Fantasy hockey rankings: Seven players who drive their team's scoring

The Vancouver Canucks don't always score goals, but when they do, J.T. Miller is involved. Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire

It's not always apparent just how important a player is to their team's offense based on points alone. Other times, it is super obvious. Leon Draisaitl leads the league with 31 points, and that counts for a point on 53.5 percent of all the goals scored by the Edmonton Oilers.

But beyond the obvious names, there are a few less obvious ones sprinkled among the players who are the biggest contributors to their team's scoring.

Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Arizona Coyotes (point on 52.2 percent of team's goals, second in NHL): While he's close to Draisaitl in percentage, it is a little less impressive since the Coyotes have only scored 23 goals, compared to 58 from the Oilers. Still, there is something to be said for chipping in on more than half of your team's total offense. Gostisbehere has been a pleasant surprise, usurping even more of the power play than he was expected to from Jakob Chychrun. He's still only rostered in 26.3 percent of ESPN leagues, so what are you waiting for? The Coyotes pace has to pick up, at least a little. The lowest goals per game by any franchise since 2000 was the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres and the current Coyotes are trailing them by a fair margin.

J.T. Miller, W, Vancouver Canucks (45.0 percent, ninth): The thought was to follow Elias Pettersson or maybe Brock Boeser for the fantasy stats from the Canucks, but it looks like Miller is the true catalyst here. To that end, the Canucks have been using Miller with a new top line of Nils Hoglander and Tanner Pearson in recent games to try to spark something. It's absolutely been working for Hoglander, who has scored in three consecutive games and is on a roll. Hoglander is available in more than 90 percent of ESPN leagues.

Drake Batherson, W, Ottawa Senators (44.4 percent, 10th): Brady Tkachuk's short absence at the start of the season has served the fantasy realm well, skyrocketing Batherson onto rosters. Obviously, temper expectations while the Sens are in COVID shutdown, but Batherson, Josh Norris and Tkachuk should be viewed as a legitimate fantasy line going forward. Norris is your best point of access, as he may be available in shallower leagues still (rostered in 85 percent on ESPN).

Nick Suzuki, C, Montreal Canadiens (38.9 percent, 13th): The good news is that Suzuki has clearly leaned into his role as the leader of this offense. The bad news is that it has no sense of a scoring rhythm, sitting second last to the Coyotes for goals per game. But many of the pieces are still there from last season, when the Habs made it all the way to the Cup final, so there is still hope for this team. It's good to note that Suzuki will be at the center of it should the goals start flowing.

Miro Heiskanen, D, Dallas Stars (38.7 percent, 14th): Now, just imagine if the Stars were actually scoring goals? Heiskanen has still managed to average 2.4 fantasy points per game while his team sits fifth last in goals per game. And, while the power play has been successful, only the New York Islanders have had fewer power-play opportunities this season. Consider this an early warning that Heiskanen could be a top-five defender for fantasy if the Stars offense was doing what it did last season.

Matt Duchene, Roman Josi and Mikael Granlund, Nashville Predators (37.2 percent, tied for 16th): This rebounded, concentrated attack at the top of the Preds offense is for real. While Josi is spoken for in fantasy, Duchene has only been scooped up in 59 percent of leagues and Granlund in only 23 percent. The fact that the success has continued with Filip Fosberg sidelined is only proof that it's here to stay.

Brock Nelson, C, New York Islanders (32.1 percent, 44th): He's been in on almost one-third of the Isles lowly 28 goals. But that kind of share has still driven him to 2.2 fantasy points per game. Only the Coyotes have fewer goals this season, but let's also take a moment to realize the Islanders have yet to play a home game. The second-longest stretch of road games in NHL history is coming to an end this week, so perhaps the road-weary players can shake off the scoring doldrums.

