STARTING AT THE TOP
Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL (NHL.com overall rank: 5; Yahoo average draft position: 2) — The 25-year-old finished third in the NHL with 100 points (39 goals, 61 assists) in 80 games. He also finished top 10 in shots on goal (279), power-play points (36) and even-strength goals (31). He finished third overall in Yahoo and is a near lock to finish top 10 again this season based on team security and his solidified spot next to center Steven Stamkos.
Patrik Laine, RW, WPG (NHL.com: 7; ADP: 6) — A potential 2019 restricted free agent, Laine proved he can produce (44 goals in 70 games) away from No. 1 center Mark Scheifele. Even with the uncertainty of who will center the second line, Laine should be among the first seven players selected with a realistic chance to lead the NHL in goals.
David Pastrnak, RW, BOS (NHL.com: 10; ADP: 14) —The 22-year-old has increased his point total in each of the past two seasons (70 in 2016-17; 80 last season) and looks to have solidified his role playing alongside center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand on the top line. He has proven chemistry with Bergeron and veteran David Krejci and should carry over his Stanley Cup Playoff success (20 points in 12 games) to take a further step forward.
Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (NHL.com: 52; ADP: 102.2) — The 31-year-old led Pittsburgh with 15 power-play goals and had an NHL career-high 22 PPP last season on mostly the first unit. Pittsburgh had the top ranked power play in the NHL last season (26.2 percent) and will likely have a top five unit again with elite forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and defenseman Kris Letang. Hornqvist produces regardless of which line he plays on at even strength and is a fringe top-50 player with hits (137 last season) becoming a standard category.
T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH (NHL.com: 102; 127.0) — His 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) were down compared to 2016-17 (56) but Oshie’s strong performance in the postseason (21 points in 24 games) is a better indicator of his ceiling for this season. If available outside the top 100, Oshie has the category coverage (353 hits in 222 games with Capitals) to finish among the top 15 at the position for the defending champions.
Mark Stone, RW, OTT (NHL.com: 142; ADP: 163.6) — He ranked fourth in the NHL in even-strength points per game last season (0.84; minimum 50 games) behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (1.02), Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (0.86) and Marchand (0.85). The 26-year-old can potentially become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2019 and despite team concerns, is worth targeting in late rounds.
Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (NHL.com: 153; ADP: 169.1) — A potential 2019 UFA, Eberle is likely to move up to the top line with center Mathew Barzal and left wing Anders Lee. Eberle did not play on the first power play last season but still had 10 PPP and 59 points overall. The New York Islanders have lost some fantasy appeal after the departure of elite center John Tavares, but some of their top-six forwards, namely Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier, have sneaky upside late in drafts.
Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (NHL.com: 119; ADP: 159.7) — The Buffalo Sabres forward had an NHL career-high 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists) last season and should play right wing with center Jack Eichel and left wing Jeff Skinner on the top line this season. If Eichel stays healthy, it’s realistic to expect 60-65 points from Reinhart, who could be available in rounds 13-15.
J.T. Miller, C/RW, TBL (NHL.com: 133; ADP: 155.8) — Integrated nicely on the top line with 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 19 games after being acquired from the New York Rangers on Feb. 26. Miller has had at least 50 points in back-to-back seasons (56 in 2016-17; 58 last season) and benefits from the addition of hits in standard scoring (1.6 per game in NHL career). Miller could gain left wing eligibility if he remains with Stamkos and Kucherov.
Travis Konecny, LW/RW, PHI (NHL.com: 158; ADP: 158.7) — The Philadelphia Flyers right wing was fantasy relevant last season with 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) in 81 games. He will likely keep his spot on the top line alongside left wing Claude Giroux and center Sean Couturier, making the 21-year-old an intriguing late round pick. He’s also expected to play on a strong second power play with defenseman Ivan Provorov.
Ondrej Kase, RW, ANA (NHL.com: 210; 180.1) — Kase and center Adam Henrique could be moved up together to the second line if center Ryan Kesler (hip) misses time. Kase scored 20 goals in 66 games last season mostly on the third line with Henrique and left wing Nick Ritchie. Kase, 22, could overtake Corey Perry as the most valuable Anaheim Ducks right wing by the end of the season.
