The 2022 Fantasy Hockey Awards

Congratulations to all those still struggling in your fantasy league. The dust should have settled by this point in most fantasy leagues, regardless of whether you are in the final two to three games of a points or rotisserie league or the final games in a two-week head–to-head championship.

Let's take a moment to look back on the best surprises, the worst and the potential future. Based on the season's performance and the preseason rankings, I have compiled a list of “all-star” fantasy players using ESPN's preseason top300 rankings.

To mark the NHL's all stars game in February, I did a smaller selection of these. But this list has been expanded to include more themed teams.

All-stars for the first team

  • Matt Duchene, C, Nashville PredatorsCurrent rank: 43; preseason rank: 294

  • Troy Terry, W, Anaheim Ducks(95, unranked)

  • Ryan Hartman, W, Minnesota Wild(73, non ranked)

  • Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings(39, Not ranked)

  • Noah Dobson, D, New York Islanders(51, not ranked).

  • Frederik Andersen, G, Carolina Hurricanes(18, not ranked).

These are your fantasy MVPs. They offer the best return on investment. These are the players you should have on your fantasy team if you want to be successful. Hartman and Seider were among the list's top players back in February. Duchene was on number two. Dobson, Seider, and Hartman were fantasy stalwarts in the years that followed on their respective non playoff teams. These young defenders will become even more valuable when these teams are competitive again and have high-quality power plays. Hartman will continue to play in lockstep, and we want to be sure. Kirill KaprizovThis season, I will be recommending him highly. Andersen proved once again that fantasy is more important than goaltender record. The Hurricanes are known for their lockdown defense. Anyone who is in the net is going get points.

Second team all stars

  • Tage Thompson, C, Buffalo SabresCurrent rank: 68; preseason rank not ranked

  • Tanner JeannotW, Nashville Predators (99), Not ranked

  • Jesper Bratt, W, New Jersey Devils (98, 284)

  • Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers(115, non ranked)

  • Kevin Shattenkirk, D Anaheim Ducks (111), not ranked

  • Jake Oettinger, G, Dallas Stars(133, not ranked).

Thompson's breakout might not have occurred with another team. However, the Sabres provided Thompson ample opportunity to climb up the depth chart and finally find his way to use his size as well as skill to generate offense for the NHL. It was an ideal match. Jeff SkinnerIt's only possible to make it even better. Alex TuchMidway through the season, Jeannot joined the fold. Jeannot was one of the top fantasy assets, with more than 20 goals scored and 300 hits. Brady TkachukThis feat was accomplished a couple of years ago. However, you need to go back to the beginning. Dustin BrownIn 2010-11, to find the combination. … Next season, I'll be at the edge of my seat to see if Bratt will be Jack Hughes’ linemate. We might see another season like it. Oettinger wasn’t a game-changer, but he was a Stars No. The future could see Oettinger as the No. For fantasy teams, 1 in the next two seasons. … Shattenkirk Cam FowlerBoth were fantasy assets this season, thanks in large part because Jamie DrysdaleNot being ready for prime-time yet. It's not something I am certain will happen again.

Drafted all-stars

  • Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Washington CapitalsPreseason rank: 186, current rank: 71

  • Timo Meier, W, San Jose Sharks (20, 149)

  • Vladimir Tarasenko, W, St. Louis Blues (36, 162)

  • Rasmus Andersson, D, Calgary Flames (93, 208)

  • Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buffalo Sabres (78, 184)

  • Jacob MarkstromG, Calgary Flames (3.125).

Another team of all-stars includes players who are guaranteed to be on your fantasy teams. This is different from the two above. Some are bounce-backs, others have moved on to the next level. … Kuznetsov may have lost some of his shine in early career projections but he's still a top pivot for the Caps Alex Ovechkin. … Tarasenko overcame all the drama of preseason to deliver a solid campaign that proved he is still an elite scoring player. Dahlin's progress was welcome, and he should continue rising the ranks as the Sabres improve. But I want to see what the future holds. Owen PowerIn a full campaign, he integrates with Markstrom. Both Andersson, Markstrom benefited from the Flames surpassing all expectations this season. However, I am still concerned that the Flames might seek to upgrade the blue line for their power play next season.

“Where's the love?” all-stars

  • Robert Thomas, C. St. Louis Blues (current rank : 126; preseason rank : not ranked).

  • Adrian Kempe, W, Los Angeles Kings (85, 203)

  • Michael Bunting, W, Toronto Maple Leafs(146, not ranked).

  • Jake McCabe, D, Chicago Blackhawks(118, non ranked)

  • Vladislav Gavrikov, D, Columbus Blue Jackets(134, Not Rank)

  • Anton Forsberg, G, Ottawa Senators(207, not ranked).

This all-star team consists of players who have never been able to crest being picked-up in at least two-thirds ESPN leagues. They remain available in at minimum 35 percent of ESPN leagues. Thomas' strong showing should be considered a sign of his coming out party. He should continue to be the Blues' top-line center next season. Kempe came closer to Anze Kopitar's fantasy output that he had a right to, and it's a positive indicator for a team in rebuilding mode and still in the playoff hunt. The Kings have several young talents who are ready to make a splash in the coming seasons. Kempe may be the star of this show, not Kopitar. … It took Bunting over half the season to reach that point but he finally started to take advantage of the opportunity to play with the best goal scorer the league. Maybe he will be back full steam next season and become a top-50 player.