Forwards on the move

Taylor Hall, W, Boston Bruins (down 21 spots to No. 85): Too many cooks? That might be the issue here, as Hall is struggling to put up the fantasy points one might hope from a former MVP still in his prime. His 1.8 fantasy points per game (FPPG) are still useful, and his 6.77 fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60) is actually pretty good, but he's only playing 15:35 per game right now. And that issue might be getting worse, as Hall didn't deploy with the top power-play unit in the Bruins last outing.

Jamie Benn, W, Dallas Stars (down 42 spots to No. 237): Rightly so, the Stars look to be done with locking Benn into a top-six role. His five points in 13 games does not inspire confidence, nor do his fantasy rates of 1.4 FPPG and 4.64 FPP60. While other Stars are also struggling with rates, Tyler Seguin (1.8 FPPG) and Joe Pavelski (1.7 FPPG) have at least stayed borderline fantasy relevant while doing so.

Defensemen on the move

Torey Krug, D, St. Louis Blues (down 13 spots to No. 190): He actually should be returning from COVID protocol soon and Krug's metrics have been more than passable this season. so why the drop? I'm wary of the potential Cinderella story of Scott Perunovich playing out as scripted. An overlooked prospect that popped off in college and won the Hobey Baker, Perunovich missed last season with a shoulder injury and fell a bit off the radar. Well, he's blown up the radar this season by positively tearing apart the AHL from the blue line. As of his call-up on Monday, Perunovich -- a defenseman, remember -- was tied for the AHL lead in points with two goals and 18 assists in 12 games. The AHL is not the NHL, but that kind of success usually translates. We'll see how the Blues use him this week, but it's worth being warned about his potential impact to the value of Krug.

Noah Dobson, D, New York Islanders (down 29 spots to No. 248): From being the team's power-play quarterback, to being a healthy scratch on Monday, obviously Dobson's breakout potential has hit a bit of a skid. His FPP60 actually remains respectable, but the three assists in 11 games just weren't cutting it offensively. And don't go throwing in trade offers for Ryan Pulock thinking he's about to go off; the Isles strangely gave all the minutes on the advantage to "the other" Sebastian Aho on Monday.

New to rankings

Samuel Girard, Mikael Granlund, Ivan Barbashev (looking great with Vladimir Tarasenko), Jonathan Quick, Robert Thomas (looking great with Vladimir Tarasenko), Jeremy Swayman, Kirby Dach (another chance with new coach), Evgenii Dadonov (Mark Stone is back and on his line) and Anthony Cirelli.

Just missed

William Karlsson (OK, one more week before he's ranked again during recovery), Hampus Lindholm (some surprise power-play time of late), Trevor Zegras, Jared McCann, Kevin Labanc, Brett Pesce, Scott Mayfield, Jaccob Slavin, Ryan Suter, Ryan Hartman (hot, but don't think it's permanent), Damon Severson, Martin Jones, Dysin Mayo, Kyle Palmieri (have good feeling about him emerging, but not much to back it up yet), Alexander Edler, Kevin Hayes (replaced Derick Brassard on second scoring line), P.K. Subban, Pavel Zacha, Jeff Skinner, Logan O'Connor (next up to fill in for Nathan MacKinnon).

Dropped out

Phillip Danault, Bowen Byram, Jason Zucker, Kevin Fiala, Yanni Gourde, Zack Kassian, David Savard, Christian Dvorak, Derick Brassard.

