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2021-2022 Fantasy Hockey Forward Rankings

Statistically speaking, there are more forwards in the NHL than in any other position. You’ll also be drafting forwards the most in your fantasy hockey leagues.

In my fantasy hockey league experience, I find this is the position where you can find the most hidden gems. There are always players who break out, exceed expectations, or stay healthy for the first time in their careers.

Before we get into that, we need to establish a solid forward core. A foundation for success to win your league of players you can rely on night after night. Our 2021 fantasy hockey forward rankings can help guide you towards league-winning stability.

2021 Fantasy Hockey Forward Rankings

The names you’d expect at the top… with a bit of variance.

It’s no surprise that Connor McDavid tops our forward rankings. It’s also no surprise to see the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, or the now healthy Nikita Kucherov rounding out the top five. Those are all extremely safe bets. You can’t go wrong.

After those five players, you start to see a bit of variance. Jesse Severe is a little lower on Artemi Panarin than the rest. Victor Nuno has Mikko Rantanen in the bottom half of the top 20. I disagreed with both of them on those ranks. Panarin was on a 113 point pace last season prorated over a full 82 games and only missed time due to a bizarre 9-game stretch after his political comments towards Russia. I can’t see that freak incident happening again. Artemi Panarin is just as safe as the top five above.

As for Mikko Rantanen, it feels to me that there are fewer right-wingers than left-wingers or centres at the top of the draft. This could give you a positional advantage if you take one of the truly elite ones high. Rantanen was on a 104-point pace prorated to 82 games. More importantly, he was on a 48-goal pace. That puts him right up there with David Pastrnak in that department, but with the added bonus of riding shotgun with Nathan MacKinnon all season long. Rantanen and Pastrnak were also essentially equal in shots, and if you’re worried about Rantanen’s shooting percentage, it fell in line with his normal yearly totals in a consistent pattern. Considering Colorado’s top line is still intact, feel free to take Rantanen as a top 10 pick without looking back.

Considering RW scarcity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I rated Mitch Marner the highest among all rankers, as well as Mark Stone and Brock Boeser.

That one player who doesn’t seem like they deserve the rank, but look at the stats…

Brady Tkachuk doesn’t really strike you as a top-15 fantasy name, but he should. If you’re just in a league with goals and assists, lower him a lot. Tkachuk’s value comes from how beastly he is in the shots on goal and hits department. Tkachuk finished 2nd in the league in shots on goal and 1st among all forwards in hits. It’s a cheat code. I probably didn’t rank him high enough honestly.

Brayden Point, where’s the love?

I get it. Point’s stats are quite underwhelming in the regular season during the last two years considering his status as Tampa Bay’s number one center. He doesn’t shoot the puck as much as you’d like. He’s not even a point-per-game player lately during the season.

I have a gut feeling his performance this season will be closer to his 2018-19 season where he scored 41 goals, 92 points, and a whopping 20 power-play goals. His running mate Nikita Kucherov missed the entire season last year, so he has that back. The loss of Tampa’s shutdown line of Goodrow-Gourde-Coleman may mean more heavy leaning on the Lightning power-play and bigger weapons. We know he’s getting paid a ton next offseason, but the contract year is another incentive to explode. I’m clearly the outlier by ranking Point in my top 10, but I have an electric feel (MGMT reference!) that Point has a huge season.

Down The List

Here are some other interesting observations I found on the list:

Jesse is the highest on Roope Hintz. I don’t blame him. If Hintz stays fully healthy, he was a point-per-game player last year. My question with him is if he can continue producing at elite rates with Tyler Seguin back in the fold. I think he can – but based on our rankings, Victor sees a drop-off ahead. He ranked Seguin at 33 and Hintz at 88.

Another place where Jesse and Victor disagreed? Jack Eichel, with Victor ranking him at 28 and Jesse ranking him at 70. I think Eichel at the moment is a very ballsy pick. We have no idea where he is playing next season, or even IF he is playing. I ranked him at 43 still because he’s such an elite talent that he’s eventually worth the gamble. In a keeper league, he’s a no-brainer hold. If Eichel is ready to play game one of the season and finds himself on a new team, he could explode.

Victor thinks a big bounce-back season is in store for Evgeny Kuznetsov, ranking him at 45. Everyone else believes Kuznetsov will remain enigmatic, all ranking him around 100 or so.

Ian Whamond and I both had Nazem Kadri in our top 100. He shoots the puck a lot and after what happened with his suspension in the playoffs, I see him coming out motivated.

Ian Whamond sees Josh Norris having a large breakout season, ranking him at 54. The next highest rank for him was 82nd by Victor.

