’t been vaccinated and the way that impacts their season, and in the end ours.

We open our two-part preview with the goalies and defencemen.  The forwards shall be featured tomorrow.

As ordinary, the order the gamers are listed in is barely a tough approximation of their pre-season worth. The fellows on the high are extra fascinating than those within the center, who needs to be taken over these on the finish. However likelihood is you received’t be far off wanting a half-dozen or so names above or beneath, relying in your private desire.

Andrei Vasilevskiy TB: No purpose to second-guess choosing two-time Stanley Cup winner because the No. 1 goalie.


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Darcy Kuemper COL: Transfer to Avs from Arizona launches his worth up, however has performed 40-plus video games solely as soon as in his profession.

Robin Lehner VGK: Gained’t have to separate begins with Fleury any longer and taking part in behind a high corps of rearguards.

Connor Hellebuyck WPG: Greatest information is he received’t must face McDavid or Matthews as usually this season. Draft with confidence.

Marc-Andre Fleury CHI: Vezina winner in Vegas regains a beginning position, however shall be in a more durable division.

Igor Shesterkin NYR: Small step again in second season, however has separated himself from Georgiev because the No. 1.

Frederik Andersen CAR: Recent begin out of Toronto highlight, with the needle leaning extra towards growth than bust.

Ilya Samsonov WAS: Slight sophomore hunch final 12 months, however any struggles have been the product of points off the ice.


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Linus Ullmark BOS: Has Bruins web to himself with Rask out after respectable numbers for a foul Sabres staff final season.

Ilya Sorokin NYI: Went 13-3-3 after dropping first three video games as a rookie final 12 months; now eyeing a 50-50 cut up with Varlamov.

Jusse Saros NAS: Secure middle-round fantasy decide who quietly shone after lastly supplanting Rinne as Preds’ No. 1.

Jordan Binnington STL: Recreation-to-game consistency has stored him from duplicating his excellent rookie ranges.

Jacob Markstrom CGY: Blew cold and warm in his first 12 months as a Flame however stays the clear No. 1 with a greater upside.

Spencer Knight FLA: Robust first 5 begins (two in playoffs) say it’s solely a matter of time earlier than rookie replaces Bob.

Carter Hart PHI: Hopefully he can rebound after ruining the fantasy seasons for all who drafted him final 12 months.


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Mike Smith EDM: Turned again clock with greatest stats in a decade, however trusting Oilers D nonetheless dangerous. Must be good for Ws.

Jack Campbell TOR: Full worth for his breakthrough marketing campaign, however sturdiness and Mrazek are two pink flags.

Philipp Grubauer SEA: Repeat of his 1.95 GAA in Colorado unlikely with enlargement staff, however he may shock.

Cam Talbot MIN: A gentle, serviceable fantasy starter however younger Kahkonen might problem him by mid-season.

Thatcher Demko VAN: Made better of a troublesome staff scenario, although dazzling 2020 playoff stats have been however a reminiscence.

MacKenzie Blackwood NJ: Numbers have regressed the previous two years, however Devils’ blue-line signings ought to assist.

Petr Mrazek TOR: Campbell has early edge in time-share, however this can be a scenario that might simply swing the opposite manner.


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Anton Khudobin DAL: Shall be on a brief leash with Holtby, Oettinger and, ultimately, Bishop ready within the wings.

Carey Value MON: Spectacular playoffs rescued one other tough common season, however he’ll miss the primary month at the very least.

Matt Murray OTT: Hasn’t actually come near his stellar rookie stats of 2016-17 with Pens, and thus the jury’s nonetheless out.

Semyon Varlamov NYI: Profession-best stats after transfer from Avs, however eventually, Sorokin shall be taking up as No. 1.

Tristan Jarry PIT: Penguins holding their religion in him after his poor playoff exhibiting in opposition to Isles. Are you able to afford to?

Elvis Merzlikins CLB: Ought to get majority of begins over Korpisalo once more, however considered one of them must be traded.

John Gibson ANA: A terrific netminder whose fantasy worth will proceed to endure with suspect staff in entrance of him.


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Sergei Bobrovsky FLA: Getting older veteran has little margin for error after Knight outplayed him within the playoffs.

Alex Nedeljkovich DET: In Calder Trophy finalist, Wings lastly commerce for a goalie they’ll construct round. However is that now?

Cal Peterson LA: Did what Jack Campbell did in L.A. ­– put up sturdy numbers on a rebuilding staff. Breakout alert.

Carter Hutton ARZ: Don’t go by his tough Buffalo stats. Numbers ought to enhance behind Coyotes’ defensive fashion.

