Scott Cullen is TSN’s fantasy hockey guru, and a man I highly recommend as a Twitter follow. He’s recently released his list of the Top 300 Projected Point Generators in the NHL, as well as Top Fantasy Players (the difference being the first list is strictly points, the second one includes stuff like shots, PIMS and other categories your league may count). And somewhat unrelated to any of that, here’s a reminder: leagues that value PIMS the same as shots, or good forbid, points, are stupid. PIMS are bad. They hurt your team. I’ve written about it before.

I won’t steal all of Cullen’s rankings, because, y’know, go look at his article for that, but I’ll crib the Top 10 from the two lists, then highlight some of the best sleepers (and a few…whatever-the-opposite-of-sleeper-is out there.

The Top 10 Projected Point Getters during the upcoming shortened season:

And the projected Top 10 (total) Fantasy Players in 2013:

Notes:

Projected Top Point-Getters

* Leafs troll: coming in at #294 is Jake Gardiner, who’s projected to grab 5 and 11 for 16 points in the shortened season. One more point grabs you #278 where TSN has…Dougie Hamilton. I feel pretty comfortable saying Gardiner out-points Hamilton, if you’re looking for a d-man in the later rounds.

* The projections have Simon Gagne getting in 35 games (he does tend to get hurt a lot, as you may have noticed), but only tallying 18 points. A remotely healthy Simon Gagne gets more than a half-point per game, but still…I might stay away from him and his injury luck.

* As an Isles fan, I don’t care for the guesses that Nino Niederreiter tallies a mere 19 points, and Brad Boyes 21. I’m not saying pick either guy, I’m just saying to say: I think they’ve got more to offer than that.

* Tyler Seguin is listed at #12. As I mentioned in my “Hunches” post, I’m going all-in on him this season. I think that listing is close-to-low on where he finishes.

* And lastly, Joe Thornton is listed at #6 with 49 points in 47 games. The last time he was a point-per-game guy was in 2009-10, and I don’t see him suddenly reverting to that form. He’s not old, but he’s got a lot of NHL miles on his body, as does his linemate Patrick Marleau.

Top Fantasy Players Overall

* Check out David Backes’ projected line, and note his hits. It is amazing that he’s still able to contribute offensively while throwing as many (hard) checks as he does. Most hitters with high numbers put themselves out of position running around. He doesn’t.

* Seeing Jamie Benn at #11 in forwards makes you realize how much more “top fantasy players” correlates to value than just points. He can do it all, and guys like that are nearly impossible to come by.

* Ryan Getzlaf gets a lot of love for a bounce-back year after his less-than-thrilling last season (listed at #14). I could see it, and my podcast co-host Jake Goldsbie has made that prediction too. Could be a guy you get in the second or third round after his numbers last season.

* Speaking of bounce-back years: Matt Duchene. He’s supremely talented, and has a lot to prove after an iffy season last year.

* Taylor Hall is #33 in the left-wingers category. Fun to see how late you could grab a guy like him.

And finally…

* Anyone who believe that Roberto Luongo will be the 23rd best goalie in the league next year is crazy. I bet he gets in over 25 games somewhere (maybe even Vancouver, who knows), and has a great season.

Comments (40)

  1. Ok, I would take Thornton, Ovechkin, and St. Louis out of the Top 10 point-getters, and add 20 points to Crosby’s total. Next, I would move Taylor Hall from #33 on the left side to about #6.

    I agree that Matt Duchene’s season last year was the classic sophomore slump. I watched him play the Flames a few times last year and he was frequently controlling the play, frequently snakebitten, and constantly frustrated.

    • St. Louis definitely. He’s gotta be getting close to the old age production fall-off. He turns 38 this summer, how much more can that small frame take? Last year his point total dropped 25% and his goal total was tied for the lowest in a decade.

      • Thornton’s regressed consistently in goals the last 5 years (29-25-20-21-18).

        I’d be shocked if he hit 10 this year. I’d put him at 25th in points.

    • Duchene couldn’t have had a “sophomore” slump, considering he was playing his 3rd season last year. You know, the one lots of pool advice types tell you is the big breakout year!

      I agree about Thornton and St. Louis. Ovechkin could well come back into the top 5 if Oates “let’s them play” and they get along.

  2. I’d be shocked if Thornton lit the lamp 10 times I mean.

  3. Bashing PIMS as a category for fantasy hockey because they hurt a real life NHL team is pretty stupid….this is FANTASY hockey, there’s skill for a FANTASY gm to have players on his team who are able to combine offensive ability alone with truculence (tribute to Brian Burke).

    Not really sure why you have a problem with PIMS as a category in FANTASY hockey because of the negative connotation in real hockey

  4. Wanted to point out that the Top Fantasy Players list you swiped is actually the Top Fantasy Centers. I got a little suspicious when I saw Backstrom on there instead of Ovechkin.

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