Top 10 Players for Long-Term Investment

Tom Collins


In case you missed the big news from last week, Dobber's 15th annual Fantasy Hockey Guide is now officially ready for download.

Once again, it was my pleasure to write about 20 players (all non-rookies) who might not do much this year, but you should invest in for a long-term payoff. For many of these players, it's all about patience. You don't want to give up on players that struggle after two or three years in the league. Imagine the feeling of fantasy general managers who got rid of Travis Konecny and Kevin Fiala last offseason.

Whenever I write a column such as this, I usually start with 40-50 names and then whittle it down to the 20 players who appear in the guide (which you can order here in either French or English). However, that doesn't mean that the rest of the names should be overlooked.

Here are 10 more players to invest in for long-term payoff.

10. Ilya Samsonov

Samsonov had an excellent rookie season last year, with a 16-6-2 record in limited action to go along with a 2.55 GAA and .913 SV%. Samsonov will be a great goalie for Washington, but you need to wait a while for that to happen. With the Capitals signing Henrik Lundqvist in the offseason, Samsonov will be splitting starts this year and won't reach his full potential for a while yet.

9. Vince Dunn

Dunn owners went through a tough offseason. Those fantasy GMs were probably ecstatic that Alex Pietrangelo was leaving the team, as that seemed like an opportunity for Dunn to try out for the top spot on the team's top power-play unit. It probably would have led to more even-strength time as well. Then Blues signed Torey Krug and that optimism faded. Dunn was second among Blues defensemen last season in power-play points and power-play time, but now fantasy owners will need to wait a few more years before Dunn hits fantasy relevance.

8. Sam Steel

Oftentimes, an easy way to judge candidates for future breakouts is to look at players that were sexy rookie picks that didn't immediately pan out. After 11 points in 22 games in 2018-19, many had high hopes for Steel. However, Anaheim was dreadful last year (no one reached 45 points, and the Ducks were third-last in goals per game). Steel was dynamite in the WHL and AHL, but until Anaheim can get more offensive help, it's going to take a few years for Steel to break out.

7. Casey Mittelstadt

Some fantasy general managers get frustrated when the performances of their young players don't follow a linear path where the player is more productive each season. That's what is happening with Mittelstadt. Think back two seasons ago, when he posted five points in six games and many had him pegged to be a Calder trophy nominee the next season. Instead, he disappointed with 25 points, and last season spent a good chunk in the minors. Even if he can get in the lineup regularly this season, he's still at best going to be on the third line with little power-play time.

6. Conor Garland

One of the theories Dobber