Editorials

Islanders: Fantasy Hockey Draft Guide

By Matt O'Leary
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 20: Semyon Varlamov #40 is congratulated by his teammate, Mathew Barzal #13 after his 2-0 shutout victory against the Washington Capitals in Game Five to win the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 20, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 20: Semyon Varlamov #40 is congratulated by his teammate, Mathew Barzal #13 after his 2-0 shutout victory against the Washington Capitals in Game Five to win the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 20, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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With the NHL season coming up, here’s your guide to drafting Islanders players in your fantasy hockey drafts.

It’s almost that time. With puck drop less than a week away for the Islanders and the rest of the NHL we have to get you ready for your fantasy draft. Now, fantasy hockey while not as big as fantasy football, is still a fun activity that continues to grow year over year.

If you’re an Islanders fan and thinking about partaking in one of these drafts here is your guide on if and when you should take players from your favorite team.

According to NHL.com’s most recent mock draft, there are four guys worth taking (in a 12 team league). Here’s where those players went:

1. Mathew Barzal – Round 6 Pick 70

The first Islander off the board is Mathew Barzal. He’s ranked as the 63rd player overall for fantasy purposes and is in the same company as Nicklas Backstrom, Sean Couturier, and Anze Kopitar.

Last year he put up 60 points in 68 games for the Islanders. In a 56 game season, he will likely finish somewhere around 45-55 points with 14 goals to his name. When signed, he is the Islanders best forward so it makes sense for him to be first off the board.

2. Semyon Varlamov – Round 7 Pick 77

Ranked 82nd overall, and the 14th overall goalie the Isles projected starter, Semyon Varlamov comes off the board in round seven. Last season, he went 19-14-6 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.62 goals against average.

He was much better in the playoffs, and earlier on in the season when the Isles were healthy. Expect those numbers to increase.

3. Ilya Sorokin – Round 10 Pick 112

The other goalie! Sorokin is ranked 139th overall and is the 25th ranked fantasy goalie. He and Varlamov will likely split time for 2021, so he absolutely isn’t a bad late-round option for your second goalie.

4. Ryan Pulock – Round 12 Pick 141

The Isles top d-man comes off the board in the 12th round. Over the course of a full season, he’s just about a lock for 35+ points and double-digit points. He’sgreat scoring at 5v5 and if the power play can get better even marginally in 2021, his production should increase.

Not Drafted But Are Options

In the late rounds, if you’re feeling like you want to add another Islander these players weren’t drafted but here’s where they rank in the top 250 fantasy hockey players:

Anthony Beauvillier – 171

Brock Nelson – 171

JG Pageau – 192

Josh Bailey – 201

Jordan Eberle 223

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I usually try to avoid taking too many players from your favorite team. It can get you in bad habits but if you’re curious where these guys rank heading into your draft, here’s your answer.

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