Fantasy Hockey: Top Position Players for Success – Florida Panthers
Welcome back to the next installment of the top position players for fantasy hockey success. Tonight, FantasyCPR will focus on the Florida Panthers of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers had a better year in 2017/18 compared to the previous season. They should be trending upward with the key addition of Mike Hoffman on the wing, and the breakout of Evgeni Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau. Besides their goalie position, the Panthers will be one of the younger teams in the league. It remains to be seen if they will thrive in their youth, or if the team goes through youthful struggles.
Trocheck has really come into his own in the last two seasons. He has played two consecutive 82 game seasons. Trocheck has also increased his points each year since joining the big league club in 2013/14. Last season, he started to show what he is capable of netting 31 goals and 44 assists.
Trocheck had higher hit totals than any year previous as well. He is an all around player, who can be trusted on both sides of the ice. On the power play, Trocheck excels as he finished 2017/18 with 13 goals and 14 assists. He led the team in shots last season with 287, compared to the second best of 256 by Aleksander Barkov.
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It is still unknown whether he’ll play on the 1st or 2nd line. But after his breakout season last year, it should not matter what line he plays on, he is too talented. Dadonov should be able to play well next to Barkov or Trocheck. The breakout season Dadonov experienced was a bit of a surprise, and it remains to be seen if he can sustain that type of productivity. The direction of the team is trending up though, so look for his positive play to carry over into this season. He is fantastic in possession numbers with a CF% 53.6 and a FF% of 54.7.
The former 3rd overall pick in 2011 has finally come alive. He played all 82 games last season finishing with 69 points. Similar to Dadonov, Huberdeau had solid Corsi and Fenwick numbers both greater than 50%. He could thrive on the second line if he is paired with Trocheck and Hoffman, causing headaches for opposing defenses.
Outside of 2016/17, Ekblad has been everything the Panthers thought he would be. He has had 10+ goals in all four seasons and 20+ assists in three of the four seasons. He is near the top in average ice time, sitting just above 23 minutes/game. Ekblad should take another step forward with this up and coming Panthers team who finished 4th in the Atlantic Division.
It can be nerve-racking going into the NHL season with a pair of goalies this late into their careers. Reimer was solid last year with a 22-14 record and a .913 Sv%. He finished the year with four shutouts. Even more impressive was his partner Roberto Luongo who finished 18-11 and a .929 Sv%. Reimer outplayed Luongo on the penalty kill giving up 23 goals on 236 shots compared to Luongo’s 16 goals on just 156 shots. Once again, these two could be splitting goalie duties.
Stay tuned to Fantasy CPR for all your Fantasy Hockey team breakdowns as we head toward the NHL season!