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Fantasy Hockey: Top Golden Knights Players To Draft

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Jake Oettinger save on Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights Dallas Stars (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

Week one of the NFL season is now over, and I’m 1-0 in both of my Fantasy Football leagues (take that, Roser). But in roughly two weeks, fantasy owners will be adding another team or two with the NHL hockey season starting. If you’re into fantasy hockey, here are our takes on who to take from the Vegas Golden Knights this season.

After a disappointing and injury-ridden season where they missed the playoffs, the Golden Knights have a lot of players you could consider “underrated” when it comes to projected fantasy rankings. Of the five places I looked for player rankings, zero Golden Knights made it into the top 25.

Golden Knights Rankings

NHL.com- Jack Eichel- 46, Mark Stone- 47, Shea Theodore- 99.

ESPN- Jack Eichel- 46, Alex Pietrangelo- 55, Mark Stone- 78, Alec Martinez- 89.

The Athletic- Jack Eichel- 43, Shea Theodore- 51, Alex Pietrangelo- 85, Jonathan Marchessault- 86, Mark Stone- 94.

Dobber Hockey: Jack Eichel- 27, Mark Stone- 68, Jonathan Marchessault- 70, Shea Theodore- 87

CBS Sports- Jack Eichel- 59, Phil Kessel- 91.

Here’s a breakdown of which players from the Golden Knights you should take in your fantasy hockey leagues. For some informal research, I joined a 12-team mock draft, and I took Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, and Shea Theodore on my team. Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Alex Pietrangelo, Marchessault, Stephenson, and Theodore were all taken in this mock draft league.¬†William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Nicolas Roy, Alec Martinez, and Logan Thompson were not.

Go For It

Of course, a lot of your draft rankings will depend on how your league is set up and its size. But Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore are the three biggest Golden Knights to add to your fantasy hockey team in 2022-23. There is a little bit of risk with Eichel considering he has not played a full season since 2019-20. But with his neck surgery now behind him, he will look to turn into the player he was with the Buffalo Sabres as one of the most dynamic centers in the entire league.

Theodore and Pietrangelo are both offensively gifted defensemen that will easily score 50-60 points if they stay healthy throughout the season. Easy points.

I would not pick a player from this trio in the first couple of rounds of the draft. Instead, go for the big guns like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Cale Makar. But all three players should be taken in the middle rounds.

Safe Bets

If your league is a bit larger, or injuries during the season force you to look at other players, both Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith are solid options. Marchessault led the Golden Knights in scoring in 2021-22 but may take a step back, given this is gearing up to be a ‘normal year’ for the VGK injury-wise. Smith, who just signed an extension with the team, has been nothing but a consistent goal scorer in his 12-year NHL career.

Caution

Mark Stone is easily the Golden Knight’s best winger, but his back injuries may paint a red flag on his shoulders for 2022-23. Last season, the 30-year-old captain only played in 37 games but still managed 30 points. He had off-season back surgery, and speculation of him missing parts of training camp has been apparent recently.

I would not take Stone in the early rounds of a fantasy draft, and maybe not even in the later rounds. No offense to Stone, but there are so many other bang-for-your-buck forwards you can take over Stone in fantasy drafts this year. If he starts to perform like his old self and is sitting in your league’s free agency pile, I’d pick him up.

Phil Kessel is an interesting case, as his name brand gets him in the conversation of star NHL’ers. But Kessel is likely past his prime as a main offensive weapon and shouldn’t be taken in most fantasy leagues.

William Karlsson is here too. I don’t expect him to be on many fantasy league rosters. But if he looks intriguing because of his 43-goal season in 2017-18, buyer beware! He has consistently scored fewer and fewer points every season since then.

Underrated

If Nicolas Roy can live up to his newly-signed contract and shine, he may be worth adding in free agency later on in the season. Logan Thompson also has all the opportunities in front of him to succeed as a number one goalie in the NHL, but this depends on how goalies are set up in your league.

But if there is one player I suggest taking above anyone else, outside of the obvious picks, is Chandler Stephenson. I humbly believe that Stephey is one of the most underrated players in the entire NHL, as he put up 64 points in 79 games last season. He’s essentially what people think William Karlsson still is.

I’d take the risk to pick Stephenson in the later rounds of the draft as he will score for you almost as often as a big-name player.

Trick Your Friend

If you’re in a league like I am, where you have a couple of friends who don’t know a whole lot about hockey, I suggest filling their brains with the following information. Robin Lehner, Shea Weber, and former Golden Knight Max Pacioretty are going to have insane seasons and should be taken in your fantasy hockey league drafts.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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