The Hockey News Pool Guide 2021

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
it’s 1981 all over again!

ONE MORE SEASON LIKE the one he just had and we’re going to have to give Connor McDavid the Wayne Gretzky treatment. By “we” I mean fantasy-league organizers everywhere, and by “treatment” I mean divide his points into goals and assists, essentially making him two players in hockey pools. That’s how dominating McDavid was in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21. It’s not officially documented as such, but I give my older brother Mike credit for being the first guy – way back in 1981 – to suggest that Gretzky’s point total be split as ‘Gretzky Assists’ and ‘Gretzky Goals.’ It happened in the pen-and-paper-get-the-calculator days prior to our annual NHL pool. It was bad enough that a bunch of Calgary hockey fans had to grudgingly watch Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers weave their offensive dominance…

3 min
the hockey news 75th anniversary

THIS ISSUE YOU ARE reading is historic in that it is the opening issue of the 16 issues of The Hockey News’ 75th season, which all began back on Oct. 1, 1947. The Hockey News began at the start of the NHL’s 31st season, when the Original Six teams played a 60-game schedule leading up to the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup. The Hockey News has outlived most of the players from that year, as well as the ownership groups and anyone in the league office. It was 11 years before Willie O’Ree made history and played for Boston and 14 years before Wayne Gretzky was born. This and the following 15 issues will be full of stories and references celebrating the 75th season, culminating on Oct. 1, 2022, which…

7 min
question period

IT WAS THE BEST of times, it was the worst of times. OK, it was just the worst of times, and certainly it was an unprecedented time. And now, we’re coming off two reduced schedules that have raised many questions and uncertainties. Fantasy players have plenty of those at any and all times, so let’s try to address them each in turn. Each reply begins with, “Good question,” so we’ll just leave that out. 1. CAN WE JUST PROJECT PLAYERS’ POINTS IN 56 GAMES TO AN 82-GAME PACE AND CALL IT A DAY? The answer to that one is no, no, no. The only way that would work is if everybody played the same number of games, which, of course, they never do. Let’s say five players on a team played every game and scored…

3 min
ready to rock & roll

THE CALDER TROPHY race is going to be bananas. The shortened 2020-21 campaign and all the bubbles and breaks that factored into it means several top prospects will still be rookies this season, even though some of the best have already had a nice dollop of NHL experience. In Anaheim, for example, future Ducks cornerstones Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale both played 24 games and looked comfortable doing so. The maximum number of NHL games you can play in a season while still maintaining Calder eligibility for the future is 25. Meanwhile, in Montreal, Cole Caufield went straight from the University of Wisconsin to the pro ranks, racking up points in AHL Laval and Montreal before hitting on a wild playoff run that saw the Cinderella Habs go all the way to…

3 min
love ’em or leave ’em

IT’S PARTICULARLY TOUGH to study for a fantasy draft following an abbreviated season. The 56-game schedule delivered some breakout performances in 2020-21, but which ones might have levelled off in an 82-game schedule? JACK CAMPBELL G, TOR Campbell finished 2020-21 as Toronto’s starter and ranked among the better stoppers in the league in goals saved above average per 60. But the money Toronto paid to Petr Mrazek informs us he’s more than the backup. That means Campbell could end up overvalued in fantasy drafts. VERDICT: BEWARE ROOPE HINTZ C, DAL Big and fast, Hintz exploded for 43 points in 41 games as Dallas’ top center. He cracked the NHL’s top 20 in 5-on-5 points per 60 and discovered chemistry with rookie Jason Robertson. Nothing looks fluky about Hintz, whose shooting percentage was consistent across the…

8 min
mock draft

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE the promise of draft day. No, we’re not talking about the NHL’s annual prospect-a-palooza – though that’s fun, too – but rather the gathering of armchair GMs eager to prove their fantasy-draft supremacy. And we’re here to help you gain some fantasy insights on 2021-22 with our traditional in-house pool haul, otherwise known as The Hockey News Mock Draft. This fantasy draft goes 200 players deep, from you-know-who in the No. 1 spot to “who’s that?” in the latter rounds. In the 2021-22 THN Mock Draft, we stuck to the same guidelines as the past few years – snake draft with 10 teams, 20 picks per team, and every team needed two goalies (no more, no less) and at least four defensemen. Goalies get two points per win, plus…