author: brady lang | sports writer
Because, once a hockey addict, always one
Hockey is back, Canada!
After a long, grueling offseason aided by the World Cup of Hockey, it’s now time to stay inside and watch Canada’s favourite pastime, the game of hockey.
With the start of the 2016-17 NHL season comes new hope for the NHL players, teams, and fan bases. Now, looking deeper into the fan bases of these teams is also the beginning of the NHL fantasy season.
Personally, I’ve only done a couple drafts this season and I’m pretty happy with what went down. But, here is some help from myself for the top five sleeper picks of the 2016-17 season.
- Matt Duchene, COL
Now, this may be kind of a stretch as a sleeper pick, but pick Duchene high. The Colorado Avalanche are destined to have a better season in 2016-17 due to the fact that Patrick Roy is not behind the bench for the club. Both Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon are bound to have career years in Colorado and the Avs will be battling for the wildcard spots in the playoffs at the beginning of the year.
- Milan Lucic, EDM
Well, Lucic is going to play with Connor McJesus, so he’s going to produce as long as he can keep his stick on the ice. With Lucic able to stand in front of the net and bring the net front presence that the Oilers are in dire need of, the offence is immediately better as a result. Lucic has been skating on a line with Eberle and McDavid, so all three will have a solid year in Edmonton.
- Sam Bennett, CGY
Now, switching back to the other side of Alberta, Sam Bennett has been waiting to break out of his shell since he came into the league. After a bit of a sophomore slump last season, the Flames brought in two new line mates for the Richmond Hill, Ontario native. Playing alongside a veteran in Troy Brouwer and along with Keith Tkatchuk’s son Matthew, Bennett has looked great in the preseason. Fans in Calgary have been waiting for Bennett to look like the player he was projected to be when they drafted him.
- Robby Fabbri, StL
Fabbri may be the truest sleeper on this list, but he has a chance to do something very special in St. Louis. Losing guys like TJ Oshie, Troy Brouwer, and David Backes in the past few years, there is a changing of the guard in St. Louis. Robby Fabbri looks to be ready to step up, along with the likes of Jaden Schwartz and Ty Rattie in the St. Louis organization. St. Louis got a lot younger during the 2016-17 offseason and with more minutes available, it means that these young guys are going to get that chance to be great in St. Louis.
- Ryan Murray, CBJ
The White City native is finally healthy and ready to go for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The two-way blue-liner has spent most of his NHL career on the shelf and is finally coming into the year healthy. In Columbus, he has the help of Seth Jones and will produce decent numbers.