Ranking the top 250 fantasy hockey players for 2022-23

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Devon Toews (7) chases Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) during second period NHL action. (Jason Franson/CP)

Spoiler alert: Connor McDavid remains indisputably the No. 1 ranked fantasy hockey player heading into the new season.

And just like years past, fellow Edmonton Oilers superstar Leon Draisaitl trails right behind him at No. 2.

For all intents and purposes, most standard non-keeper league drafts should unofficially start at No. 4. Of course, that’s assuming Auston Matthews, who’s coming off a 60-goal campaign and a second straight Rocket Richard Trophy, goes third. Hard to pass on that.

After Matthews, all bets are off as to who will go off the board next. For starters, Nathan MacKinnon deserves serious consideration. The 27-year-old notched 32 goals and 88 points in 65 outings last season. Prorated over 82 games, that’s a 40-goal, 111-point pace.

Then there’s Kirill Kaprizov. The Minnesota Wild phenom followed up his Calder Trophy-winning campaign with a ridiculous 47-goal, 108-point explosion. Nikita Kucherov, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar are no slouches either.

Speaking of Makar, the 23-year-old’s fantasy stock could be at an all-time high right now. The Colorado phenom had himself quite the month of June walking away with a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy and just for good measure, a Norris Trophy as the league’s top blue-liner, too. Unsurprisingly, the Alberta native is widely regarded as a top-10 fantasy pick this season, which is unfamiliar territory for the position he plays.

That said, there’s a plethora of other elite options worth your consideration on the backend as well. Roman Josi is one of them. All the Predators’ captain did last season was rack up 23 goals and 96 points. The 32-year-old was just four points shy of the 100-point plateau; a mark that hasn’t been hit by a defender in 30 years (Brian Leetch).

From a strategical standpoint, you may want to be aggressive and target at least one marquee blue-liner sooner rather than later. Simply put, the position lacks substantial high-end depth. Act swiftly.

In the crease, it’s quite definitive and clear that it’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin — whatever way you want to rank them — and then everyone else.

Furthermore, for the first time in recent memory, even despite the extreme volatility surrounding the position, it’s not outlandish to contemplate grabbing a goalie in the first round. Truth be told, there’s no right way per se to handicap the position in your draft, especially in the era of tandems and timesharing. With that in mind, it’s important to be prepared for the inevitable goalie run because there’s a significant drop-off in talent once the first 10-to-12 guys come off the board. After that, it’s all about flier plays and there’s no telling how those will ultimately play out.

Up front, there are no shortage of difference makers to tickle your fancy — at least in the top 100. Last season, eight different forwards hit the 100-point plateau and 15 managed to tally at least 90 points.

From a depth standpoint, the centre ice position is once again ripe with quantity and quality. In fact, in doing some pre-season mock drafts recently, brand names like Patrice Bergeron, Nazem Kadri, Mathew Barzal and Ryan O’Reilly have been slipping down the ranks like crazy. Unless a big fish falls into your lap, it could be worth your time to exercise patience and prioritize wingers while you wait to bargain shop on centres. Just some food for thought.

Sportsnet’s top 250 fantasy hockey player rankings are curated based on past production, projection, age, and potential. The formula is weighted on goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal and penalty minutes for skaters and wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts for goaltenders.

Additionally, a variety of factors such as line deployment and contractual status, among other things, are taken into heavy consideration when compiling this list.

These rankings are crafted specifically for single-season, non-keeper league formats.

* — Indicates an injured player.

