Top 200 Cap League Skater Rankings – May 2022

Alexander MacLean

2022-05-25

This is the big update of the year, where all of the player stats get flipped from the finished regular season over to looking at the next one. This is especially impactful in these rankings, as a lot of the top players on the last list had expiring contracts. With a lot of them free agents this summer, there is some uncertainty with how they should rank. I try to cover that off with my contract projections (full list can be found here) that I incorporate into the ranking process – $0 is currently shown as the cap hit of impending free agents. The rookies/prospects also get a full review, adding some that have been missed, and updating the timeline and expectations for all of them, so there's a lot of movement to take in here.

In the short term, super rookie Moritz Seider jumps up to the number one spot, and it wouldn't be suprising if he held that spot for the next two years until his entry-level contract (ELC) expires. Defencemen that can thrive on the ice, on the scoresheet, and all while still playing on their ELC are a rare breed. We have been spoiled of late with Cale Makar, Adam Fox, and others, while Seider becomes the next name to take up the mantle. He may not have the same pure upside as the aforementioned defencemen, but he will continue to improve on a growing Detroit team that is still adding pieces.

One of the biggest risers is Ryan Hartman, who jumps up nearly 150 spots, and it's due to a perfect storm of all-star linemates, high underlying percentages, and maybe the most team friendly contract for a "number-one centre" in the league. His hold on a top-20 spot in the rankings is a tenuous one though, as he is not guaranteed to keep the number one centre slot in Minnesota, and percentages do tend to regress to the norm, sometimes extremely quickly. Generally he's a player that you might want to see if you can sell high on, though the bonus is that the more categories that your league counts, the more valuable he becomes as he does contribute across the board.

Standard pre-rankings note:

This isn't meant to be a be-all and end-all rating system for you to use without thinking and just trade your players for anyone above them on the list that you can find, but used with some foresight for managing salaries. The assumed league setup is for points-only leagues, and I have made an effort to balance it for a range of league and roster sizes. Cap hit is used for the player cost, so if your league uses salary or AAV, please account for that, as it can greatly change the impact of rookies. The rankings are set up so as to provide the most value in the current season, while providing some value in future years, based on modeling for predicted salary increases and production growth.

For those of you with variations from this setup, whether in terms of number of teams, salary space, roster positions, or scoring categories, you can make your own personal tweaks to move players up or down as necessary. This list is made to be a baseline guide for player evaluation, and to promote discussion and understanding of how to optimize rosters in a cap league setting.

If you note a mistake, or have any further questions about the ranking system, please let me know. You can find me on Twitter here