The 2013-14 NHL season is right around the corner. As a result, the 2013-14 fantasy hockey season is right around the corner as well. With fantasy hockey rapidly approaching, fans and analysts are making their predictions and ranking each skater as they head into the new year.
Which St. Louis skater is the one you should rank the highest in the game of fantasy hockey? According to NHL.com, the honor goes to David Backes.
NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff ranked each player and averaged out their rankings to form one giant list displaying the top-200 players in the league. Several Blues appeared on the list, but David Backes was deemed the best St. Louis player to own in fantasy hockey. Backes is 68th on the list, but he was ranked as high as 51st and as low as 97th.
The rankings are based on a fantasy hockey league which uses goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal and penalty minutes as their scoring statistics. It's interesting Backes checks in at 68th after what many would label as a disappointing 2012-13. Still, Backes is usually a solid source of offense and an even better source of PIMs.
Alex Pietrangelo follows Backes and is 76th on the list. You could make a strong argument that Pietrangelo should be higher up on the list, especially since numerous defenseman are in front of him. Pietrangelo scored 51 points in 2011-12 and is usually one of the best offensive defenseman in the entire league.
Chris Stewart checks in at 98th. Stewart's ranking is a bit low considering he led the Blues in scoring last season. With a goal-per-game average of 0.375 last year, Stewart theoretically could have put up just over 30 goals over the course of a normal 82-game season. Shouldn't that warrant a better ranking? Perhaps some analysts are predicting Stewart will once again fail to live up to expectations.
Here are the other Blues who can be found in the top-200 list:
112th - Kevin Shattenkirk
120th - Jaroslav Halak
131st - T.J. Oshie
140th - Vladimir Tarasenko
163rd - Brian Elliott
175th - Alexander Steen
182nd - Derek Roy
There you have it. A total of 10 St. Louis skaters are in the NHL's top-200 list. It's nice seeing Alexander Steen on the list considering he's one of the most underrated players in the league. It's also worth noting that Derek Roy, the man the Blues are putting their hopes in down the middle, is also represented in the 182nd position. Let's hope he performs a bit better than that.