2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Series: Top 50 NHL Left Wings

We continue our series with a look at your best fantasy hockey bets on left wing for this 2017-18 NHL season. Our first list looked at your best centre options. This list will cover the top 50 left wingers in the NHL going into the season, with a more in depth look at the top 10. Goals, assists, powerplay points and total points are included. Past performance and projections for the 2017-18 season are weighed carefully. Where ever possible, a player’s last three professional seasons are taken into account. In addition, injury history, powerplay time and projected line-mates are considered. Projections are based on 82 games except where otherwise noted.

So, without further adieu…

2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Series

Top 10 NHL Left Wings

1. Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars

A forgettable 2016-17 season for Dallas saw Benn tally 26 goals and 43 assists for 69 points in 77 games. The new look Dallas Stars, who called in Alexander Radulov for reinforcements, are predicted to be an elite team in the West and an offensive powerhouse. He averaged just over a point per game in his previous three seasons, so expect a big rebound for Benn this season. With 25-plus powerplay point potential, Benn offers first round value in a left winger.

Projection for 2017-18: 34 G, 45 A, 25 PPP, 79 PTS

2. Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand exploded last season with 39 goals and 46 assists playing on a high octane top line in Boston. Those 85 points were a career high for the 29-year-old, who has seen consistent increase in point totals and ice time in the past few years. A high shooting percentage may indicate a lower goal total this season, but he should remain a safe bet for 70-plus points. He is also a consistent threat short handed, offering a small increase in value.

Projection for 2017-18: 35 G, 39 A, 21 PPP, 74 PTS

3. Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals 

Another year older, Ovechkin remains a world class left wing. Many are expecting some steps backward from Washington, as well as Ovechkin to start showing the signs of age. However, until we see it happen, the Great 8 remains a 40-goal threat and powerplay dynamo. Last season’s 313 shots was a career low (except for the 2012 lockout year, where he had 220 in 48 games), Ovi guarantees plenty of pucks on net. A return to his 12% career average shooting percentage should see him close to 40 goals once again.

Projection for 2017-18: 39 G, 32 A, 23 PPP, 71 PTS

4. Artemi Panarin – Columbus Blue Jackets

Panarin remains a top end talent at left wing this season. The trade to Columbus has some people worried, as it should. Panarin undoubtedly benefited from playing alongside Patrick Kane in Chicago, posting two 70-plus point seasons. But, playing alongside Alex Wennberg, who is no slouch himself, should help him keep at a 65-plus point pace. A strong Columbus powerplay really impressed for stretches. If Panarin can find a groove with some of the other Blue Jackets weapons, he could been a top shelf left winger this year.

Projection for 2017-18: 33 G, 37 A, 20 PPP, 70 PTS

5. Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames 

Johnny Hockey’s 2016-17 season left fantasy owners wanting a little more. Gaudreau struggled to find consistency early last season, likely attributed to missing training camp due to a contract dispute. But the young, shifty forward will be leaned on as Calgary’s primary offensive weapon. Playing with consistent pivot Sean Monahan, Gaudreau has 70-point upside again this year. The two found chemistry with Micheal Ferland last season, so expect the three to start the season on Calgary’s top line.

Projection for 2017-18: 25 G, 45 A, 20 PPP, 70 PTS

6. Nik Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets

The young Dane finds himself in a coveted position on Winnipeg’s first line. Ehlers has huge upside this year, as he plays alongside two premier talents in Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine. A 64 point, 25 goal season was a great surprise last year, 26 points more than 2015. Expect another 60-65 points from Ehlers this year, with a small chance at 70-plus.

Projection for 2017-18: 30 G, 38 A, 18 PPP, 68 PTS

7. Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators 

Still only 21, he could be poised for a big breakout season as he is leaned on more this year by Nashville. Another season with centre Ryan Johansen should help the two sort out chemistry and gel with each other. A bit streaky at times, Forsberg has potential to explode from game-to-game or week-to-week. If he can maintain a steady pace throughout the year, he could be a top left wing pick. 

Projection for 2017-18: 33 G, 33 A, 18 PPP, 66 PTS

8. Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens 

Pacioretty has been exceptionally consistent thought his career. He has scored 30 goals for the last five seasons, minus the lockout shortened 2012-13 season. Playing with Drouin at centre may finally provide Pacioretty with the highly skilled playmaker he has never really had in Montreal. A very safe bet, you know what you get with Pacioretty. He should be reliable for 30 goals and 30 assists this year.

Projection for 2017-18: 33 G, 31 A, 15 PPP, 64 PTS

9. Jeff Skinner – Carolina Hurricanes 

A name that may surprise once again this season, Skinner looks like he may finally have found his game. After a few seasons lost to concussion symptoms, Skinner appeared lost for a while after. But a strong 2016-17 season and a great supporting cast may give fans a reason to believe he is the real deal. 37 goals was good for a career high and the fourth highest total in the league. Even if his shooting percentage drops back down, he should be around 30 goals for the fourth time in his career.

Projection for 2017-18: 30 G, 33 A,15 PPP, 63 PTS

10. Jonathan Huberdeau – Florida Panthers

The number 10 left wing, Huberdeau has the potential to play way over or under this value. Last season was underwhelming, as he lost 51 games to injury and was held to a measly 26 points. The Panthers, in general, suffered from injuries and disarray throughout the organization. A healthy season from Huberdeau and Barkov could see both players take huge leaps forward. With a new coaching staff, there may be an early learning curve, but don’t sell Huberdeau early if he doesn’t produce right away, the potential is there.

