Top 10 most likely first-time 70-point players

Tom Collins

2016-10-03

The Top 10 most likely candidates to be first-time 70-point players in 2016-17

 

Getting to the 70-point mark nowadays is the hardest its been since the days of the clutch and grab. Last year saw 17 players get 70-plus points. Five of them did it for the first time (Brent Burns, Blake Wheeler, Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin). Trying to figure out who is going to do the same this year is key to winning hockey pools. While people used high draft picks on Tyler Seguin or John Tavares, you could have picked up Kuznetsov and Panarin much later and gotten the same production. So which players have a good shot to hit 70 points for their first time this year? Just keep in mind that the odds of all these players reaching this mark are low. But some players will do it and these are the ones that stand out to me as having the best chance.

 

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Also, you’ll notice there is no Nikita Kucherov on the list. He would normally be a top-three pick for me. But as of this writing, he wasn’t signed and looks like he may miss the first few games of the season. I think Kucherov could get 70 points in a full season. But in 75 or less games? Probably not. If he signs in the next week, I would put him pretty high on this list. I’m using the same logic for not including Sean Monahan. With linemate Johnny Gaudreau not signed yet, that will greatly impact Monahan’s chances to reach 70 points.

Onto the list.

 

10. James van Riemsdyk

Van Riemsdyk has slowly become the forgotten player in Toronto. Everyone is focusing on the three rookies: Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Even Nazem Kadri has been getting plenty of love. But the Leafs still need a veteran to lead these young guns and the 27-year-old van Riemsdyk is the best option with plenty of ice time.

 

9. Filip Forsberg

Last year just goes to show how talented Forsberg actually is. Much of the time he was stuck playing with Mike Ribeiro, Craig Smith and Mike Fisher. This year could see him line up regularly with Ryan Johansen instead. As Donald Trump would say, that’s huge. And let’s not forget the addition of P.K. Subban could help boost the middle-of-the-pack offen