NHL Fantasy Top 25 Forwards 2021/2022
As fantasy football kicks off this weekend, the Rookie Tournament the Red Wings host in Traverse City is also kicking off. You will not see any rookies on this list, but most of these skaters were selected early, and played relatively well in their rookie campaigns. What can be said about all the impact historically the past few shortened seasons have played out. Last season with Connor McDavid hitting 105 points in 56 games, which had the season played out we may have seen him enter the hallowed ground of the 150-point season club and it’s current five members. Not seeing Alex Ovechkin play these games is impacting his assault in the NHL goal record, where he has a legitimate chance at catching the Great One. Speaking of great ones, let’s look at my Top-25 skaters for this upcoming fantasy season, and there is going to be quite a few sets of line mates.
- Conner McDavid, C – Edmonton: As if there was any doubt, I’m hoping for a full-season and 150 points for real this time, not speculation based on a 56-game schedule against the toughest Canadian Division. Let him and Leon play the Wings 14 times and you have 100 points right there.
- Nikita Kucherov, RW – Tampa Bay: After sitting the entire shortened season, he returned for the playoffs. Mission accomplished, Back to Back Cups and now for a third. After a short playoff season for Kuch, he will be fully ready to attack this season.
- Leon Draisaitl, C – Edmonton: There are many deadly duos in the NHL, but Leon/Connor is perhaps the deadliest of all these duos. 120 points is not out of the question, just remember the first shortened Covid Season he had 110 points and 105 the full season beforehand. Any of these top seven could be number one to the individual drafter.
- Mitchell Marner, RW – Toronto: Speaking of duos, Marner/Matthews is another favorite of mine and will pick either of these two in my top five picks. Marner is the passer but can score goals, along with Matthews, John Tavares and William Nylander the Leafs will be all hands on deck this season.
- Auston Matthews, C – Toronto: Please see above; Matthews as I predicted won the Rocket Richard and will have steady competition again to repeat, he is as elite as it gets for goal scoring, especially even strength with him punching in 3/4 of his goals at 5 x 5 skating. (Total/Even Strength) 40/32, 34/29, 37/25, 47/35, and 41/31 last season, which puts Matthews annually in the hunt for the Rocket Richard Trophy.
- David Pastrnak, RW – Boston: After a paltry 48 points in 48 games last year, Pasta bounces back big time and leads the B’s in goals and points, an elite scorer. With plenty of weapons on his side and line with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, newly signed FA Taylor Hall and Charlie McAvoy the Bruins can score, and Pastrnak will lead the way.
- Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW – Colorado: Yes, this seems low for Nate, but he will sacrifice personal glory and tighten up his defense this year for the good of the team, which will compete for the Cup. (alas, Yzerman, Fedorov 1997,98, 02)
- Aleksander Barkov, C – Florida: Still managed to miss six games in the shortened season but can produce points and anchors the Panthers top line and first power play unit, look for even more from Sasha.
- Brad Marchand, LW – Boston: Bad Brad is the un-silent majority and one of the more dominate players/personalities in the NHL, and he will soar again with Pasta and Bergeron on the Bruins top line and PP Unit. Look for him to be in the chase for a 100-point season. again this year with a full 82-game slate scheduled.
- Mikko Rantanen, RW - Colorado: While Mac and Makar seem to get all the ink, Mikko just keeps producing. He put up 66 points in 52 games last season and still gets to ride shotgun with MacKinnon. Look for 85-100 possible points from Rantanen.
- Artemi Panarin, LW – N.Y. Rangers: After taking a page from the Ovechkin play book last year, Artemi potted 41 goals, but only had 17 dimes to go with it. The Rangers need Kakko and Lafreniere to pick up their game a bit to help Panarin in the assist category, but scoring Panarin can lead by example and show the rest of the Atlantic Division how it's done.
- Brayden Point, C/RW – Tampa Bay: Before the two COVID shortened seasons, Point put up 92 points. I’m fully expecting the same again this season while playing top line minutes at even-strength and the Lightning strike power play, so expect more of the 92 point Point this season with a full season of games, (fingers crossed) no COVID shorts.
