2013 Fantasy Hockey Predictions
2013 Fantasy Hockey Awards
Each fantasy hockey season it has become harder and harder to predict which players will finish among the best and worst scorers in the fantasy world. The league has become increasingly deep, making each fantasy selection more important than the last.
To help you decipher the fantasy mess, here are my predictions for the 2013 fantasy hockey season; including the MVP, Bust, Comeback Player, Breakout Player, and Goaltender of the year.
This year there are several candidates for the NHL MVP. Reigning Most Valuable Player, Evgeni Malkin, is certainly in the conversation for the award this year. Additionally, Steven Stamkos led the NHL with 60 goals last season and the center is always among the top fantasy picks, so he must also be considered for the prestigious award.
However, Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux is also among the best in the game and will be looking to build on his career-high 93 points from last season. Giroux will be in the discussion for fantasy MVP all year long.
This is all without mentioning Pittsburgh Penguins’ wunderkind Sidney Crosby. Sid the Kid is finally healthy and will be a top-tier fantasy option for the shortened 2013 season. He also seems like a shoe-in for Comeback Player of the Year and a shoe-in for the fantasy All-Star team as well.
There is also an array of talented fantasy netminders nowadays. Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne has anchored the position recently. However, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick, and Jimmy Howard have all earned their stripes between the pipes for fantasy owners. Predicting the Goaltender of the Year will certainly be the most difficult decision of this season’s fantasy hockey predictions.
So here is how I believe the fantasy hockey hardware will play out this season:
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins - Malkin has always been known as a physical player, but in recent years he has matured into the best player in the game. He finished the year with 50 goals along with 59 assists and led the entire NHL with a staggering 109 points. Malkin will once again lead the league in points and will be the fantasy hockey MVP.
Bust of the Year
G Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks - Many fantasy owners are pegging Schneider as a top-five goaltender this season. However, head coach Alain Vigneault has said that he will use backup Roberto Luongo heavily this year, which only takes away from Schneider’s overall fantasy value. Schneider will not be nearly as valuable as people think this fantasy season, so do not get carried away with all the hype.
LW Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets - In his third year Kane scored 30 goals and added 27 assists. Last season was just the beginning of his fantasy career and this year the winger will take the next step forward.
Comeback Player of the Year
C Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins - Considering all the time that Crosby missed last season with concussion symptoms, he will win Comeback Player of the Year this season by simply lacing up his skates. Crosby may not average over a point per game this year, but look for him to quickly start racking up the fantasy points.
Goaltender of the Year
G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings - Quick showed fantasy owners why he should not be overlooked last season. He finished the season with 35 wins, a 1.95 Goals Against Average (GAA), and an immaculate 92.9 save percentage. Quick is maturing into the best netminder in the game and the 26-year-old will have a career season, despite his rough four-goal start.
2013 Stanley Cup Prediction
Pittsburgh Penguins defeat Detroit Red Wings (4-3) - The two storied franchises had a hard fought NHL final in 2008 that Detroit eventually won 4-3. Look for it to be the other way around this season for the Pens.