While most fantasy hockey leagues are based solely on points, you can find leagues that will use almost any statistical category.
Years ago, I was in a league that not only counted shootout goals, it also included shootout-winning goals. Which is just insane when you consider that at the time, the league decided the person that scored the final goal was the shootout winner. So if a team won 2-0 in a shootout, that second goal was considered the winner if it prevented the other team from taking its third shot.
Frozen Tools has a fantasy section that is also useful when it comes to looking at skater on pace stats, which can be sorted by any category. While it’s still relatively early in the NHL season, it’s a useful tool to seeing a list of players that are on pace to lead in certain categories, everything from goals and assists to first goals of the game and missed shots.
To come to the on-pace number, the web site assumes every player will play every game from here on out. Which is great when evaluating players, but not so much netminders. NHL.com projects 27 netminders to get at least 40 wins, for example.
Below you’ll find 10 players and their impact on various statistical categories that you might include in your fantasy leagues. Remember that we are still early in the season that has seen a significant increase goal scoring so far, so the odds of some of the on-pace projections that would set a new record have plenty of time to regress.
10. Michael Grabner, shorthanded goals
There’s no doubt that Coyotes players would lead the on-pace projection for shorthanded goals. Arizona has scored 10 shorties. By comparison, they’ve only scored nine power-play goals. Grabner leads the way with four shorthanded tallies, and is on pace for 17. Only four players in NHL history have scored at least 10 shorthanded goals in a season (Mario Lemieux has done it twice and has the record with 13, Wayne Gretzky has also done it twice and Marcel Dionne and Dirk Graham have each done it once).
9. William Carrier, Hits
There are two players on pace for at least 300 hits (minimum 10 games played), but Carrier is easily leading the way. He had 96 hits in 20 games and was on pace for 394 hits going into last night’s game. The NHL record is 382, set by Matt Martin in 2014-15. Carrier has at least two hits in every game, and has recorded at least seven hits on six occasions, helping many fantasy general managers in weekly leagues that count hits.
8. Ian Cole, blocked shots
Cole doesn’t have much fantasy relevance in most leagues, but there is still plenty of value in leagues that have certain categories. Only four players are on pace for 250 blocked shots. Cole is the only one also on pace for at least 100 penalty minutes and 100 hits. In total, he is on pace for 147 PIM, 108 hits and 259 blocked shots. If your league counts those three categories, Cole is a must-own.