Fantasy drafts are full of questions. If rewarded the first pick, who should I take? Do I go safe or go big? The question in all fantasy sports usually revolves around the 1st and 2nd picks: Trout or Cabrera? McCoy or Charles? The thinking really begins at Pick 3…
The consensus #1 pick in fantasy hockey will be Sidney Crosby, and why not? He’s the only player you can pencil in for 100 points. After Sid, the safest pick at 2 will be a very motivated Steven Stamkos, fully recovered from his broken leg. Pick 3 is where it gets tricky; how will Alexander Ovechkin respond to playing for a more defensive-minded coach in Barry Trotz? Geno Malkin is without question a fantasy stud, but the big man is injury-prone. So there you are at 3: decisions, decisions. The decision should actually be an easy one, it’s Tyler Seguin.
The centerpiece of a seven player blockbuster deal between Dallas and Boston, Seguin by enjoyed by far his best professional season, finishing fourth in scoring with 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists). A system that favored his skill set, and a switch back to his natural center position no doubt attributed to his success, but during his first three seasons Seguin did not shoot anywhere near enough to satisfy fantasy owners.
Here is the breakdown of his shots on goals for his career:
2010-11: 74 games played: 131 SOG
2011-12: 80 games played: 242 SOG
2012-13: 48 games played: 161 SOG
2013-14: 81 games played: 294 SOG
By crunching the numbers, Seguin averaged 2.6 SOG per game during his first three years, and his first year in Dallas, saw it spike to 3.6 SOG. Averaging 1 extra shot on goal can make a huge difference over the course of an 82 game season.
More importantly though was his power play ice time. Every fantasy hockey owner knows special teams’ plays a huge role in league settings, and another reason Seguin should be high on your draft board is his power play production.
Average PP time/game:
Averaging over 1 extra minute on the man advantage is significant, and Seguin did not disappoint, as 29.9% of his season point total of 84 points (25) came on the power play. That number certainly has the potential for even greater success this season. The offseason acquisitions of not one but two slick playmakers in Ales Hemsky and Jason Spezza will make Dallas’ Power Play even more potent.
Seguin’s 294 SOG’s ranked 4th in the NHL, however his shooting percentage of 12.6% ranked 24th amongst players who scored 25 goals or more times. One can expect not only an increase in shots, but with a little more luck, Seguin could easily be a Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy candidate for leading the league in goals, and 50+ is certainly not out of the question.
All this and we forgot to mention that Tyler Seguin doesn’t turn 23 until after the New Year; this is without question a star player who is on the verge of super stardom and with a team that should improve its offensive output from a year ago, Seguin should no doubt be leading the charge in Dallas this year.
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/Jvj6wL
Derek Gibson is The Sports Script’s resident fantasy hockey guru. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @Extra_Attacker!