1. Connor McDavid, EDM, C
2. Leon Draisaitl, EDM, C/LW
3. Auston Matthews, TOR, C
4. Nathan MacKinnon, COL, C
5. Kirill Kaprizov, MIN, LW
6. Nikita Kucherov, TBL, RW
7. Mikko Rantanen, COL, RW
8. Cale Makar, COL, D
9. Mitch Marner, TOR, RW
10. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL, G
11. Igor Shesterkin, NYR, G
12. Aleksander Barkov, FLA, C
13. Jonathan Huberdeau, CGY, LW
14. Steven Stamkos, TBL, C/LW
15. Sidney Crosby, PIT, C
16. Alex Ovechkin, WSH, LW
17. Roman Josi, NSH, D
18. Matthew Tkachuk, FLA, RW
19. Artemi Panarin, NYR, LW
20. Sebastian Aho, CAR, C
21. David Pastrnak, BOS, RW
22. Brady Tkachuk, OTT, LW
23. J.T. Miller, VAN, C/LW
24. Andrei Svechnikov, CAR, LW
25. Victor Hedman, TBL, D
26. Jack Hughes, NJD, C
27. Kyle Connor, WPG, LW
28. Adam Fox, NYR, D
29. Jake Guentzel, PIT, LW
30. Patrick Kane, CHI, RW
31. Gabriel Landeskog, COL, C/LW
32. Mark Stone, VGK, RW
33. Mika Zibanejad, NYR, C
34. Alex DeBrincat, OTT, LW
35. Frederik Andersen, CAR, G
36. Aaron Ekblad, FLA, D
37. Ilya Sorokin, NYI, G
38. Vladimir Tarasenko, STL, RW
39. Juuse Saros, NSH, G
40. Elias Pettersson, VAN, C/LW
41. Johnny Gaudreau, CBJ, LW
42. Jacob Markstrom, CGY, G
43. John Carlson, WSH, D
44. Jack Eichel, VGK, C
45. Chris Kreider, NYR, LW/RW
46. Jason Robertson, DAL, LW
47. Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH, C
48. William Nylander, TOR, LW/RW
49. Evgeni Malkin, PIT, C
50. John Tavares, TOR, C
51. Mark Scheifele, WPG, C
52. Marc-Andre Fleury, MIN, G
53. Kris Letang, PIT, D
54. Brayden Point, TBL, C
55. Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG, LW/RW
56. Elias Lindholm, CGY, C
57. Jack Campbell, EDM, G
58. Tristan Jarry, PIT, G
59. Dylan Larkin, DET, C
60. Morgan Rielly, TOR, D
61. Connor Hellebuyck, WPG, G
62. Filip Forsberg, NSH, LW
63. Thatcher Demko, VAN, G
64. Patrice Bergeron, BOS, C
65. Darcy Kuemper, WSH, G
66. Evander Kane, EDM, LW
67. Brad Marchand*, BOS, LW
68. Kevin Fiala, LAK, LW/RW
69. Patrik Laine, CBJ, RW
70. Nazem Kadri, CGY, C
71. Sam Reinhart, FLA, C/RW
72. Anze Kopitar, LAK, C
73. Timo Meier, SJS, LW/RW
74. Jake Oettinger, DAL, G
75. Teuvo Teravainen, CAR, LW/RW
76. Alexandar Georgiev, COL, G
77. Tim Stützle, OTT, LW
78. Quinn Hughes, VAN, D
79. Joe Pavelski, DAL, C/RW
80. Pierre-Luc Dubois, WPG, C
81. Dougie Hamilton, NJD, D
82. Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA, G
83. Mathew Barzal, NYI, C
84. Shea Theodore, VGK, D
85. Mats Zuccarello, MIN, RW
86. Brent Burns, CAR, D
87. Jonathan Marchessault, VGK, LW/RW
88. Lucas Raymond, DET, RW
89. Cole Caufield, MTL, LW/RW
90. Jeremy Swayman, BOS, G
91. Moritz Seider, DET, D
92. Claude Giroux, OTT, C/RW
93. Blake Wheeler, WPG, C/RW
94. Linus Ullmark, BOS, G
95. Brock Boeser, VAN, RW
96. Roope Hintz, DAL, C
97. Thomas Chabot, OTT, D
98. Trevor Zegras, ANA, C
99. Cam Talbot, OTT, G
100. Taylor Hall, BOS, LW
101. Tony DeAngelo, PHI, D
102. Spencer Knight, FLA, G
103. Ryan O’Reilly, STL, C
104. Devon Toews, COL, D
105. Bo Horvat, VAN, C
106. Jakub Vrana, DET, LW/RW
107. Drew Doughty, LAK, D
108. Matt Duchene, NSH, RW
109. Zach Hyman, EDM, LW/RW
110. Carter Verhaeghe, FLA, LW
111. Torey Krug, STL, D
112. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM, C/LW
113. Zach Werenski, CBJ, D
114. Clayton Keller, ARI, LW/RW
115. Bryan Rust, PIT, RW
116. Nick Suzuki, MTL, C
117. Evan Bouchard, EDM, D
118. Semyon Varlamov, NYI, G
119. Sam Bennett, FLA, C
120. Rasmus Dahlin, BUF, D
121. Tyler Bertuzzi, DET, LW/RW
122. Matty Beniers, SEA, C
123. Matt Murray, TOR, G
124. Robert Thomas, STL, C
125. David Perron, DET, RW
126. Troy Terry, ANA, RW
127. Jordan Kyrou, STL, LW/RW
128. Alex Pietrangelo, VGK, D
129. Brayden Schenn, STL, C/LW
130. Jonathan Quick, LAK, G
131. Pavel Buchnevich, STL, RW
132. Josh Norris, OTT, C
133. Brock Nelson, NYI, C/LW
134. Ondrej Palat, NJD, LW
