I have a few general rules when it comes to building a team in a fantasy hockey keeper league. One of the more important ones is to not plan beyond a two or three year window. You are not building a real NHL club, and too often fantasy hockey poolies place an emphasis on youth and prospects over proven veterans with gas still left in the tank. So using my general rule, take a look at your team(s). Can you realistically say you will have a shot at winning the league at some point within the next two or three seasons? If not, time to scrap the rebuild and start adding proven NHL talent.
Keeping my rule in mind, I have compiled a list of the top 10 keeper league right wingers to own (assuming standard keeper league rules and scoring categories). Using the two or three season scope, I had to balance proven production with young players on the verge of breaking out. I hope you enjoy!
Left and right wing are arguably the two hardest positions to fill in fantasy hockey. This season, the 10th highest scoring left wing (Patrick Sharp) finished with 66 points. The 10th highest scoring right wing (Chris Stewart) finished with 66 as well. Ryan Kesler finished 10th among centers in scoring with 75 points. Going down the leader board at each position, the discrepancy only increases. Nik Antropov had 67 points, placing him 20th among centers. The 20th highest scoring left wing was Thomas Vanek with 53 points, and Danny Briere finished 20th among right wingers with 53 points as well. This data is hardly groundbreaking, but it just highlights how important it is to draft (and retain) quality wingers on your fantasy hockey team.
1. Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Contract: $6.3 million/season, signed through 2014-15
Patrick Kane must not read DobberHockey. Dobber has long been a supporter of the "fourth-year breakout" theory, as it (on average) seems to take young players three years to get comfortable at the NHL level. Kane cut a year off of the theory, boosting his production by 18 points this past season – his third. He is incredibly crafty and durable, only missing two games with the Blackhawks. He uses his lack of size to his advantage on most nights. There isn't really much to say about Kane – he is arguably the best offensive forward to own in any keeper league format aside from the big three (Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin).
One year upside: 100
Three year upside: 115
2. Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks