Boston Bruins Players That Make Great Fantasy Hockey Steals

Similarly to any fantasy league in any sport, all high-profiled names fall off the board first. In hockey, it’s Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin, etc. These players are first round locks. They are the type of players that pace a fantasy team. Yet as an armchair general manager in the fantasy universe, you still have to manage your roster.

There are always copious amounts of unsung hero’s out in the fantasy realm. These are skaters you throw into your roster as depth slots. The guys you count on when injury strikes, or when a highly revered player becomes a bust in the middle of the season.

On the Boston Bruins, there are several steals to be had in your fantasy hockey draft. These are the type of skaters you can possibly ride out on a hot streak or call upon when the injury bug plagues your team. Keep in mind, these are all buy-low B’s players that may wind up being available after the draft as free-agents.

Here are some options for your fantasy team that my provide value along the course of the season:

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Brett Connolly

Connolly is a 23-year-old with a tremendous amount of potential. It has been widely stated by now that Connolly was drafted 6th overall by Tampa back in 2011 due in large part to his scoring touch. Exiting Price George of the WHL, Connolly was dubbed a sniper. He has yet acclimate to the NHL game, scoring only 18 goals in 139 professional appearances.

With a new organization in Boston, Connolly looks to have his first breakthrough season in the NHL. Coming off a season with middling statistics of 17 points (12-5 – 17) combined with his tenure in Tampa and Boston, Connolly anticipates more production. He may see second line minutes this season, though it is likely he will mainly see a third line pairing.

Connolly must improve with his possession statistics. His CF% was 55.1 last season, and the winger looks to see that figure rise each season. Overall, expect Connolly, and his possession numbers, to improve during this year’s campaign in Boston. He’ll likely be available late in most pools, yet you’re more likely to see him fall as a free-agent addition. Connolly has the potential of scoring 20-30 goals next season with the Bruins. Depending on where Connolly lands in the forward pairings, the winger could post a strong points total this season, something he simply has yet to do as an NHLer.

Torey Krug

Krug will likely be available for the majority of the draft, but could still be free late in various draft pools. Krug is a power play mainstay with the Bruins. He’s the team’s lone mobile, offensive defensemen with the departure of Dougie Hamilton. Per ESPN Fantasy Hockey, Krug finished third on the Bruins roster in player rating with a 6.48 from the previous campaign.

The defenseman’s 2015 season totals were impressive. Krug posted 39 points 78 games played (12-27 – 39) alongside 20 PIM. ESPN projects Krug’s 2016 numbers to mirror last seasons with 41 points (12-29 – 41).

Expect Krug to continue progressing offensively. Krug can orchestrate a power play with his activeness and offensive mindset. His quick shot leads to scoring chances, evident by his 27 assists last year. He won’t be giving you substantial hits points in fantasy, but he will be there to shooting and assists.

The 24-year-old is a confident puck holder, and will continue to grow with his offensive touch. Krug finished 15th in goal scoring among all NHL defensemen last season, and looks to continue where he left off. The defensemen has recently requested a top-four bid, which could lead to more production if granted. Krug will rack up shots, goals, shot blocking, and penalty minutes in fantasy this season. He’s reached the level in fantasy of no longer being a depth player, as Krug can now can be viewed as a starting day-to-day d-man in fantasy.

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David Pastrnak

Entering last season, Pastrnak was a wildcard. The winger had an ambiguous cloud over his head as to whether he would be playing through his entry level contract. Now that it is official this go around, and 27 points later (10-17 – 27), Pastrnak appears as a mainstay with this organization. General manager Don Sweeney hopes Pastrnak will develop in a Bruins uniform as he matures, unlike Tyler Seguin.

Pastrnak has upside in fantasy. He’ll give you goal scoring, undoubtedly this season playing much more than the 46 games he played in the previous. Pastrnak finished 10th on the Bruins in ESPN’s player rating from last season with a .53 in fantasy. ESPN projects lucrative numbers from the 19-year-old in 2016, foreseeing 79 games played parallel to 49 points (21-28 -49) with 162 SOG.

Consider Pastrnak a bottom-tier pick in your draft plan. He should be taken towards the tail end of the draft. Depending on your position, Pastrnak can be utilized as a day-to-day skater on your fantasy roster. He’s expected to play top-tier minutes this season with the Bruins alongside David Krejci, which will be advantageous for Pastrnak and his stats. Expect Pastrnak to produce points in shots, goals, and assists.

There’s also Pastrnak’s versatility on the power play, which was seen mildly in his previous season with Boston. Pastrnak will look for preeminent special teams minutes this season, which can advance his fantasy value.

Jimmy Hayes

Hayes has potential in Boston, which is why Sweeney traded for him when he did. The winger can play the North-South game to a T. In fantasy, he’ll give you moderate scoring, blocked shots, and penalties. With the Bruins, his game will be appreciating under head coach Claude Julien. Julien endorses players of Hayes’s nature. He’ll give equal effort on both sides of the ice. Hayes has the brass of a power forward but can put up 20 goals.

In fantasy, he’ll likely be acquired as a free-agent after the draft. His skill set is there, but Hayes is still foreseen as a depth player in the fantasy world. ESPN bestowed Hayes with a 2.79 fantasy player ranking in 2015, 7th best on the Bruins. Hayes can play the quintessential depth role on a fantasy roster. He won’t bring glamorous points to your fantasy team, but you’ll know what you get from him. He brings the hits and shots. He’ll do your fantasy team justice when the injury bug plagues your team.

Oct 25, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow (45) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Morrow

Morrow is the lone wildcard on this list. It’s ambiguous as to whether Morrow will make the team as a starter. It all depends on Sweeney and his motives with the remaining defensemen on the free-agent market. If Sweeney fails to sign a UFA, Morrow should have a genuine crack at a bottom-pairing role.

The kid has good skates. He can make plays happen with his feet and has the speed of a mobile defensemen. Morrow should only be added to a fantasy team that is in need of depth. He’ll tally more goal scoring if given the opportunity to play with the varsity squad.

Overall, Morrow is a wait-and-see. If Boston fails to make a deal with an UFA prior to camp, it wouldn’t be that farfetched to pick up a Joe Morrow on the free-agent wire. He could wind up playing with the team if Sweeney can’t sign another defensemen. The Bruins are still awaiting the free-agent wire to solidify this defense. If Sweeney fails to land an UFA, Morrow could become a valued depth commodity for fantasy owners in time.