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Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Tim Lambert’s Too Early Top-10 Left Wings

Left wing is probably the second-deepest position in hockey behind center. There are players on this list that do everything and do it all well. There are players that are just off of this list that could one could easily make a case for being in their top-10. Just like with my center ranks, I’m not married to these just yet – that’s why they’re early! If there are some other left wings you’d like to see on this list, I’d love to hear about it.

These are my top Left Wings going into next season in most draft formats (Yahoo! standard categories, a bangers cats league, points league, etc.). There will have to be some movement for a points-only or if your league has some very special categories.

Here we go!

1. Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

68 games played: 48G / 19A / 67pts / -12 / 30 PIM / 18 PPP / 311 SOG / 184 Hits / 30 Blocks

I can’t quit Ovi. Why should I? He is the greatest goalscorer to every play the game. He’s going to be 35 at the beginning of next season but I’m pretty confident he can still score 40+ goals. Not to mention the elite production in shots and hits. The only other red flag for me is that his powerplay production really took a dip once the calendar flipped to 2020. In 27 games since January 1st, he only had 6 powerplay points. He still had 24 goals in that same timeframe. So, ya know…whatever.

2. Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

70 games played: 28G / 59A / 87pts / +25 82 PIM / 28 PPP / 185 SOG / 55 Hits / 19 Blocks

Marchand is a very talented player, as much as we all love to hate him, that much is undeniable. But he gets the number two slot because he very good and is part of the best line in hockey on one of the best teams in hockey. The Marchand-BergeronPastrnak combo had 102 points at even-strength in 2019-20 whereas no other line broke 80 points. Individually, Marchand’s shots/60 went down at evens and his shooting percentage skyrocketed. Normally, that would scare me off from a player but when he’s playing so consistently with a talented winger in David Pastrnak, I’ll let it slide. He’s also great in a bangers league as he has a penchant for running up the PIMs.

3. Artemi Panarin – New York Rangers

69 games played: 32G / 63A / 95pts / +36 / 20 PIM / 24 PPP / 209 SOG / 25 Hits / 18 Blocks

Another example of a player with an excellent season for the Rangers. Sure seems like they had a lot of guys play better than we all expected…doesn’t it? Listen, Panarin is a great player and he’s obviously capable of playing at an elite level. I’m just not overly convinced that the Panarin we saw in 2019-20 is the one we will get next season. The Blueshirts as a whole shot 10.71 percent at all strengths – second in the league behind Tampa Bay and ahead of Washington and Edmonton.

Panarin himself lead the league in secondary assists at 5v5 with 16, which isn’t a crazy-high number, but those fluctuate year-over-year. I’m not saying he is bad or will suck – he’s never scored fewer than 74 points in a season. Just don’t be surprised if he’s closer to 90 points at the end of the season than the 113 he was on pace for this year.

4. Jake Guentzel – Pittsburgh Penguins

39 Games played: 20G / 23A / 43pts / +11/ 14 PIM / 10 PPP / 127 SOG / 46 Hits / 19 Blocks

After suffering a season-ending shoulder injury halfway through the 2019-20, it might be easy for some to forget the year Guentzel was having. Twenty goals and 23 assists in 39 games playing alongside both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He also had almost as many powerplay points as he’d put up all of 2018-19, having taken Phil Kessel‘s spot on PP1. His profile is pretty unique as he is almost a lock for 35+ goals, 210+ shots, and 100+ hits. He could be a value as the injury could have people sleeping on him.

5. Brady Tkachuk – Ottawa Senators

71 games played: 21G / 23A / 44pts / -14 / 106 PIM / 8 PPP / 259 SOG / 303 hits / 43 blocks

It might seem like a bit of a reach to rank Tkachuk in the top-five left wings, but consider this tweet by a really smart guy:

The only thing that hasn’t come yet is the goals and points. Yeah I know. Pretty important factors when we’re talking fantasy hockey. But, when he has the capacity to contribute at an elite level in all those other categories and he leads the league in expected goals, he’s given a pass and. The points will come.

6. Jonathan Huberdeau – Florida Panthers

69 games played: 23G / 55A / 78pts / +5 / 30 PIM / 29 PPP / 152 SOG / 51 Hits / 26 Blocks

Going into last draft season, Huberdeau was probably the most under-the-radar 90+ point scorer. I guess not many people were pegging him for a repeat. Lo and behold, he finished this season with 78 points in 69 games, good for a 93 point pace. A big difference between 2018-19 and 2019-20, though, is that he was getting more assists and shooting far less this year than the year prior. Unfortunately, the percentages driving the success of those numbers were all out of step with his career norms. He was also on pace to finish with his lowest shot total of the last three years. The good news is his IPP saw a dip of 7 percent, so that could rebound. Huberdeau is still a great player in a great situation with a recent track record of success. I’m not off of him yet.

7. Max Pacioretty – Vegas Golden Knights

71 games played: 32G / 34A / 66pts / +18 / 44 PIM / 19 PPP / 307 SOG / 90 Hits / 35 blocks

Look, if this is what a health Pacioretty looks like then sign me up. He was filling all the categories and was consistent throughout the year. However, making a judgment like this on a guy who had a career year at age 31 after seems like a pretty dumb idea on my part. It could be a real “dead-cat bounce” scenario. I’m betting on the fact that he’s on a team with a competent supporting cast to continue his elevated level of play. You don’t get 307 shots in 71 games on accident.

8. J.T. Miller – Vancouver Canucks

Hey look! Another guy with who had a career year! But Miller got so much more opportunity than he ever had. Over a point-per-game with a ton of hits in 20+ minutes TOI and 25 PPP on a team with a great power play. He had a great season and was deserving of the numbers he got. I don’t really have anything negative to say here.

9. Andrei Svechnikov – Carolina Hurricanes

This pick is definitely a “projection” pick on my list. Svechnikov had a great season, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not convinced he will be better in 2020-21. It was only in the second half of the season that he got moved onto a line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. That trio outscored their opponents 22-12 at 5v5 – that seems good. While he has carved out a solid spot for himself on the powerplay, he somehow is still only averaging 16:44 TOI. It’s possible that number goes up another 3+ minutes next season and Svech’s output would go up along with it.

10. Kyle Connor – Winnipeg Jets

71 games played: 38G / 35A / 73pts / +4 / 34 PIM / 17 PPP / 239 SOG / 18 Hits / 17 Blocks

Connor had a great season and would have been a lock for 40 goals. He could have scored 45. But outside of goals and points, he doesn’t really do much. His career up until this point has been predicated on an excellent shooting percentage of 15.0 or higher. If that tanks next year, he could become a bust for those who are high on him. Consider some of the left wings who were highly ranked before the season started only to be torpedoed by a low shooting percentage:

2018-19 SH% 2019-20 SH%
Johnny Gaudreau 14.7 8.6
Taylor Hall 9.7 6.9
Alex DeBrincat 18.6 8.7

Just sayin’! Even still, in a points-only league, I might move him up a few spots.

Honorable Mentions:

Thanks for reading guys! I hope you enjoyed my top-10 left wings. As always, if you have any thoughts let me know. Follow me on Twitter @TZLSports for more of my content!

And make sure to check out James Maloney’s (@FNTSYHCKYTRADES) rankings

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