Top 10 potential first time 70-point players

Tom Collins

2019-09-09

 

Every season, we get a new bunch of 70-point scorers. Many are expected, but there are always surprises. Drafting those surprises can go a long way to winning your pool.

Generally speaking, one-third of all 70-point players in any given season will be hitting that mark for the first time. Last season, 55 players had at least 70 points. Twenty-five of them were first-timers, an astonishing 45 per cent. Those newbies covered the gamut, from elite players finally hitting their stride, to complete surprises, and from sophomores to 13-year veterans. In case anyone wants to play a bit of trivia, take a few minutes now to try and see how many names you can guess of the first-time 70-point players (I have listed the names at the bottom of this column).

To try to figure out who can join that list this year, you’re really looking for two things: Opportunity and power-play time. It’s not too often a third-line scrub with no power-play time can push 70 points. Imagine if that third-liner all of a sudden got the opportunity to play on the top line with some man-advantage minutes.

So, who are the best bets to be 70-point first-timers this year? I’ve included 10 names below. In the past, I’ve had some comments asking for some focus on the not-so-obvious players, so I’ve included a couple of longer shots as well.

 

10. Travis Konecny

This is one of the long shots I just mentioned, but keep in mind there’s always a player who comes out of nowhere to score 70 points (think of Nick Foligno, William Karlsson and Max Domi over the last few years). Konecny has seen his point production rise every year, and last season was a fixture on the top line with Claude Giroux. However, there are a few issues that would need to be rectified for him to have a shot at 70 points. To start, he needs to sign a contract, as he is still an unsigned RFA. He also needs to get more ice time and power-play time. There’s also a question of how he fits in with new coach Alain Vigneault’s system.

 

9. Nino Niederre