Top 16 players in the NHL
By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. October 7, 2014
The NHL season has officially arrived, and fantasy pools are filling up fast. If you haven’t joined one yet, I highly recommend it: it’s a fun way to get distracted from homework, work, or anything else that is totally bumming you out—there, I’ve convinced you. Now with that being said, there’s no time to be wasted, so here are the top 16 players (four from each forward position and four defencemen, goalies omitted) you should do anything you can to acquire:
1) Sidney Crosby, Centre: Since his concussion, I’ve been hesitant to select him first. Needless to say, every year that I don’t pick him, I ended up regretting it. He is the best player in the league, there is no point arguing.
2) John Tavares, Centre: The last few years showed Tavares coming into full form. I’m convinced he’ll have another 90-point season.
3) Steven Stamkos, Centre: There is just something about Canadian centres. Many will argue that Stamkos should in fact be the second pick behind Crosby, but I say, it really doesn’t matter. You can’t go wrong with either of the top three.
4) Anze Kopitar, Centre: And the fourth is not too shabby either. Coming off of a Stanley Cup victory, Kopitar is finally stepping into the spotlight as one of the league’s most dominant players.
5) Patrick Kane, Right Wing: With the memories of the Western Conference Finals loss to LA still fresh in Kane’s mind, I foresee a more determined Chicago squad.
6) Corey Perry, Right Wing: Always a sound player alongside his line-mate, Ryan Getzlaf, Perry can realistically reach the 40-goal mark again.
7) Alex Ovechkin, Right Wing: Once the titan contending for number one spot, now a potential candidate to fly under the radar. Ovechkin is still a prized choice regardless.
8) Martin St. Louis, Right Wing: An inspiration to his team and a 30-goal scorer last season. St. Louis was a slow starter when he was traded to the Rangers, but with eight goals in the playoffs, things look promising.
9) Gabriel Landeskog, Left Wing: The captain of a young Avalanche team has done nothing but impress. This season will surely prove that Landeskog and Colorado’s success was not a fluke.
10) Zach Parise, Left Wing: Always consistent and clutch. That’s how every sniper wants to be described.
11) Jamie Benn, Left Wing: Benn would not likely be your first pick, but if he is still an option in your second or third, don’t hesitate—he was one point away from the 80-point mark last season.
12) Taylor Hall, Left Wing: There is so much potential and hype. Could this be the year that Hall takes it to the next level? He’s a gamble that might pay in dividends.
13) Erik Karlsson, Defenceman: No argument. Karlsson is the best offensive defenceman in the league.
14) PK Subban, Defenceman: He has finally found his style and a new contract. This season will determine what type of player he’ll be going forward, and I predict he’ll be excellent.
15) Shea Weber, Defenceman: Weber’s big shot from the blue-line is just one asset you’ll gain if you select him. I won’t bother mentioning the others.
16) Zdeno Chara, Defenceman: The veteran with still much to prove.
So there are my top 16 picks. If you can get at least one player in each position onto your fantasy lineup, I can almost guarantee success—but I won’t, because I know this season is going to be full of surprises.