10 Fantasy Gifts: Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen is a jewel


Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen waits for a face off with center Nathan MacKinnon. (David Zalubowski/AP)

You know Matthews and Scheifele and Gaudreau and Pettersson
MacKinnon and Kucherov and Eichel and Gibson
But do you recall
The most impressive fantasy player of all? Hint: he’s really fast, the captain in Edmonton and will not be discussed below because he’s in a land of his own.

Fantasy owners are done making their lists, they’re checking it twice; they’re likely to ask for some advice. Fantasy Claus is coming to town. And his real name is Nick Alberga.

Okay, I’m caroled out.

Since everything great comes in pairs … Happy Holidays!


Taylor Hall – LW – New Jersey Devils

Any time you win the Hart Trophy, the pressure is on to duplicate. While he hasn’t fallen off of a cliff per see, Hall is having a tough time living up to last year’s billing. It’ll be difficult to work his way back into fantasy hockey’s top-20 rankings.

Vladimir Tarasenko – LW/RW – St. Louis Blues

After posting his lowest goal (33) and point totals (66) in three seasons a year ago, Tarasenko was identified as an excellent bounce back candidate this time around. The Blues have struggled and the same goes for the 27-year-old Tarasenko who’s on pace for a pedestrian – by his standards – 24 goals and 29 helpers.

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Alex Ovechkin – LW – Washington Capitals

The Stanley Cup champion is cementing his legacy as one of the most dependable fantasy players ever. Even after an “eventful” summer, Ovechkin is currently on a remarkable goal scoring pace.

Mikko Rantanen – RW – Colorado Avalanche

You can’t stop Colorado’s top line; you can only hope to contain them. Rantanen is on pace to register well over 100 points so well done if you doubled up on him after last season’s dominance. He’s a fantasy hockey jewel.


Vincent Trocheck – C – Florida Panthers

Florida’s second line centre is currently sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a gruesome ankle injury in November. When healthy, the American is one of the most underrated fantasy players out there. Keep tabs on his progression. He could be extremely useful for you in the playoffs.

Rickard Rakell – C/LW/RW – Anaheim Ducks

Provided his recovery from a high-ankle sprain goes as planned, Rakell is a really strong candidate for a second-half surge. Before he went down, the 25-year-old had just five goals in 30 games. That was stunning considering Rakell potted 67 combined goals over the previous two campaigns. I’d buy.


James Neal – LW/RW – Calgary Flames

All you need to know: Neal hasn’t scored a goal in 19 consecutive games. A line three assignment and minimal exposure to Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will do that to you. He hasn’t been this irrelevant in the fantasy world since his rookie year in Dallas.

Cam Talbot – G – Edmonton Oilers

Not what Talbot and his agent envisioned for a contract year; he’s been relegated to backup duties under Ken Hitchcock. Mikko Koskinen has started 10 of the 14 contests since Todd McLellan was canned.

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William Nylander – C/RW – Toronto Maple Leafs

After sitting out the first two months of the season due to a contract stalemate, it’s been a slow start and that will change. Due to Kasperi Kapanen’s budding chemistry with Auston Matthews, Nylander currently finds himself on Toronto’s third line. He’ll be playing catch up all season.

Erik Karlsson – D – San Jose Sharks

Karlsson’s arrival in San Jose was supposed to propel the Sharks over the top; it hasn’t, at least thus far. The former Senators captain has struggled to find offensive consistency. The 28-year-old – who’s in a contract season – is on pace for five measly goals as well as potentially his lowest offensive output since the early years of his career.

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