clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Intermediate NHL DFS: Average Ice Time

We continue our breakdown of intermediate NHL DFS. In this section, we look at average ice time, with definitions and some strategy.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is pursued by Edmonton Oilers center Gaetan Haas  in the first period at Staples Center.  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In daily fantasy hockey, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. We go over average time on ice, with a definition and how to approach using them in everyday strategy.

Average Time on Ice (ATOI)


Average time on ice is the amount of playing time a skater averages per game.


ATOI is very similar to minutes in NBA DFS and snap count in NFL DFS. The only major sport that is different is baseball, which is event based. Usually, playing time trickles down throughout an NHL lineup, with the top line players and top pairing defensemen skating the most ice time. Since there are only 6-7 defensemen on a game roster compared to 12-13 forwards, defensemen are tasked with skating more ice time than forwards. This is also because of the defensive assignments some of the top pairing D-Men have in the NHL.

While the top D-Men generally skate the most ice time per game, there are plenty of ways to find value defensemen by using ATOI. Most defensemen who skate over 20:00 of ice time per game but are priced down are going to be decent options depending on the matchup and which team they’re on. Time on ice doesn’t always result in points being as NHL is a bit similar to MLB in that goals and assists are event-based.