Every year, NHL fantasy owners scan the league to try and find hidden gems that will outperform their draft ranking. Strategically drafting these players can be the difference between missing the playoffs and making a run at the cherished $200 pot. Be confident, the Blue Steam team is here to help make sure that you get this years NHL Fantasy Sleepers.
For this piece, the definition of a NHL Fantasy Sleepers was pulled from ESPN.com.
Sleeper: A player who will far surpass his average draft position (ADP).
In addition, to put more context into why we chose the following players, below are the listed fantasy categories that we were operating under.
Player Fantasy Categories: Goals, Assists, PIMs, Plus/Minus, PPP, Shots
Goalie Fantasy Categories: Wins, GAA, SV%, Shutouts
NHL Fantasy Sleepers
Brendan’s NHL Fantasy Sleepers
Devante Smith-Pelley, RW, NJD
The 24 year old winger has gone through many changes over his short career, and finds himself on his third NHL team in just 3 full seasons in the league. After getting shipped from Montreal to New Jersey in the 2015-2016 season, Smith-Pelley is finally looking to find himself a home. I am willing to bet that New Jersey is just the place for DSP, and he presents a significant late round sleeper opportunity in fantasy this year.
What makes Smith Pelley such a strong sleeper pick? Lack of depth at right wing for the Devils. With the arrival of Taylor Hall in Jersey, Smith Pelley could have an excellent chance of getting the top right wing spot alongside Hall and Henrique. With some added power play time, I could see him scoring around 23 goals. Take a gamble on him at the end of your draft.
Rickard Rakell, RW, ANA
Spice your team up with my favourite name in the NHL, sleeper selection Rickard Rakell. With 43 points in 72 games last season, Rakell’s value certainly came when he was paired with Corey Perry. It might be worth taking a swing at him in the late middle rounds. If Rakell can end up paired with Perry again, I could see him come close to 60 points, with good power play numbers and over 200 shots on goal.
Spencer’s NHL Fantasy Sleepers
Robby Fabbri, C/LW, STL
Amongst last year’s super rookie class of McDavid, Eichel, Panarin, and Larkin, Fabbri quietly had a solid first season. He put up 37 points (18G, 19A) in 72 games and then notched 15 points (4G, 11A) in 20 playoff games. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with a healthy Jaden Schwartz on the depth chart but expect Fabbri to be an offensive threat no matter who he lines up with.
Ivan Provorov, D, PHI
The 2015 7th overall pick had 73 points (21G, 52A) in 62 games last year, which earned him the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s best defenseman. His 6’1”, 200 pound frame fits right in with current Flyers’ D-men Radko Gudas (6’0”, 204) and Michael Del Zotto (6’0”, 195), while his point production reminds us of Shane Gostisbehere (17G, 29A, 46 points) and Mark Streit (6G, 17A, 23 points). The catch? Provorov hasn’t officially made the team. Do some homework closer to your draft to see if he’s on the roster. If he is, we could see another young stud light up the Metropolitan Division from Philadelphia’s back end.
Honourable mention: Devante Smith-Pelly.
David’s NHL Fantasy Sleepers
Andreas Athanasiou, LW, DET
Connor Carrick, D, TOR
Nick’s NHL Fantasy Sleepers
Robby Fabbri, C/LW, STL
The 20 year old impressed in hist first year in the National Hockey League. He tallied 18 goals and 37 points in 72 games . What might be even more impressive is he did it with an average TOI of just 13:19, good for fourth on the Blues with 1.87 points/60. Expect him to get more second line minutes in 2016/2017 and his stats to reflect the increase in TOI.
P.A. Parenteau, RW, NYR
In a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple leafs, Parenteau was able to produce 20 goals, often playing in the middle of a pretty dismal lineup. He is now returning to the Islanders, a place where he had the most success in his career, notching 53 and 67 point seasons 5 and 6 years ago.
Unfortunately for the Islanders and fortunately for Parenteau fantasy hockey owners, New York’s depth at RW is pretty weak. Parenteau is pretty much guaranteed top 6 minutes and will most likely see time playing John Tavares. The fact is, if I got to play with Tavares I would probably pot 10 goals. Don’t be surprised if Parenteau gets another 20 goals with his fair share of PPP.