The 2021 NHL season was delayed because of the late finish to the 2019-20 season and the continuing coronavirus pandemic, but the action will finally begin on Jan. 13. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the defending champions and they’ll begin their season against the Chicago Blackhawks on NHL Opening Night, but will be without superstar wing Nikita Kucherov for the entire regular season after hip surgery. With Fantasy hockey owners making preparations for last-minute drafts, how might Kucherov’s absence impact the rest of the Lightning Fantasy-relevant players?
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks will be without Jonathan Toews for an indeterminable amount of time because of an unspecified illness, while Kirby Dach will miss 4-5 months after having wrist surgery. Can Patrick Kane live up to a late-first or early-second round Fantasy hockey ADP without them in the lineup, and who are some of the other 2021 Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts you need to be aware of? Before setting your 2021 Fantasy hockey draft strategy, check out the Fantasy hockey rankings 2021 from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
The model was created by Mike McClure, a predictive data engineer and professional daily Fantasy player with almost $2 million in career winnings. He’s used his prediction model to simulate the entire 2021 NHL schedule 10,000 times and identify the top Fantasy hockey sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.
McClure has used this model to help him win almost $2 million in daily Fantasy sports, and it also powers his season-long NHL rankings. The projections can help you create a draft strategy that ensures you have the depth necessary to survive what could be another challenging season.
McClure’s model takes factors such as player history, schedule, injuries and matchups into account to create the most unbiased 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings possible. Now the model has zeroed in on the 2021 NHL season, ranked every player, and found the top sleepers, breakouts and busts. See every pick here.
One of the 2021 Fantasy hockey sleepers from SportsLine’s 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings: Canucks center Elias Pettersson. The No. 5 overall pick at the 2017 NHL Draft and 2019 Calder Trophy winner has put up 66 points in both of his first two seasons in the NHL. Pettersson had 28 goals and 38 assists over 71 games in his rookie season and then put up 27 goals and 39 assists in 68 games during the truncated campaign last season.
Then in the 2020 NHL Playoffs, Pettersson put up 18 points in 17 games to help the Canucks win two playoff series and take the Vegas Golden Knights to a Game 7 in the second round. Pettersson is surrounded with a lot of young talent in Vancouver and last year’s playoff performance showed he’s ready to take the next step towards superstardom, which is why the model ranks him as its No. 11 overall player despite a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of 32.
Another surprise: Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry is one of the biggest 2021 Fantasy hockey busts. The 24-year-old won the backup job prior to the start of last season and then spent time as the team’s No. 1 goaltender with Matt Murray struggling. Jarry had a .921 save percentage while Murray .899 save percentage was a 20-point drop from the previous season.
Murray has signed with the Senators now and Jarry figures to be the No. 1 in Pittsburgh moving forward, but some of the peripherals create cause for concern with Jarry. The former second-round pick ranked 49th among NHL goaltenders in 2019-20 in high-danger save percentage (.805). That’s a big reason why the model ranks him as its No. 197 overall player despite a 2021 Fantasy hockey ADP of 67.
The model has also made a surprising call on where Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl ranks after winning the Ross Trophy, Lindsay Award and Hart Trophy last season and features a stunner in the top 10 that you need to see. You can only see the latest Fantasy hockey rankings 2021 here.
So what’s the exact value of every NHL player in the 2021 Fantasy hockey rankings? And what surprising player cracked the top 10? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy hockey rankings, all from a DFS pro who has won almost $2 million in his career and has simulated the entire NHL season 10,000 times, and find out.
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