It’s been a minute.

The last time we checked the rankings was in June, when the NHL was still in limbo. Since then, we’ve had a long run of playoffs, a draft, a long leave of absence and the start of a very different NHL season.

Since then, we have adjusted the standard rating to better reflect the position value and the different skill sets to better measure the current values players have developed. Previous versions of the rankings have taken turns, but it’s time for the rankings to better reflect the way fantasy managers play the game.

ESPN.com’s off-season and top 300 rankings are not mine, but I will use them to show the raw data for these top rankings. You’ll see a lot of changes in the top 300 – because it’s not my personal ranking, but also because a lot has changed since November, when the NHL announced its return.

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Not much has changed since June, but I digress.

These rankings are forward-looking. They should represent our hopes for what is yet to be done, not list what has already been done. But of course the future is based on the past. While Semyon Varlamov’s early shutouts may not be important in the standings, they do shed some light on the Islanders’ future keeper tandem.

The idea behind the article with each ranking is to highlight some of the major differences and provide an explanation. I will also make a list of all new entries in the rankings, all players who have progressed in the rankings, and a list of those who have not been included.

Forward, moving

Brayden Point, F, Tampa Bay Lightning (increase from 27 to 38 seats) : A missed season for Nikita Kucherov will shorten Lightning’s bench in favor of the Point. With Stephen Stamkos and Ondrej Palat on each shift, Point has the opportunity to get closer to 2018-19 production (2.46 fantasy points per game).

2 Connected

Thomas Hertl Sharks, F, San Jose Sharks (increase from 51 to 87 seats) : He has a good place in the standings – running with Evander Kane at even strength and with Kane and Logan Couture on the best power play. Hertl has averaged 2.03 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the past two seasons and will begin racing this season.

Mike Hoffman, F, St. Louis Blues (maximum 43 seats to 115) : Maybe Hoffman can play a better role in time. He currently ranks 12th on his team in ice time per game and played his first game with only the best player on power play before starting the game. We want to see him work with Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly, which is not yet the case.

Sam Reinhart, F, Buffalo Sabres (+31 pitches at 125) : Reinhart has been catapulted to the top of the standings to play alongside Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel, and could find himself in a crazy race. His choice here is a bit surprising: Victor Olofsson was given a role by the experts this season, while Tage Thompson played in the first two games of the season. But Reinhart was Eichel’s trusted partner in the NHL, so the choice makes sense. Reinhart scored two goals for his superstar team on Monday.

CamCam Atkinson, F, Columbus Blue Jackets (increase from 109 to 145 seats) : The start of the season is not good, Michael Del Zotto is the top scorer for the Blue Jackets. It won’t be long now. Atkinson, trying to bounce back from a difficult 2019-20 season, has been seen with Boone Jenner and Max Domi and the team’s best power play to date. Remember, Atkinson scored a whopping 2.05 FPPG in the 2018-19 season.

Anthony Cirelli, F, Tampa Bay Lightning (117 spots to 230) : Injured or not, Koucherov’s ranking in the offseason was too high. With neither Kucherov, nor Stephen Stamkos, nor Braden Point on the line, expectations for the fantasy production can be lowered.

Protection in progress

Morgan Rielly, D, Toronto Maple Leafs (reduction from 68 to 62 seats) : It’s true that I have to quantify the value of defenders differently than the creators of our off-season Top 300, because Rielly is just one of the many examples of D-men I’ve listed here. Tyson Barry is different. Like Shea Weber and Matt Dumba. While Rielly’s hitting and blocking (ESPN.com’s new standard categories) aren’t his forte, he’s still capable of an incredible 2.46 FPPG in 2018-19 using the same scoring system. I think he could go back this season.

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Mark Giordano, D, Calgary Flames (maximum 58 seats to 99) : Giordano wasn’t fully slowed on the power play, but he’s definitely in the second unit and behind Rasmus Andersson in terms of time on the power play. Much of its importance lies in the role it plays in the power game, so much of that would be missing if this movement were permanent.

Alexander Edler, D, Vancouver Canucks (maximum 61 seats to 122) : I’ve heard that Mr. Edler has been instrumental in ESPN.com’s new rating system. But I don’t think he has the same role as the past few seasons. Until two seasons ago, Edler wore this tape on his back with a blue line. But with the support of Tyler Myers, Quinn Hughes, Nate Schmidt and even Travis Hamonic playing great minutes, I don’t think we’ll see the same Edler who has averaged 2.67 FPPG over the last two seasons (for comparison, that’s almost as much as Kucherov).

