Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. In this one I’m going to make a bunch of bold predictions and if even one of them comes true I’ll be sure to let EVERYONE know about it. Before I do that, I want to take a second to invite you to join the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon where I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about my bold predictions, a 2023 Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup win, or anything else that is practically guaranteed to come to pass.
I wrote this same article last year and I had a few hits – Cale Makar scoring exactly 86 points, Igor Shesterkin becoming the #1 fantasy netminder, and Tage Thompson leading the Buffalo Sabres in goal scoring all look pretty prescient in retrospect. We won’t mention that I also said Rasmus Sandin would supplant Morgan Rielly as the Leafs’ PP1 quarterback, or that Matthew Tkachuk would not eclipse 60 points on the season (yikes). The point of this article is less about providing serious fantasy advice and more about having a bit of fun with the season almost upon us. Let me know your boldest predictions for the season over on Twitter or in the Discord server!
ANA: John Gibson get traded after the mid-point of the season and Lukas Dostal emerges as a #ZeroG hero a la Ville Husso last year.
ARI: Karel Vejmelka posts a very quiet .910 SV% season across 53 starts and is a remarkably consistent G2 in points leagues.
BOS: David Pastrnak returns first round value with a 51-goal, 100-point season despite playing the majority of the season on the second line with David Krejci and Taylor Hall.
BUF: Owen Power is an NHL stud but fantasy bust, scoring 6 goals and 29 points while logging big minutes for the Sabres all season long, keeping them in the playoff conversation into March.
CGY: Mackenzie Weegar takes over PP1 duties from Rasmus Andersson in December and is a top-5 fantasy defenseman rest of season across all types of leagues except points-only.
CAR: Seth Jarvis breaks 70 points taking Max Pacioretty’s spot on the top line and top PP, outscoring Andrei Svechnikov who inexplicably once again averages less than 17 minutes per night.
CHI: Andreas Athanasiou is the third best fantasy asset in Chicago after Patrick Kane and Seth Jones, scoring 24 goals and 52 points.
COL: Bowen Byram is the breakout fantasy defenseman of the year, scoring 14 goals and 54 points to go with a metric ton of peripheral stats.
CBJ: Zach Werenski finishes as a top-5 defenseman in points leagues, pushing 70 points as he finds chemistry with Patrik Laine and newcomer Johnny Gaudreau immediately.
DAL: Denis Gurianov takes a step forward under new coach Peter DeBoer and fires 25 goals and 46 points as a second liner in Texas.
DET: Coinciding injuries to players above him on the depth chart finally pave the way for Jakub Vrana to skate on the top line and top PP and he delivers with a 10-game stretch in the fantasy playoffs to rival what Nick Schmaltz did late last year for Arizona (nearly 2pts/GP).
EDM: Tyson Barrie holds off Evan Bouchard as the PP1 quarterback for the majority of the season and returns significant value in points leagues.
FLA: Sam Bennett takes an unexpected step forward after the departure of Jonathan Huberdeau, producing 31 goals and 63 points.
LAK: Kevin Fiala and Anze Kopitar both finish with above point-per-game paces.
MIN: It takes nearly all year, but Marco Rossi eventually forces his way onto the top line and top PP and the Kaprizov effect elevates him to a point per game player over the last third of the season.
MTL: Cole Caufield drops 40 goals in his sophomore campaign, cementing himself as the franchise’s new cornerstone player.
NSH: Filip Forsberg scores another 40 goals and 80 points, making the people who let him fall to the fourth round feel pretty stupid.
NJD: Dougie Hamilton regains PP1 work in New Jersey and never looks back en route to a 57-point season including his customary elite shot volume.
NYI: Noah Dobson regresses in his sophomore season as the Islanders struggle as a team and on the powerplay. Dobson scores 43 points and is generally a disappointment based on where he was drafted.
NYR: Alexis Lafreniere posts a third straight disappointing season, barely cracking 20 goals and 40 points.
OTT: Anton Forsberg gets the early run in net due to the Cam Talbot rib injury and never gives the net back, becoming the poster boy for #ZeroG for a second straight season. (shoutout to @JustJoshin41 on this one)
PHI: Tony DeAngelo can’t crack 50 points despite a tremendous amount of PP usage and more even strength time than he got in Carolina.
PIT: Jeff Petry, out of the limelight in Pittsburgh, integrates seamlessly on the Penguin blueline and is a solid D3 in bangers league.
SJS: Erik Karlsson flashes his old brilliance with Brent Burns out of the way, scoring 61 points in his first fully healthy season in what feels like an eon.
SEA: Philipp Grubauer is a steady G2 with a tremendous amount of volume once again, elevated by a much improved Seattle team.
STL: Jordan Kyrou pops off for 92 points, forcing his way into more even strength minutes.
TBL: Ross Colton flirts with 30 goals after reuniting with Steven Stamkos on the second line in late December.
TOR: Michael Bunting gets PP1 time for much of the season due to various injuries and makes the most of it, scoring 69 points.
VAN: The breakout player in Vancouver this year is not newcomer Andrei Kuzmenko but incumbent Vasili Podkolzin, who pushes past Kuzmenko into the top six and establishes himself as a perfect complement to Elias Pettersson.
VGK: Jack Eichel transcends his surroundings and scores 93 points, outpacing the next highest scoring Golden Knight by a solid thirty points.
WSH: Connor McMichael pushes past the old guys to cement a top six and top power play role by midseason.
WPG: Kyle Connor is one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments, losing two and half average minutes of time on ice per night and delivering well below expectations as a result despite great rate stats.
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter, on TikTok, and join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!