Through intense analysis, investigation and research, one can develop a fantasy hockey draft strategy based on multi-season trends and intuitive inklings about how a player might perform in a typical 82-game season.
Which is all fine and dandy when it is a typical 82-game season.
Alas, the 2021 NHL regular season is a 56-game journey featuring realigned teams in intra-divisional play, and two-game "homestands" against those division rivals in arenas that will be empty or close to it. How players and teams react to this mad dash is anyone's guess, especially when every game carries extra playoff weight and rivalry matchups are this frequent.
Those mysteries noted, there are once again 10 players I'm targeting in my fantasy pools, ten island nations on which I hope to plant my flag. I've attempted to list some players available throughout your fantasy draft rather than just frontload it with obvious first-rounders. Please note that my prognostications are, in fact, infallible if you choose to ignore my incorrect picks at the end of the season, much like how I've forgotten all about having planted my flag on Jack Hughes and Carter Hutton in 2019. As you should as well.
Here are the 10 NHL player on whom I'm planting my flag this season, that flag being a giant 'W' with the woozy face emoji.
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs