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News and notes: Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid top DailyFaceoff fantasy rankings, Ethan Bear re-signs in Carolina, and more

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Photo credit:© Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
3 months ago
DailyFaceoff’s first round of fantasy hockey rankings have dropped and Leon Draisaitl has taken the top spot.
DFO editor Matt Larkin did a tremendous job on the break down giving write-ups for his top-300 players. Number one on the list? Leon Draisaitl, folllowed shortly behind by Connor McDavid.
Here are the rankings, and what he wrote on each Oilers player.
1. Leon Draisaitl, C, Oilers: Connor McDavid has the best points upside in the NHL. Auston Matthews has the best goals upside. Draisaitl combines both those ceilings. That’s why he’s the No. 1 player on my board. Over the past four seasons, he’s second in the league in goals and points.
2. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers: Now square in his peak prime, McDavid remains a near-lock to lead the NHL in scoring for a fifth time if healthy, and now he’s diversifying his fantasy portfolio by shooting the puck at his highest rate ever and even averaging roughly a hit per game. His god-mode playoff performance reminds us that an all-time banner season in the 150-point range still feels possible. If any player this generation can do it, it’s McJesus.
47. Darnell Nurse, D, Oilers: Nurse’s production tailed off significantly yet he still delivered 35 points, 203 shots, 196 hits and 132 blocks in 71 games last season. He’s the ultimate multi-category buffet on defense in hockey pools.
54. Evander Kane, LW, Oilers: This rank prices in the risk and off-ice volatility that come with Kane. If there were no risk? He’d rate as a first-round pick. His 82-game pace in 58 games with the Oilers, regular season and playoffs: 49 goals, 295 shots, 294 hits. Are you kidding me? The upside remains gargantuan if he can stay out of trouble.
121. Zach Hyman, LW, Oilers: I figured the ceiling would be slightly higher with Hyman hitching his wagon to the Oilers offense. Oh well, 27-27-54 is perfectly helpful for any fantasy team. No reason why he can’t do that again.
127. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, LW, Oilers: Extra helpful in leagues that count power-play points, as he’s usually out there piling up assists while 97 and 29 light it up.
130. Jack Campbell, G, Oilers: The move to Edmonton leaves Campbell’s fantasy value about the same. Since they paid him the term and money to commit to him as a long-term starter, we can feel confident that he’ll play a lot and rack up counting stats. On the other hand, he’s moving to a weaker defensive club and will face higher-quality chances, so his rate stats might suffer a bit.
132. Evan Bouchard, D, Oilers: Posted a 12-31-43 line with more than 200 shots in his age-22 season and should continue to see increased opportunities in the Oilers’ carnival-grade offense. Hitch your wagon to Bouchard and you won’t be sorry.
228. Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Oilers: Set aside the neverending debate between Edmonton media and the analytics community about him for a second. While he’s neither a dud nor a deity in my mind, he had 14 points in his first 13 games last season – then 22 points in 52 games after that. That tells us he’s equally talented and inconsistent offensively. He hasn’t lost his potential to be special. I just don’t know if it’s going to happen in Edmonton. But I think he’s playing for a new team by October.
233. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Oilers: Has barely been rosterable since scoring at an 80-point pace in a sizzling 27-game sample in 2019-20. Whether it’s Yamamoto or Puljujarvi traded, I suspect it’ll help both players’ ability to stay in the top six year round, which could mean a slight uptick in numbers.
245. Tyson Barrie, D, Oilers: Still capable of posting some really nice point totals in a prominent role. But he’s being phased out on his current team. His TOI hit an eight-year low, and I expect Bouchard to permanently unseat Barrie on Edmonton’s PP1 this season.

Bear is back in Carolina

Former Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear has re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 25-year-old appeared in 58 games last year scoring five goals and 14 points.
His new deal is one year paying him $2.2-million and will stay a restricted free agent. Bear had an arbitration date set for Aug. 8 and he didn’t accept the qualifying offer the ‘Canes sent him.
Drafted by the Oilers in the 5th round of the 2015 draft, Bear played three seasons with the Oilers scoring 33 points in 132 games. The Oilers traded him to Carolina a year ago today in exchange for Warren Foegele.

L.A. Kings to give Dustin Brown a statue

This is uh… interesting?
The LA Kings will be unveiling a statue outside the crypto.com arena in February on a night where they celebrate the former captain. He will also have his number retired joining Rob Blake (No. 4), Marcel Dionne (No. 16), Dave Taylor (No. 18), Luc Robitaille (No. 20), Rogie Vachon (No. 30), and Wayne Gretzky (No. 99).

San Jose Sharks retiring Marleau’s No. 12

Speaking of California teams, the San Jose Sharks announced Thursday they’re retiring Patrick Marleau’s number 12. He becomes the first player in franchise history to have their number retired, and I couldn’t think of a better person to do so. He holds the league record for playing in 1,779 career games and spent an astonishing 21 years with the Sharks.
There, he appeared in 1607 games scoring 522 goals and 1111 points.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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