Top-250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, F, EDM (F1)
2. Leon Draisaitl, F, EDM (F2)
3. Alex Ovechkin, F, WSH (F3)
4. Auston Matthews, F, TOR (F4)
5. Roman Josi, D, NSH (D1)
6. Mikko Rantanen, F, COL (F5)
7. David Pastrnak, F, BOS (F6)
8. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
9. Mika Zibanejad, F, NYR (F7)
10. Brad Marchand, F, BOS (F8)
11. Aleksander Barkov, F, FLA (F9)
12. Nathan MacKinnon, F, COL (F10)
13. Andrei Svechnikov, F, CAR (F11)
14. Frederik Andersen, G, CAR (G2)
15. Anze Kopitar, F, LA (F12)
16. Mitch Marner, F, TOR (F13)
17. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D2)
18. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D3)
19. Sebastian Aho, F, CAR (F14)
20. Robin Lehner, G, VGS (G3)
21. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G4)
22. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, STL (F15)
23. Juuse Saros, G, NSH (G5)
24. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G6)
25. John Carlson, D, WSH (D4)
26. Kyle Connor, F, WPG (F16)
27. Timo Meier, F, SJ (F17)
28. Gabriel Landeskog, F, COL (F18)
29. Steven Stamkos, F, TB (F19)
30. Elias Lindholm, F, CGY (F20)
31. Mark Scheifele, F, WPG (F21)
32. Artemi Panarin, F, NYR (F22)
33. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D5)
34. Kirill Kaprizov, F, MIN (F23)
35. Sidney Crosby, F, PIT (F24)
36. Jacob Markstrom, G, CGY (G7)
37. Aaron Ekblad, D, FLA (D6)
38. Darnell Nurse, D, EDM (D7)
39. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, F, EDM (F25)
40. Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS (D8)
41. Brady Tkachuk, F, OTT (F26)
42. Brent Burns, D, SJ (D9)
43. Seth Jones, D, CHI (D10)
44. Jonathan Huberdeau, F, FLA (F27)
45. Jordan Binnington, G, STL (G8)
46. Jack Campbell, G, TOR (G9)
47. Kris Letang, D, PIT (D11)
48. Tyler Seguin, F, DAL (F28)
49. Patrick Kane, F, CHI (F29)
50. Tyler Bertuzzi, F, DET (F30)
51. Miro Heiskanen, D, DAL (D12)
52. Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, WSH (F31)
53. J.T. Miller, F, VAN (F32)
54. Cale Makar, D, COL (D13)
55. Chris Kreider, F, NYR (F33)
56. Alex DeBrincat, F, CHI (F34)
57. Logan Couture, F, SJ (F35)
58. Elvis Merzlikins, G, CLS (G10)
59. Zach Hyman, F, EDM (F36)
60. Brayden Point, F, TB (F37)
61. David Perron, F, STL (F38)
62. Connor Hellebuyck, G, WPG (G11)
63. Sean Couturier, F, PHI (F39)
64. Jake Guentzel, F, PIT (F40)
65. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, FLA (G12)
66. Elias Pettersson, F, VAN (F41)
67. Neal Pionk, D, WPG (D14)
68. Darcy Kuemper, G, COL (G13)
69. Patrice Bergeron, F, BOS (F42)
70. Drake Batherson, F, OTT (F43)
71. John Tavares, F, TOR (F44)
72. Bryan Rust, F, PIT (F45)
73. Alex Pietrangelo, D, VGS (D15)
74. Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, WPG (F46)
75. Troy Terry, F, ANA (F47)
76. Adam Henrique, F, ANA (F48)
77. Mathew Dumba, D, MIN (D16)
78. Zach Werenski, D, CLS (D17)
79. Tony DeAngelo, D, CAR (D18)
80. Carter Hart, G, PHI (G14)
81. Mark Stone, F, VGS (F49)