135. Jordan Binnington, STL, G
136. Jakub Voracek, CBJ, LW/RW
137. MacKenzie Weegar, CGY, D
138. Tomas Hertl, SJS, C
139. Vincent Trocheck, NYR, C
140. Ryan Strome, ANA, C/RW
141. Jamie Benn, DAL, C/LW
142. Tyler Seguin, DAL, C/RW
143. Mason McTavish, ANA, LW/RW
144. Tage Thompson, BUF, C
145. Logan Thompson, VGK, G
146. Valeri Nichushkin, COL, LW/RW
147. Jesper Bratt, NJD, RW
148. Matt Boldy, MIN, LW/RW
149. Sean Couturier, PHI, C
150. Mikael Granlund, NSH, C/RW
151. Alex Tuch, BUF, RW
152. Andrew Copp, DET, C/RW
153. Noah Dobson, NYI, D
154. Mackenzie Blackwood, NJD, G
155. Miro Heiskainen, DAL, D
156. Drake Batherson, OTT, RW
157. T.J. Oshie, WSH, C/RW
158. Owen Power, BUF, D
159. Anders Lee, NYI, LW
160. Michael Bunting, TOR, LW
161. Tyler Toffoli, CGY, LW/RW
162. Alex Killorn, TBL, LW/RW
163. David Krejci, BOS, C
164. John Gibson, ANA, G
165. Bowen Byram, COL, D
166. Jared McCann, SEA, LW
167. Logan Couture, SJS, C
168. Ryan Johansen, NSH, C
169. Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ, G
170. Anthony Cirelli, TBL, C/RW
171. Chandler Stephenson, VGK, C/RW
172. John Klingberg, ANA, D
173. Ilya Samsonov, TOR, G
174. Jake Sanderson, OTT, D
175. Carter Hart, PHI, G
176. William Karlsson, VGK, C/LW
177. Jeff Skinner, BUF, LW
178. Calvin Petersen, LAK, G
179. Andre Burakovsky, SEA, LW/RW
180. Viktor Arvidsson*, LAK, LW/RW
181. Juraj Slafkovsky, MTL, LW/RW
182. Seth Jones, CHI, D
183. Vitek Vanecek, NJD, G
184. Justin Faulk, STL, D
185. Anthony Mantha, WSH, LW/RW
186. Pavel Francouz, COL, G
187. Andrew Mangiapane, CGY, LW/RW
188. Erik Karlsson, SJS, D
189. Alex Nedeljkovic, DET, G
190. Darnell Nurse, EDM, D
191. Charlie McAvoy*, BOS, D
192. Jake Allen, MTL, G
193. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL, D
194. Jakob Chychrun, ARI, D
195. Adrian Kempe, LAK, LW/RW
196. Nino Niederreiter, NSH, LW/RW
197. Conor Garland, VAN, LW/RW
198. Ryan Hartman, MIN, C
199. Booner Jenner, CBJ, C
200. Philipp Grubauer, SEA, G
201. Cole Perfetti, WPG, C/RW
202. Oliver Bjorkstrand, SEA, RW
203. Mason Marchment, DAL, LW/RW
204. Alexis Lafreniere, NYR, LW
205. Marco Rossi, MIN, C
206. Anton Lundell, FLA, C
207. Alex Kerfoot, TOR, C/LW/RW
208. Jaden Schwartz, SEA, LW
209. Dylan Strome, WSH, C/RW
210. Travis Konecny, PHI, LW/RW
211. Ville Husso, DET, G
212. Calen Addison, MIN, D
213. Nico Hischier, NJD, C
214. Jeff Petry, PIT, D
215. Connor Brown, WSH, LW/RW
216. Neal Pionk, WPG, D
217. Marcus Foligno, MIN, LW/RW
218. Victor Olofsson, BUF, RW
219. Jake DeBrusk, BOS, LW/RW
220. Brendan Gallagher, MTL, RW
221. Yegor Sharangovich, NJD, C/LW
222. Oliver Wahlstrom, NYI, RW
223. Kirby Dach, MTL, C/RW
224. Denis Gurianov, DAL, LW/RW
225. Joel Eriksson Ek, MIN, C
226. Nick Schmaltz, ARI, C/RW
227. Jared Spurgeon, MIN, D
228. Cam Atkinson, PHI, RW
229. Anton Forsberg, OTT, G
230. Seth Jarvis, CAR, LW/RW
231. Tyson Barrie, EDM, D
232. Kevin Hayes, PHI, C
233. Shayne Gostisbehere, ARI, D
234. Yanni Gourde, SEA, C/RW
235. Shane Wright, SEA, C
236. Tanner Jeannot, NSH, RW
237. Joel Farabee*, PHI, LW/RW
238. Kailer Yamamoto, EDM, RW
239. Jordan Staal, CAR, C
240. Rasmus Andersson, CGY, D
241. Jamie Drysdale, ANA, D
242. Jordan Eberle, SEA, RW
243. Phil Kessel, VGK, RW
244. Vasily Podkolzin, VAN, LW/RW
245. Rickard Rakell, PIT, LW/RW
246. Alec Martinez, VGK, D
247. Martin Necas, CAR, C/RW
248. Andrei Kuzmenko, VAN, LW
249. Ivan Barbashev, STL, C/LW
250. Blake Coleman, CGY, LW/RW

Other key injuries

• Nicklas Backstrom, WSH, C — Out indefinitely (hip)
• Anthony Duclair, FLA, RW — Out indefinitely (Achilles)
• Tom Wilson, WSH, RW — Late January (knee)
• Max Pacioretty, CAR, LW — Post All-Star Game (Achilles)
• Robin Lehner, VGK, G — Out for season (hip)
• Carey Price, MTL, G — Out indefinitely (knee)

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