Most NHL fantasy diehards have selected their fantasy teams for the season. But, if you’re playing on a fantasy draft that allows you to make substitutions, you have room for alternates or you’ve yet to pick your team, preseason and the few couple games of the NHL regular season has already shown us there are a few names we might not have considered that could be good picks.
Whether you're looking for forwards or defensemen, it’s becoming obvious some unexpected names are going to be getting opportunities. Being savvy and picking these players could make the difference between you winning and losing your draft.
If you’re still looking for a few supplemental players to add to your NHL fantasy roster, consider these names.
The Edmonton Oilers lack a regular right-winger to play with Connor McDavid. In an attempt to find a solution, they placed young forward and castoff of the St. Louis Blues, Ty Rattie with McDavid to end last season. While it was too late for the Oilers to make the playoffs, Rattie showed in a handful of games that he might have the tools to cash in on McDavid’s magic. The team put Rattie back on that top line in preseason to start this year and Rattie led all NHL scorers in points. Look for him to get a long look with McDavid to start the season.
As long McDavid and Rattie continue that chemistry, Rattie will stay there and should be good for 25 goals and 40-50 points. So too, if the Oilers power play struggles, expect Rattie to get a shot to help improve it. He came into camp with the drive to put the puck on net, it looks like he’ll be rewarded. Despite having only 50 games on his NHL resume, don’t be afraid to take him.
In the absence of William Nylander, forwards in Toronto that were designated as depth guys are going to get a chance on one of the top two lines. Tyler Ennis has some experience scoring in the NHL and right now he looks like the guy the Maple Leafs have chosen to play up in the lineup.
Anyone playing with the combination of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner or John Tavares is going to benefit. Look to Ennis while you can. He was a low-level, inexpensive signing but he wants to prove he can still play in the NHL and he could be a surprise pick that returns you some points if you give him a shot.
After signing a big-money long-term extension in the offseason, expect nice things out of young defenseman Shea Theodore who plays for Vegas. The Golden Knights blueliner will likely quarterback the power play and in the absence of suspended d-man Nate Schmidt, Theodore should get more ice time than he normally might.
Theodore should be good for 40 points at least and is motivated to make good on the money Vegas gave him when every other restricted free agent defenseman signed a bridge deal. Few unproven d-men will get the opportunities he'll get this season, take him.
The Ottawa Senators are likely to be a forgotten or overlooked team this season. With the exodus of players that seem primed to leave the organization, one name that people should keep an eye on is Matt Duchene. Seemingly unhappy with some of the roster moves being made, Duchene is in a contract year and is one of the few stars left on the team. If wants to get picked up in free agency with a big-money deal or stick in Ottawa and get the highest contract on the team, he needs a big season.
If the Senators are still going to score and win any games this year, the offense will need to be led by Duchene's top line. It took Duchene some time to get settled in Ottawa but once he did, he was a point-per-game player and since then has looked quite good.