82. Matthew Tkachuk, F, CGY (F50)
83. Tristan Jarry, G, PIT (G15)
84. Dylan Larkin, F, DET (F51)
85. Taylor Hall, F, BOS (F52)
86. Moritz Seider, D, DET (D19)
87. Teuvo Teravainen, F, CAR (F53)
88. Ivan Provorov, D, PHI (D20)
89. Jordan Eberle, F, SEA (F54)
90. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D21)
91. Jesse Puljujarvi, F, EDM (F55)
92. Sam Bennett, F, FLA (F56)
93. Lucas Raymond, F, DET (F57)
94. Vincent Trocheck, F, CAR (F58)
95. Brock Nelson, F, NYI (F59)
96. Ryan O'Reilly, F, STL (F60)
97. John Gibson, G, ANA (G16)
98. Patrik Laine, F, CLS (F61)
99. Anthony Duclair, F, FLA (F62)
100. Filip Forsberg, F, NSH (F63)
101. Oliver Bjorkstrand, F, CLS (F64)
102. Cam Talbot, G, MIN (G17)
103. Joel Eriksson Ek, F, MIN (F65)
104. Ondrej Palat, F, TB (F66)
105. William Nylander, F, TOR (F67)
106. Nicklas Backstrom, F, WSH (F68)
107. Victor Olofsson, F, BUF (F69)
108. Mats Zuccarello, F, MIN (F70)
109. Alec Martinez, D, VGS (D22)
110. Josh Norris, F, OTT (F71)
111. Matt Duchene, F, NSH (F72)
112. Quinn Hughes, D, VAN (D23)
113. Johnny Gaudreau, F, CGY (F73)
114. MacKenzie Weegar, D, FLA (D24)
115. Thomas Chabot, D, OTT (D25)
116. Max Pacioretty, F, VGS (F74)
117. Claude Giroux, F, PHI (F75)
118. Tom Wilson, F, WSH (F76)
119. Nick Suzuki, F, MON (F77)
120. Tyson Barrie, D, EDM (D26)
121. Mikko Koskinen, G, EDM (G18)
122. Cam Atkinson, F, PHI (F78)
123. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D27)
124. Andrew Copp, F, WPG (F79)
125. Boone Jenner, F, CLS (F80)
126. Viktor Arvidsson, F, LA (F81)
127. Jared Spurgeon, D, MIN (D28)
128. Artem Zub, D, OTT (D29)
129. Ryan Getzlaf, F, ANA (F82)
130. Blake Wheeler, F, WPG (F83)
131. Alex Killorn, F, TB (F84)
132. Bo Horvat, F, VAN (F85)
133. Ryan Strome, F, NYR (F86)
134. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D30)
135. Jordan Kyrou, F, STL (F87)
136. Brayden Schenn, F, STL (F88)
137. Brock Boeser, F, VAN (F89)
138. Ryan Graves, D, NJ (D31)
139. Sam Reinhart, F, FLA (F90)
140. Devon Toews, D, COL (D32)
141. Tomas Hertl, F, SJ (F91)
142. Jaden Schwartz, F, SEA (F92)
143. Mike Smith, G, EDM (G19)
144. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, ANA (D33)
145. Jack Hughes, F, NJ (F93)
146. Alex Iafallo, F, LA (F94)
147. Colton Parayko, D, STL (D34)
148. Nikolaj Ehlers, F, WPG (F95)
149. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D35)
150. T.J. Oshie, F, WSH (F96)
151. Ilya Samsonov, G, WSH (G20)
152. Mathew Barzal, F, NYI (F97)
153. Mario Ferraro, D, SJ (D36)
154. Jonathan Marchessault, F, VGS (F98)
155. Roope Hintz, F, DAL (F99)
156. Mark Giordano, D, SEA (D37)
157. Joel Farabee, F, PHI (F100)
158. Anton Lundell, F, FLA (F101)
159. Travis Konecny, F, PHI (F102)
160. Adam Larsson, D, SEA (D38)
161. Jeff Carter, F, PIT (F103)
162. Evan Bouchard, D, EDM (D39)
163. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, ARI (D40)
164. Nikita Kucherov, F, TB (F104)
165. Andrew Mangiapane, F, CGY (F105)
166. Chandler Stephenson, F, VGS (F106)
167. Rickard Rakell, F, ANA (F107)
