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The Hockey News

The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide 2019-20

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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16 Issues

in this issue

3 min
break down the breakout

HOCKEY FANTASY POOLS ARE won or lost with your picks in the later rounds of the draft. That’s old information. You’ve been hearing that from us for years. What’s becoming more crucial to your success in these fun leagues, is being nimble and adventurous around the streaky machinations of the Johnny-come-latelys who cross our paths during the NHL season. I’m thinking Erik Gustafsson and Jordan Binnington last season, William Karlsson and Yanni Gourde the season before as classic examples. We know who they are now. We just didn’t know who they were before the light went on. This is how the light went on for me. Not having a goaltender to protect in one of my keeper leagues a year ago, I drafted a pair of free-agent stoppers fairly early on. Playing time…

9 min
changing with the times

HOCKEY-POOL PEOPLE HAVE never been politically correct. It’s always been about the results, no matter how we got there or who we offended. At one time, we had to be wary of drafting Europeans in pools. They didn’t always assimilate easily into the NHL. There were questions about the longer schedule and their durability, adaptability to the language and culture and how intimidation might affect their play. In the 1998-99 Ultimate Pool Guide we noted, “Scoring by Europeans is more unpredictable than by North Americans. That is an assumption born of statistical analysis, not xenophobia.” Times change. We’re not even hockey-pool people anymore, we’re hockey-fantasy people, and picking Europeans is no longer a negative consideration. Some of us have been at it a long time, but that doesn’t mean we’re old school.…

3 min
rookies to focus on

JACK HUGHES DIDN’T simply break the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s all-time scoring record, he put it in his crosshairs, drew back, blasted away and blew it to smithereens. Already ahead of the curve following a debut campaign in which he scored 116 points, one shy of Auston Matthews’ single-season record, Hughes became the only player in program history with two 100-plus point seasons when he registered 34 goals and 112 points in 50 games. With that, he left Clayton Keller’s 189-point record in the dust, and Hughes’ 228-point mark illustrates just how dominant he has been over the past two seasons. Add to it that he bested Alex Ovechkin’s longstanding U18 World Championship record – Hughes’ 32 points were one more than the 31 scored by Ovechkin – and…

3 min
flavor of the year

LAST YEAR’S SLEEPER CAN be this year’s bust. You land a breakout player with a late pick, he turns a monstrous profit and, the following season, he carries a star-caliber price in pools – then his big year turns out to be an anomaly. William Karlsson went from 43 goals to 24. But not every breakout is untrustworthy. Watch for signs. Let’s forecast 2019-20 for some of last year’s surprise studs. JORDAN BINNINGTON In January, the Blues were in last place and Binnington was in the AHL. By June, he was the starting goalie for the Cup champs. He ranked among the league’s best in almost every advanced metric, from 5-on-5 SP to high-danger SP. Nothing about his rookie year looks fluky. VERDICT: BUYER BELIEVE ERIK GUSTAFSSON At 27, the obscure D-man goes off for…

2 min
mock draft

FOR THE SECOND YEAR in a row, I lucked out by drawing the No. 1 pick in The Hockey News’ NHL Mock Draft. And for the second year in a row, I took the Edmonton Oilers’ point-gushing Connor McDavid. It was tempting, to be sure, to select Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov. He has a vastly superior supporting cast that helped him claim the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer in 2018-19 with 128 points, the most since Mario Lemieux posted 161 points and Jaromir Jagr had 149 back in 1995-96. But in the end, I think McDavid has a higher ceiling – if anyone is ever going to approach 150 points again, my money is on him. The McDavid vs. Kucherov debate is intriguing. McDavid has a 100-point running mate…

5 min
stay ahead of the curve

AS PLAYERS GET BETTER at a younger age, it’s worth noting how many phenoms are already on the radar. Yes, it’s strange to be placing expectations on 14-year-olds, but the reality is these kids have earned the hype with their elevated play. When it comes to keeper leagues, you need to snag these youngsters before your rivals have heard of the Shane Wrights and Connor Bedards of the world. Here’s when you can expect some high-end prospects to be ready for NHL duty. Ages are listed as of their anticipated NHL arrival. 2019-20 JACK HUGHES C, 18 The No. 1 draft pick in 2019 joins an offensively jacked New Jersey squad: Taylor Hall, P.K. Subban and Nico Hischier will keep the heat off the kid as he learns the ropes. Not that it…