With the NHL all-star game this coming weekend, this would be a good time to have a look at who the fantasy all-stars would be.
That list would be too obvious, and be made up with a bunch of players from the Western conference and the Tampa Bay Lightning. So I thought it would be better to put together a list of players who are having great seasons, but are also underappreciated.
Obviously, much of the value depends on settings. Leagues with hits and PIM will boost certain players, while including faceoffs would boost other guys.
10. Jordan Staal
Staal isn’t getting the respect he deserves this season, especially in leagues that count faceoffs. He is on pace for 23 goals, which would his highest since 2011-12. His 0.63 points per game and 2.33 shots per game are the highest since 2012-13. He is on pace for 185 hits, his highest since 2013-14. His ice time is the highest in five years. He’s owned in 33 per cent of Yahoo leagues despite contributing in many fantasy categories.
9. Alexander Radulov
As a Habs fan, it still annoys me that the team decided to play hardball with Radulov and let him walk instead of locking him up in the middle of last season. The Russian has been dynamite in Dallas and isn’t getting the credit he deserves. Look at his on-pace numbers: 82 games, 31 goals, 75 points, 75 PIM, 196 shots, nine power play goals and 24 power play points. He and Evgeni Malkin are the only players with at least 18 goals, 44 points, 115 shots and 40 PIM.
8. Darnell Nurse
At the start of December, I listed Oscar Klefbom as a player I pegged to bounce back from a poor start. Part of my reasoning was there was no one else in Edmonton to take over the top power play spot. How wrong I was. It took six weeks from when I wrote that, but Nurse took over the top power-play spot on Saturday night, notching four minutes of power-play time compared to Klefbom’s 0:29. That brought Nurse’s total career power play minutes to 31 in his 162-games career. Nurse has already hit a career high in goals, assists and points this year, but is also a beast in plus-minus (17), PIM (44), shots (109), hits (89) and blocked shots (84).
7. Pekka Rinne
I used to be a big believer that Rinne was done in Nashville after next season as the team would want the younger Juuse Saros tending nets. I am slowly moving away from that train of thought. Rinne is on pace for one of his best seasons yet. Rinne has 23 wins (fourth in the league), 2.42 GAA (10th with at least 15 games played) and .925 SV % (eighth). He has 23 quality starts (fourth). In one of my head-to-head leagues that counts wins, losses, GA, saves and shutouts, Rinne has been the third best goalie.
6. Joel Edmundson
Forget about the offense (although the six goals and 15 points are a great bonus). Edmundson is killing it in