168. Nazem Kadri, F, COL (F108)
169. Jakob Chychrun, D, ARI (D41)
170. Nico Hischier, F, NJ (F109)
171. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D42)
172. Shea Theodore, D, VGS (D43)
173. Jakub Voracek, F, CLS (F110)
174. Joshua Morrissey, D, WPG (D44)
175. Martin Necas, F, CAR (F111)
176. Brandon Tanev, F, SEA (F112)
177. Blake Coleman, F, CGY (F113)
178. Thatcher Demko, G, VAN (G21)
179. Alexander Radulov, F, DAL (F114)
180. Mike Hoffman, F, MON (F115)
181. Anthony Mantha, F, WSH (F116)
182. Oliver Wahlstrom, F, NYI (F117)
183. Vince Dunn, D, SEA (D45)
184. Pavel Buchnevich, F, STL (F118)
185. Anders Lee, F, NYI (F119)
186. Morgan Rielly, D, TOR (D46)
187. Andre Burakovsky, F, COL (F120)
188. Conor Garland, F, VAN (F121)
189. Nate Schmidt, D, WPG (D47)
190. Torey Krug, D, STL (D48)
191. Brayden McNabb, D, VGS (D49)
192. Ben Chiarot, D, MON (D50)
193. Jason Robertson, F, DAL (F122)
194. Brandon Saad, F, STL (F123)
195. Joe Pavelski, F, DAL (F124)
196. Jonas Brodin, D, MIN (D51)
197. J.T. Compher, F, COL (F125)
198. Ryan Johansen, F, NSH (F126)
199. Braden Holtby, G, DAL (G22)
200. Mackenzie Blackwood, G, NJ (G23)
201. Cam Fowler, D, ANA (D52)
202. Samuel Girard, D, COL (D53)
203. Ryan Ellis, D, PHI (D54)
204. Tyler Toffoli, F, MON (F127)
205. Dominik Kubalik, F, CHI (F128)
206. Alexander Wennberg, F, SEA (F129)
207. Andreas Athanasiou, F, LA (F130)
208. Mikael Granlund, F, NSH (F131)
209. Jake Muzzin, D, TOR (D55)
210. Charlie Coyle, F, BOS (F132)
211. Carter Verhaeghe, F, FLA (F133)
212. Esa Lindell, D, DAL (D56)
213. Jonathan Dahlen, F, SJ (F134)
214. Danton Heinen, F, PIT (F135)
215. Lawson Crouse, F, ARI (F136)
216. John Klingberg, D, DAL (D57)
217. Philipp Grubauer, G, SEA (G24)
218. Keith Yandle, D, PHI (D58)
219. Ivan Barbashev, F, STL (F137)
220. Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF (D59)
221. Rasmus Andersson, D, CGY (D60)
222. Paul Stastny, F, WPG (F138)
223. Connor Murphy, D, CHI (D61)
224. Clayton Keller, F, ARI (F139)
225. Linus Ullmark, G, BOS (G25)
226. Filip Hronek, D, DET (D62)
227. Radko Gudas, D, FLA (D63)
228. Justin Faulk, D, STL (D64)
229. Jonathan Quick, G, LA (G26)
230. James Reimer, G, SJ (G27)
231. Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (G28)
232. Max Domi, F, CLS (F140)
233. Robert Thomas, F, STL (F141)
234. Jeremy Swayman, G, BOS (G29)
235. Spencer Knight, G, FLA (G30)
236. Robert Hagg, D, PHI (D65)
237. Jamie Benn, F, DAL (F142)
238. Evan Rodrigues, F, PIT (F143)
239. Kirby Dach, F, CHI (F144)
240. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, F, NYI (F145)
241. Jeff Petry, D, MON (D66)
242. Adin Hill, G, SJ (G31)
243. Jordan Staal, F, CAR (F146)
244. Evgenii Dadonov, F, VGS (F147)
245. Pavel Francouz, G, COL (G32)
246. Anthony Beauvillier, F, NYI (F148)
247. Anthony Cirelli, F, TB (F149)
248. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D67)
249. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, PHI (D68)
250. Craig Anderson, G, BUF (G33)