Fantasy Hockey Draft 2013: Recapping Second Round
15) Team Hathcock: Henrik Lundvist, New York Rangers: This team went goalie heavy, having already drafted Jonathan Quick in the first round. Interesting, but you can’t argue with having the two best goalies in hockey. Hank is coming off his first Vezina Trophy and is a favorite to win another in 2013. The addition of Rick Nash to an already stacked offense should help Lundqvist lead the league in wins. It’s safe to say that Lundqvist will be an elite fantasy netminder.
16) Team Oettinger: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes: Smith had a surprisingly impressive season last year, lowering his GAA from 2.89 to 2.21, as well as raising his save percentage from .899 to .930. He was a key component in the Coyotes run to the Western Conference Finals. He is the third ranked goaltender in fantasy for 2013, and with a strong defensive unit still in tact, expect him to remain elite.
17) Team Pavorsky: Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators: Spezza racked up a big time 84 points last year, which isn’t really a surprise. However, what was surprising was the fact that he played 80 games in 2012. His injury issues from the past appear to be behind him, making him a very reliable fantasy center. The team surrounding him continues to get better and with the emergence of left winger Milan Michalek, points should continue to rack up for Spezza in 2013.
18) Team Breece: Brad Richards, New York Rangers: There is a lot of excitement surrounding Richards from a fantasy perspective this year. In my eyes, he is arguably the best passer in all of hockey and received another weapon in his arsenal in Rick Nash. These two are sure to develop tons of chemistry, resulting in fantasy happiness for owners.
19) Team Wright: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings: Injuries have hindered his fantasy production as of late, but Datsyuk remains one of the most talented players in the game today. He is one of the most complete players in hockey, but what he does on the ice doesn’t always translate to fantasy points. Not to mention he doesn’t take as many shots as he once did. Regardless, his passing ability, offensive skill-set and talent alone make him a perfect choice in the second round.
20) Team Moyer: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins: Letang posted solid fantasy numbers last season, despite missing 31 games due to concussion. He scored 10 goals, while tallying 32 assists. With Sidney Crosby back on the first line, Letang will have a great chance to put up a big number of points.
21) Team Call: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals: Though only playing 42 games a season ago, Backstrom still managed to post 44 points. He still has top notch playmaking skills and should flourish under new offensive-oriented head coach Adam Oates. And oh by the way, he still has a guy by the name of Alex Ovechkin as his partner in crime.
22) Team Robbins: Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers: Eberle is one of my biggest sleepers for 2013. In my eyes, he is one of the most underrated players in hockey and will gain some attention this season. He will have young talent on the same line as him in former number one overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Rust surely isn’t an issue either, as Eberle lead the entire AHL in points during the lockout.
23) Team Hlywiak: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings: A bit odd that Kopitar was drafted this early, considering he suffered a knee sprain and will be out for two to three weeks. Still, when healthy, he is one of the best centers in hockey. The 25-year old hasn’t even hit his prime yet, and will rejoin the Stanley Cup Winning first line after healing.
24) Team Aiello: Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes: Though sometimes overlooked, Staal is still an elite goal scorer and leader in the league. And while many players share the same line with a familiar face, how about playing with your brother? That’s right, Eric will be joined by newly acquired Jordan Staal, providing a plethora of chemistry this season. Not to mention the offensive firepower that comes with the acquisition of Alexander Semin.
25) Team Pfeifer: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks: While Daniel is the goal scorer, brother Henrik receives fantasy value as an elite playmaker. The best part about Henrik is his consistency. He hasn’t missed a game in the past three years and has accumulated at least 80 points the last four seasons. The Canucks roster remains as good as it’s been for years, making both Sedins great fantasy options.
26) Team Flynn: Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks: Sharp has been another very consistent player in the league, scoring 20 or more goals every season since the 2005-06 campaign. The line consisting of Sharp, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa is a dangerous scoring machine, and there is no reason to believe that they will not be together in 2013.
27) Team Derr: Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins: If you ask anyone around the league, they would tell you that Seguin is an emerging star. Seguin broke out in 2012, scoring a career-high 29 goals, while posting an impressive plus-34. The kid’s upside is ridiculously high and has all of the pieces around him to be great.
28) Team Vail: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs: Kessel is the definition of an NHL sniper. He possesses speed, a quick shot and the ability to maneuver around opposing defenders. His 37 goals from last season were a career-high, but he has the capability of netting 40 or more. With a strong player in Joffrey Lupul on his wing, expect Kessel to be among the league leaders in goals in a shortened 2013 season.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football/hockey columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.