Breaking the Dailyfaceoff Top-300 down into Tiers continues with the Right Wingers.
Previous Tiers Posts:
The 2019 Art Ross Trophy winner is in a tier of his own among right-wingers and should be the top player on your board on draft day. The 128 points he registered last year will not be easily replicated, but Kucherov is a lock to break 100 points for the third straight season. Tampa’s deadly power-play will keep his production at an elite level, but I wouldn’t expect another 48 power-play points from Kucherov in 2019-20. His on-ice SH% and personal SH% were high last year, but Kucherov’s immense skill level means he’s more than capable of continuing to post above-average conversion rates. Kucherov is the obvious choice for the best right-winger, and a lack of depth on the wings gives him the edge over Connor McDavid for the number-one spot on our draft board.
While not quite within the same realm as Kucherov, Kane is clearly the top option in this second tier. He was the driving force behind Chicago’s offensive resurgence last season, picking up 44 goals and a career-high 66 assists in 81 games. His sharp increase in goal scoring was driven more by a jump in volume than SH% percentage, which bodes well for his chances of topping 40 goals again in 2019-20. He fired a remarkable 341 shots on goal with a 12.9% SH, right in line with his career average of 12.1%. A 12.2% on-ice SH% suggests a little bit of regression is on the way, but 100 points is still within reason. There are only four or five players who should be taken ahead of Kane on draft day.
Pastrnak has quickly developed into one of the NHL’s premier goal-scorers, ranking ninth in goals (107) and tied for third in power-play goals (40) over the last three seasons. He scored 38 goals last season despite missing 16 games, a 47-goal pace over a full 82 games. He’ll have a hard time maintaining last year’s 16.2 SH%, but a healthy season could still be enough for his first 40-goal campaign. He is a very safe and reliable pick, offering you a 35-goal, 40-assist floor with 40-goal, 45-assist upside.
Marner opted not to discuss a contract extension before the start of last season, betting on himself to breakthrough and improve his potential value. It couldn’t have paid off any better for Marner, as he excelled alongside John Tavares on the Maple Leafs’ top line. He broke out in a major way, racking up 94 points across a full 82 games. His production is a little too assist heavy to put him in the top echelon on fantasy players, but he did improve on his shot volume last year, firing 233 shots on goal. Marner needs to continue to shoot more if he wants to leapfrog any of the right-wingers ranked above him, but I love the value you’re getting at his current ADP of 15.8.
Rantanen scored 31 goals with 56 assists (87 points) last season while playing a remarkable 85.4% of his 5v5 ice-time with Nathan MacKinnon. Rantanen has now registered at least 84 points in back-to-back seasons and is one of the best power-play producers in the entire league. Of course, there is some added risk here given he still is yet to sign a contract, but the recent wave of RFA signings is encouraging for Rantanen stockholders.
Entering his first full season with the Golden Knights, Stone is set to assume a larger role this season. He picked up just 11 points in 18 games after being acquired by Vegas last season, but much of that can be attributed to a lowly on-ice SH%. The 17:39 a night he averaged with the Golden Knights is bound to increase, and it’s worth noting he played over 21 minutes a game in the post-season. Stone is an outstanding play driver at 5v5 and should flirt with a point per game this season.
Tarasenko was on fire in the second half of last season, registering 22 goals and 24 assists in 39 games after the turn of the calendar year. He has always been a streaky producer, but if he can stay healthy, Tarasenko has 40-goal upside. He has a very high and stable floor, having scored at least 33 goals in five straight seasons. His assists generally don’t stack up to the guys ranked above him, but his value gets a boost in points leagues where goals are weighed more heavily.
Wheeler posted his second consecutive 91-point campaign in 2019-20, scoring just 20 times but adding a ridiculous 71 assists. Wheeler is just a 10.6% shooter in his career but has a knack for getting the puck on net. He could easily flirt with 30 goals with a little bit of puck luck, though it’s unlikely he tops 70 assists again in 2019-20. The team around him got considerably worse and he is entering his age-33 season, but Wheeler remains a lock to produce at a point per game pace this season.
You won’t find a more durable player in the NHL than Phil Kessel. Kessel hasn’t missed a game in nine seasons, averaging 75 points per 82 games over that time. Over the last three seasons, he’s tied for 11th in the NHL in points with 244 and 32nd in goals with 84. Kessel’s production was inflated playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh, but his time in Toronto proved he can produce on his own. After spending much of last year on the third line, Kessel’s ice-time should see a significant boost this season, helping offset the drop-off in the quality of his teammates.
Radulov has thrived in Dallas after a mediocre return to the NHL with the Canadiens. He’s registered exactly 72 points in each of the last two seasons, and he did it in just 70 games last year. He spent over three-quarters of his 5v5 time with Seguin, a number that will most likely come down this year with the arrival of Joe Pavelski. Still, Radulov is an incredibly reliable producer in all situations and offers a stable floor with point-per-game upside at a very shallow position.
Durability is the main concern for Boeser, and his 2019-2020 season isn’t off to a great start in that regard. Boeser missed 33 games in his first two NHL seasons and is currently in concussion protocol. There’s a chance he’ll be ready to go for the start of the regular season, but it’s a discouraging sign from such an injury-prone player. When healthy, Boeser has scored at an elite rate. He averages 34 goals and 35 assists (71 points) per 82 games. The upside is obvious, he just needs to stay healthy.
