They may not finish as the best team in the NHL this season but they will be the best fantasy hockey team. The Edmonton Oilers are young and ready to explode and here is why they will provide the best fantasy options for your league this upcoming season.
Taylor Hall And Jordan Eberle Are Elite
It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if these two finish within the top ten NHL point getters this season. Hall is a goal scoring
machine and Eberle is one of the niftiest players in the game. I am beyond shocked Eberle is ranked around the mid-thirties in most “expert’s” projected fantasy hockey lists. It’s without a doubt Eberle will get 80 points this season. His minor drop in points last season seems to make people want to hesitate to draft him. I have Eberle in all five of my fantasy hockey leagues and I can’t wait to start reaping the rewards. Have you seen the kid play? He is something special and there is no way after this year you will still be able to steal him in the third or fourth round of your draft. Hall is a fearless player and his speed combined with his skillset make him a consistent goal scorer. 40 goals is my projection but many will be surprised when Eberle produces more points. These two are going to run the power-play and run the show in Edmonton as the team keeps getting better and better.
Justin Schultz Is Just Getting Started
You thought his eight goals and 27 points in 48 games last season were impressive? You haven’t seen anything yet. Schultz is an offensive kingpin from the blueline and 60 points is very likely this season. Andrew Ference has been brought in as a more defensive defenseman so Schultz can continue focusing on his offensive game from the blueline. Did I mention he runs one of the most lethal power-plays in the game? Every year there is that defenseman that turns “elite”. In 2011-2012, it was Erik Karlsson. In 2012-2013, it was P.K. Subban. Who is it this year? I think you can figure that out on your own.
David Perron Will Have A Career Year
New team and a fresh start for Perron. You should never judge anything from the preseason but you can’t ignore Perron going beast mode. He will be a fantasy gem this season opening the season with Hall and Eberle. His production will take a dip when Nuge returns and he gets bumped down a line but he will still top his career high 50 point season in 2008-2009. He is also only 25-years of age and his potential is still gushing. Draft him and enjoy his sick mits and high energy.
No Such Thing As A Sophomore Slump For Yakupov
Are you avoiding Yakupov because of the dreaded “sophomore slump”? Have fun avoiding being the winner of your fantasy league. Yakupov will be playing on a star studded second line once Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner return from injury. 35-goals are very likely for Yakupov and if he can play the point on the top power-play, even better. He is way too good to take a step back this season. He will be drafted in the top twenty in every fantasy hockey league after this season. He is just waiting to take off.
Nuge Will Return And Be Huge
The injury to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a tough one as he likely won’t return to November. Why is he still a great pick in fantasy leagues? He just signed a seven year contract extension and after a below par year, he will be dying to show the fans he was worth the cash. He will return and the Oilers top line will become the best top line in the game.
Dubynk Hits 40 Wins
So what if he hasn’t proven yet he can be a number one goalie in the league. Can he really be blamed so far with the defense he has had
in front of him? I’m not saying the defense has improved that much heading into this season but the goals scored will be high and Dubynk will record a huge slate of wins. It may seem unrealistic considering the Dubynk has never topped 20 wins in a season but anything is possible with this rising team in Edmonton.
There is something special brewing in oil town and fantasy owners are about to get a taste.
BCIT Broadcast Journalism graduate and hockey writer. You can follow me on Twitter @BradyTrett.