One of the best ways to ace your fantasy draft is to identify and target players primed for a rebound season on the heels of a poor 2020-21 campaign.
Below is our list of bounce-back candidates for the upcoming NHL campaign...
Patrik Laine (CBJ): Laine was an unmitigated disaster following an early-season trade from Winnipeg to Columbus, constantly clashing with then-coach John Tortorella and managing just 10 goals and 21 points in 45 games. Tortorella is gone, replaced by assistant Brad Larsen, and that's good news for Laine's fantasy value. The Blue Jackets have one of the league's thinnest forward groups, and Laine, at age 23, remains one of the game's premier snipers. He should be given all the ice time he can handle this coming year, and we expect a bounce-back effort in terms of production – particularly with the man advantage.
Sean Monahan (CGY): Monahan's game has been trending in the wrong direction the past two seasons, as he's managed just 32 goals and 76 points in his last 120 games. Those are reasonable numbers but are a marked drop-off from his 34-goal, 82-point effort of 2018-19. Monahan is turning 27 and should be fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. The Flames have their holes, but this is a team that still features Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, and they added Blake Coleman in free agency, as well. Monahan might not be a point-per-game guy, but he should better than the last two years.