Top 25 fantasy hockey impact items of 2016 – Part 1

Dobber

2016-12-25

With no games going on and hockey sites generally dead zones at this time of year, why not take a moment to reflect on the year that was?

 

Both long- and short-term events and items were considered. Also under consideration was not just the actual impact, but the expected impact. Perhaps something happened that set the fantasy hockey world buzzing…but then the players involved did very little differently than they had in the past. Or perhaps it was a minor, forgotten signing but then the player involved suddenly became fantasy relevant. In a couple of cases, an impact player made it onto these rankings… as well as the team that sent ripples through the fantasy world thanks in large part to that player!

Who (or what) events, persons or items do you think will crack my Top 10? Feel free to comment below. Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy holiday!

 

25. Kyle Okposo Signs with Buffalo

Once Steven Stamkos signed a contract just before free agency opened, Okposo possibly became the biggest name to hit the market. He signed with a rebuilding team, basically driving his value down in leagues that count the NHL postseason (like two of my leagues), but at the same time – us fantasy owners had him penciled in to play with Jack Eichel. The end result? Generally speaking he’s a 0.85 points-per-game player. He’s currently below that, but two big games and he’s back on track. In other words – same ol’, same ol’.

 

24. Columbus Takes Dubois; Jesse Puljujarvi Falls to Edmonton

So far, this has been more ‘buzz’ than ‘impact’. But at the time, it rocketed Dubois up keeper league lists as many of them shifted focus from a ‘Big 3’ in the 2016 draft to a ‘Big 4’. Does Dubois have better upside than we thought? How much does Puljujarvi’s upside rise thanks to his joining the Oilers instead of Columbus? Six months later and it turns out that fantasy owners are disappointed in both players. Dubois boasted a 1.6 points-per-game average in the QMJHL last season. So far this year he has 18 points in 20 games and was recently traded. Puljujarvi has eight points in 24 games and although he’s shown flashes of skill, he’s clearly not ready for a top-six role this year and probably not next year either. He may not help fantasy owners until his third or fourth NHL season. For our scouting report (from a fantasy standpoint) on Dubois, click here.

 

23. Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine as Advertised

If we didn’t expect Matthews and Laine to light the lamp as rookies, then their performance to date would vault them into this list’s Top 10. But they’re doing exactly what we figured. Matthews is on pace for 64 points and Laine for 68 (as of December 22) and in the Fantasy Guide I had them projected for