Top 10 Young Iron Men

Tom Collins

2020-09-28

Generally speaking, you always hear the bit of fantasy advice that tells you to stay away from Band-Aid boys. After all, you can't trust them to stay in your lineup, and getting injured at the wrong time can sink your championship dreams.

However, if you're staying away from Band-Aid boys, don't forget to give iron men a little boost up your rankings. Players who rarely miss time should be sought after as often as possible.

However, it's difficult to build your squad around them. Most of the top iron men are on the wrong side of 30 years old. The top iron men are Keith Yandle, Phil Kessel, Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, Blake Wheeler, Patrick Marleau and so on.

Some younger players have shown a penchant for staying healthy, too. These players can not only help you in one-year fantasy leagues, but should be sought after in keeper leagues. Below are 10 players under the age of 30 who should be considered iron men. 

For the record, I'm using the term “iron man” a little loosely. Generally speaking, an iron man is someone who never misses any games. However, most players on this list have missed a game or two.  

Before I move on to the list, two players deserve honourable mentions: Dmitry Orlov hasn't missed a game since the 2014-15 season, when he missed the full year with a wrist injury. That's 397 consecutive games. Of players under the age of 30, he's played the highest number of games in the last five years, but isn't included in this list since he's not as fantasy relevant. Also, Connor Brown has missed only one game in the past four years.

10. Jaccob Slavin

In his rookie season in 2015-16, Slavin suited up for 63 games. In the four years since, he hasn't missed a game. That's pretty impressive for a defenseman who blocks 130 shots a year. You would think at some point he would get unlucky and a shot would injure him enough to miss a game or two, but that's hasn't been the case. He's also been a consistent 30-point player, but upped his production and was on pace for 43 this year.

9. Ryan Johansen

Johansen's fantasy value has declined over the past few years, but his healthiness should help give him a little boost. In the last seven seasons, the 28-year-old has missed a total of nine contests and played 553 games, tied for the eighth-highest total in that time. Everyone else in front of him is over the age of 30. Just imagine the extra boost in value if Johansen can get back to a 60-point pace, knowing he's pretty much a lock to get 80 games from him.

8. Tomas Tatar

If you're wondering the last time Tatar missed more than three games in a season, you'd have to go back to 2013-14, when he played 73 games in his first full season in the NHL. He's missed a total of seven games in the last six campaigns. He's proven in Montreal that he can be a first-line player able to be productive offensive player (he had a 74-point pace this season) who can't be driven from the lineup.

7. Brock Nelson

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