Adin Hill SJ: First-time starter’s profession 2.79 GAA as Coyotes backup wasn’t nice, however his .909 SV% wasn’t dangerous.

Craig Anderson BUF: He’ll get you minutes because the No. 1 goalie on the sorry Sabres however little else of fantasy value.

BEST OF THE REST: Jake Allen MON, Joonas Korpisalo CLB, Braden Holtby DAL, Laurent Brossoit VGK, BOS, Brian Elliott TB, Casey DeSmith PIT,


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UPSIDE: Kaapo Kahkonen MIN, Jake Oettinger DAL, Vitek Vanecek WAS, Chris Driedger SEA, Alexandar Georgiev NYR.

Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche should be the No. 1 defenceman taken in fantasy drafts. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche needs to be the No. 1 defenceman taken in fantasy drafts. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Pictures)

Cale Makar COL: Norris Trophy candidate NHL’s solely point-a-game rearguard final 12 months, and he’s nonetheless trending upward.

Victor Hedman TB: Most likely the NHL’s greatest all-around D-man, however was damage by Bolts’ so-so common season.

Adam Fox NYR: Second within the league defence factors, with a strong plus-minus, to focus on an eye-opening second 12 months.

Seth Jones CHI: General fantasy outlook and power-play factors ought to profit from getting out of Columbus.

Quinn Hughes VAN: So long as camp holdout not an element, he’ll be considered one of top-scoring D-men, however with a low plus-minus.
John Carlson WAS: Nonetheless a first-rate producer behind a potent assault and was second in even-strength level amongst NHL D-men.


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Charlie McAvoy BOS: We’ll predict that is the 12 months the upside kicks in and he lastly outperforms his draft place.

Drew Doughty LA: Managing only one level in his remaining 12 video games spoiled an in any other case busy bounce-back marketing campaign.

Kris Letang PIT: Constant high-end manufacturing from the blue line, however wlll age now develop into an element?

Alex Pietrangelo VGK: Ought to rebound in his second 12 months with Golden Knights after an underwhelming first.

Aaron Ekblad FLA: With Yandle gone, he takes over because the prime level man on the Panthers’ potent power-play.

Dougie Hamilton NJ: Plus-minus and power-play factors might drop along with his exit from the deeper Hurricanes.

Darnell Nurse EDM: Profession-best 16 targets probably unrepeatable, given his excessive capturing pct., however that plus-27 makes up for it.


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Roman Josi NAS: Sizeable drop-off from his Norris Trophy season, however nonetheless a secure early defence decide.

Tyson Barrie EDM: May simply high NHL defencemen in factors once more with Oilers again within the weak West Division.

Morgan Rielly TOR: Perhaps he begins capturing extra in contract 12 months and with a brand new face working the Leafs power-play.

Ryan Suter DAL: Minutes-muncher’s factors complete dropped from 48 to 19 in his remaining 12 months with the Wild.

Jeff Petry MON: Late-bloomer has double-digit targets and 40-plus factors in every of the previous 4 seasons.

John Klingberg DAL: Tough plus-minus ought to enhance with Suter now anticipated to be his blue-line accomplice.

Jacob Trouba NYR: Massive shutdown D-man may tackle extra of an offensive position with DeAngelo departing.


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Keith Yandle PHI: Being a wholesome scratch for 3 of Florida’s playoff video games a pink flag for ageing PP specialist.

Samuel Girard COL: Proved that his skillset an ideal match for Avs with career-best .67 factors per sport final 12 months.

Mikhail Sergachev TB: One rung down from Hedman on Bolts, however loads of alternative to shine on second PP unit.

MacKenzie Weegar FLA: Shutdown man shot up the fantasy charts with 36 factors, plus-29, benefitting from Ekblad’s damage absence.

Alec Martinez VGK: Has 40 factors in 63 video games since 2020 commerce to Vegas. Elite blocked photographs totals are a bonus.

Shea Theodore VGK: Has led Vegas’ D-men in scoring every of the previous 4 seasons with an awesome plus-minus.

Neal Pionk WPG: A small step again in second Jets season, however nonetheless working behind an explosive ahead forged.


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Mattias Ekholm NAS: Regular and underrated, his power-play time might improve this season with Ellis now gone.

Torey Krug STL: Profession-low two targets in his first season with the  Blues, however his plus-minus took a pleasant leap upward.

Thomas Chabot OTT: Future stud leads all D-men in ice time per sport the previous two seasons. Plus-minus hinges on staff play.

Miro Heiskanen DAL: Got here up nicely wanting expectations final season after close to point-a-game playoffs in 2020.

Jake Muzzin TOR: Shutdown defenceman is wanting like he desires to be extra concerned on the scoresheet this season.

