Potential UFA 2020 | RFA | Draft picks, exchanges
Alexis Lafrenière, LW, NYR
Age: turns 19 on October 11
First pick in 2020 NHL Draft
Lafreniere, due to his individual skills and the fantastic elite talent that surrounds him on the New York Rangers (Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin), has a 65-point cap next season and could finish in the top 10-15 fancy left wings if he plays in the top six and on the first power play. Lafreniere is worth ranking in the Top 75 Forwards & Top 100 Players in Fantasy and Top 10 Overall in the Guardian / Dynasty Leagues.
LIS: Fantastic screening for Lafreniere with NYR
Kirill Kaprizov, LW, MIN
Age: 23 years old
Pick no.135 in the 2015 draft
Despite the lack of depth from the center of the Minnesota Wild after a veteran of the trade Eric Staal at the Buffalo Sabers, Kaprizov led the Continental Hockey League in goals (33 in 57 games) last season and joins another fantastic wing Kevin Fiala. He’s the perfect alternative for fantastic rookies if someone else in your league reaches Lafreniere while playing for a much more underhanded team. Unlike Lafreniere, Kaprizov could be his side’s main goal and / or points producer next season.
Grigori Denisenko, LW / RW, FLA
Age: 20 years old
No.15 pick in the 2018 draft
The Florida Panthers have a second row void behind the elite duo of Alexandre Barkov and Jonathan huberdeau, and Denisenko has a chance to have an immediate impact, potentially even on the first power play, if potential unrestricted free agents Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman do not come back. Denisenko, who has nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games for Russia at the World Junior Championship (T-6th in the tournament), is a fantastic sleeper candidate who could play a leading role when he arrives in the NHL next season and benefit from the recent acquisition by the Panthers of Patric Hornqvist.
NOTE: Another prospect of potential impact for Florida is the wing Owen Tippett, who has 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 46 games for Springfield of the American Hockey League this season.
Quinton Byfield, C, LAK
Pick # 2 in the 2020 Draft
Alex Turcotte, C, LAK
No.5 pick in 2019 draft
Byfield and Turcotte are centers of the future for the Los Angeles Kings and could compete for their second role for the position behind the elite veteran Anze Kopitar from next season. The top power play spots could also be up for grabs for one or both rookie forwards, which would bring exposure to Kopitar and the top defenseman. Drew Doughty for a rebuilding but neglected team that has a rebound appeal in the fantasy.
LIS: Impact of the Byfield Kings Draft
Tim Stutzle, C / LW, OTT
Pick 3 in the 2020 Draft
While the Ottawa Senators have short-term fantasy issues as a team, they have talent at the top of their roster, including the elite left wing. Brady Tkachuk and defender rebound candidate Thomas chabot (55 points in 2018-19; 39 this season). Stutzle, who can play on the wing but may have a higher cap down center given the Senators’ lack of a viable No.1 option, could be their leading scorer with at least 50 points if he has a chance on Tkachuk’s line, but may be a plus / minus liability next season. The minus-52 gap in Ottawa was the second worst in the NHL this season.
NOTE: Center Josh Norris, who tied for third in the American League in scoring (61 points in 56 games), is another potential prospect for the Ottawa forward.
Bowen Byram, COL
No.4 pick in 2019 draft
After accumulating 40 goals as a defenseman in the last two seasons for Vancouver of the Western Hockey League, Byram could join the league’s best young core in the post with Cale Makar and Samuel Girard for the Colorado Avalanche, one of the safest fantasy teams. With a lack of depth in defense, Byram’s advantage is the most intriguing of any player outside of the top 35, even though his role is mostly tied with Makar on PP1.
Evan Bouchard, EDM
Age: turns 21 on October 20
No.10 pick in the 2018 draft
Best defender Oscar Klefbom has a shoulder injury that may require surgery and put him out for part or all of next season. The Edmonton Oilers could look to Bouchard, who was productive for AHL’s Bakerfield last season (36 points in 54 games), to fill a top-four and potentially the first power-play gap with exposure to both. top scorers in the League in Leon Draisaitl (110 points) and Connor McDavid (97).
Igor Shesterkin, NYR
Age: turns 25 on December 30
No.118 pick in 2014 draft
Shesterkin went 10-2-0 with a .932 save percentage, triggering a dominant run for the Rangers after being recalled from the AHL on Jan.6, and remains eligible as a rookie for next season. Young goalkeeper Alexandar Georgiev, 24, is expected to compete for starts in any given week, but Shesterkin has a cap to finish in the top five fantasy goaltenders starting next season, especially after the Rangers bought out veteran Henrik Lundqvist’s contract .
Ilya Sorokin, NYI
Age: 25 years old
No.78 pick in 2014 draft
With backup of the New York Islanders Thomas Greiss likely to become a UFA, Sorokin could be the perfect complement to the starter and his fellow Russian goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov, who was instrumental in his run to the Eastern Conference Finals, but has had a patchy performance from season to season in his NHL career. Sorokin is 134-64-22 with a 0.930% SV and 44 shutouts in 244 career KHL games and is already among the top 25 goalies on NHL.com with the highest fantasy cap in all goaltenders in Coach Barry Trotz’s tenure with the Islanders.
Other potential recruits to consider in the fantasy: Nicholas Robertson, LW, TOR; Trevor Zegras, C, ANA; Ville Heinola, D, WPG; Cole Caufield, RW, MTL; Alexander Romanov, D, MTL; Morgan Frost, C / LW, PHI; Gabriel Vilardi, C, LAK; Dylan Cozens, C, BUF; Alexei Melnichuk, G, SJS
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