Last week NHL.com fantasy hockey analysts, Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen released their rankings of the top 200 fantasy hockey players. These rankings were the first of the offseason and the first rankings to take into account all of the post season moves that have been made since last season ended.
Ranking 200 players in the NHL is no easy task and is obviously open to opinion, so there is a variation between the two lists.
According to the post this is how the players were judged and what went into their placement.
NOTE: These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6×4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
With that in mind lets take a look at where the players from the Los Angeles Kings ranked among the league’s top 200 fantasy assets.
|Matt Cubeta||Pete Jensen|
|19. Anze Kopitar||10. Jonathan Quick|
|23. Jonathan Quick||16. Anze Kopitar|
|54. Drew Doughty||59. Drew Doughty|
|61. Jeff Carter||61. Marian Gaborik|
|68. Marian Gaborik||88. Jeff Carter|
|146. Dustin Brown||127. Slava Voynov|
|151. Justin Williams||179. Justin Williams|
|176. Tyler Toffoli||Just Missed: Jake Muzzin, Martin Jones|
|188. Slava Voynov|
|Just Missed: None|
A total of nine different Kings were ranked by the two insiders, nine were listed by Cubeta while seven made Jensen’s list with two just missing the cut. Like I mentioned earlier, ranking players is a very opinionated process and I’m sure both have reasons for putting the Kings players where they did, but for now lets put our insider hats on and talk about what they got right and what they got wrong.
1. Kopitar, Quick and Doughty leading the way.
Although the rankings might not have been the same on both lists, both insiders put Kopitar, Quick and Doughty as their first three Kings on the board. Cubeta went with Kopitar, Quick and Doughty at numbers 19, 23 and 54 respectively, while Jensen placed Quick, Kopitar and Doughty at numbers 10, 16 and 59 respectively. Quick makes the top ten in Jensen’s list and Kopitar makes Cubeta’s top 20. Some may argue that Doughty should be ranked higher based on his potential and numbers from previous seasons but that’s all in the details.
After all is said and done and the nitpicking about placement is over, one thing is certain Kopitar, Quick and Doughty are the leaders of this team. The insiders hit the nail on the head when putting those three names out before any others on the Kings’ roster.
2. Tyler Toffoli could be a sleeper.
Toffoli did not start last season with the big club. However, it didn’t take long for him to get his chance to pull on a Kings sweater and once he got that chance he made it count. Toffoli was called up in late January, and played in 62-games through out the remainder of the season. In those games Toffoli recorded 12-goals and 29-points, good enough to put him in eight place in Kings scoring.
However Toffoli really exploded onto the scene during the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup. The playoffs brought together Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Toffoli and it was a magical thing. That line accounted for 15-points in the Kings’ first three games against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. You have to think that line will be in tact for much of next season. This full season grouping could spell a breakout season for Toffoli and could make him an asset that could jump up from his 176-ranking on Cubeta’s list.
3. Justin Williams, Mr. Regular season?
What can you say about Justin Williams? He is a work horse, he leaves it all on the ice and it seems like he is going to finally get the recognition he deserves from across the league. I’m sure being named the winner of the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s postseason MVP helped. However, Williams success is something Kings fans have known for some time now.
Over the last four seasons with the Kings Williams has not been outside the top three in scoring. He finished the ’12-’11 season tied for second with Jeff Carter with 33-points, and he finished the ’10-’11, ’11-’12, and ’13-’14 seasons in third with 57, 59 and 43 points respectively. I wouldn’t be surprised if he quietly finishes positioned among the top Kings scorers next season as that is what we’ve come to expect from Williams. One thing that will probably change though is the national attention he gets both in fantasy hockey and media coverage.
4. Dustin Brown should have been left off this list.
I love Dustin Brown. I think he is among the top captains in the NHL but do I think he belongs on this list, not entirely. Based on the note taken from the article which mentions what they are basing their rankings on, Brown should probably be left off of this list. Brown is coming off of a season where he posted a career low 27-points. It is confusing to think that Brown still put up fewer points last season in 79-games, compared to the ’12-’13 season which was shortened to 46-games because of the lockout.
Don’t get me wrong, Brown is not completely useless. He will come through with a big goal or a timely assist when the Kings need him too. Also if you are in a fantasy league where hits and PIMs are taking into account then he becomes much more valuable. However, how this list was constructed and what it was based on, Brown probably shouldn’t have made the cut.
5. Jake Muzzin should have made the list.
Jake Muzzin was left off of both lists. He was listed as just missing Jensen’s list and was left completely off of Cubeta’s final product. I am not asking for him to be a top of the list kind of guy, hell even a top 100-player, but he should have made the cut.
My biggest argument comes from looking at who made the list. I don’t want to trash any of the players from other teams and come off as biased, so I am going to base this comparison on the Kings’ very own Slava Voynov. Voynov was ranked by Cueta at 188 and by Jensen at 127. Taking a look at last years totals Voynov played in all 82-games and finished with four goals and 34-points, while Muzzin finished with five goals and 24-points in 76-games. However, last season’s playoffs, where Muzzin scored six goals and grabbed 12-points in 26-games, could have very well been his coming out party.
Give Muzzin a full season with Doughty and he should be among the leagues most productive defensemen and should outperform Voynov. In Cubeta’s list Voynov coming in within the last 15-names makes it difficult to fit Muzzin in, but probably should have still happened. In Jensen’s case it’s almost a must, Voynov is ranked in the top 130-players so there should have been room in the next 70-slots for Muzzin’s name.