Ivan Provorov PHIL: Double-digit targets each different 12 months, so he’s due. Partnering with new arrival Ellis might assist.

Devon Toews COL: Plus-minus surged from +1 to +29 final season to go along with career-best .58 factors per sport.


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Jakob Chychrun ARZ: Perhaps the most effective all-around participant left on a weak staff, he led all NHL D-men with 18 targets.

Tony DeAngelo CAR: Off-ice pink flags apart, he might hit 50 factors once more because the Canes’ new power-play quarterback.

Jared Spurgeon MIN: Completed a outstanding 7-14-21 in his remaining 21 video games after a horrid first half of the schedule.

Mark Giordano SEA: Warhorse’s days as a fantasy front-liner are accomplished however he’ll obtain numerous time with Kraken.

Ryan Pulock NYI: Two targets through the common season, 4 in playoffs give minute-muncher sleeper enchantment.

Jaccob Slavin CAR: Not an enormous targets and assists man, however will make his mark in plus-minus and blocks classes.

Matt Dumba MIN: Hasn’t been the identical offensively since rupturing his pectoral muscle late in 2018.


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Justin Faulk STL: Has mustered solely .33 factors per sport in two seasons as a Blue after hitting .50 with Carolina.

Ryan Ellis PHIL: Ought to have a greater ahead forged to work with on the power-play than he had with the Predators.

Zach Werenski CLB: Jackets’ clear-cut No. 1 D-man with Jones gone, however these 20 targets in ’19-20 have been a one and accomplished.

Brent Burns SJ: His 70-point years are behind him however can he preserve fantasy inventory afloat with even a satisfactory plus-minus?

Rasmus Dahlin BUF: Excessive-end expertise wasted on Sabres as one other ugly plus-minus once more figures to be a fantasy-killer

Nate Schmidt WPG: Veteran ought to return to the 30-point vary after brutal single season with the Canucks.

Justin Schultz WAS:  Went from a minus-13 in his remaining 12 months with the Pens to a plus-12 in his first with the Capitals.


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Rasmus Andersson CGY: Second-year man ought to take over full power-play level duties with Giordano gone.

Josh Morrissey WPG: Level totals dipped from 31 to 21 final season, even with extra power-play ice time.

Ryan Graves NJ: NHL-best plus-40 in ’19-20 dipped to plus-15 final 12 months and transfer to Devils received’t assist in that regard.

Nick Leddy DET: Ex-Islander might revisit 40 factors as Wings’ new go-to man on the blueline.

Jamie Drysdale ANA: High-drawer rookie and first-rounder will get an opportunity to ignite Geese’ foundering power-play.

P.Ok. Subban NJ: Now only a draft-day gamble after two ugly seasons in Jersey, however might simply bounce again.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson VAN: Lastly will get a surroundings change however will play second fiddle to Hughes on Canucks PP.


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Alex Goligoski MIN: Offensive facet will get extra of likelihood to flourish on new staff. Plus-minus ought to enhance too.

Erik Karlsson SJ: Former Ottawa famous person now a dart throw after posting career-low points-per-game (.42).

Filip Hronek DET: Could also be nonetheless a 12 months away, however has all of the instruments to emerge as an affect defenceman for Wings.

Rasmus Ristolainen PHI: Lastly out of Buffalo, he may put extra than simply PIMs once more into his fantasy portfolio

Tyler Myers VAN: Was top-10 amongst NHL blue-liners final 12 months with 51 PIMS whereas chipping in with 21 factors.

Colton Parayko STL: Owns a booming level shot, however nonetheless hasn’t hit 30 factors in his previous three seasons.

Alex Edler LA: Managed simply eight factors final 12 months after 30-plus the earlier three, however will get a contemporary begin with Kings.

BEST OF THE REST: Jonas Brodin MIN, Ryan McDonagh TB, Dmitry Orlov WAS, Noah Hanifin CGY, David Savard MON, TJ Brodie TOR, Brett Pesce CAR, Esa Lindell DAL, Shayne Gostisbehere ARZ, Brandon Montour FLA, Matt Grzelcyk BOS, Brandon Montour FLA, Hampus Lindholm ANA, Vince Dunn SEA, Michael Matheson PIT, Damon Severson NJ, Cam Fowler ANA

UPSIDE: Moritz Seider DET, Bowen Byram COL, Noah Dobson NYI, Ethan Bear CAR, Erik Brannstrom OTT, Rasmus Sandin TOR, Ok’Andre Miller NYR, Dante Fabbro NAS, Nicolas Hague VGK, Vladislav Gavrikov CLB



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