Robinson's Fantasy Rundown: Holiday Wish List Edition
The Holiday freeze is upon us. The players home with their families, stuffing themselves with shortbread, neglecting their workouts, only wearing sweatpants, and generally acting like the vast majority of us do on a regular basis.
And you know what? They deserve it.
What follows is what we all deserve. This edition of Robinson’s Fantasy Rundown features a few festive features from the world of fantasy hockey. We’ll go through all 32 teams and delve into what we would like to see on our wishlist. A player to step up. A hot streak to continue. An injury to open a door.
It’s mostly fun, so have fun with it. But I’ll try to keep it within the realm of reality for things that are actually plausible.
The Wish List
The Ducks are trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick, and we want it too. Just imagine a world where Connor Bedard is receiving dishes from Trevor Zegras for the next decade-plus.
I can handle that.
The Coyotes are clearly trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick… but we don’t. We want the Coyotes to find some semblance of stability and success, but we want Bedard elsewhere.
The Bruins sit atop the NHL standings so it’s hard to ask for much for Christmas this year. But what they really want is a David Pastrnak extension. But is that what we want? In Boston, we know he’ll get action with Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Patrice Bergeron. But those cats have an aggregate age of like 74 (or something like that). We want Pastrnak to hit 50 goals and then walk this summer to an up-and-coming squad. I’m looking at you, Buffalo.
Oh hey, look it’s Buffalo. For the Sabres, we just want the good times to keep on rolling. Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens and co are experiencing boom seasons that are making fantasy squads. Keep em, rolling!
The Flames and the fantasy world need Jonathan Huberdeau to re-find his mojo. I fear we won’t see the real Huberdeau until next season, but perhaps the Holiday break will do wonders for him. Remember, folks, it’s difficult for players to change organizations for the first time.
We love seeing Martin Necas blooming into the talent we all knew he could be. But would it kill Teuvo Teräväinen to, you know, put up some points? Let’s get that guy an extra helping of stuffing in hopes that he starts stuffing the scoresheet.
The Blackhawks are clearly trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick, and we want it too. Just imagine a world where Bedard learns the ropes from Patrick Kane.
I can handle that.
We in the fantasy world want the exact same thing as the Avalanche: Their stars to be healthy and for the machine to start chugging away at full speed. Santa, give us a run of 40 games with all the megastars, please.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are clearly trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick, and we want it too. Just imagine a world where Bedard is hanging out with his good buddy Kent Johnson for the next decade-plus. And Johnny Gaudreau? And Patrik Laine?
I can handle that.
The Stars have a lot to be grateful for this year - mostly Jason Robertson-related. But we could all use some more Tyler Seguin in our box scores. We’re witnessing a reemergence of Jamie Benn this year. Would it kill the karma police to send a little of that magic Seguin’s way?
Detroit Red Wings
Moritz Seider, please get over the sophomore slump sooner rather than later. Seriously, dude. We all need it.
Well, I guess it depends on where your eggs are lying, but the Oilers and a great many fantasy GMs could use a return to even just average play from Jack Campbell. If you’ve moved onto the Stuart Skinner train, well then, you’re hoping Campbell sucks more than a Dyson.
Aaron Ekblad, we know you’ve had some injury troubles and it’s not easy to play at a near-point-per-game pace, but we’d appreciate it if you could get back to that level after posting 57 in 61 last year.
Los Angelos Kings
We could all use a Quinton Byfield quantum leap. The former second-overall pick has found himself back in the AHL for the last six weeks and has been very good. Now he needs a recall, a shot in the top six and some instant production.
Some goaltending. Either for Marc-André Fleury to get back into the world of league-average save percentages or for Filip Gustavsson to steal the ball. The Flower has been on a nice run ahead of the break, so hope may be on the horizon.
I could do the Connor Bedard bit here, but I think Montreal is going to be just a bit too good for it. So instead, let’s just keep those young kids rolling and wake that power play up. There’s too much skill up front for them to be clicking under 15 percent.
A swatch of Predators had career-best or near career-best seasons in 2021-22. Those players are not doing it again in 2022-23. So for Christmas, it’d be great to nudge everyone’s output up a smidge.
Or more than a smidge. This team sits just outside of the basement in goals-scored. Get em some goals, Santa!
New Jersey Devils
Just keep those big dogs rolling, baby. Ok, they could go out and trade for another impact piece. Maybe sneak a guy like Brock Boeser out of Vancouver and get his stock back up? That’d be swell.
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
If there’s one miracle that could happen this Holiday season, it’s some gosh darn power-play time for K’Andre Miller. He’s really good. Just give him a chance! We could also handle seeing Alexis Lafrenière gobble up a Mario-style mushroom and level up into that star status we envisioned when he was selected first overall.
We get it, a lot of people - mostly located in the Ottawa area, expected the Senators to take a massive leap up the NHL standings this year. They haven’t, and they likely won’t. But it’s not all bad news on the fantasy front.
The Sens are running out of the fourth-best power play in the league. They have five players on pace for at least 75 points. Thomas Chabot is cooking of late. But if it’s not too much trouble, could we please get the sniper version of Alex DeBrincat back in action? Thanks.
Oooh boy, I guess we do this again. Whether they like it or not, the Flyers are clearly trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick… but we don’t. Sorry, there are just better places for him. No offense.
Keep Yevgeni Malkin healthy. That’s it. Malkin hasn't missed a game yet this season. He has two 82-game seasons on his resume - his second and third seasons in the league. I really hope I didn't just jinx it.
San Jose Sharks
Whether they like it or not, the Sharks are clearly trending in one direction this season. And the compass is pointing straight toward Connor Bedard. Whether or not they land the pole position will come down to lottery balls, but they want that pick. We’d be okay with it too.
Fantasy owners could ask for a few things from the Kraken this year. Matty Beniers to stay hot. The team to keep winning. A serious goaltender. But I’m going deep diving here. We want Shane Wright to go off at the World Juniors, and get sent back to junior for the rest of the year to eat all of the minutes and spit out all of the points. Then he can return to Seattle next season ready to elevate.
St Louis Blues
The Blues had JJordan Kyrou returning to glory on their early wish list and we did too. But he’s corrected that in a big way with 12 goals and 27 points in his last 18 games. But now we’re wishing for a quick recovery from what appears to be a concussion.
Tampa Bay Lightning
This one is simple. We need a return to form from Victor Hedman. I was going to ask for him to steal his spot on the top power-play unit back. But he already has! The even-strength points have started to slip back into his game, now we need that juicy man-advantage production.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are rolling. Their big horses are rolling. We could use a return from injury and a productive back half from Morgan Rielly. But it would also be nice to see Auston Matthews go on a goal-scoring bender and move from a 40-goal pace to that 50 or 60-goal level.
A new owner? A leadership group that’s willing to go scorched earth? Some semblance of a plan? They’ve got a juicy power play at least.
Vegas Golden Knights
We all want to see a healthy Jack Eichel rolling. Let’s get that going, please.
The early return of Nicklas Bäckström would be the greatest gift of all. The future Hall of Famer appeared destined to see his career end due to hip resurfacing surgery. If he can find his way back to the game in the New Year and find a return to glory next to Alexander Ovechkin would just be so swell.
Whatever they’re feeding Josh Morrissey this season, make sure to have an extra large stockpile. Because we LIKE this version of Morrissey. He’s back looking like he did in his WHL days. Good times.