Neil Pionk, D, Winnipeg Jets (52 seats out of 132) : In a move we expected last season (but never materialized, allowing Pionk to storm the stage), Josh Morrissey has been the Jets’ quarterback so far. Pionk will be here soon, but Morrissey is a must.

Goalkeeper in motion

Sap Saros, L, Nashville Predators (maximum 22 seats to 71) : I’m still expecting some sort of formal ceremony where Pekka Rinne literally hands Saros a burning stamp, then bows and slowly sinks into the mist. But I think Saros played a few minutes last season and then started all the playoffs, which was a torch passing game in itself. And this season has started no differently: Saros made two good starts and Rinne played a pretty mediocre one.

Semyon Varlamov, L, New York Islanders (127 additional seats, or 84) : Isn’t that a little reckless? Maybe it’s too thoughtful. What many, including myself, feared was a time-share with rookie Ilya Sorokin, who Varlamov has had in commercials so far. The two opening games of the season are very similar to Sorokine’s first five goals. But I don’t think that’s enough, because that makes him the 14th ranked goalie – and if it seemed like an island goalie was getting more than 50% of his starts, I don’t think anyone could dispute that ranking.

New classification position

This week there will be a short list of players who were in my initial rankings, but were not in the top 300 players of the offseason. In the future, new players will be added to my top 250 here.

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Kevin Fiala (152), Viktor Arvidsson (159), Rasmus Andersson (166), Andre Burakovsky (180), Alex Killorn (194), Adam Boqvist (196), Nikita Gusev (197), Josh Norris (202), Tyler Toffoli (206), Pius Suter (221), Dylan Strom (228), Max Comtois (237), Nolan Patrick (240), Jake DeBrusk (246), Robert Thomas (247) and Jack Hughes (249).

Slightly missed

Drake Baterson, Nick Schmalz, Mark Borowitzki, David Krejci, Alec Martinez, Tim Stuttles, Thatcher Demko, Nino Niederreiter, Casey DeSmith, Connor Murphy, James van Remsdyk, Joel Farabee and Joe Thornton.

Decommissioning

This week I present players who missed my ranking but were in the top 300 in the offseason. Later in this section you will find the list of players who fell into the top 250.

Nikita Kucherov (9), Jonathan Toews (148), John Marino (159), Marcus Pettersson (182), Frank Watrano (195), Vladislav Namestnikov (202), Travis Sanheim (203), Kevin Labank (234) and Ben Bishop (236).

