There are three games Friday, although one of them is likely to stand out above the rest. It's not the Blue Jackets taking on the Islanders. The Vegas Golden Knights are making their regular-season debut. That certainly is interesting from a fantasy perspective. Here are some players to target Friday.
Columbus Blue Jackets, CLM vs. NYI ($16,600): Sergei Bobrovsky was absolutely outstanding last season, posting a 2.06 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Columbus also had a plus-54 goal differential, while the Islanders were a minus-1. Bob may not be quite as good as last season, but you still have to like his chances of opening the season with a home win against New York.
Tyler Seguin, DAL vs. VGK ($15,400): You probably don't need to hear about Seguin's bona fides. The guy put 301 shots on goal last season, and he has tallied at least 24 power-play points in his last four seasons. We don't know what Vegas will be, which is the point. They are an expansion team. Even if Seguin is pricey, how can you resist putting him in your lineup in this matchup?
Aleksander Barkov, FLA at TAM ($12,900): The only thing that has held Barkov back is his inability to stay healthy. Last year, he averaged 12.81 fantasy points per game. He also played a career-high 2:55 on the power play, notching 14 points in 61 games. Andrei Vasilevskiy has officially taken over as Tampa's starting netminder, and he is still a bit unproven. Last season he played a career-high 50 games, posting a .917 save percentage.
Alexander Radulov, DAL vs. VGK ($13,100): Radulov showed he belonged in the NHL last year with Montreal, scoring 18 goals and tallying 36 assists in 76 games. Now, he's playing on a line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. That's certainly exciting. Also exciting? A matchup with the Golden Knights in their first NHL game.
Ondrej Palat, TAM vs. FLA ($10,400): The Panthers averaged 31.6 shots allowed per game last season, eighth-most in the NHL. Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo is 38 years old, and he had a .915 save percentage last year. Palat had career highs in ice time (19:55) and power-play ice time (2:46) last season, and he tallied 52 points in 75 games.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, CLM vs. NYI ($9,600): Bjorkstrand showed some potential as a 21-year-old in 26 games last season. He was also given quite a bit of opportunity, as he started 41.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. The Islanders ranked in the bottom eight in goals allowed (2.90) and shots allowed (31.9) per game last year, so Bjorkstrand could build on that potential.
John Klingberg, DAL vs. VGK ($10,200): Klingberg struggled early last season, but ended up with fine numbers. He tallied 49 points, including 17 on the power play, and he also really elevated his blocked shots total (117). The Golden Knights don't seem likely to generate a ton of shot attempts, but the offensive opportunity is there for Klingberg.
Aaron Ekblad, FLA at TAM ($9,500): Even in a "down" year, Ekblad averaged 11.25 fantasy points per contest. That owes to the fact he put 225 shots on net in 68 games. Additionally, his shooting percentage was much lower than in his first two seasons, so he could find himself with some more puck luck. He also started 40.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, and if he does that again his fantasy potential will remain high.