Last week we looked at the top 20 centers and now we are moving on to the top left wingers for fantasy. Other players with left-wing eligibility may be in another ranking or have missed the cut. These rankings are based off of Yahoo’s standard league categories – adjust accordingly.
1. Alexander Ovechkin (WSH – LW)
The Great 8 is coming off a Stanley Cup victory. No one has managed to stop Ovi on the power-play, and don’t expect that to change. Washington runs one of the best power-plays in the league and even though everyone knows it’s going to him, good luck stopping it. No other left-wing comes close to putting up the shots that he does, he’s the best, but I do wonder if a Stanley Cup hangover is possible.
2. Jamie Benn (DAL – C, LW)
Remember in 2014-2015 when Jamie Benn recorded four points to win the Art Ross trophy? What a beast. He’s the next best thing to Ovechkin because he gives you all the categories. Oh, and last season he had two hat tricks in the final three games. Need I say more?
3. Brad Marchand (BOS – LW)
Marchand may still very well outscore Benn, but he lacks the other categories. He scored 85 points in only 68 games which is crazy good. He’s also playing on, what I believe, is the best line in hockey, so expect another great season.
4. Taylor Hall (NJ – LW)
The reigning MVP of the league had an outstanding season, so much so that I wonder if he can repeat that kind of success. The next guy on the team in points was rookie, Nico Hischier, with 52 points, a 41-point difference! Even you don’t get last season’s production, he helps out in the shots and hits department more than our next guy.
5. Johnny Gaudreau (CGY – LW)
Calgary has gotten better with the addition of James Neal, so how does this not help Johnny Hockey? Among left-wingers, Gaudreau ranked second in assists per 60 minutes with 2.41 and shared second spot with 34 primary assists. It’s safe to say the points will be following Johnny Hockey that’s for sure.
6. Artemi Panarin (CBJ – LW)
Will he stay in Columbus or not? Well he looked pretty comfortable in the second half, finishing second behind Hall with 4.1 points per 60 minutes among left-wingers. He was the driving force behind Columbus’ offense and proved he can play without Patrick Kane. Where he goes? No one knows.
7. Evander Kane (SJ – LW)
Being traded to San Jose may be the best thing that has ever happened to Evander Kane. Kane has been a fantasy stud except he’s lacked the points, that’ll change. After being traded, he amassed 14 points in 17 games and looked pretty comfortable with Joe Pavelski. I believe after it’s all said and done we’ll be looking at a career year.
8. Ilya Kovalchuk (LA – LW, RW)
He’s back from the KHL and at 35 years of age, can he still dominate like he has done over in Russia? With Anze Kopitar coming off career season, Kovalchuk has a great chance to be a point-per-game player or better. If this was the old LA Kings I would be a little worried about his point production, but this is the new Kings under John Stevens. After averaging 2.43 goals per game in 2016-2017, they improved their scoring to 2.89 goals per game last season. I’m excited to watch him play again.
9. Rickard Rakell (ANA – LW, RW)
Everyone say hello to Ryan Getzlaf’s new partner, Rickard Rakell! Rakell has made tons of strides in becoming one of the best players on the Anaheim Ducks. He proved that the 2016-17 season wasn’t a fluke and posted career-highs in numerous categories last season. He will give you everything and you’ll love the production. Move aside Corey Perry!
10. Filip Forsberg (NSH – LW)
Forsberg has turned into a pretty consistent 60-point player and one of the best goal scorers in the league. The line of him, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson is very good and with Johansen finally starting the year in top shape, this line might be able to do some more damage. It would also help if the power-play starts to score more.
11. Jake Guentzel (PIT – LW)
Jake Guentzel is becoming known as one of the best playoff performers, so is this the year where he has a productive regular season? Truth is, this is only his second full season in the NHL. Expected to play with Sidney Crosby, I believe this is the year where he puts it all together. Seriously look at those playoff stats, 42 points in 37 games. He’s a stud and should be drafted as such.
12. Jonathan Marchessault (VGK – C, LW)
It’s going to be hard to replicate last year’s phenomenal season. Marchessault has proved to be a goal-scorer and is playing on one of the best lines last season. With the amount of shots taken the goal production seems safe even if Vegas takes a step back.
13. Max Pacioretty (MTL – LW)
What a disaster of a season for Montreal and in one year everyone’s value on the team took a massive hit. Pacioretty was one of those players you thought you could count on for 30+ goals and 60+ points. The question is, do you believe he’s the same player? I don’t think he forgot how to score, but look at who he’s playing with, no one. He will be at a discount price this season and maybe that’s enough for me to take him, especially with trade rumours circling around.
14. Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA – LW)
Huberdeau and Barkov just keep getting better and better each season. One thing that stands out is their hot second half where at one point had the best power-play in the league. With the addition of Mike Hoffman, that power-play might be able to keep scoring at will. Huberdeau is coming off a career year so expect the same kind of performance this year.
15. Mike Hoffman (FLA – LW, RW)
He’s now with the Florida Panthers after a lot of drama and will either be playing on Aleksander Barkov or Vincent Trocheck’s line. I expect the same kind of production that he’s shown in the past, lots of shots! With better line-mates he has a good chance to record his first 30-goal season. The winger eligibility is also a bonus.
16. Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG – LW, RW)
The one thing that has hurt his value is not being on the top power-play. With Paul Stastny gone, Ehlers could be the benefactor, unless they decide to give that spot to Mathieu Perreault. He’s coming off back-to-back 60+ point seasons and there’s more if he gets top power-play time.
17. Gabriel Landeskog (COL – LW)
Landeskog’s production relies heavily on whether MacKinnon can replicate last season’s numbers. Last year, this line scored more five-on-five goals than any other line. Those who want a player who plays with a potential MVP and will hit all the categories will be happy with him.
18. Jaden Schwartz (STL – LW)
The chemistry with Brayden Schenn was so good that this year could be even better. He has never been a consistent 60-point player, but that would have changed last season if he never got injured. Schwartz is in a very good spot and I think he can have a career year.
19. James van Riemsdyk (PHI – LW)
JVR is coming off a career-high 36 goals and will be playing a more prominent role in Philadelphia. His career-high in points is 62 and 70 could be within reach while playing with Claude Giroux. Philadelphia’s power-play slipped last year and JVR will do what he does best. He’s one of the best, if not the best, in front of the net.
20. Clayton Keller (ARI – LW, RW)
The talented rookie had a fantastic season, so what’s he got in store for us this year? After going through the ups and downs that most rookies face, he ended with 29 points in 32 games in the second half. This kid is a young Johnny Gaudreau so don’t be surprised if he pots more points than some of the guys on this list. I put him last because it’s Arizona and you never know about the dreadful sophomore slump.