I was the only person to rank Pavel Buchnevich in the top 50. Are none of the other rankers paying attention? Not only was Buchnevich close to a point-per-game last season, but he’s also a huge focal point of the Blues offense going forward. The next highest ranker had him at 80. He’s also a right wing, which I find more scarce. Speaking of players I was higher on than the others…

Players I am higher on than the others

Anthony Mantha, who I think will shoot a ton and score a bunch in Washington as he gets acclimated with his newer team. Zach Hyman, who gets the Connor McDavid linemate bump. Teuvo Teravainen, a dual-wing eligibility player that people are sleeping on as a consistent assist & plus-minus collector. Andrew Mangiapane, a player who impresses me at every turn and has the right opportunity to break out with Calgary needing offense badly this season. Conor Garland, a guy who produced a lot in Arizona with nobody and now gets a ton of somebodies to play with. Timo Meier, a multi-category player who likes to shoot, hit and is at the age to rebound on the stat sheet.

Joel Farabee & Travis Konecny, two younger Flyers who will take the reigns as the offensive drivers in Philadelphia with Jakub Voracek gone and Claude Giroux aging. I also almost put Matt Barzal in the top 20, as I do think the playoffs showed some of his best hockey and Barry Trotz will have to let him fly more often because of it.

Controversial Players

Jesse did not rank Evander Kane. He didn’t want to deal with the off-ice mess and issues around Kane.

I did not rank Alexis Lafreniere. I think we’ll see good improvement out of him this season, but there’s still a lot of wingers to feed on the Rangers for me to confidently say he’s a top 100 fantasy forward.

Victor and Ian had Patrik Laine with a big rebound around the 50 rank mark. Jesse and I think Laine won’t get back to the big numbers quite yet.

Victor sees Mike Hoffman having a big season in Montreal, ranking him at 45.

Jesse and Ian see Cole Caufield exploding after his nice playoff run, both ranking him around 50 and in Jesse’s case, higher. Victor and I are more skeptical, ranking him in the high 100s.

