NHL Plays: Thursday

Corey Abbott
Rotoworld
Corey Abbott previews the upcoming 2019 Eastern Conference Final between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes. (Getty Images)

Eastern Conference Final Preview

Corey Abbott previews the upcoming 2019 Eastern Conference Final between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes. (Getty Images)

DRAFT is back for another season of quick and exciting daily fantasy action. Their DFS platform offers poolies with a chance to participate in a format that most of us have grown very accustomed to over the years. You can compete in a live snake draft in which the participants take a player with each pick. Unlike other DFS games, this gives you the opportunity to use your knowledge to craft a team that no one else will have because the players you select cannot be chosen by your competition.

The draft is quick as you are allotted just 30 seconds per pick and you take five players. Your team is comprised of three forwards, a defenseman and a goalie.

Your strategy can be dictated by the positions being selected ahead of you. For instance, if you are going last and everyone else has a goaltender then you can wait until your last pick to make that selection. Of course, selecting players going up against weaker competition or players who are riding hot streaks are always popular strategies as well.

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Remember, there are new pools available to play in but the players in my rankings will fall off the table as soon as the puck drops in their respective game.

Familiarize yourself with the rues and enjoy! It’s a great game! Thursday’s three-game slate features plenty of three-person drafts as well as head-to-heads to participate in.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @CoreAbbott on Twitter.

Forward Rankings:

The Hurricanes didn’t end up on the list, but Teuvo Teravainen was the hottest going into the playoffs and just missed the cut here. All three members of the Bruins’ top line are worth selecting even if you can only get one of them. They have been all over the Leafs in the past and should be fired up for Game 1 on home ice. The top lines of Calgary and Colorado are worth targeting as well in what could be a high-scoring series. Marner was Toronto’s top producer in the regular season and he led the Leafs in points against Boston in the playoffs last season. Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were excellent in the postseason last year with 27 and 32 points, respectively.

Defense Rankings:

Giordano had a fantastic season with 17 goals and 74 points in 78 games. He also racked up one goal and six helpers in three games against Colorado this year. Carlson reached the 70-point plateau as well in 2018-19 and he compiled 20 points in 24 postseason games last year. Rielly had 20 goals and 72 points over 82 contests this campaign. He also picked up five assists in seven outings versus Boston last year in the playoffs.  Boston's Torey Krug is also worthy of your consideration. 

Goaltender Rankings:

Holtby was excellent in the playoffs last year and he was hot down the stretch this campaign. He won five straight games (5-0-0) going into the postseason, while posting a .947 save percentage. Holtby also went 4-0-0 versus Carolina during the 2018-19 season with a 2.21 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Rask played well in his only appearance against Toronto this year, while stopping 30 of 32 shots in a 3-2 win. Smith gets the nod over the much hotter Philipp Grubauer because Calgary is favored to win the game.

Check with Rotoworld regularly today for confirmations on goaltender starts.

Now, let’s also look at some players to consider for FanDuel and DraftKings. Keep in mind that FanDuel allows you to roster nine players (2C, 4W, 2D, 1G) with a salary cap of $55,000, while DraftKings has a cap of $50,000 for nine players (2C, 3W, 2D, 1G, 1UTIL).

Nazem Kadri (TOR) - C - $4,900 (FanDuel), $3,800 (DraftKings)

Nino Niederreiter (CAR) - W - $5,700 (FanDuel), $4,800 (DraftKings)

Tom Wilson (WSH) - W - $4,800 (FanDuel), $4,600 (DraftKings)

Carl Hagelin (WSH) - W - $3,800 (FanDuel), $3,000 (DraftKings)

Alexander Kerfoot (COL) - W - $4,500 (FanDuel), $3,800 (DraftKings)

Noah Hanifin (CGY) - D - $3,800 (FanDuel), $3,600 (DraftKings)

Kadri didn’t have a strong regular season after back-to-back 32-goal campaigns, but he is being looked at as a potential X-factor in Toronto’s first-round series against Boston. Niederreiter comes in a solid price given the way he finished the regular season. He had nine points in 12 outings down the stretch, including two goals and four assists in his last seven matches. Niederreiter plays on the top line with Sebastian Aho and Justin Williams. Wilson will skate alongside Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, while Hagelin will play with Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie. Kerfoot will also be a good spot with MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. Hanifin collected three assists in the final four games of the regular season. He had a personal best 33 points in his first year with the Flames.

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