The regular season is complete and fans are starting their playoff drafts. Here are some more players who are at the bottom of everybody’s list (if they even appear at all) you should take a flyer on in the later rounds:
(Originally posted by The Hockey News on April 8)
Jan Hlavac, Nashville – Of Hlavac’s 35 points, 13 have come in the 18 games he has been a Predator, including seven in his past six. He has moved up to the top line in order to spread out the offense (Alexander Radulov has been taken off the No. 1 unit). If Nashville upsets the Red Wings – don’t laugh, upsets do happen – Hlavac will be a top-four scorer on his team.
Antoine Vermette, Ottawa – He closed out the season with 15 points in his last 13 games. Vermette is very talented offensively and since the Sens are without Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher, he will see a lot of power play time.
Martin Lapointe, Ottawa – He is not the 35-point player he used to be, but Lapointe is built for the playoffs and nearly half of his 13 points this season came in the 18 games he suited up for the Sens. They won’t reach the third round without him chipping in on offense.
Maxime Talbot, Pittsburgh – If the Pens go a few rounds, Talbot will be for them what Samuel Pahlsson was for the Ducks a year ago – a defensive stalwart who can post 10-12 points. Lately, Talbot has seen ice time on Sidney Crosby’s wing, which can’t hurt his production.
Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh – Since arriving in Pittsburgh as a throw-in in the Marian Hossa deal, Dupuis posted 12 points in 16 games. If Ottawa shuts down Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Hossa, Dupuis and Talbot will be counted on to step up.
Joe Pavelski, San Jose – Arguably, no other Shark has increased production more since the trade deadline. Pavelski’s 18 points in his last 20 games ensures he will remain on a line with Joe Thornton. Do not overlook this guy.
Jeremy Roenick, San Jose – Ray Bourque, Rod Brind’Amour, Teemu Selanne…Jeremy Roenick? JR could be the next veteran earning a long-overdue Cup ring. His personality and grit will help drag his team along. He finished the year with nine points in his last eight games, showing he still has gas left in the tank.
Brooks Laich, Washington – Once upon a time the Caps picked up Laich for Peter Bondra, and lately he has been playing like him. Laich had 20 points in his last 22 games, after notching just 17 in his first 60. Who could possibly consider drafting him? Only those who read Fantasy Pool Look, that’s who! With the Caps playing the Flyers in the first round, it is not far-fetched for this red-hot team to advance to the second round. If that happens, put Laich down for 10 points.
*These are some great dark horses, but I caution you not to load up on them. Finish selecting your team with two dark horse candidates – three at most, depending on the size of your roster. Also see dark horses Part I and Part II .
Good luck at the draft!