Canucks’ second line ranked 18th best by NHL.com for fantasy

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
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NHL.com ranked all 31 second lines for fantasy options. The Vancouver Canucks’ line, led by Bo Horvat, placed 18th on the list.

Secondary scoring was a major factor in the Vancouver Canucks‘ thrilling 2019-20 season, one that saw them fall just one game short of reaching the Western Conference Final.

The top line of Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser was one of the NHL’s best throughout the regular season and playoffs. Those three combined for 70 goals and 183 points, and they would have put up even more if Boeser didn’t miss 12 games.

But Vancouver’s second line was also largely instrumental in their success this past season. For the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, the Canucks had much-needed secondary scoring. Bo Horvat tallied 22 goals and 53 points, and Tanner Pearson chipped in with 21 goals and 45 points.

Jake Virtanen also tuned in a career year with 18 goals and 36 points. With Tyler Toffoli leaving in free agency, there’s a good chance Virtanen will join Horvat and Pearson on line two — which would give him a chance to top his career bests.

Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Pete Jensen of NHL.com ranked all 31 second lines “for potential fantasy hockey stacking options.” Jensen placed Vancouver’s second line of Horvat, Pearson and Jake Virtanen/Loui Eriksson 18th on the list.

Horvat is good for 20-plus goals and close to 60 points a season. Pearson is reliable enough for 20 goals and 40 to 50 points, but there are some questions regarding the final piece of the second line. Is it Virtanen, Eriksson or somebody else?

Can Virtanen build off a career year and develop chemistry with Horvat and Pearson? If not, will Eriksson or the other linemate contribute enough offensively?

Because of the uncertainties regarding that third spot, the No. 18 placement feels fair and reasonable. If the Canucks had kept Toffoli, Boeser would have likely moved to line two, and Vancouver would have surely ranked considerably higher on Jensen’s list.

Next. Canucks could be even better in 2021. dark

We’ll just have to wait and see who head coach Travis Green assigns to the Horvat-Pearson line, but right now, Virtanen looks like the best bet.