2019-20 Top 10 Rookies for Fantasy
2019-20 Top 10 Rookies for Fantasy

Breaking into the NHL used to be hard. Rookies had to be truly special before they were really given a shot. Not anymore. The NHL is getting younger and younger, and players on entry-level deals provide cheap relief for teams that are strapped by the cap or in a rebuild. In fact, kids are critical to Cup runs. Long gone are the days of a league dominated by 27-to-32 year olds. Teams seem to need to win it all while their best young players are still on their first deals. Otherwise, the cap will crush their souls. Sorry, Toronto. I guess your time has passed.

Goaltending used to be an older man's game, too, but Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina last year at age 24, and Jordan Binnington won the Stanley Cup on a half-season of NHL experience.

I was going to start this article by saying I was officially torn about owning fantasy rookies, especially in single-year leagues. But that's a lie. I'm not torn. These kids are better than good, they're great, and worthy of fantasy attention in just about every format.

MacKenzie Blackwood, G, New Jersey – Blackwood had the best goalie stats on the Devils last season despite playing just 23 games (21 starts). Cory Schneider says he's in the best shape he's been in a long time, but he's 33 and seriously injury-prone. Blackwood will platoon with Schneider, and while the Devils will try to ease him in slowly, his talent should win out.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a seven-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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