Laine’s season was the perfect example of why it is so dangerous to bank on an elite SH%. Laine’s SH% stayed at a respectable 12.2% last season, but it resulted in a 14-goal drop off from the year before. Until he proves himself to be a reliable two-way player, I can’t see his ice-time jumping up any time soon. He will continue to be a force on the power-play and is still one of the best goal scorers in the league, but the lack of assists makes him very one dimensional. Laine has a very unstable floor and his ceiling is a lot lower than people realize. He’s a great player and still a starting right-winger in fantasy, but I wouldn’t touch him at his current ADP.
Dadonov has a terrific supporting cast that gives him a very stable floor heading into 2019-20. There is always some risk in investing in a player whose value and production are tied so closely to their line-mates, but Dadonov has cemented himself a spot in the Panthers’ top-six. His track record with Barkov speaks for itself, and should he get moved off the top line, Dadonov could do a lot worse than playing with Vincent Trocheck. You can confidently expect another 25-goal, 65-point season from Dadonov.
While Jack Hughes may have bested him at the NHL Draft, Kakko should be the first rookie picked in fantasy. Kakko scored 22 goals with 16 assists in 45 games in Finland’s top league last year. He followed that up with a great showing in the World Championships, scoring an astonishing six times in 10 games. He is projected to start the year in the Rangers’ top six as well as on the top power-play unit. Kakko projects to lead all rookies in goals and has the potential to be a 30-30 player in year one.
Artemi Panarin’s departure should take a serious toll on Atkinson’s shot volume. With the main driver of his line gone, Atkinson will have a hard time replicating the 295 shots he posted a year ago. Atkinson’s on-ice SH% (11.3%) is also due to regress, but he’ll get enough opportunity on Columbus’ depleted roster to remain fantasy relevant. I think a 30G-30A pace is more than reasonable, which is quite valuable for a player with LW and RW eligibility.
Predictably, Voracek failed to reproduce the 35 power-play points he had in 2017-18, leading to a 19-point drop off last season. He spent most of his 5v5 time on the second line, as Travis Konecny solidified his spot on Sean Couturier’s right-wing. Playing with Hayes and JVR on the second line is a fine consolation, but his current usage does limit his upside. His goal scoring leaves a lot to be desired, but you can bank on another 65-point effort from Voracek.
Teravainen has been nothing but durable in his first three years in Carolina, missing just a single regular-season game over that span. He has scored over 20 goals in back-to-back seasons and is 27th league-wide in assists dating back to the start of the 2017-18 season with 96. At 24-years-old, he’s just entering his prime, but a lack of goal scoring limits his upside. 70 points is well within reason for Teravainen in 2019-20, but it will be very assist-heavy.
After being acquired in the Dougie Hamilton trade last off-season, Lindholm surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations in his first season with Calgary. He was the perfect fit alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau on the top line, scoring 27 goals and adding 51 assists in 81 games. Of course, Lindholm was very much a passenger on that top line, and there is risk in drafting a player whose core value is driven by their linemates. A whopping 25 of his 51 apples were secondary helpers, so I would expect a serious drop off in assists for Lindholm in 2019-20.
After a remarkable rookie season, Keller endured a classic sophomore slump in 2018-19. He registered just 47 points last season but was the victim of some poor puck luck. Keller’s SH% dropped from 10.8% to 7.0%, and his on-ice SH% finished at 7.8% last season. He is an obvious bounce-back candidate this season and gets the added benefit of playing with an elite playmaker in Phil Kessel.
A prolific goal scorer in junior hockey, Mantha has yet to tap into his full potential at the NHL level. He’s registered exactly 48 points in back-to-back seasons, but it’s worth noting he missed 15 games last season. His production over a full 82 games would amount to 31 goals and 28 assists. 61.2% of Mantha’s 5v5 ice-time came alongside Dylan Larkin last season. The duo was incredibly effective at even strength but was limited by a 6.03 on-ice SH%. Mantha should continue to play near-exclusively with Larkin in 2019-20, which could easily lead to a 30-30 season for the fourth-year winger.
He might not possess as much upside as the other guys in his tier, but Palmieri is one of the more reliable goal scorers in the league. He is a model of consistency, registering a SH% between 12.1% and 13.5% for five straight seasons. His shot volume was on the up last year before injuries ravaged New Jersey’s roster and hindered his production. Palmieri could easily break 30 goals this season if he gets to play anywhere near a full 82 games alongside Hall, but his assist totals will always be underwhelming.
Nylander’s prolonged contract dispute no doubt played a role in his decline last season. He registered just seven goals and 20 assists in 54 regular-season games. Nylander had trouble getting his game up to full speed, and he was also forced to spend a significant amount of time centring the third line. That won’t be the case this year, and a full year alongside Auston Matthews should do wonders for Nylander’s production. Nylander could be on the verge of a breakout season, but there isn’t a ton of value to be had at his current ADP of 100.2.
Reinhart spent 62.9% of his even-strength ice time with Jack Eichel, but he could see more time with Casey Mittelstadt in 2020. Reinhart is a fantastic playmaker, fresh off posting career-highs in assists (43) and points (65) last season. Obviously, dropping down off the Eichel line would lower Reinhart’s overall upside. He should still finish 2020 with 20-to-25 goals and 35-to-40 assists and would offer a lot more value than that if he plays another full year with Eichel and Jeff Skinner.