The following is the second article in the fantasy hockey series, outlining the 10 best fantasy players at every position.
It may still be July but hockey is fast approaching, and soon enough fantasy hockey leagues, whether they be online or with your buddies will soon be drafting, and we have a fair bit to cover before that happens.
This and the rest of these articles should give you a bit of a primer, and a glimpse into the statistics of the 10 best players at each position.
Hopefully this article will give you that much needed edge in your fantasy hockey pool.
The Los Angeles Kings captain is a great player to have on your fantasy hockey roster.
Scoring 28 goals and 27 assists last season, he has a knack for the net. With an even more improved Kings roster hecould score 30 plus goals next year, and may even come close to a point a game.
On top of that Dustin Brown has very solid numbers in several other categories, including plus-minus with a plus-17. He tallied 67 PIM, and directed nearly 230 shots on net.
Brown may not have top end statistics in any of these categories, but the balance is their which puts him in among the best right wingers in fantasy hockey.
Rick Nash is really one of the more recognizable players in Canada and across the hockey community. Nash has had a great career with the Blue Jackets, and nothing should change that next season.
Playing alongside the newly acquired Jeff Carter should give Nash that legitimate star player to play next to, which could mean magic in the state's capital.
Last season Nash scored 32 goals and added another 34 assists for 66 points in 75 games played, which sits him ninth amongst righty scorers. Nash is also a big-time shooter, with over 300 shots on net last season.
With an improved Jackets squad, look for an elevated plus-minus next year from Nash, along with elevated point totals.
You can't go wrong selecting Rick Nash in a fantasy pool.
The next three picks were really a toss up for me, as a good argument could be made for all to be situated in a different spot, but after some deliberation this seemed like the best fit for these players.
Bobby Ryan slips into the eight spot, after having great numbers in all major categories in fantasy hockey. Ryan scored 34 goals and added 37 assists for 71 points in a full season of work.
Add to that he recorded a plus-15, 61 penalty minutes and 270 shots, and you have a very well rounded fantasy hockey player.
Ryan is a gem of a player, and is a fantasy hockey GM's dream.
Another tough decision, but Danny slots in just ahead of Bobby Ryan in this department.
Briere had a great season with the Flyers, as he recorded 68 points in 77 games, which puts him second in scoring for the Flyers last season.
Danny was also a very respectable plus-20, and recorded 87 PIM as well.
The unfortunate fact is that you don't know which Danny is going to show up. Briere could put up 90 points or he could put up 50. His inconsistency is the major reason he is finishing seventh on this list.
That being said, the Flyers are still a solid team, and with an increased role with the departures of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, Briere should step up and lead the Flyers with another solid outing.
Now you may be wondering why David Backes should rate ahead of the likes of Bobby Ryan, and Danny Briere, but the fact is simple. David Backes is an amazing fantasy hockey player. A star player for any fantasy hockey general manager.
While his point totals don't slip him into the top five of this list, Backes is so well-rounded that he does factor in quite highly.
Last season with the Blues, David Backes had a solid outing in the points department recording 62 points in a full season's effort.
What really sets him apart were his other stats. David Backes finished second in the NHL in plus-minus, recording a plus-32. This tops all forwards in that department.
Also David Backes is a pest on the ice, recording 93 PIM last season.
Some may not agree with me on this choice, but any GM who owned Backes in a serious fantasy hockey pool will agree he is a star.
Patrick Kane is one of the best players in the game today. He has tremendous skill and sense on the ice, and that translates to a solid fantasy hockey player.
Kane was a point-per-game player last season, scoring 73 points in 73 games last year.
Kane also put up a plus-seven in those 73 games.
Unfortunately after that, though, his stats are rather average. He is low in the penalty minutes department, and took just over 200 shots on net.
However it is hard to come across a point a game player in a fantasy hockey pool, and that is what puts Kane ahead of most.
Along with those 43 goals he posted another 43 assists in a full season's play.
Although his plus-minus wasn't good (even), it was more of a product of playing on a non-playoff team than anything else.
He is an agitator who will fight on the rare occasion, which means he can put up decent numbers in the penalty minutes department, and he fires a lot of shots on net.
Jarome may not be a first rounder, but he is definitely someone you should look at in your fantasy hockey pool.
Claude Giroux is the key piece in the Flyers' sudden youth movement. Giroux has really stepped up his game and provided a spark in the Flyers lineup.
In 82 games last year Giroux recorded career highs in goals (25), assists (51) and points (76). This all coming after a 47-point season in 2009-10. His improvement in his game should be expected through next year as well, as he will be a go-to guy on this team.
It's not just points, though, that put him near the top of this list. His plus-minus stats are high (plus-20), and he can put up decent TOI and penalty minutes.
Claude Giroux is a rising young talent, and he is quickly becoming one of the best in the game. Picking Giroux would be a wise investment for any fantasy GM.
The top two should come as no surprise to anyone. Martin St. Louis finished second in league scoring and produced his second highest point totals of his career.
St. Louis put up 31 goals and a career-high 68 assists to fall just one point shy of the 100-point mark with 99 in 82 games.
Playing alongside Stamkos has been a great thing for Martin St. Louis, as he has posted 193 points in the last two seasons alone. With Stamkos locked up for another five years, expect more of the same for Martin St. Louis.
St. Louis will not contribute as much in other categories, but 90-point guys are extremely hard to come by, which makes him a very valuable player.
Corey may very well be the best fantasy player in the league, and he blows away other right wingers in the fantasy hockey world.
The Hart and Maurice Richard winner scored a league high 50 goals and also recorded 48 assists for 98 points last season.
What separates him from other wingers is that he is also a super pest on the ice. Perry recorded 104 penalty minutes, which is a far cry from the 12 of Martin St. Louis.
While his plus-minus isn't near the top of the league, it is still in the positives.
Whether or not he can put up another 50 goals is yet to be seen, but he shouldn't have a problem scoring 40 goals this coming year, and with all the other positives about his game he is a good candidate to take early in your fantasy hockey pool.
Last week we looked at the top 10 left wingers in fantasy hockey here.
Next week we will take a look at the 10 best centre's in the game.