Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Hockey: Mid-Season Awards

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We are now halfway through a 2014-15 NHL season that has been full of surprises. In this review, I’ll be handing out awards for the all-fantasy first and second teams, the biggest surprise, the biggest bust, the best players to buy low on and sell high on moving forward and the award for the mid-season fantasy MVP!

All-First Team
Alex Ovechkin (WAS)
Left Wing: Alex Ovechkin (LW/RW – WAS): Dominating once again as he is playing a more complete game under head coach Barry Trotz.
Center: Sidney Crosby (C – PIT): As long as he stays healthy he should win the Art Ross Trophy.
Right Wing: Tyler Seguin (C/RW – DAL): Toss-up between him and Voracek for this spot but gave him the nod because of his NHL-leading 27 goals.
Defense: Mark Giordano (D – CGY): While his pace has slowed down he is still the best defenseman in fantasy hockey right now.
Defense: Kevin Shattenkirk (D – STL): Norris Trophy contender leads all defensemen with 31 Assists.
Goalie: Pekka Rinne (D – NAS): We’ll find out good the Preds actually are without their superstar goalie for the next 3-5 weeks.

All-Second Team
Left Wing: Rick Nash (LW/RW – NYR): Has already matched his goal total from last season in 23 less games.
Center: Ryan Getzlaf (C – ANH): Despite Corey Perry being absent for a large part of the season, the Ducks’ captain has his team in first in the NHL.
Right Wing: Jakub Voracek (RW – PHI): Voracek has officially established himself as an elite player in the NHL this season.
Defense: Shea Weber (D – NAS): Produces in every single category making him one of the most valuable players in fantasy hockey.
Defense:
Dustin Byfuglien (D – WPG): Back on defence, Byfuglien is playing some of the best hockey of his career.
Goalie: 
Carey Price (G – MTL): All-World goaltender has a chance to win the Vezina trophy for the first time.

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Biggest Bust
Milan Lucic (LW – BOS) It was not too long ago that Lucic was considered the most dominant power forward in the game. However, it appears those days are over as he simply does not seem to be the player that he used to be. His decline in play has coincided with the Bruins’ decline as well which has caused his name to be at the centre of trade rumours, something that would’ve once seemed unimaginable. While his play has picked up a little recently, 9 goals in 44 games simply does not cut it. He is now a droppable player.

Honourable Mentions: Thomas Vanek (LW/RW – MIN), Matt Niskanen (D  – WAS), Steve Mason (G – PHI)

Biggest Surprise
Tyler Johnson (C/RW – TBL) Johnson surprised everyone in the NHL last year by going from being an unknown to a Calder Trophy nominee. If last season was a surprise, this season has been a shock. He now has 17 Goals and 31 Assists and has earned himself a place in the NHL All-Star game for the first time in his career. Johnson is one of the most important players on one of the best teams in the league in the Tampa Bay Lightning and has been a top 10 fantasy player halfway through this season.

Honourable Mentions: Nick Foligno (LW – CLS), Vladimir Tarasenko (RW – STL), Roman Josi (D – NAS), Braden Holtby (G – WAS)

Player to Target
Phil Kessel (TOR)Phil Kessel (RW – TOR) Kessel has been receiving a lot of heat recently from the media for his poor attitude and lack of consistency. However, while for some reason, many in Toronto see him as the source of the team’s problems, it doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the most talented players in the NHL. Considering the slump he’s in and the negativity surrounding him, now is the perfect time to try and trade for him.

Honourable Mentions: Jamie Benn (C/LW – DAL), Chris Kunitz (LW – PIT)

Player to Sell
David Backes (C/RW – STL) The captain of the Blues is one of the best leaders in the NHL and an excellent player. He has been on a tear as of late with 7 goals and 6 assists in his last 6 games which included an incredible four-goal performance against the Coyotes. Now is the perfect time to trade him away because this is a player who has never surpassed 31 goals or 62 points. While he may reach career highs in both categories this season there is no chance that  he will sustain the pace he is currently on.

Honourable Mentions: Tomas Plekanec (C – MTL), Eric Staal (C/LW – CAR)

MVP
Alex Ovechkin (LW/RW – WAS) Last season everyone was down on Ovie as he put up a pathetic -35. Many questioned whether he was still one of the elite players in the NHL. This season, under new head coach Barry Trotz, he has answered those questions with a resounding yes! His game is now more complete than it’s ever been and he is leading the Washington Capitals charge to the playoffs. He has a line of 25 Goals 16 Assists +12 and 5 GWG. His goal total is the third most in the NHL while his Game Winning Goal total is 2nd. He also leads the league in SOG and is fifth in Hits making him a consistent producer for your fantasy hockey team every single night.

About Jordan Slapcoff

Jordan is from Montreal, Canada and has live there his entire life. He has recently graduated from McGill University with Major in Anatomy in Cell Biology and a Minor in Management. He has been playing Fantasy Sports for over ten years and is a huge fan of both Hockey and Football and has had much success in both. Jordan is also a lifelong fan of the Montreal Canadiens. He will be writing about Fantasy Hockey for Fantasy Six Pack and you can follow him on Twitter: @jordslap.

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