2021-2022 Fantasy Hockey preview: Edmonton Oilers
Are you ready? We’re back to the 82-game regular-season format, which means more joy and also more pain. It’s a roller coaster of emotions every season, because there are always surprises, and the good ones can make us feel like geniuses while the bad ones feel like they are collapsing their stomachs in an empty pool.
But we’re all hungry for punishment, so you might as well stay as informed as possible to explain later why the gods of fantasy hockey hate you. Yes, they specifically hate you.
Here is your fantastic outlook for the 32 teams. The Annual Pool Guide is available now, and also check out Matt Larkin’s top 250 players for the upcoming season.
Fantastic outlook 2021-2022: Edmonton Oilers
Last season: There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the dominance of Connor McDavid, whose 1.88 P / GP performance was from afar the best performance of the cap era. He took the Oilers to the seventh best offense in the league and, thanks to an incredible season from Mike Smith, reached the playoffs as a second seed in a division in which nearly every team disappointed.
Despite nine points ahead of the Jets, the Oilers were swept away in the first round as McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had just three goals in total. It was a truly disturbing result as it revealed that the Oilers really have no way of winning games unless McDavid and Draisaitl are playing well. Between McDavid and Draisaitl, 45 minutes of play was covered, but for the other 15 minutes, the Oilers were just hoping it wasn’t a complete collapse.
Best option: Darnell Nurse, D
You know McDavid and Draisaitl, but Nurse has also had a very good season, finishing second in goals (16), 14th in points (36), fifth in plus-minus (+27) and fourth in TOI / GP (25: 38) among the defenders. The only reason he’s not yet in the elite level with Roman Josi and Victor Hedman is because he has to show he can do it again. There are a lot of detractors because what Nurse did last season was really amazing; of the 27 defenders who managed to play at least 50 games and score 15 goals with a shooting percentage of over 10 percent in the cap era, only Lubomir Visnovsky has been able to do so in consecutive seasons ( and he did it twice).
Nurse and Jakob Chychrun are the only defenders to reach this rare milestone, and Nurse is also just one of seven defenders to register at least 100 blocked shots and 100 hits, although only two of them (l (other being Seth Jones) are worth writing in the fantastic leagues.
Hidden Gem: Zach Hyman, LW
I can’t wait to see what Hyman can do. Reliable middle wingers who are up for the dirty work and don’t have too much puck fantasy are ideal choices for McDavid and Draisaitl, who don’t always need another talented player to help them out. to mark. Think Alex Burrows with the Sedins or Chris Kunitz on the Pens; utility wingers who were really good at winning puck battles and collecting pucks, and who ended up having career seasons simply because they were well suited to players much more talented than them.
This is not a new role for Hyman; 23 of his 33 points last season were scored or assisted by Auston Matthews or John Tavares, and both Burrows and Kunitz have put their luck serving at least a 30-goal season. Hyman is expected to score 54 points, according to THN’s Pool Guide, the third-highest total among Oilers forwards behind McDavid (129) and Draisaitl (113).
Goalkeepers: The Oilers’ season is a potential disaster as their tandem could easily be mistaken for one looking to tank. Smith was great – he usually is when Dave Tippett is behind the bench – but it was easily the second best season of his career and a .923 Sv% and GAA of 2.31 would be hard to replicate for all goalkeeper, let alone the one who turns 40 next March.
It’s not like the Oilers have a good insurance policy for Mikko Koskinen, who they can’t get rid of, and Alex Stalock, a 34-year-old journeyman with just 151 NHL appearances. Defense won’t be of much help beyond Nurse, barring a rebirth season for Duncan Keith and a season worthy of Evan Bouchard’s Calder, which don’t seem likely to happen. Smith has fantastic value because he will get the wins, but it will be a tough win to swallow when Smith allows four goals every night.
Outlook: McDavid and Draisaitl are expected to be two of the top three picks in any format and any league, and due to being next to them, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Hyman – and possibly Yamamoto, Puljujarvi and Warren Foegele, in that order – wear some value fancy. Hyman provides a few hits even when not scoring, but Yamamoto and Puljujarvi also have 20 goals in mind.
The McDavid effect extends to the blue line with Tyson Barrie, who has dominated all defenders with 48 points and will be especially valuable for his power play points. An assist is an assist, and stats don’t care whether Roman Josi had to walk the line and saucer the puck over a maze of sticks and legs to set up a receiving shot or if Barrie had left the puck behind his own net for McDavid to go from start to finish.