Fantasy Hockey: Which second-round forward is the best bet?

While you may be mulling over who to take in the first round of your fantasy hockey draft, don’t forget about the situation that awaits you in round two.

Mitch Marner, Johnny Gaudreau and Artemi Panarin are all going in Round 2, according to their average draft position on Yahoo, but which one should you take?

If I was facing the decision, I would select Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers, as he offers more upside compared to his counterparts.

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Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)
Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against the Boston Bruins. (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

Both Marner and Gaudreau are returning to similar situations. That’s not a bad thing for either of them! The Flames and Maple Leafs ranked third and fourth respectively in goals for last year. But when you consider that Panarin was part of a faltering Columbus Blue Jackets power play in 2018-19, and is moving to a New York Rangers team which looks poised to improve offensively with additions such as Kaapo Kakko and Jacob Trouba, he should be better suited for success this year.

Also, more shots should be expected of Panarin in the Big Apple. In Columbus, Cam Atkinson was the guy counted upon to put the puck in the back of the net. Going to New York, Panarin should have some more opportunities to shoot. Mika Zibanejad should work as a nice playmaking compliment for the winger.

Although you probably won’t be disappointed with any of the forward options available to you in round two, I would recommend going with Panarin.

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