Perfectly predicted all-stars

  • Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (current ranking: 2, preseason rank : 3)

  • Alex Ovechkin W. Washington Capitals (7.9)

  • Claude Giroux, W, Florida Panthers (125, 126)

  • T.J. Brodie, D, Toronto Maple Leafs (275-270)

  • Jacob Trouba, D, New York Rangers (41, 54)

  • Tristan Jarry, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (23, 25)

These are the players on which the ESPN game designer were the closest. Matthews, Ovechkin and Ovechkin were easy choices. It is impressive to see Giroux correctly predicted, but this is largely due to his late-season surge after the trade deadline. Brodie didn't do much for fantasy teams this year, but it was at least correctly predicted. Trouba was a lesser-known Rangers blue liner, with six fantasy points currently behind him. Adam Fox. Trouba's greatest value comes from blocked shots and hits, so he isn't as loved. Jarry was a solid pick that I didn't like before the season. His production has slowed down, and his stamina has been put to the test. Jarry now sits as the seventh best fantasy goaltender.



Claude Giroux uses the power play as an opportunity to even the score for the Panthers

The bust all-duds

  • Nicklas BackstromWashington Capitals, C (current rank 529, preseason rank 52)

  • Max Comtois, W, Anaheim Ducks (661, 128)

  • Anders Lee, W, New York Islanders (202, 86)

  • Jakob Chychrun, D, Arizona Coyotes (387, 31)

  • Tyson Barrie, D. Edmonton Oilers (230.75)

  • Philipp Grubauer, G, Seattle Kraken (818, 15)

Sigh. This is not an all-star team. Certain people are more hurt than others. Comtois, Grubauer, and others were probably thrown out of teams in October. Some, like Backstrom and Barrie, as well as Chychrun, provided enough hope that it was difficult for them to be parted with – especially in deeper leagues. This list does not include players whose unexpected injuries took a lot of their season. Backstrom's absence in the draft was to be expected. However, it took longer than expected for him to return and even though he was healthy, he didn't feel at home. Despite getting more power-play minutes than any other defenseman, Barrie finished fourth in fantasy production for the Oilers. Yep. Darnell NurseEvan Bouchard Cody CeciHave more points than him.

Fantasy hardware

Fantasy Art Ross – Igor ShesterkinAuston Matthews Matthews is only a few games away, so Shesterkin leads Matthews by 12 points for most fantasy points. It's possible for goaltenders to earn negative points so it's not a set award that Shesterkin will receive. Both of them are equally impressive with each likely surpassing 250 fantasy points. Since 2017-18, no goaltender has crossed that line and no skater has done so in the six previous seasons.



Pavel Buchnevich attempts to score but Igor Shesterkin pulls off a great save to deny him.

Fantasy Hart – Darcy Kuemper: Kuemper currently ranks 11th among fantasy players in points. He excels in many other areas, however, including as fantasy MVP. Kuemper was ranked No. According to the ESPN game at drafts Kuemper was ranked No.277. This made him a freebie at every draft table. After he had done enough in the first half to justify his continued participation on your team, Kuemper's second-half performance was crucial. Kuemper finished Dec. 31 with only 49.8 fantasy point – which was 18th for goaltenders, and five fewer than his average. Elvis Merzlikins. He's now totaled 210.8 points over the last four months, and has pushed more fantasy teams towards the titles they will be earning this week.

Fantasy Calder – Moritz Seider: It's a simple decision, since Seider is currently ranked 39th among all players this season and seventh among defensemen in fantasy points. Seider could even finish sixth, if he is able to push through. John Carlson(trailing by just 0.3 points). Seider's production and poise on a Red Wings team that lives in a cellar is extremely promising for the future.

Fantasy Norris – Roman Josi: This fantasy award will be as difficult as the Norris Trophy if you take into account the relative value of the preseason and now. Josi, who was ranked 37th at the start of the season, currently ranks sixth. Cale MakarWas ranked 34th, and is currently ranked eighth. Josi is the winner, but it was close.

Fantasy Vezina- Jacob Markstrom There are some arguments to be made for different goalies. Shesterkin has the most point but was also ranked in top 60 heading into the season. Markstrom was close behind Shesterkin but ranked lower at drafts (No. Kuemper saw huge improvements in his draft ranking, Frederik Andersen also made significant gains. Kuemper won the fantasy Hart and Shesterkin is still in the race for the fantasy Art Ross. Let's also give this to Markstrom who, while third behind Matthews and Shesterkin, was a drafts selection in the mid-to late rounds.

Fantasy Masterton – Vladimir Tarasenko: The Masterton Trophy takes into consideration human achievement, perseverance and other aspects of hockey. This award is more about stats. Tarasenko was a subject of much speculation in preseason about a trade and holdout. You had to take a gamble when you draft him. It wouldn't have been surprising if he didn’t live up to his expectations given his limited early-season icetime and recent injuries. Tarasenko's fantasy campaign is his best, scoring 2.5 fantasy points per match.

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