The following players likely won't be fantasy relevant for the 2019-20 season, but could become incredibly valuable in keeper leagues down the road. These NHLers will need to be designated as not active, so be sure to check your league's settings before drafting any of them.
The Washington Capitals could find themselves in a predicament after the 2019-20 season. Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby are unrestricted free agents, and with both players due for raises, they'll likely only be able to sign one. My money would be on Backstrom. Why? Samsonov.
The Capitals used a first-round pick on the Russian netminder in the 2015 draft. After three stellar seasons in the KHL, Samsonov joined the AHL's Hershey Bears last year. He got off to a rocky start in his first season in North America, but finished strong, ending the campaign with a .898 save percentage and a 2.70 goals-against average.
Samsonov could be the Capitals' starting netminder as early as next season, giving him plenty of fantasy potential.
Sandin put together arguably the best season ever by an 18-year-old defenseman in the AHL a year ago, tallying 28 points in 44 games for the Toronto Marlies. The club's 2018 first-round pick could make his NHL debut as early as this season, although he'd likely be buried on the third pairing barring injury.
Morgan Rielly is the Leafs' only NHL blue-liner signed beyond 2019-20. Travis Dermott will get an extension sooner or later, but there are no guarantees that Tyson Barrie, Jake Muzzin, and Cody Ceci will be back in the fold next season.
With Toronto's cap crunch combined with Sandin's rapid development and cheap entry-level contract, there's an easy path to top-four minutes and time on the second power play behind one of the league's most dynamic forward groups.
Luukkonen is arguably the best goalie prospect in the world. He underwent offseason hip surgery and will almost certainly start in the AHL when he returns, but there's a chance he could fast-track his way to the NHL much like Carter Hart did a year ago.
There's a case to be made that Kaprizov is the most dynamic player outside the NHL. The 22-year-old led the KHL with 30 goals last season and has shined on the international stage on numerous occasions with Russia.
Minnesota selected Kaprizov in the fifth round in 2015, but he's yet to play in North America. However, his KHL contract expires after this season, and new Wild GM Bill Guerin called Kaprizov's agent to set up a meeting on his first day on the job.
If Kaprizov joins Minnesota for the 2020-21 season, he'd be an impact top-six forward from Day 1. Unfortunately, Kaprizov is not in Yahoo's system yet, but if he's available in the fantasy service you use, he's worth scooping up at the end of your draft.
The Rangers were finally able to bring Shesterkin over to North America, inking the netminder to an entry-level contract in May. It's clear the KHL had become too easy for him after he posted a 1.11 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage in 28 games with SKA St. Petersburg last season.
Shesterkin, 23, will likely spend all of 2019-20 in the AHL, but he could be in the NHL by next season and have the Rangers' No. 1 job by 2021-22 after Henrik Lundqvist's contract expires. It's a long-term investment, but if you're keeper league is deep enough, he's worth stashing.
Byram is a dynamic talent who should shine the way future teammate Cale Makar did when he was called up a year ago. It'll take a year or two, but Byram is primed for stardom once he steps on NHL ice.