Positional Battles
Positional Battles

Forward

Hall and Hischier's helper

Given the drop in offensive ability from New Jersey's top line to the rest of the forward ranks, securing the third spot alongside Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier would represent a major boon to any winger's value. Jesper Bratt and Kyle Palmieri were the two most commonly deployed options in that role last year, and they remain the top two contenders after New Jersey's quiet offseason. Palmieri's power-play prowess gives him decent value regardless of where he ends up at even strength, so winning this battle is much more pivotal for Bratt.

McDavid's right-hand man

Edmonton doesn't have the wing depth to use Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as centers on three different lines, so one of Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins will almost certainly join McDavid on the top grouping. Since Draisaitl performed well as a second-line center while Nugent-Hopkins played his best hockey as the first-line left wing last season, you can expect that alignment to open the upcoming campaign. That still leaves an extremely valuable right wing spot up for grabs. Milan Lucic could be used there as an on-ice bodyguard a la Dave Semenko with Wayne Gretzky, but there are fewer opposing enforcers roaming the ice these days and McDavid's no damsel in distress at 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds. The other two options are Ty Rattie and Jesse Puljujarvi – both unproven players who spent some time alongside McDavid in 2017-18. Rattie occupied the top line at the end of

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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