While August is typically the month when millions of people begin preparing for their fantasy football drafts, we thought it best to take an early look at which San Jose Sharks players to target during the upcoming fantasy hockey season.
Pete Jensen of NHL.com does his best to provide fans with a great outlook for the 2014-15 season.
Obviously, the 2014-15 season was a down one for many Sharks players, but it should come as no surprise that Joe Pavelski is the top San Jose player in terms of fantasy production.
Pavelski led the Sharks with 70 points, 37 goals and a plus-12 rating. He was lethal on the power play ranking second in the league with 19 power play goals and tied for fifth with 31 power play points.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are two intriguing options who will continue to slide in the fantasy draft pecking order. Both players experienced down seasons from what they’re used to, and they aren’t getting any younger.
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Thornton offers some mid-round potential because he continues to be one of the best assist men in the league, and he’s going to rack up some points by setting up Pavelski. Marleau is harder to peg because he’s always been a streaky scorer throughout his career, so maybe he returns to his 2013-14 scoring ways, but it’s tough to be able to count on that in terms of fantasy production.
On defense, Brent Burns provides plenty of offensive value as he ranked second in the league with 60 points from the blue line, third with 245 shots on goal and sixth with 24 power play points. However, Burns needs to improve in the defensive zone as he was also a minus-nine. Another year back on defense should help Burns perform more consistently.
On the sleeper front, and who doesn’t love late-round finds in fantasy, Jensen identified Melker Karlsson. The biggest plus in Karlsson’s favor is the fact he spent most of the season skating on the top line with Thornton and Pavelski.
If Karlsson continues to slot in that spot, then he will be worthy of a late-round flyer as he will get chances to score. However, you might want to keep an eye on training camp to see where Peter DeBoer decides to put Karlsson because his value drops considerably if he isn’t beside San Jose’s top two players.
Finally, in net, all eyes will be on Martin Jones. While Jones has performed well in limited action the past two seasons, there’s no telling what to expect in his first full season as a starting netminder in the NHL. Jones won’t go early, but will likely serve as a second-or-third option in goal in your fantasy lineup.