ROOKIES TO WATCH
Andrei Svechnikov, RW, CAR (NHL.com: 135; ADP: 147.8) — The Carolina Hurricanes rookie will likely occupy a top-six role as a rookie, either on the top line with center Sebastian Aho or the second line with Jordan Staal or Martin Necas. Svechnikov will likely be the second rookie selected behind Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and should contend for the Calder Trophy.
Eeli Tolvanen, RW, NSH (NHL.com: 218; ADP: 166.4) — After not scoring any points in three games and being scratched during the playoffs, expectations cooled off on the 19-year-old rookie. But, with a full training camp and preseason, Tolvanen could earn a spot in the Predators top six and emerge on the fantasy landscape early this season.
Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM (NHL.com: 219; ADP: N/A) — The Edmonton Oilers’ top-line right wing spot was up for grabs last season, with multiple players getting an opportunity to play with McDavid. Yamamoto had three assists in his nine-game NHL trial last season and could have a breakout performance if he earns this highly coveted spot.
TOP 50 RIGHT WING RANKINGS
Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, PPP, SOG and now hits for skaters. … Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, projected line combinations, power-play usage, injury history, sleeper upside, anticipated regression or bounce-back candidacy, age and contract status (current restricted free agents are listed with RFA). Any potential 2019 UFAs (*) and RFAs (**) are also noted below. … INJ. indicates players with injury concerns. … Forward positions indicate Yahoo eligibility for 2018-19 season (subject to additions but never subtractions at Yahoo’s discretion). Right wing is the primary position of any dual-eligible forwards on this list.
1. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL
2. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG**
3. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS
4. Blake Wheeler, C/RW, WPG
5. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
6. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL (INJ.)
7. Mitchell Marner, RW, TOR**
8 .Phil Kessel, RW, PIT
9 .Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS*
10. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI
11. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT
12. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL
13. Brock Boeser, RW, VAN (INJ.)**
14. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (INJ.)*
15. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR (RFA)
16. Mikko Rantanen, RW, COL**
17. Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN
18. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, NSH
19. Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, CAR**
20. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH
21. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ
22. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (RFA)
23. Dustin Brown, RW, LAK (INJ.)
24. J.T. Miller, C/RW, TBL
25. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, CAR
26. Tom Wilson, RW, WSH
27. Reilly Smith, LW/RW, VGK
28. Mark Stone, RW, OTT (INJ.)*
29. James Neal, RW, CGY
30. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI*
31. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, NYR**
32. Travis Konecny, LW/RW, PHI**
33. Jason Zucker, LW/RW, MIN
34. Tyler Toffoli, RW, LAK
35. Yanni Gourde, C/RW, TBL*
36. Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL
37. Corey Perry, RW, ANA
38. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET
39. Nick Bjugstad, C/RW, FLA
40. Alex Tuch, RW, VGK**
41. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD
42. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, DAL
43. Elias Lindholm, C/RW, CGY
44. Ondrej Kase, RW, ANA
45. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR*
46. Craig Smith, RW, NSH
47. Tyler Johnson, C/RW, TBL
48. Eeli Tolvanen, RW, NSH
49. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM
50. Daniel Sprong, RW, PIT
NOTES: Wheeler plays primarily right wing but filled in at center when Scheifele was injured last season. … Pavelski played center last season when Joe Thornton was injured but usually plays right wing when Thornton is healthy. … Zucker played right wing on a line with center Eric Staal and left wing Nino Niederreiter but also saw time at left wing on a line with center Mikko Koivu and Granlund. … Bjugstad has played mostly center in his NHL career but was on the right side of left wing Evgenii Dadonov and center Aleksander Barkov. With rookie Henrik Borgstrom expected to center the Florida Panthers’ third line, Bjugstad is likely to remain in the top six as a wing. … Lindholm played center and right wing with the Hurricanes and is a candidate to play either position in the Calgary Flames’ top nine.