Fantasy Hockey Top 250 Ranking

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (C1)
2. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colonel (C2)
3. Jack Eichel, C, Buf (C3)
4. Austin Matthews, C, goal (C4)
5. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (C5)
6. Alexey Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (LW1)
7. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (LW2)
8. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (C6)
9. Andrei Vasilevsky, G, TB (G1)
10. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D1)
11. Mitch Marner, RW, Goal (RW1)
12. Connor Hellbake, G, Wpg (G2)
13. Brad Marchand, LW, Forest (LW3)
14. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW2)
15. Sebastian Aho, C, Automotive (C7)
16. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (LW4)
17. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Fla (LW5)
18. Artemy Panarin, LW, NYR (LW6)
19. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (C8)
20. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D2)
21. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D3)
22. John Tavares, C., Gate (C9)
23. Mikko Rantanen, RV, Colonel (RW3)
24. Emmerwiel, RW, Wpg (RW4)
25. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgs (D4)
26. David Pastrnak, RW, Forest (RW5)
27. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (C10)
28. Patrice Bergeron, C, Forest (C11)
29. Patrick Lane, RW, Wpg (RW6)
30. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D5)
31. Elias Pettersson, C., Van (C12)
32. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (G3)
33. Hamilton Arc, D, Auto (D6)
34. Frederik Andersen, G., Thor (G4)
35. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (LW7)
36. Taylor Hall, LW, Buf (LW8)
37. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (C13)
38. Brayden Punt, C, TB (C14)
39. Alexander Barkov, C, Fla (C15)
40. Mark Stone, RW, Vgs (RW7)
41. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (RW8)
42. Carter Hart, G., Fi (G5)
43. Keil Makar, D, Col (D7)
44. Robin Lehner, G, Vgs (G6)
45. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G7)
46. Evgeny Malkin, C, Pit (C16)
47. Andrey Svechnikov, LW, Auto (LW9)
48. J.T. Miller, C., Wang (C17)49. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G8)
50. Chris Letang, D, Pit (D8)
51. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (C18)
52. Seth Jones, D, Cls (D9)
53. Ryan Pulock, D, New York (D10)
54. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Colonel (LW10)
55. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D11)
56. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D12)
57. Carey Price, G, Mon (G9)
58. Ilya Samsonov, G, Wsh (G10)
59. Darnell Nursing, D, Edm (D13)
60. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D14)
61. Bo Horvath, C., Wang (C19)
62. Morgan Rilley, D, Gate (D15)
63. Anton Khudobin, G., Dahl (G11)
64. Sean Couturier, K, Fee (C20)65. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Boothe (D16)
66. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (LW11)
67. Logan Couture, C, SJ (C21)
68. Thomas Chabot, D., Ott (D17)
69. Tyson Barry, D, Edm (D18)
70. Max Pacioretty, LW, Vgs (LW12)
71. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G12)
72. Shea Weber, D, Mo (D19)
73. Dylan Larkin, C., Inspector (C22)
74. Matthew Barzal, C, NYI (C23)
75. T.J. Oshie, RW, Ush (RW9)76. Jacob Trouba, D, New York (D20)
77. Philip Grubauer, G., Colonel (G13)
78. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (LW13)
79. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Cgy (LW14)
80. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Auto (RW10)
81. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cgy (LW15)
82. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (RW11)
83. William Nylander, RW, Doel (RW12)
84. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G14)
85. Jeff Petrie, D, ma (D21)
86. Ryan Ellis, D, Nsh (D22)
87. Thomas Hertl, C., S.J. (C24)
88. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (LW16)
89. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D23)
90. Darcy Kemper, G., Ari (G15)
91. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW17)
92. Chris Kreider, Los Angeles, NY (Los Angeles 18)
93. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G16)
94. Charlie McAvoy, D, Forest (D24)
95. Kyler Yamamoto, RW, Edm (RW13)
96. Anthony Manta, RW, Det (RW14)
97. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (C25)
98. Brian Rast, RW, Pit (RW15)
99. Mark Giordano, D, Cgy (D25)
100. Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Cls (RW16)
101. Evander Kane, LW, SJ (LW19)
,102. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Wsh (C26)
103. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G17)
104. Ryan O’Reilly, C, StL (C27)
105. Jake Muzzin, D, Thor (D26)
,106. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D27),107. Timo Meyer, RW, SJ (RW17)
108. Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW20)
109. Zach Werenski, D, Cls (D28)
110. Torey Circle, D, StL (D29)
111. Evgeny Dadonov, RW, Ott (RW18)
112. Ryan Souter, D, Min (D30)
113. Philip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (LW21)
114. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Cls (C28)
115. Mike Hoffman, LW, StL (LW22)
116. Tristan Jarry, G., Pete (G18)
117. Adam Enrique, C, Ana (C29)
118. Zach Paradise, LW, Min (LW23)
,119. Mikko Koskinen, G, Edmar (G19)120. Chunas Korpisalo, G, Cls (G20)
121. Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles (D31)
