One of the best feelings in fantasy hockey is when a player you believe in breaks through for a monster season.
In fantasy hockey, players who come out of nowhere to score 70 points are gold, but they are tough to find. There are always the obvious choices, but those are selected high in drafts. One of the keys to championship success is hitting on those potential breakthrough players later on.
In most seasons, about one-third of all players who post 70 points are reaching that mark for the first time. This means you should always be on the lookout for those sleeper picks.
Below are 10 long shots who have a chance to reach 70 points this season for the first time in their career. I'm excluding obvious players, so don't be surprised that names such as Elias Pettersson and Kirill Kaprizov are missing. I'm also excluding players who put up a 70-point pace in either of the past two shortened seasons, so William Nylander, Roope Hintz and Adam Fox are also not listed.
I’d also like to thank Nathan Weselake for filling in for the last few weeks.
10. Tyler Bertuzzi
This may seem like a laughable pick, considering the top three Red Wings in points last season had 70 points combined. There’s also Bertuzzi’s unvaccinated status to consider, as he won’t be allowed to play games in Canada. However, the vaccination thing may work itself out. The league may apply for an exemption like the NBA did (and was granted). Rules may change throughout the season. Bertuzzi might choose to get the vaccine instead of losing salary for each game missed in Canada. As for Bertuzzi’s on-ice play, last season he had seven points in nine games before missing the rest of the season with a back injury. He's shown improved production each season and should continue to be a fixture on the top power-play unit.
9. Aaron Ekblad
Florida has a lot of players that would be much sexier picks to hit 70 points for the first time (Carter Verhaeghe, Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart), but Ekblad also has a lot of positives going for him. Everything will have to line up perfectly for him to hit 70 points, but he's the top power-play guy for a high-octane offense. He averaged 25 minutes per night last year and was on pace for a career-high 52 points before he went down with a leg fracture. He was also up to a career-high 2.9 shots per game.
8. Alexis Lafreniere
After an extremely disappointing rookie season, many fantasy general managers may choose to shy away from the Rangers sophomore forward. However, last year he had seven points in his final nine games wh