2021 Fantasy Hockey Forward Rankings

Cons. RnkPlayerPosTeamSevereNuñoKlakWhamond
1 Connor McDavidCEDM1111
2 Nathan MacKinnonCCOL3233
3 Leon Draisaitl C,LWEDM5322
4 Auston MatthewsCTOR2465
5 Nikita KucherovRWTBL9544
6 David PastrnakRWBOS61187
7 Artemi PanarinLWNYR16956
8 Brad MarchandLWBOS881012
9 Mikko RantanenRWCOL101878
10 Patrick KaneRWCHI1171115
11 Alex OvechkinLWWSH461916
12 Brady TkachukLWOTT710229
13 Aleksander BarkovCFLA1321205
14 Mika ZibanejadCNYR15132111
15 Sidney CrosbyCPIT14231410
16 Mitchell MarnerRWTOR17151317
17 Sebastian AhoCCAR20141613
18 Jonathan HuberdeauLWFLA19171218
19 Jake GuentzelLWPIT12161525
20 Mark ScheifeleCWPG28221820
21 Kirill KaprizovLWMIN26192619
22 Brayden PointCTBL3142914
23 Alex DeBrincatLWCHI25122932
24 John TavaresCTOR29242423
25 Mark StoneRWVGK33291722
26 Matthew TkachukLWCGY18342526
27 Max PaciorettyLWVGK22203528
28 Andrei Svechnikov LW,RWCAR27263321
29 Kyle ConnorLWWPG30253727
29 Gabriel LandeskogLWCOL24313034
31 Patrice BergeronCBOS21374024
32 Steven Stamkos C,RWTBL23393429
33 Sean CouturierCPHI35382730
34 Elias PetterssonCVAN32413933
35 Evander KaneLWSJSNR363644
36 J.T. Miller C,LWVAN34275837
37 Mathew BarzalCNYI46522341
37 Nikolaj EhlersLWWPG37324647
39 Brock BoeserRWVAN40493840
40 Elias Lindholm C,RWCGY47405531
41 Jack EichelCBUF70284335
41 Ryan O'ReillyCSTL66442838
43 Nicklas BackstromCWSH44613145
44 Anze KopitarCLAK55474939
45 Vincent TrocheckCCAR49505043
46 Joe Pavelski C,RWDAL50535436
47 Johnny GaudreauLWCGY41604746
48 Blake WheelerRWWPG53305771
49 Jonathan Marchessault C,LW,RWVGK39356474
50 William NylanderRWTOR48864542
51 Tyler ToffoliRWMTL59464870
52 Yanni Gourde C,LWSEANRNRNR56
53 Tyler Seguin C,RWDAL60337558
54 David Perron LW,RWSTL52436772
55 Filip ForsbergLWNSH38557173
56 Roope Hintz C,LWDAL43886348
57 Taylor HallLWBOS36658560
58 Evgeni MalkinCPIT51756557
59 Nicholas SuzukiCMTL56696859
60 Timo MeierRWSJS83634266
61 Kevin Fiala LW,RWMIN65486979
62 Bryan RustRWPIT63578261
63 Dominik Kubalik LW,RWCHI45649862
64 Teuvo Teravainen LW,RWCAR88703280
65 Claude Giroux C,LWPHI104535168
66Alexis LafreniereLWNYR8180NR49
66 Dylan LarkinCDET54779950
66 Martin NecasRWCAR84596176
69 Alexander RadulovRWDALNR7666NR
70 Tom WilsonRWWSH5794NR63
71 Jason RobertsonLWDAL62916075
72 Brayden Schenn C,LWSTL79627378
73 Tomas HertlCSJS114735653
74 Oliver BjorkstrandRWCBJ755459110
75 Anthony Mantha LW,RWWSH91965265
76 Conor Garland LW,RWVAN98994167
76 Ondrej PalatLWTBL684884105
78 T.J. OshieRWWSH73807677
78Tomas TatarLWNJDNR5697NR
80 Patrik Laine LW,RWCBJ1015110352
81 Jakub VoracekRWCBJNR7480NR
82 Jamie Benn C,LWDAL7779NRNR
83 Mike HoffmanLWMTL7845NR112
84 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C,LWEDM645890104
85 Vladimir TarasenkoRWSTL766611264
86 Brendan GallagherRWMTL587110981
87 Cole CaufieldRWMTL4211811051
88 Pavel BuchnevichRWSTL809544109
88 Travis Konecny C,LW,RWPHI699353113
88 Maxime ComtoisLWANA82NRNRNR
91 Bo HorvatCVAN109597982
92 Andre BurakovskyLWCOLNR10362NR
93 Jakub VranaLWDET679710069
94 Josh NorrisCOTT958210754
95 Sam Reinhart C,RWFLA729270106
96 William KarlssonCVGKNR819383
164James van RiemsdykLWPHINRNR86NR
98 Jared McCann C,LWSEA6183NR116
98 Phil KesselRWARI898487NR
100Brock NelsonCNYINR78NR96
100 Jonathan ToewsCCHINR6783111
168Jesper Bratt LW,RWNJDNRNR88NR
103 Zach HymanLWEDM108907284
104 Sam Bennett C,RWFLA7485NR107
105 Carter Verhaeghe C,LWFLA711178186
162Tyler Bertuzzi LW,RWDETNRNR89NR
107Logan CoutureCSJS118899555
108 Chris KreiderLWNYR11368NR87
163Andrew Mangiapane LW,RWCGYNRNR78102
110 Pierre-Luc DuboisCWPG105NR7492
111 Evgeny KuznetsovCWSH9945111108
112 Anders LeeLWNYI867691114
113Arthur Kaliyev LW,RWLAK92NRNRNR
114Marco RossiCMIN93NRNRNR
115 Jack HughesCNJD909810285
116Clayton Keller LW,RWARI94NR94NR
117Quinton ByfieldCLAK96NRNR95
118 Trevor Zegras C,LWANA8511110188
119 Ryan StromeCNYR1037296115
120 Kirby DachCCHI87115NR89
120 Kaapo KakkoRWNYRNRNRNR97
120 Jack RoslovicCCBJ97NRNRNR
123 Joel FarabeeLWPHINRNR77118
124 Nils Hoglander LW,RWVANNRNRNR98
125 Connor BrownRWOTTNRNRNR100
125 Jordan EberleRWSEANR100NRNR
125Alexandre TexierCCBJ100NRNRNR
128 Drake BathersonRWOTT110101NR90
129 Joel Eriksson EkCMINNRNRNR101
130 Nazem KadriCCOLNR1209293
131 Jordan StaalCCARNR111NR94
169Jordan Kyrou C,RWSTLNRNR104103
133 Denis Gurianov LW,RWDALNR104NRNR
134Tim Stutzle C,LWOTT102120NR91
135Vasili PodkolzinRWVANNR105NRNR
165Ryan JohansenCNSHNRNR105NR
137 Anthony BeauvillierLWNYINR106NRNR
167Andrew Copp C,LWWPGNRNR106NR
139 Viktor ArvidssonRWLAK11687108117
139 Anthony Duclair LW,RWFLANR107NRNR
141 Nico HischierCNJD117NRNR99
142 Josh AndersonRWMTLNR109NRNR
143 Alex KillornLWTBLNR110NRNR
144 Jaden SchwartzLWSEA107108NR119
145 Patric HornqvistRWFLA111112NRNR
146 Rickard Rakell C,LWANA112NRNRNR
147 Cam AtkinsonRWPHINR113NRNR
166Michael BuntingLWTORNRNR113NR
149 Sean MonahanCCGYNR114NRNR
150 Blake Coleman C,LW,RWCGY115NRNRNR
151 Jeff CarterCPITNR115NR120
152 Oliver WahlstromRWNYINR118NRNR
153 Eeli TolvanenRWNSHNR119NRNR

Did you enjoy our 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Forward Rankings? Then you’ll definitely want to check out our 2021 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit. New content is added every day.

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