Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Dobber at PuckDaddy,
For DobberHockey’s inaugural Puck Daddy Blog, it’s only fitting I kick things off with a countdown.
Now that we’re into draft season—and I love being negative—let’s run though 10 guys who I won’t be taking in a draft this year.
10. John Tavares, New York Islanders
To explain… I’m not an idiot (just ask my mom). Of course he is a top player to own in a keeper league and he’s a pretty good one to own in a one-year league. But to be able to select him in the draft you will have to beat out the prospect geeks. These are the ones who will be drafting Ryan Ellis in the ninth round of a one-year league to be their No. 3 defenseman.
from Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com,
Welcome to the fourth and final part of your preseason fantasy preparation class. I highly doubt that any of the players below are going to singlehandedly win you a fantasy championship, but some possess the skill to give your squad that little something extra that could be the difference between third and first place.
Funny how in my 2008 preview, Jaromir Jagr was listed among the players who signed to play in Europe last season, but this year I’m calling him a sleeper to gamble on late in your fantasy draft. Jagr is only the ninth-leading scorer in NHL history!
from Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com,
The biggest challenge of ranking the top 125 forwards is not predicting who will finish first, but determining which player from the entire league other than a member of the “Big Three” will place fourth. Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are the consensus top three picks, the only debate being their order (last season I ranked them Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin).
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