NHL.com has the fantasy hockey impact of the top 2020 NHL Draft picks and biggest trades from Oct. 6-7. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.
MORE COVERAGE: Offseason news
Rangers draft Lafreniere with No. 1 pick
Alexis Lafreniere was selected with the No. 1 pick by the New York Rangers in the 2020 NHL Draft on Tuesday. Lafreniere, because of his individual skill and the elite fantasy talent around him on the Rangers, is projected to be the most-valuable fantasy rookie skater next season.
The left wing led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games for Rimouski and had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games for Canada at the 2020 World Junior Championship. He has been voted as the QMJHL MVP and Canadian Hockey Player of the Year in consecutive seasons. The past three first overall selections from the QMJHL have been Nico Hischier of the New Jersey Devils in 2017, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 and Sidney Crosby in 2005.
Lafreniere joins the Rangers, who have a wealth of fantasy talent with forwards Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, defenseman Tony DeAngelo and rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin. Lafreniere will likely slot into the top six upon arrival, potentially gaining exposure to Zibanejad, who led the NHL in goals per game (41 goals in 57 games), on the top line with Chris Kreider likely shifting to right wing. This lineup placement would make Lafreniere a top-100 forward in standard 12-team fantasy leagues with the upside of finishing top-50 at the position and among the 10 best left wings if his hits coverage carries over to the NHL.
Domi traded to Blue Jackets by Canadiens for Anderson
The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired forward Max Domi and third-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens for right wing Josh Anderson. Domi has fantasy bounce-back appeal with this change of scenery and is worth targeting in mid-to-late rounds of fantasy drafts. Anderson is a potential deep sleeper, regardless of lineup placement, with elite category coverage.
Domi, a potential restricted free agent, scored 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in 71 games for the Canadiens this season and should be a top-six and first power-play fixture with the Blue Jackets. Domi could either center the second line with possible linemates Gustav Nyquist, Oliver Bjorkstrand and/or Alexandre Texier or play left wing on the top line with exposure to center Pierre-Luc Dubois and right wing Cam Atkinson at even strength. Domi had an NHL career-high 72 points (28 goals, 44 assists) with Montreal in 2018-19 and strong totals in plus/minus (plus-20) and shots on goal (203). He has had 11 power-play points in consecutive seasons and could help the Blue Jackets power play, which was fifth-worst in the NHL this season (16.4 percent).
Domi should be among the Blue Jackets forward leaders in average ice time, making him a fringe top-100 player in NHL.com’s rankings at the position for next season. Domi should also bring frequent exposure to valuable defensemen Seth Jones and Zach Werenski, each among NHL.com’s top 12 fantasy players at their position.
Anderson had four points (one goal, three assists) in 26 games this season and did not appear in any postseason games after having shoulder surgery in March. Anderson was fantasy-relevant in 2018-19 with 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists) in 82 games mostly skating in a top-six role for Columbus. He should be given a top-nine role upon arrival and is worth a late-round selection in standard 12-team fantasy drafts with the added bonus of hits coverage (602 hits in 267 games). If Anderson stays healthy, he could be one of the best category coverage assets in the League again; he was one of two players (other: Alex Ovechkin) to score more than 25 goals and have at least 200 hits (214) in 2018-19.
Anderson boosts Montreal’s right wing depth chart, which already features Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia, and could slot in on the second line bringing potential exposure to center Nick Suzuki, who scored 41 points (sixth among NHL rookies) in 71 regular-season games.
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