The Dallas Stars have become one of the most exciting teams in hockey. Led by Jason Robertson, this team can score.
Not only can they score, they can draft. Every year we seem to be talking about another blue-chip prospect. It all started in 2017 when they drafted Miro Heiskanen, Jake Oettinger, and Jason Robertson, with the first three picks of their draft.
Then they have players like Roope Hintz. Who exceed even heightened expectations. Sprinkle in impact veterans like Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and you have a core built to contend.
The Stars are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. They dipped lightly into free agency this summer to fill roster gaps. They did so wisely. They signed Matt Duchene shortly after Nashville bought him out. They also signed Craig Smith who provides a lot of depth to their bottom six.
I’ll save the rest of the review for the actual review.
2023 Fantasy Team Preview: Dallas Stars
Jason Robertson is an elite fantasy option. After breaking 100 points for the first time, he should be a first-round pick in all formats. I wouldn’t rule out a 60-goal, 120-point season at some point for Robertson. We’re talking about a career year – not the expected norm. If have the 7th or 8th pick in your fantasy draft, you might land Robertson. He is also a volume shooter and will provide 300 shots or more per year.
Roope Hintz centers Robertson & the chemistry runs deep. These two complement each other well. If Hintz could stay healthy for an entire year he could hit 90 points. Two seasons in a row he’s had 37 goals. This could be the year he finally scores 40.
Somehow, Joe Pavelski keeps going. Impressive as his run with Dallas has been, the decline is around the corner. Expect the signs to appear slowly at first. Pavelski has a very high hockey IQ. His ability to be in the right place at the right time will offset some of the impending loss of foot speed. That decline may begin as soon as this season. A 60-point season isn’t the end of the world. It’s still worthy of a roster spot in most leagues
In dynasty leagues, this is where I would trade him and move on. Get some value while you can. The stigma on older players may make it impossible to move him, even for a late pick. If that’s your pool, you could do worse than keep him until the wheels fall off.
Jamie Benn had quite the resurgence last year. Benn found his scoring touch putting up his highest point totals since 2017-2018 with 78 points. It is hard to predict whether Benn will maintain his resurgence or regress back to the production levels of recent years.
At 34, I have to think he’ll slip below 70 points again. A 65-point season is nothing to sneeze at. Not to mention, Benn brings so much more to the table than point production. He provides hits, and penalty minutes and is a solid 55% or better in face-offs. One of the better multi-cat providers out there. Benn is defying the odds by being this productive at this age with his style of play. Most multi-cat forwards hit a wall between ages 30 to 32. Andrew Ladd, James Neal, and Milan Lucic, immediately come to mind.
Tyler Seguin also appears to be in decline. I would caution anyone who is planning to write him off. He hasn’t been the same player since his hip injury in 2021. Not all injuries heal the same. Not all players are fully healed and in full health when they return to play. It is difficult to rehab an injury, especially a hip injury playing hockey. You kind of use your hips in all sorts of dangerous ways. It should be no surprise Seguin’s production has dropped since 2021. There is plenty of time for Seguin to bounce back and give us a couple more 70-point seasons. It is time to buy on Seguin
Matt Duchene might be the most savvy free agency signing of the summer. At three million, he’s a bargain. He regularly plays wing and center, which could allow him to play on the top two lines if necessary. Even on the third line, he should be a lock for fifty. If he gets the top six minutes, 60 is on the table.
Expect a bounce back from Mason Marchment. He should be able to reach 50 points from the third line. He also provides a solid amount of hits and penalty minutes. At two shots per game, he won’t cave in your shots category either. Making him a great depth option.
I didn’t forget Wyatt Johnston. He surprised many last year. Most trajectories had him as another year wait. Johnston had other plans. He’s going to be a good one. Whether you believe in sophomore slumps or not, there’s a chance his production stalls. If it does, hold. You’ll be rewarded for long-term patience. If he does struggle, Seguin or Duchene could lines or positions to reduce pressure.
If you’re in a deep points-only pool, Evgeny Dadanov is a good option. He seemed rejuvenated after the trade last year. There’s underlying 60-point potential here.
It’s all about Miro Heiskanen, isn’t it? The man is a fantasy beast. One of the least talked about 73-point seasons of the last decade. I realize Erik Karlsson stole the show last year, but 73 points! He’s a plug and play. Bank on 60-65 points with upside moving forward. It would be nice if he offered multi-cat owners more hits and blocks though. Just writing that I feel petty. We should be happy with the fantasy star he has become.
After Heiskanen, the Stars boast to hopefully fantasy stars. Nils Lundqvist and Thomas Harley are knocking on the roster door. Lundqvist started to acclimate himself during the regular season; Harley began to make his presence felt in the playoffs. They could both make the opening night roster. Both hold sleeper value.
Both realistically need another year or two before being counted on for fantasy value. They should offer streaks of production throughout the year. Anything above 30 points for either would be a really strong year. I’m not expecting either to blow the lid off of anything this year.
Jake Oettinger is creeping closer and closer to elite status. He lacked that killer instinct in the playoffs. He wasn’t able to take over a game and will his team to victory. That is just a matter of time. You can see the growth in his game each year. At 24, he’s at the age most goalies break into the NHL. He is ahead of the curve.
There will be seven or eight years of top-ten, elite fantasy seasons in Oettinger’s future. I would be holding tight to him in keeper and dynasty pools. The best is yet to come. At some point in his career, he could stand on the NHL awards stage holding the Vezina Trophy.
In Summary, Jason Robertson is an elite fantasy option. He should be drafted mid-first round of all formats. Roope Hintz holds solid multi-cat value and has 90-point potential. Seguin and Benn will slide in drafts. Capitalize, they are aging but have 70-point potential. Miro Heiskanen is a fantasy stud and is a borderline top 5 fantasy defenceman. If you miss out on the top tier of goalies, Oettinger is the next best thing. He keeps improving each year and can go head-to-head against any goalie in the league.
Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @doylelb4; where you’ll find as many hiking musings as you will fantasy hockey
Make sure to check out all of our Fantasy Hockey Team Previews as they roll out over the coming weeks!