Once again for the Dobber Fantasy Guide (which you can purchase here), I wrote a column about players to invest in for a long-term playoff.
Basically, I wrote about 20 players (all non-rookies) that you should consider rostering knowing you won’t see much fantasy relevance from until at least 2020-21. When I write a column like that for the guide, I come up with about 50 names and start whittling it down from there until I end up with 20 players I am confident in. However, there are still some excellent options out there. Here are some of the ones who didn’t make it.
10. Brady Tkachuk
I really wanted to include Tkachuk in my original top 20 list in the guide, but I couldn’t justify it as you won’t need to wait long as he’ll be awesome this year. I’m adding him to this list because this year will only be the start of an excellent fantasy career and he’ll be an elite option in a few years. Last year, in a rookie season on a team that was a complete disaster, Tkachuk notched 22 goals, 45 points, 75 PIM, 174 hits, 214 shots, and 10 power-play points in 71 games. The only issue was his plus/minus, but that’s not a category to worry too much about. Tkachuk is going to have every opportunity to shine this upcoming season, playing on the top line, getting top power-play minutes and plum offensive zone starts. I feel confident that this season, if healthy, he’ll wind up with 30 goals, 60 points, 70 PIM, 200 hits, 250 shots and 20 power-play points.
9. Samuel Girard
This is a popular pick for many people to be a breakout candidate a few years down the road. In the Dobber Fantasy Guide, Dobber gives his lowdown on Girard for the Avalanche section, saying that it may take 300-400 games before he breaks out (he’s only played 155 games to date). The bigger issue for me is the depth in Colorado. With both Cale Makar and Bowen Byram with high draft pedigrees, I’m not 100 per cent sold that Girard will ever get the opportunity to run a power-play or get top offensive minutes.
8. Pavel Buchnevich
Every year, Buchnevich is a popular breakout pick, and every year he disappoints. Between healthy scratches and injuries, I can understand why some are hesitant about his fantasy future. Now he’s got more competition for top-six minutes, with Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko now in New York, but that also means that when Buchnevich is ready, he’ll be playing with elite players.
7. Neal Pionk
If Pionk was still with the Rangers, I would have had him in the article in the guide, simply because there would have been a better opportunity with the Rangers to snag top minutes. I get a little gun-shy when a young defenseman is on a team that is deep in young de