Ramblings: Pre-Season Thoughts on Fox, Hamilton & Markstrom; Fantasy Draft Recap (Oct 5)

Alexander MacLean

2022-10-05

We're two days away from actual regular season games, your draft has probably happened already, or you may have one last one tonight (like me). Regardless, best of luck this upcoming year, and stay tuned around here for everything to get you through the year in the best position possible.  

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I put in my annual votes for the DobberHockey writers' season preview, and I try not to take the easy consensus at each one. At the risk of spoiling all of my votes, I do want to talk about a couple thoughts I had while submitting the names.

One of the predictions we make is our Norris winner. Cale Makar is the easy answer, and both Roman Josi and Victor Hedman are worthy votes as well. However, the awards do tend to have a bit of a cyclical feel to them, and they get passed around a little based on who hasn't won one yet (or at least that's how it seems). As a result, we peak a little further down last year's Norris ballot, and right away we land on Adam Fox. On a Rangers team that's primed to contend for the division title, Fox would stand out even if he only scored 60-points in a season. However, over the last season-and-a-half, he has a stretch of 82 games where he scored at over a point-per-game pace. Oh, and he just hit his breakout threshold…

Letting that sink in for a second, a 20% increase or so on an 80-point pace would be around 96 points, which was the exact number that Josi scored last year to lead all defencemen in points. It will still be a tough contest with Makar, but I think Fox leads all defencemen in scoring this year, and in neck-and-neck for the Norris.

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I have Calgary as my pick to come out of the Western Conference. I think that despite not owning Makar, the Flames have the best defence core in the entire league. They also have a better coach, a better goalie, and they still have some skilled forwards. This is also the kind of team that has size, and money that they could more easily move out at the trade deadline to make a big splash with. They have drafted well, and their cupboard is nowhere near bare.

All in all, I think Jacob Markstrom is a very real possibility to u