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Experts Analysis

Roundtable Teaser

by Brian Rosenbaum
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Which player do you think will be the biggest surprise this season?

Brian Rosenbaum: There are a lot of really good choices but I think Brayden Point is going to build on his successful 2016-17 debut and earn a job on the Bolts' top line alongside Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Playing with players of that caliber will bring out all of Point's potential. Excuse the pun, but I think Point is going to put up plenty of points. 



Ryan Dadoun: I think Andrew Ladd's might surprise people with a comeback season.  He's only being taken in 2% of drafts (with an average draft position of 164 when he is claimed), but I see him as someone that could end up with about 25 goals and 45-55 points.  Keep in mind that last season he was both adjusting to a new team and, as we found out after the season, playing hurt for the first few months.  Plus the Islanders as a whole might benefit from being under head coach Doug Weight for a full campaign.  I think there's potential there for him to be a solid sleeper pick towards the end of drafts.

Corey Abbott: I don't like Ryan Kesler's chances of being the all-round fantasy threat he was last year when he nearly reached 60 points (22 goals, 36 assists), while finishing third in faceoffs won and adding 83 penalty minutes.  Anaheim hopes to have him back by Christmas after he underwent hip surgery in June, but that may be too optimistic.  There is no official timetable for Kesler's return and this is the type of injury that can linger.  Kesler plays demanding minutes for the Ducks and the injury has the potential to hinder his value.  

Michael Finewax: I'm going for a real sleeper.  Anton Slepyshev of the Oilers.  He had only 10 points in 41 games last but looked really good in the playoffs. He missed most of training camp with an ankle injury but should be good to go for the start of the regular season. It would not surprise me if he started the season as a bottom six forward but look for him to play with McDavid and/or Draisaitl soon. The speedy Russian should sparkle.

Brian Rosenbaum
Brian Rosenbaum is the Senior Hockey Editor of Rotoworld.com. He's run the hockey coverage since its inception in 2000.