How Fantasy Hockey Works? [Ultimate Guide!]

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I don’t think there is any question that fantasy hockey is one of the most popular sports activities today. People love to put their own spin on different sports, and hockey is one of the most popular games in the world due to its fast pace and entertaining nature. There are also a variety of positions within hockey that can be customized to fit any player’s needs. That being said, it can still be a little difficult to understand exactly how fantasy hockey works and how you can put it to use to improve your own game.

The Basics

In order to understand how fantasy hockey works, it is first important to dive into the basics. Like any other sport, hockey is usually divided into periods. In hockey these are usually referred to as the ‘evening’ and ‘morning’ games. An evening game is typically played between 7 and 10 pm, and an afternoon game between 11 am and 4 pm. This means that in theory you can plan your week around the hockey schedule

While in theory this might seem easy enough, things get a little more complicated when you start to think about line combinations and the role those lines play in creating balanced scoring chances and setting up the other teams’ top scorers. This is where planning your fantasy hockey drafts comes in.

Line Combinations And The Six Game Plan

If you are new to the world of fantasy hockey, then it’s a good idea to simply follow along with what other people are doing. Most leagues will have a set of ‘starting’ players that you are expected to select in the first few rounds of your draft. These will consist of three forwards, two defensemen, and a goalie. The position of these players is then completely open, and you will have to decide who you think are the best available ‘fantasy’ players at each position.

In the first week of February, the Denver Nuggets had the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They took the youngest player in the draft, Wenyen Gabriel, with the pick. Several months later, the Nuggets still haven’t decided whether or not to play Gabriel this season. They are currently trying to decide whether or not to keep him around for training camp and the preseason, or if they should try to trade him before the deadline in October.

You might be wondering why it is so important to know who the starting players are going to be if you are planning on doing any fantasy hockey drafts. It’s important to know because those are the players that you will be expected to draft and manage in the first place. The other players on your team will have to work their way up from the waiver wire if they are even going to be on your radar screen at all.

As an added benefit, knowing who the starters are means you will know when trades involving those players are taking place. If you are following the NBA along with the Nuggets situation, then you will know exactly when Gabriel can be had, and you might be able to get a good deal for him.

Now that you’re up to date on the basics, let’s move on to some of the more advanced topics that you might not know much about.

Home Vs. Away

One of the most important things to consider about fantasy hockey is the fact that it is usually played in either one location or another. While there are exceptions (mostly in the form of online fantasy hockey leagues), the vast majority of leagues will have either a home game or an away game each week. The reason for this is fairly self-explanatory. If you are playing against opponents that you can see, then it makes it much easier to plan your strategy. You can also use various scoring systems and formulas to work out the ‘fantasy points’ that a player will accumulate based on their performance in a game. It can get a bit more complicated if you are playing online because there isn’t always a clear ‘away’ team. However, if you are playing in what is considered to be a ‘pro’ league, then you will be expected to play every game regardless of where you are located (at least for the duration of the season).

Most leagues also limit the number of players that can be on your roster, so you will be expected to work hard to put together a competitive team.


Another important consideration about fantasy hockey is how the goals are scored. A majority of leagues will use a point-per-game format, which was first popularized in the NBA before being adapted for use in hockey. In this case, each point that a player scores is worth exactly the same amount. The idea behind this is to encourage teams to take the puck into the opposing zone as often as possible, and to do so in a way that maximizes the amount of scoring opportunities. One thing about the NBA experience that many people enjoy is the fact that they can follow the game and get scoring updates via live stats.

Scoring in hockey is a bit more complicated because there are no set rules regarding how the goals are to be recorded. Some leagues will use an ‘individual’ point-per-goal’ format, similar to what is used for Football, while others will use an ‘actual’ goal-per-game format. This is one of the main reasons why it is considered to be a bit more difficult to follow hockey as a spectator sport, in spite of the fact that the game is becoming more accessible due to the increasing popularity of leagues like the NHL.

The goal-per-game format is the more traditional of the two, and is often associated with traditional North American sports. This is probably because the majority of sports fans follow the traditional path of learning about a sport via the mainstream media, which usually reports on, and focuses on, North American sports. Actual scorekeeping in hockey makes it more difficult to keep track of all the goals as the game is happening, so in that sense it can be considered to be a ‘scorecasting’ sport.


It is important to understand that in hockey, players are not usually assigned to a specific position based on their skill set. Different players are typically used for different situations, and coaches usually have this information at their fingertips. When a player is removed from the ice, whether by injury or for disciplinary reasons, the coach has to make a decision regarding who is going to replace that player. If the player is removed for an extended period of time, then the coach will usually choose an experienced backup who can step in and provide some leadership.

Coaches also have to make a decision regarding which players are going to go onto the ice first, and which ones are going to be the last players they try to protect. In general, the faster the game is going, the more aggressive the coaches tend to be in their rotations, as they don’t want to waste any time. This is one of the reasons why goalies usually have to be ‘managed’ by a specialized coach because they are constantly changed out, especially in the first half of a game.


The last thing that any coach wants to do is put their team on the ice while they are injured. There are several things that can go wrong here, as coaches have to consider the ramifications of taking a player out of the lineup. The first thing that they have to think about is whether or not they can actually play at all. This is a complicated question that has to be answered on a case-by-case basis. Some coaches will choose to sit their healthy players, especially if they are performing well, in order to save them for the more crucial matchups. While other coaches are going to play it safe by removing their best players for precautionary measures.

Once the coach has decided that they can play, then they have to weigh the benefits of putting their existing players out there versus the potential consequences of playing with an injury. This is a question of whether they think that the player can ‘dominate’ the game or if he is simply going to be a ‘sick’ factor. The general rule of thumb is to put your healthy players out there, but it is important to remember that things can still go wrong. It is also important to weigh these decisions carefully, as the consequences of playing with an injury can sometimes be more detrimental than simply sitting someone out.

Offense Vs. Defense

One of the first things that you will be asked about when you fill out your fantasy hockey draft application is your team’s offensive and defensive identities. These questions can be a little tricky to answer initially, as you don’t usually have much information to go on. The good news is that you don’t have to. Coaches usually know what type of player they have, and how that player is going to perform. If they are performing well then they will usually try to keep them on the roster and make room for some new players who can contribute more on the other end of the ice.

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