The rule change approved by the GMs last night really opens up a world of possibilities for fans who love crafting lineups. With something this new there isn't even close to a consensus on how the lines should be structured, never mind who should be on each line! What makes it really interesting is that there's likely no perfect balance of skill sets for this, so you need to compromise on something to excel in something else.
My ideal line for Ottawa is Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone.
Is there going to be a single serious suggestion for Ottawa's best 3-on-3 line that doesn't have Karlsson in it? I doubt it. With his explosive speed he can create a 2 on 1 rush going one way, and if things get turned around can turn that opposing 2 on 1 into a 2 on 2 before they get to the Ottawa blue line. Also think of how good Karlsson is with minimal space to work with, now imagine him with all of this extra space. This one really is a no-brainer.
Next up is Hoffman. He's got the speed too - a 2 on 1 against with Karlsson and Hoffman caught up ice could be a 2 on 3 by the time they get to the net. He's had the scoring touch so far as well, and would make a great choice to be the early man out of the defensive zone on a break.
Finally, Mark Stone. While his skating isn't really a knock against him anymore, he definitely doesn't have the speed of the other two which makes him a bit of an odd man out on this. But if anything, his ability to read the play and the ice is even more important than speed. Stone makes some amazing plays during 5 on 5 play without the speed to create time and space for himself - now give him that extra few feet, or extra second or two to make the play happen. Do you have goosebumps yet? Stone starts the play from deep in the Ottawa zone, hits Karlsson at the blue line who in turn hits Hoffman at the red line while playing catch up. Stone, with his league leading takeaways is probably about the best late man you're going to get on this team without going to a second D.
This trio is also incredibly dangerous if you can actually get set up in the offensive zone instead of trading rushes as well. Karlsson patrolling the blue line, Hoffman floating and Stone driving the net.
You may have noticed the lack of centre. The biggest drawback of this trio is the lack of someone to take the face-offs, but between Karlsson and Stone you're probably going to end up with the puck before very long anyways.
Who is your ideal trio to grab that extra point? Let us know in the comments!