Projection for 2017-18: 29 G, 34 A, 17 PPP, 63 PTS

There you have your 2017-18 top 10 projected left wingers.

But the talent doesn’t drop off after the first ten. There will surely be some who rise in the rankings throughout the year, and may very well play their way into the top ten. There are plenty of options outside of the top 10, so keep an eye out for the rest of the top 50 as you draft.

Top 50 Left Wings (11-50)

11. Mike Hoffman – Ottawa Senators – 31 G, 30 A, 61 PTS, 18 PPP

12. Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils – 30 G, 31 A, 61 PTS, 15 PPP

13. Viktor Arvidsson – Nashville Predators – 29 G, 31 A, 60 PTS, 15 PPP

14. Jake Guentzel – Pittsburgh Penguins – 27 G, 33 A, 60 PTS, 16 PPP

15. James Van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs – 28 G, 31 A, 59 PTS, 15 PPP

16. Alex Galchenyuk – Montreal Canadiens – 28 G, 30 A, 58 PTS, 15 PPP

17. Brandon Saad – Chicago Blackhawks – 27 G, 31 A, 58 PTS, 16 PPP

18. Brayden Schenn – St. Louis Blues – 25 G, 33 A, 58 PTS, 17 PPP

19. Jakub Voracek – Philadelphia Flyers – 25 G, 33 A, 58 PTS, 16 PPP

20. Anders Lee – New York Islanders – 29 G, 28 A, 57 PTS, 14 PPP

21. Andre Burakovsky – Washington Capitals – 23 G, 33 A, 56 PTS, 15 PPP

22. Rickard Rakell – Anaheim Ducks – 27 G, 28 A, 55 PTS, 15 PPP

23. Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – 26 G, 29 A, 55 PTS, 15 PPP

24. Chris Kreider – New York Rangers – 25 G, 30 A, 55 PTS, 16 PPP

25. Jaden Schwartz – St. Louis Blues – 24 G, 30 A, 54 PTS, 14 PPP

26. Mathew Tkachuk – Calgary Flames – 23 G, 31 A, 54 PTS, 13 PPP

27. Nino Niederreiter – Minnesota Wild – 23 G, 31 A, 54 PTS, 11 PPP

28. Sebastian Aho – Carolina Hurricanes – 22 G, 32 A, 54 PTS, 12 PPP

29. Max Domi – Arizona Coyotes – 25 G, 28 A, 53 PTS, 14 PPP

30. Marcus Johansson – New Jersey Devils – 25 G, 27 A, 52 PTS, 13 PPP

31. Evander Kane – Buffalo Sabres – 27 G, 24 A, 51 PTS, 11 PPP

32. Milan Lucic – Edmonton Oilers – 25 G, 26 A, 51 PTS, 13 PPP

33. Ondrej Palat – Tampa Bay Lightning – 24 G, 26 A, 50 PTS, 12 PPP

34. Alex Steen – St Louis Blues – 24 G, 25 A, 49 PTS, 11 PPP

35. J.T. Miller – New York Rangers – 24 G, 25 A, 49 PTS, 10 PPP

36. Tomas Hertl – San Jose Sharks – 23 G, 25 A, 48 PTS, 11 PPP

37. Tanner Pearson – Los Angeles Kings 21 G, 27 A, 48 PTS, 11 PPP

38. Robby Fabbri – St Louis Blues – 20 G, 26 A, 46 PTS, 10 PPP

39. James Neal – Vegas Golden Knights – 23 G, 23 A, 46 PTS, 9 PPP

40. Tomas Tatar – Detroit Red Wings – 22 G, 24 A, 45 PTS, 9 PPP

41.Jonathan Marchessault – Vegas Golden Knights – 23 G, 22 A, 45 PTS, 10 PPP

42.Nick Foligno – Clumbus Blue Jackets – 19 G, 26 A, 45 PTS, 11 PPP

43. Patrick Maroon – Edmonton Oilers – 22 G, 22 A, 44 PTS, 12 PPP

44. Patrick Marleau – Toronto Maple Leafs – 20 G, 22 A, 42 PTS, 12 PPP

45. Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild – 17 G, 24 A, 41 PTS, 10 PPP

46. Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks – 16 G, 24 A, 40 PTS, 9 PPP

47. Patrick Hornqvist – Pittsburgh Penguins – 17 G, 22 A, 39 PTS, 8 PPP

48. Clayton Keller – Arizona Coyotes – 15 G, 22 A, 37 PTS, 8 PPP

49. Alex DeBrincat – Chicago Blackhawks – 14 G, 23 A, 37 PTS, 10 PPP

50. Mattias Janmark – Dallas Stars – 16 G, 20 A, 36 PTS, 7 PPP

Others to consider include Teuvo Teravainen, Paul Byron, Gabriel Landeskog, Alex Killorn, Jason Zucker, Sven Baertschi and David Perron.

And there it is. The top 50 left wingers going into the 2017-18 NHL season. There are plenty of steals and quality players throughout the list, and many who have the potential to play far beyond their rank.

So stay tuned for the next article, looking at the top 50 right wingers for this season.

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