Kukla's Korner Hockey
Ahh yes, here comes the next phase of fantasy hockey goodness. The draft is over. You can breathe easy a bit. Now watch who boils up through the cracks.
As I see it there a three primary shifts of mass psychology in a fantasy hockey season. The first is the season of panickers. Folks in your league will undervalue core guys and covet the shiny. This, the next four weeks, is your time to take advantage of these fools. Propose trades. Watch the waiver wire as valuable talent hits the cutting room floor and scoop it all up.
The NHL 2K10 hockey moms want answers, but Ryan Kesler is too busy playing video games.
Personally I don’t believe the sleeper crop this year is that large. I just don’t see a lot of people proving themselves this season who didn’t in the last. There are always a few guys who really stand out at the end of a season and make it obvious they’ll rock the next. After doing some homework I realized all those guys were goalies, so that’ll be another post. This post will be about the youngsters who didn’t prove a damn thing last year but will this one.
What I really liked about this batch is that all of these guys are in the six foot club. They’re big boys, they play hard, and because of that, as they fill out their frames in the best damn professional league in the world, they’re going to become dominant players. If you’re in a long-term keeper league, these are the guys you’ll want to draft. If not, pick them up as last-round picks or pluck them off the wire when the first guys on your team start to falter.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It isn’t just that youth is being served. Youth has come in and wrenched away control. Where teams in the past were reluctant to push teenagers into the NHL, nowadays it is almost a given that teams are ready to provide on-the-job training if a player has the skill set to make the leap from junior.
Last year, 109 players scored 50 points or more, but it took 75 points to crack the top 25 in scoring….
The following is our annual exercise in hockey pools for dummies, a projection of how the top 20 scorers in the NHL will unfold:
199. Marek Svatos, Colorado
200. Jussi Jokinen, Carolina
Perhaps one of the most valuable bits of knowledge to be armed with going into your fantasy hockey draft is a clear idea of who the talented players will be this year that did not produce last year. This can be due to season-hampering injury in the prior year, or because a player is a rookie just beginning to ramp up their production. Knowing who isn’t showing up in your auto-ranked draft list can yield you some great mid to late round steals.
Today we’ll look at 20 of the most promising producers this year who weren’t even on the radar statistics-wise last year due to injury.
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
So now what??
Well, you’ve survived the first hour without blowing it and Rounds 4 to 23 are where you win this thing. So focus. Remind yourself that the 30 best plays from last season came from only 15 teams, so be selective. Remind yourself that goal scorers and goalies dominate more than a category or two and that Talent, Opportunity and Context are the 3 words that need to come to mind when considering any type of transaction. You can do this.
Get down on your knees and thank the Mighty Queue for allowing Blackhawk Jonathan Toews to slide into your grubby little hands at the top of Round 4.
This will be the 8th year of my commissionership in a Yahoo fantasy league, and like most years, the end of the labor day weekend marks the always unexpected beginning to a phrenetic 3-week period of feverish research to get ready for the draft before the beginning of the season. One thing I see as missing in most online blogs is some good in-depth fantasy hockey analysis and subjective commentary. I’m sort of somewhere between a math geek, a schizophrenic, and a compulsive gambler when it comes to fantasy hockey, and I think I could have something real to contribute to the topic.
Paul’s been kind enough to give me a shot at constructing a forum on Kukla’s Korner about fantasy hock, and I hope to entertain, inform, and inspire some good dialogue on the art of fantasy hockey management throughout the season.
ESPN Ranks the Top 200 Fantasy Players.
1 Alex Ovechkin, LW, Was
2 Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit
3 Pavel Datsyuk, C, Det
4 Tim Thomas, G, Bos
5 Sidney Crosby, C, Pit
Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com answers emails from the fans…
Is Claude Giroux poised to be a fantasy steal this year, or what? Based on his 27 points last year in only 42 games as a rookie, can he make it to 60 or 70 points this year, especially if he manages to get significant time with Jeff Carter and/or Daniel Briere?...
Would you take 21-32-53 from Giroux? That is my projection, and I read recently that Giroux will play mostly with Briere. Sixty to 70 is a bit much with Briere, Carter, Scott Hartnell, Mike Richard and Simon Gagne higher on the depth chart. You’d do well to tab Giroux in the 15th round of a standard 10-team league.
many more Q & A’s…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org