Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Hockey draft sleepers for the 2021-22 season


Special for Yahoo Sports

The first fantastic draft rounds are usually less about winning your league and more about not losing it. The best players in the table will generally cancel each other out if they are in good health, unless there is an extraordinary production or an underperformance.

The leagues are Actually won in the middle and later rounds, as can be seen by those who drafted sleepers like Alex DeBrincat, Adam Fox and Marc-André Fleury last season. Sleepers come in a few archetypes, the most common being that of young players who reach their own pace and turn their potential into production.

Other storylines that often produce quality sleepers are old faces in new places – whether it’s players taking on bigger roles or just going from a bad situation to a good one, not to mention the guys who are mobilizing to fill the gaps created by major outings. Post-hyped sleepers are thriving players just as the majority of fantasy managers have crossed them off their sleeper lists. The last common category of sleepers are those who hide in plain sight but just don’t get the love they deserve on Draft Day, often due to playing on bad teams and / or small markets. .

The players below all fall into one of those aforementioned categories, and they all have the potential to dramatically outperform their current ADP if things go right …


Roope Hintz, DAL (ADP: 65.9) – Hintz’s per-game numbers last season were very impressive (15 goals, 43 points in 41 games), and he put them in place despite an embarrassing groin injury that left his availability in doubt every night. After treating the injury with surgery in the offseason, the 24-year-old Finn is set to become a superstar. Just staying healthy and repeating last season’s 18th-ranked points-per-game production would make Hintz a seventh-round steal, but there’s a good chance he’s far from his cap being given that he increased his double-digit points total in each of his first three seasons.

Cole Caufield, MON (ADP: 104.1) –Caufield has been an offensive force across the board, and his small size doesn’t seem to stop the 5-foot-7 winger from becoming an NHL player. Last season alone, Caufield lit the lamp 30 times in 31 games with Wisconsin in the NCAA, added three goals in two games with AHL Laval, then scored four goals in 10 regular season NHL games before. help Montreal reach the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-8-12 Line in 20 playoff games. The 20-year-old Wisconsin native has the skills to be the Canadiens’ top scorer this season.

Little Cole Colefield looks like an offensive powerhouse ready to ignite. (Photo by François Lacasse / NHLI via Getty Images)

Jack Hughes, NJD (ADP: 143.3) – Hughes didn’t develop as quickly as the Devils had hoped, but the top pick in the 2019 Draft definitely improved in his second year, dropping by seven goals, 21 points and a minus-29 of 61 rating games as a rookie with 11 goals, 31 points and an under-3 record last season. The 20-year-old center’s best days are almost certainly still ahead of him, and he’s a low risk, high reward option in his current ADP. While the lack of quality winger around Hughes remains an issue, New Jersey added one of the league’s best offensive defensemen to Dougie Hamilton to bolster a power play Hughes has produced with a meager seven points this season. last.

Filip Chytil, NYR (ADP: N / A) – Chytil is a player to target in deeper formats or with one of your last picks, even though he’s not in Yahoo’s Top 200. a choice since then, but Chytil’s development could be one of the keys to Rangers’ quest to grow from a young team with potential to a contender. The 22-year-old Czech hub was limited to 42 games by injury last season, but produced eight goals and 14 assists – a pace of 43 points in 82 games. These numbers are decent on their own but become more impressive given that Chytil averaged just 0:34 on the power play (no points) due to his struggles in the face-off circle. ‘point improves or if new coach Gerard Gallant finds how to use it on the power play, Chytil could see a substantial increase in his productivity.

Other sleepers: Sam Reinhart, FLA (83.9), Jason Robertson, DAL (91.3), Patrik Laine, CLS (130.8), Jordan Eberle, SEA (163.7), Pavel Buchnevich, STL (164.8), Jonathan Toews, CHI (166.5), Timo Meier, SJ (171.0), Drake Batherson, OTT (175.0)


Jakob Chychrun, ARI (ADP: 90.4) – The Coyotes’ fading makes sense after their offseason fire sale, but Chychrun is emerging as one of the best defensemen in the game, even in what should be one of the worst teams in the league. After showing off his dangerous slapshot with 12 goals in 2019-20, the 23-year-old Florida native stood out with 18 goals and 41 points in 56 games last season. He only improved in the home stretch, producing nine goals and 10 assists in the last 19 games. While the Coyotes lost some talent up front during the offseason, they also freed up even more power play time for Chychrun by sending in another defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who tied Chychrun for the head of the ‘team – not just among the defenders – with 14 power points. – game points last season.

Tony DeAngelo, RCA (ADP: 144.6) – In 56 games last season, the Hurricanes defensemen had 32 points on the power play. Dougie Hamilton (18) and Jake Bean (five) are no longer on the squad, while Jake Gardiner (three) is in LTIR and could miss the entire season. That leaves just six of those points between Brett Pesce (five) and Jaccob Slavin (one). DeAngelo was sent off from Rangers after an altercation with a teammate last year, but he placed fourth among all defensemen in points (53) and ninth in power-play points (19) in 2019-2020, making him the main candidate to replace Hamilton. as the unit’s leading power play scorer for Carolina which ranked second only to Edmonton at 25.6 percent last season.

Other sleepers: Miro Heiskanen, DAL (80.9), Samuel Girard, COL (129.3), Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (151.9), Jamie Drysdale, ANH (163.4), Bowen Byram, COL (171.7)


Linus Ullmark, BOS (ADP: 91.6) – There’s a chance the Bruins will get Tuukka Rask back on track once he recovers from hip surgery, and Jeremy Swayman looked awesome in a 10-game cup of coffee last season , but Ullmark’s experience should give him the first shot at starting in Boston. The 28-year-old signing free agent has the skills to grab the reins and never look back. Remember the historically bad Sabers team from last season? Ullmark went 9-6-3 with these guys. In fact, Buffalo has consistently finished near the bottom of the standings since Ullmark made his NHL debut in 2015, but the Swede still has a respectable career line of 50-47-13 with an average of 2.78 and a save percentage of .912. Those numbers should improve significantly on a Bruins team that hasn’t finished worse than fourth overall for the fewest goals against in each of the past four seasons.

Mike Smith, GED (ADP: 129.2) – Smith is currently drafted as the 25th goaltender in the table despite ranking seventh in wins (21) and save percentage (0.923), as well as 12th overall (2.31) among the goalkeepers with at least 15 appearances last season. Of course, this was an unexpected rebound campaign for a 39-year-old goaltender who previously seemed in decline, but the Oilers clearly believe he can maintain that level after not adding any further competition to the alternatives. unattractive incumbents Mikko Koskinen and Alex Stalock.

With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl providing a ton of goal support and a solid group of defenders in front of him, Smith is in a good position to comfortably surpass his ADP.

Other sleepers: Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA (119.1), Vitek Vanecek, WAS (139.4), Anton Khudobin, DAL (162.2), Pavel Francouz, COL (166.9), Cal Petersen, LA (171.1)