The Colorado Avalanche are a fantasy hockey player’s dream.
The Colorado Avalanche are a pretty gosh darn good hockey team.
They’re good on offense, good on defense, have a nice little competitive advantage by playing in the mile-high altitude (sarcasm), and even have one of the best uniforms in all of hockey – seriously, burgundy and powder blue is such an underrated combo.
Needless to say, if you’re a fan of Jared Bednar’s squad, you should be incredibly hyped for the 2020-21 NHL season, especially if you play fantasy hockey. Why? Because the Avalanche just so happens to be the best fantasy hockey team in the NHL too, at least according to our friends at NHL.com.
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That’s right, with the start of the regular season right around the corner, the NHL’s fantasy writing staff sat down to meticulously rank the top-250 fantasy hockey players for the 2020-21 season regardless of position, age, or injury. The list – at least at the top – isn’t particularly surprising and should make fans of Colorado’s finest very, very happy, as do-it-all dynamo Nathan MacKinnon is unquestionably the best available fantasy hockey forward – eeking out the honor over Edmonton’s dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
From there, 11 other Avalanche members appear on the list – tied with the New York Rangers for the most on the NHL – with Mikko Rantanen coming in at nine, Cale Makar at 22, Gabriel Landeskog at 31, Philipp Grubauer at 54, Nazem Kadri at 72, Andre Burakovsky at 83, and five more players – Pavel Francouz, Brandon Saad, Samuel Girard, Devon Toews, and Ryan Graves – filling out the bottom 150.
The Avalanche have more players in the top-31 than any other team – including half of the league who don’t have a single top-31 entry – and outpace every team in the top-100, including potential playoff foes like the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Dallas Stars, and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Sidebar: Between you and me, I’d rather take a number one offensive option like Nico Hischier (ranked 200th overall) at 184 than a middle-six player like Brandon Saad, but hey, that’s just me.
Chalk it up to playing the most exciting brand of hockey this side of the Rocky Mountains or
Joe Sakic‘s uncanny ability to identify talent, but the Avalanche have rapidly developed into one of the deepest teams in the NHL after an underwhelming first half of the 2010s.
And the best part? The Avalanche look like they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
With roughly $27 million in available cap space heading into the 2021-22 NHL season, the Colorado Avalanche are expertly positioned to retain their forthcoming free agents – players like Phillip Grubauer, Brandon Saad, Gabriel Landeskog, and Ian Cole – and maybe even add some external players on value-conscious deals. They also have the sixth-best prospect pool, according to our friends at The Hockey Writer, signifying an ability to replace older vets with younger, cheaper options like Bowen Byram, Shane Bowers, Martin Kaut, Alex Newhook, and Connor Timmins. But right now, in 2021, the Avalanche has arguably the best team in the entire NHL – so it’s only logical they’d rank among the best fantasy options in the NHL too.