Fantasy hockey roundtable – Breakouts players and rookie picks

With the 2021-22 NHL common season set to drop the puck on October 12, we reached out to our specialists right here at ESPN Fantasy Hockey and the NHL on ESPN to get their takes on who’re the breakout gamers they’ve their eyes on, and which rookies will make the most important fantasy impression.

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Which participant are you anticipating to have a breakout season?

Victoria Matiash, fantasy analyst: Conor Garland, F, Vancouver Canucks. Following his escape from the desert, the fourth-year ahead goes to erupt alongside both heart Elias Pettersson or Bo Horvat in Vancouver. Minutes on the Canucks’ prime energy play will solely assist. After averaging 0.38 factors/sport his rookie season, and 0.57 his sophomore stretch, Garland netted 0.79 this previous marketing campaign. In sync with that upward development, the 25-year-old will take his subsequent productive step this yr.

Sean Allen, fantasy analyst: Vince Dunn, D, Seattle Kraken. If you happen to have a look at objective scoring by defensemen throughout the previous three NHL seasons, Dunn seems at a stunning nineteenth. His 27 objectives with the St. Louis Blues are greater than Drew Doughty, John Klingberg or Seth Jones scored in that point. However what’s extra spectacular: the 20 others gamers all both tied with or higher than Dunn’s complete have skated a mean of between 21 and 25 minutes per sport in that point. Dunn averaged a lowly 17:27, simply the bottom amongst all of the league leaders. You are able to do the identical train together with his shot complete and get the identical common end result. Whatever the position given to the 38-year-old Mark Giordano with the Kraken, there’s alternative for lots extra scoring from Dunn this season.

Arda Öcal, NHL on ESPN host: Kaapo Kakko, RW, New York Rangers. After being drafted #2 general in 2019, Kakko hasn’t produced what Rangers followers would have hoped to date, however final season noticed a marked enchancment within the defensive portion of Kakko’s sport. With Pavel Buchnevich gone, the chance is there for a participant to step up. Kakko has seen a while with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome on the highest line this preseason. In fact, individuals will level to 2020 #1 general decide Alexis Lafreniere because the one to choose as a “breakout” participant for the Rangers this season, however to me each gamers having an incredible season (in addition to strong goaltending from Igor Shesterkin) will considerably propel the Rangers postseason hopes. If the primary line project holds for Kakko into the common season, he’s being put in a terrific place to supply and have his breakout second, with probably the most thrilling gamers within the league baking bread beside him.

Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL reporter: Yegor Sharangovich, New Jersey Devils. It is 12 months 3 for Jack Hughes within the NHL, and his enchancment will proceed with Dougie Hamilton serving to to create offense on the again finish. The beneficiary of that enchancment is probably going Sharangovich, a 23-year-old winger from Belarus. As a result of the Devils have been horrible (once more), his 30-point rookie season (16 objectives, 14 assists) in 54 video games went unnoticed, as did the truth that he was third on the crew with 114 pictures. The objectives are going to have to come back from someplace for Jersey, and it would not shock me in any respect to see greater than 25 of them come from Yegor.

Which rookie do you imagine will make the perfect fantasy impression this yr?

Victoria: Jamie Drysdale, D, Anaheim Ducks. He is my early favourite for the Calder, to start out. An outstanding skater, the 19-year-old ought to discover himself anchoring Anaheim’s prime particular groups unit earlier than lengthy. Why not? The rebuilding Geese have little to lose in tossing the teenager offensive-defenseman on the market after embodying a league-worst 8.9 energy play share in 2020-21. Throw in some top-four minutes, and the chance to play with different blossoming younger expertise up entrance (see: Trevor Zegras), and Drysdale needs to be in for a wealthy, first full season.

Sean: Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings. Every thing is lined as much as give Seider the perfect likelihood at success this season. He has professional expertise in North America already, having skated within the AHL again in 2019-20. In Nick Leddy, the Pink Wings introduced Seider an skilled protection companion that has had success being a two-way power within the sport for a few years. Seider has pure offense to his sport and the Pink Wings have a determined want of it being generated from the blue line.

Arda: Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens. This is likely to be the simple decide given how terrific of a postseason Caufield had, and he is presently the betting favourite to win the Calder trophy, however somebody has to choose him as apparent as it’s, so I’ll be that man. Facet be aware, a Habs participant hasn’t received the Calder since Ken Dryden in 1972. That looks like it is mistaken however it’s not. Anyhow, I would not be in any respect stunned is Cole Caulfield follows up his Hobey Baker/Stanley Cup Last run season with extra {hardware}.

Greg: Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs. I do know what you are saying: “Hasn’t he been within the league since 2019-20?” Properly, sure, however as my good friend Justin Bourne of Sportsnet famous Bunting hasn’t performed over 25 video games in a season, hasn’t performed in six or extra video games for 2 straight seasons and was nonetheless 25 years previous on Sept. 15, the cutoff for rookies, as is birthday is on Sept. 17. It is a long-winded method of claiming {that a} man who had 10 objectives in 21 video games with the Coyotes final season and would possibly play with John Tavares and William Nylander in Toronto. | Fantasy hockey roundtable – Breakouts gamers and rookie picks


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