2022 Fantasy Hockey Forward Sleepers
Let’s keep it going. After hitting the goalies, it’s time to go over my top forward sleepers for the 2022 fantasy hockey season. Anybody ranked outside of ESPN’s top 100 is eligible to be declared a sleeper pick. I hate opening paragraphs. I don’t eat sides really so maybe that’s why. Topic for another day. Let’s go.
Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils) F71, Overall 111
Give me some Nico Hischier this year. The Devils are on the up. Jack Hughes is a real star. While Hischier may never be number one pick worthy, I think there is a good player in there. 60 points in 70 games is pretty respectable. I think another leap is coming. I would have him inside the top 100. No question.
Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning) F93, Overall 142
This one is actually a joke. I’ve already gone over this in another post but it’s crazy that Point is behind Tyler Seguin in the rankings. Injuries have kept the point (pun intended) total down but this is just disrespectful. We’re talking about a guy making $9.5 million AAV on a team that just went to the Stanley Cup three years in a row. What are we doing?
Vincent Trocheck (New York Rangers) F98, Overall 149
Sign me up for some Vinny Trocheck. I truly don’t get why Carolina didn’t re-sign him. Going from Ryan Strome to Tro is a huge win for the Rangers. Better yet, Trocheck is probably better suited in this spot anyway. Skating on that second line with Artemi Panarin could wind up being dangerous. I understand this spot in the drafts teams start getting deep at forward and look elsewhere but I really like this play here.
Andrew Mangiapane F103, Overall 162
I think Tyler Toffoli is ranked too high and Andrew Mangiapane is too low. I get that Toffoli is on the top line right now but things happen. People change. Darryl Sutter can change. Maybe.
Anyway, it’s just really the upside here. You’re either first or last. Mangiapane can score goals. That’s all I know and the Flames for sure didn’t get worse? Can I interest you in a little Nazem Kadri action? 58.7 CF% last year. Just needs the ice time. Scored 35 goals last year. Can I get a 40 burger here coming up? HMM.
Jakub Vrana (Detroit Red Wings) F114, Overall 181
My eyes tell me the Detroit Red Wings robbed the Capitals in the Anthony Mantha trade. Mantha doesn’t skate like Vrana. That’s what my eyes tell me. Vrana goes bye bye real fast. Dealt with injury stuff last year but was a fire cracker to end the year. 19 points in 26 games on a bad Red Wings team. Might be a year too soon here but there is talent here.
Chandler Stephenson (Vegas Golden Knights) F115, Overall 182
All indications point to Chandler Stephenson being the second line center this year. Honestly, feels like the right call. Stephenson has taken major strides. William Karlsson can anchor a defensive third line. Stephenson just keeps getting better and better and the real opportunity is coming. Career high 64 points last year. More could very well be on the way.
Anton Lundell (Florida Panthers) F116, Overall 183
The Florida Panthers lost a lot of depth this offseason. We don’t have to go over all of the names. I’ve said them 100 times. Go Google it. Lundell is a young stud who I’m really high on. I think the Panthers might take a step back this year but Ludell will take a step forward. It’s only a matter of time before he leapfrogs Sam Bennett. Again, another one that may be a year too soon but I like the shot.
Valeri Nichushkin (Colorado Avalanche) F120, Overall 187
Give Valeri Nichushkin his damn respect. This is a Stanley Cup champion. He’s just a total menace on the ice and the offense is finally here. Still plays for Colorado, right? At 187? Too low.
Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins) F121, Overall 188
I get the ranking here but it still should be higher. Marchand is going to be out for a while but we know what this guy brings to the table when healthy. Patrice Bergeron is still there so I’m not about to jump off the Marchand bandwagon. Every team hates playing him which is why I love him.
Andrei Kuzmenko (Vancouver Canucks) F126, Overall 200
I know nothing about this guy. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I watch the KHL. What I do know is I think Vancouver is a tad underrated right now. The word on the street is he’s on the powerplay and line unit with Elias Pettersson. I think that means good things. At 200? Why not let it fly?
Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders) F139, Overall 221
I get that we all have been burned by Mat Barzal before in fantasy. I’m guessing Sean Allen really got his feelings hurt. 221 seems a tad crazy given the fact that he just got paid an enormous contract extension. Never as good as he should be. Still, this is so low that you have to take him if he’s still available at pick 221. Have to.