Most likely to Succeed is our newest series which points out one player from every team and explains why that player is poised to increase their point totals. While some teams may have more than one player likely to breakout and some none, we will focus on the ones who actually should improve with a full healthy season. File this article under a sleeper-type but sleepers would not be called that if people saw them coming.
One year ago, everything in fantasy hockey focused around the big three: Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. This season the consensus top two picks remain the same with Malkin going as low as seventh, a travesty if I have ever heard of it.r
Lets not discount Steven Stamkos or Nicklas Backstrom but I would rather take a player who already has a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe and at times has been considered the best player in hockey. His 77 points of last season fell way below his career averages as he missed 15 games with assorted injuries. My prediction would be numbers much closer to his career averages, which would be a 38 – 63 – 101. Pretty tidy, and a pretty guaranteed steal with the 7th overall pick.
Thanks to a couple of break through seasons, we are starting to see a bit of parity between the top picks. However, one of the safer bets would have to be this super-skilled Russian talent.