122. Alexander Edler, D, Van (D32)
,123. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla. (D33)
.124. Alexis Lafreniere, LA, New York (LW24)
125. Sam Reinhart, RW, Booth (RW19)
.126. William Karlsson, C, Vgs (C30)
127. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D34)
,128. Nick Suzuki, C, Mo (C31)
129. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (RW20)
130. Sean Monahan, C, Cgy (C32)
131. Ryan Strom, S, New York (C33)
132. Neil Pionk, D, Wpg (D35)
133. Mackenzie Blackwood, G, NJ (G21)
134. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Boothe (D36)
135. Ryan Graves, D, Col (D37)
136. Matthew Dumba, D, Min (D38)
,137. Braden Holtby, G., Wang (G22)
138. Brendan Gallagher, RW, ma (RW21)
,139. Tomas Tatar, LW, Mo (LW25)
140. Shea Theodore, D, Vgs (D39)
141. Elvis Merzlikins, G, Cls (G23)
142. David Perron, RW, StL (RW22)
,143. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Ari (D40)
144. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJ (RW23)
145. Cam Atkinson, RW, Cls (RW24)
146. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (RW25)
.147. Tanner Pearson, LW, Van (LW26)
,148. Nazem Qadri, C, Col (C34)
149. Jakub Vrana, C, Wsh (C35)
150. Petr Mrazek, G, Automotive (G24)
151. RAdm Talbot, G., Min (G25)
152. Kevin Fiala, C, Min (C36)
153. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (RW26)
154. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (C37)
155. Patrick Hornqvist, RV, Fla (RW27)
156. Ondřej Palát, LW, TB (LW27)
157. Marc-André Fleury, G, Vgs (G26)
158. Keith Yandle, D, Fla (D41)
159. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, Nsh (RW28)
160. Alexander Radulov, RV, Dahl (RW29)161. Blake Coleman, LW, TB (LW28)
.162. Jakob Slavin, D, Automobile (D42)
163. Esa Lindell, D, Dahl (D43)
164. Anthony DeAngelo, D, New York (D44)
165. Brock Nelson, C, New York (C38)
166. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D45)
167. Victor Olofsson, RW, Buf (RW30)
168. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D46)
169. Anders Lee, Los Angeles, NY (LW29)
170. Vladimir Tarasenko, RV, SVL (RW31)171. Jacob Cichrun, D, Ari (D47)
172. Nicholas Ehlers, LW, Wpg (LW30)
173. Matt Grzelcyk, D, Forest (D48)
174. Jaroslav Halak, G, Bos (G27)
175. Max Domi, C, Cls (C39)
176. Matt Murray, G., Ott (G28)
177. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, New York (RW32)
178. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D49)179. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW33)
180. Andrei Burakovski, LW, Colonel (LW31)
181. Duncan Keith, D., Chi (D50)
182. Philip Hronek, D, Det (D51)
183. Jean-Gabriel Pago, C, NYI (C40)
184. John Klingberg, D, Dahl (D52)
185. Joshua Morrissey, D, Wpg (D53)
,186. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D54)
.187. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (LW32)
188. Philip Dano, C., Mo (C41)
189. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (LW33)
190. Nate Schmidt, D, Wang (D55)
191. Adam Fox, D, New York (D56)
192. Damon Severson, D., NJ (D57)
193. Rope Hinz, K, Dahl (C42)
194. Alex Killorn, LW, TB (LW34)
195. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Ana (C43)
196. Adam Boquist, D, Chi (D58)
197. Nikita Gusev, LW, NJ (LW35)
198. Ryan Johansen, C, Nsh (C44)
199. Ilya Sorokin, G, New York (G29)
200. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW36)
201. Eric Staal, C., Cabin (C45)
202. Josh Norris, C, Ott (C46)
203. Rickard Ruckell, C., Ana (C47)
204. Paul Francouze, G., Col (G30)
,205. Antti Raanta, G., Ari (G31)
206. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Mo (RW34)
207. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Ana (D59).208. Erik Gustafsson, D, Fi (D60)
209. John Gibson, G., Ana (G32)
210. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (C48)
211. Matthias Ekholm, D, Nsh (D61)
212. Riley Smith, RW, Vgs (RW35)
213. Mikael Granlund, LW, Nsh (LW37)
214. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (C49)
215. Linus Ulmark, G., Boothe (G33)
216. Dominic Kubalik, LW, Chi (LW38)
,217. Kasperi Kapanin, RV, well (RW36)
218. Pekka Rinne, G, Nh (G34)
219. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (LW39)
220. Vincent Trocheck, C, Auto (C50)
221. Pius Suter, C, Chi (C51)
222. Dustin Brown, RW, LA (RW37)
223. Phil Kessel, RW, Ari (RW38)
.224. Kevin Hayes, C., F. (C52),225. Jonathan Drouin, LW, Mon (LW40)
226. Charlie Coyle, C., Forest (C53)
227. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Det (LW41)
.228. Dylan Strom, C, Chi (C54)
229. Derek Stepan, C, Ott (C55)
230. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (C56)
231. Jordan Eberle, RW, New York (RW39)
232. Zach Hyman, LW, Goal (LW42)
233. Jacob Silfverberg, RW, Ana (RW40)
234. Vince Dunn, D, StL (D62)
235. Alexander Georgiev, G, NYR (G35)
236. Jake Allen, G., Mo (G36)
237. Maxime Comtois, LW, Ana (LW43)
238. Jaden Schwartz, LW, StL (LW44)
239. Alex Iafallo, Los Angeles (LW45)
240. Nolan Patrick, C., Phi (C57)
241. Nico Hisher, C., NJ (C58)
242. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D63)
243. Paul Stastny, C, Wpg (C59)
244. P.K. Subban, D, NJ (D64)
245. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (RW41)
246. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Forest (LW46)
247. Robert Thomas, C, StL (C60)
248. Christian Dvorak, LW, Ari (LW47)
249. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (C61)
250. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (C62)

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