Defencemen are a very interesting part of fantasy hockey, as some leagues know that they should be valuable, and have made them so, some leagues still undervalue how much they can do for you, while others have created a setup that make defencemen very hard to wring any value from. As a result, they can be very tough to generally recommend, needing league details to sort out specific value. However, there are a few key things to look for in defencemen for your fantasy team, and those are powerplay points, shots, and peripherals (hits/blocks/PIMs). The defencemen below will have some combination of those features, in addition to the added benefit of more games being played during the playoff weeks. The former two are possibly shorter term adds, being up for new contracts this summer, while the latter two below have a few years left on their deals, so you can reap the fantasy benefits for years to come.
Mikhail Sergachev – Tampa Bay Lightning
Cap Hit: $894,166 expiring in the summer of 2020
Not being an owner of Sergachev in any of my (double-digit number of) pools, he has flown a little under my radar this year. However, looking into him, he has been producing across the board, and could help a fantasy team regardless of league setup. He has put up a point every two games, while adding three hits+blocks per game, and over a third of his points having the added value of being on the powerplay. The young Lightning defenceman doesn’t shoot as much as we might hope, however that is unsurprising considering the offensive firepower surrounding him – he doesn’t have to be the focal point of the offence. Last season Sergachev added another gear in the last quarter, and we’re almost there again. Tampa is also learning from their mistakes last year, so expect them to get on a roll leading up to the playoffs.
Ryan Pulock – New York Islanders
Cap Hit: $2,000,000 expiring in the summer of 2020
Pulock is someone whose drum I will keep beating until you have him on your fantasy team, and then you can u