Joel Dorcas | October 3rd, 2019
Welcome puck fans to the first edition of NHL DFS DraftKings Ice Picks for the 2019/2020 Season. Hope you enjoyed last years weekly write-ups, the format will be much the same, with core and value picks as well as the top three stacks of the night. Lace-em’ up, it’s time to make some Ice Picks.
Nikita Kucherov RW TB $7,900
Why not build your lineups around the highest scoring player of the 2018/2019 Season. Kucherov finished tops in points by a good margin last season with 128 points. He will get top-line minutes once again and will get plenty of powerplay opportunities. The Lightning will host the Florida Panthers who allowed the seventh-most shots on goal (2705) and fourth-most goals against (273).
The only change the Panthers made to the defensive end was in goal by acquiring free agent Sergei Bobrovsky, which is a good one, but he can only do so much against this offensive juggernaut. The Lightning ranked first in goals for (319) and first in PP% at 28.24 in 2018/2019. Of the four head-to-head games last season three games went over the total. Kucherov put up great numbers last year against the Panthers scoring four goals and five assists in just four games, tied for the most points against any opponent.
Mark Giordano D CGY $5,800
At age 35 Giordano had a Norris caliber season finishing with 74 points in 78 games. He also finished second on the team with 144 blocked shots. The Flames who finished second to the Lightning in goals for last year with 289, will get to pounce on an Avalanche team that ranked 16th in the league in goals-against with 244. The Avalanche’s D-core will be without stud Tyson Barrie who was shipped to the Leafs in the off-season. The goaltending duties will be turned over to Phillip Grubauer (18-9-5, 2.64 GAA, .917SV%). Giordano put up a goal and 6 assists in just three games versus the Avs, tied for the most against any team.
Jake Guentzel LW PIT $6,700
Guentzel has established himself as a legit power-forward scoring player. He notched a career-high 40 goals and 76 points last season and may possess the most up-side on the Pens entering his age 24 season. The Penguins, despite having a down season, can still score with the best of them, they finished sixth in goals for (271) and fifth in PP% (24.56). The Penguins opponent, the Buffalo Sabres are an improving young squad but have some defensive deficiencies. 24th in goals against (268). Carter Hutton will be the projected starter in goal (18-25-5, 3.00 GAA, .908 SV%).
Mathieu Joseph RW TB $3,400
There are lots of potential value plays on the Lightning roster. Joseph is an interesting player that almost came out of nowhere to score 13 goals last season. He will perhaps get more opportunities this season after showing some promise in his age 21/22 season. Joseph is projected to get second/third-line minutes with offensive talents Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde.
Nikita Zadorov D COL $2,700
The Avalanche will need to have production from the likes of Zadoroz and Samuel Girard after the departure of Barrie. Zadorov hasn’t broken out yet after five seasons in the league but he is still only 24 years old. This season is a great opportunity for the former first-round pick to prove his worth. The Flames surprisingly finished ninth in goals against with 223 but ranked 21st in penalty killing at 79.7%. Zadorov should get some minutes on the powerplay which was seventh-best last season at 22.03%.
Andrew Copp C WPG $4,700
The Winnipeg Jets have made significant changes to the roster but still have one of the best forward groups in the NHL. For four-year center Andrew Copp this will be a pivotal year in his career and the Jets are looking to the 25-year-old to produce more. Only 11 goals and 25 points in 69 games last season, Copp will be given the tools to deliver as he is projected to play second-line minutes alongside talented forwards Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine. Bryan Little was originally slated to fill this role but is out due to a concussion, let’s see if Copp can step up.
- Tampa Bay Lightning: (W)Kucherov, (W)Joseph, (D) Sergachev
- Calgary Fames:(W) Gaudreau, (C) Monahan, (D)Giordano, (W)Bennett
- Pittsburgh Penguins:(W)Guentzel, (C)Crosby-or-(C)Malkin, (W)Hornqvist, (D)Pettersson
Good luck to everyone tonight, keep grinding out those lineups!
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