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The Thrashers have signed Nikolai Antropov to a four-year deal worth $16.4 million.



Fantasy Impact: In a word: huge. Antropov could not have found a better fit. See, he is on the borderline of being a No.1 or a No.2 center, but Atlanta doesn't have a No.1 pivot. They have Bryan Little, who is not yet ready to be No.1 at center; and Todd White, who is miscast as a first-liner. So given Antropov's talent and experience, he wins the job. And look who is on his wing? Ilya Kovalchuk.


Health permitting - which is always an issue with Antropov - he will have a career season. If he can play 75 games he can certainly get a point per game. With a better centerman, Kovalchuk should also have a career campaign. Will this be the year he tops 100?


As for Little, I think we'll see him shifted over to the wing on a more permanent basis. He will build on last season's 51 points still, so don't worry Little owners. White was going to decline this year regardless. There is no way he can match the magic he just pulled off. Before Antropov, I figured him to post in the low 60s. With Antropov there, I am now more certain of the decline. He will lose the PP time.


This hurts the odds of Angelo Esposito making the team. Those odds were rather slim to begin with.


Rich Peverley had a fantastic time in Atlanta, with 35 points in 39 games. He still makes a good dark horse, but Antropov pushing him down the depth chart makes him a little more of a long shot. I am still comfortable with him getting over 55 points this season, but I doubt we'll see him get to 70 like his pace suggests.



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