Fantasy Hockey Rewind — Hits Keep On Coming!

Matt Martin
Anne Marie Sorvin USA TODAY Sports

We continue our look back at the three best in various fantasy categories this summer. Again, do not worry! There will be fantasy hockey coverage when it comes to drafts, keepers, etc. coming in July. Also, impacts and upsides will be explored.

Today we will be taking a long look at the hit brigade or those players who led the league in another one of those statistics than can make your head explode. Matt Martin is a player that is annually at or near the top of this list. Let’s get down to business with these heavy hitters. Please keep in mind most in the top ten do not exactly produce all that much in the way of offense normally. All numbers are compliments of Sporting Charts.

Fantasy Hockey Rewind — A Hitting Dream Trio

Third Place — David Backes — Edmonton Oilers

David Backes is one of those exceptions to the rule. He had 57 points in 74 games along with ten power play goals. Now when it comes to hits per 60, Backes is at 11.33 which is not a surprise considering he plays closer to 20 minutes a night than not. His 273 hits put him above Radko Gudas, who had a few less points but do not fret as Gudas is included in our honorable mention. As for the pivot, Backes has 60-70 point upside along with a mean, physical streak. He is a perennial top ten hitter for years to come. His 3.69 hits per contest is very solid and translates well going forward.

Second Place — Cody Franson — Toronto Maple Leafs

No one knows just yet where Cody Franson will end up next year but he can hit the opponent. As a defenseman who plays a decent bit over 20 minutes a night, Franson can rack up the hits but his 3.57 hits per night is more than solid. He finished with 282 hits during the 2013-14 campaign. There are obviously other problems with Franson’s game and that has frustrated the Toronto fans for some time. If he finds a steady gig next season then at least for the hits category, Cody Franson will be fantasy relevant.

First Place — Matt Martin — New York Islanders

If you pick Matt Martin in your fantasy league, you are probably looking for hits and penalty minutes and little else. Martin did see a little more ice time but still was right around 11-12 minutes or so. However, his 4.54 hits per game and 22.91 hits per 60 are numbers that are off the charts. When you watch video of Martin, it is like watching a compact bowling ball making contact with everything in sight. The forward will likely lead the league in hits next year, the year after that, and the year after that. One of the most underestimated things with Martin is that he is quite durable for someone who makes so much contact and creates mayhem.

HONORABLE MENTION — Radko Gudas — Tampa Bay Lightning

If Radko Gudas can control some of his aggression and channel it a bit better, he will be the best hitter from the defensive position for the next decade at least. His 273 hits and 3.74 hits per game along with some fantasy upside offensively makes him a very intriguing pick next season after you get past the upper tier of defensemen. He is my one to watch by a wide margin.

Where do we go next on our fantasy hockey rewind? Stay tuned!

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