Hear ye! Hear ye! All hail our new Malking!
In a shocking turn of events, December brings us a new leader of the DobberHockey fantasy realm. Evgeni Malkin is the new most valuable fantasy hockey player.
After the Crosby injury last season, conjecture like this began around hockey. Why was Malkin playing so much better? Coincidence or was Malkin coming into his own as the star of the show. Well, 59 games and 91 points since the injury, we know Malkin can do it with or without the spotlight. He is currently the NHL points leader this season on pace for 139 points this season. Crosby in his own right is still as elite as they get with 34 points of his own. So why the fall? What about AO?
When I saw the news that the rankings had changed at the top, I couldn't predict which of these three kings would be the next to take the throne. They are all very deserving. So when you break it down, did Evgeni Malkin really deserve this title? Did Crosby deserve the demotion? Is Alexander Ovechkin getting a shaft having fallen to third instead rising to the top?
Well lets take a look at some of the major fantasy factors…
Age: An extremely significant factor in keeper leagues, These players are all separated by about a year of age. AO 23, Malkin 22 and Crosby 21, they are all close. Ovechkin is just over 10 months older than Malkin and Malkin is just over 12 months older than Crosby. With youth comes upside for improvement.
Advantage: Crosby followed by Malkin then Ovechkin
NHL Experience: Experience breeds maturity in the NHL, and these players all have already garnered plenty of it at a young age. The more experience the player has, the more secure they are as investments. With his health and earlier arrival, Ovechkin has proven the most in this category with 267 games played while Crosby has only reached 236 with injuries. Malkin of course has played one fewer seasons
Advantage: Ovechkin followed by Crosby then Malkin
Position: This is a factor I may value more than some other players. Positional scarcity is extremely important. Ovechkin is the obvious choice here as he plays at the significantly shallower left wing. Crosby, being purely a center, fall short in this category. Malkin has the ability to gain duel-eligibility any given season. Given he is still only a center in most leagues this season, he is just a wild card at this point.
Advantage: Ovechkin followed by Malkin then Crosby
Durability: Malkin and Ovechkin have done little to fall short in this category. Crosby, with his 29 missed games last season, falls significantly short in this category. He is also prone to more nagging injuries apparently. This may just be bad early luck, but it is all we have to go on. Malkin