They say the team that wins the special teams battle will probably win the game. Whoever they are, they’re right. Special teams, both sides, have a huge impact on every hockey game and contribute heavily to the swing of momentum in games. In fantasy hockey, powerplay points are a standard category and always at a premium.
Of all players with at least 10 points on the season, here are the top 10 powerplay specialists, or those who score the highest percentage of their points on the man advantage. If you can swing a trade for any of these players, you’d be getting not only great overall production, but a reliable boost in the powerplay points category as well.
Victor Olofsson (BUF)
Victor Olofsson was a dynamic rookie last season and has an elite shot. On one of the best powerplay units in the NHL, Olofsson has the benefit of playing with high end talent in Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, and Rasmus Dahlin. He’s scored 12 points this season with 10 coming on the powerplay. His 83% powerplay points percentage is tops in the NHL.
John Klingberg (DAL)
John Klingberg is in an interesting situation in Dallas with superstar-in-the-making Miro Heiskanen waiting in the wings. However, the Stars have elected to keep Klingberg as the quarterback on the top powerplay unit and it’s paid major dividends so far this season. Klingberg has 12 points on the season with nine coming on the powerplay, good for 75% powerplay points percentage. He’s ranked the 11th best defender in standard leagues right now.
Nick Ritchie (BOS)
What a revelation Nick Ritchie has been for the Bruins. Originally on the top powerplay unit because of David Pastrnak’s injury, he performed in a big way and the Bruins have kept him on that unit with the Perfection Line. It doesn’t really get better than that; Boston is a fantastic team and Ritchie is a rare fourth forward that is actually fantasy relevant in most leagues. Eight of his 11 points on the season have come on the man advantage, or 73%. Ritchie isn’t even ranked in the top 11 fantasy forwards, but if he continues to be a mainstay on Boston’s first unit he should be scooped up if possible.
Dominik Kubalik (CHI)
It’s incredibly rare for rookies to hit the 30 goal mark. To do it on a bad Chicago team in a shortened season is a truly impressive feat. Dominik Kubalik is proving that last season was not a fluke, and he’s a bonafide top line player in the NHL. Chicago has been a real surprise this season and is looking like they’ll secure a playoff spot. Kubalik has been a huge part of that success, and of his whopping 14 points on the season so far, 10 have come on the powerplay, good for 71%. If you’re in a keeper league, Kubalik might be worth considering for a protection slot, he’s going to be good for a long, long time.
Roope Hintz (DAL)
The second member of the Stars, Roope Hintz is thriving as the center on the Stars’ top powerplay unit. He’s more than keeping pace with the Joe Pavelskis and Jamie Benns of the world, and showing that he can be a real offensive contributor in all situations. Hintz has 10 points on the season, seven of which have come on the man advantage. His 70% is the second highest on the Stars, and he’s only 40% rostered. Hintz is definitely worth a look.
Jack Eichel (BUF)
After a sensational season in 2019-20, Jack Eichel is doing it again for the Sabres. Buffalo got the short end of the stick when the league temporarily realigned due to the pandemic, but they are fighting hard, large in part due to a dynamic powerplay. Joining Olofsson on this list, Eichel has scored eight if his 12 points on the powerplay, good for 67%. He’s an untouchable in fantasy though, so good luck prying him away from any manager.
Joe Pavelski (DAL)
I am admittedly in the group of people who passed on Joe Pavelski this season, assuming his mediocre 2019-20 campaign was a sign of things to come. That assumption was a huge mistake. Pavelski is back and is having an absolutely incredible start to the season. The third member of the Stars’ top powerplay unit on this list, Pavelski has exploded with 17 points on the year, 11 of which have come on the powerplay (65%). He has come up on sell high lists recently, and he’s a good player to try and acquire if you can.
Drew Doughty (LAK)
Drew Doughty didn’t have the best start to the season, but he’s really picked it up as of late. The Kings are a far cry from the juggernaut they used to be, but a few of the old guard are still fantasy relevant. With six points in his last four games, Doughty is rewarding those who took a swing and drafted him this season. He’s got 13 points in total so far, eight of which have come on the powerplay, or 62%.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)
The North Division has been the highest scoring division in the NHL so far, but just one player is in the top 10 powerplay specialists. You wouldn’t really think of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as a powerplay specialists, but since being stapled to Connor McDavid’s wing in all situations, he’s been an offensive dynamo. With 15 points on the season so far, nine have come on the powerplay, good for 60%. It goes without saying, but any winger who plays with McDavid has instant fantasy value and is worth a look. You might not be able to get Nuge, but there are some solid Oilers to choose from in most leagues.