- Patrick Kane, RW – Chicago: This is where I had Kane last season, and he went out and proved me wrong with 66 points in 56 games. Good for seventh overall, and with the Hawks adding depth, look for Kane to prove me wrong again this year. He so reminds me of Joe Sakic, and dominates the same way with ultra smooth skating and sneaky shots.
- Jonathan Huberdeau, LW – Florida: With himself and Barkov, the Panthers only lack real secondary scoring and need to tighten the reigns on the defensive side if they plan on advancing deeper in the playoffs. Coach Q will not tolerate that much longer, but draft Huberdeau with confidence, and 90 points is not out of reach.
- Sidney Crosby, C – Pittsburgh: I also underwrote Crosby last season and Pittsburgh and the crow I ate between the two of them was very filling. I still do not believe that the Penguins have much left, but Sidney is a great player and will carry this entire team on his back and 100 points is again VERY possible. This is Crosby's floor in my opinion, he's still that good.
- Mark Scheifele, C – Winnipeg: Even with him starting the season suspended for that asinine dirty hit in the playoffs, Scheifele still see all the top minutes and had Kyle Conner and Blake Wheeler up front with him. This is a group of forwards that needs to tighten up the defense as well and it could get them deep in the playoffs.
- Sebastian Aho, C/LW - Carolina: A point per game player in his three-year NHL career, I expect more of the same from this young hungry Hurricanes team. Eventually winning the Cup one season very soon., draft Aho confidently and even higher if so inclined, he’s good.
- Mark Stone, RW – Las Vegas: After a 40-goal campaign, Stone and Max Pacioretty are the leading guns for a Cup hungry Vegas team, who are very close in my opinion. Secondary scoring is what I question most, as for Stone, draft with confidence and reap the rewards. Stone won the Selke last year, so he plays short-handed which benefits leagues that reward for those SH Points like mine.
- Jake Guentzel, LW/RW – Pittsburgh: Finishing last season at a point-per game Guentzel will again play wing with Crosby and will flourish, which in laymen terms means draft him, he will score 30 plus goals and 40 plus assists as Crosby's go to winger even strength and on the power play.
- Gabriel Landeskog, LW/C – Colorado: After re-signing with the Avalanche Gabe is eyeing his first Stanley Cup. Colorado has a deep talented squad that will contend for the Western Conference crown, and Landeskog should rack upwards of 70-80 points again in a full season finally.
- Kirill Kaprizov, LW/RW – Minnesota: The Russian rookie sensation who my dumb-ass dropped in my hometown league, luckily still can be kept due to my COVID Rules. Kaprizov is without a doubt the new leader in the Twin Cities and the future looks bright if management can add some help for him. Now with the Parise and Suter contracts gone, they do have money to aid this cause.
- Alex DeBrincat, LW/RW – Chicago: For years I was telling Chicago Joe Dykehouse about DeBrincat and his scoring prowess, and it’s now on the forefront and having Patrick Kane draw all the attention leaves Alex to score, often. He should jump from 56 points last season to closer to 70-75 this season.
- Kyle Conner, LW – Winnipeg: Part of one of the top lines in the sport Kyle Conner is going to score 40 goals this season, and a few after this one. Scoring isn’t the Jets problem; it’s tightening the defense and saving Conner Hellebuyck from a nightly workout and keeping him fresh for the playoffs also factors into this equation.
- Brock Boeser, RW – Vancouver: Just coming into his prime and off a 49-point season, Brock is part of the Canucks top line and top power play and will score 70 points this season along with his line-mate Elias Pettersson are two of the best young guns in the NHL.
- Elias Pettersson, C – Vancouver: As stated above with Boeser, Elias is an elite young prospect in the NHL, and these two will be carrying the Canucks for the next decade with young defensemen Quinn Hughes. I honestly think the Canucks will be the next team from Canada to win the Stanley Cup, and they are building accordingly.
Just Missed: John Tavares, Nicholas Backstrom, Max Pacioretty, Ryan O’Reilly, Mika Zibanejad, and Alex Ovechkin
Keep an eye out for my Top-20 Defensemen and Goalies coming very soon, and feel free to contact me about anything fantasy, as I pull the trifecta with Football, Baseball and Pucks @PolkaPat to talk draft strategies, preparation and my thoughts on players and teams.