The title says it all. So without further ado…
Zach Parise, New Jersey – Before I get all the angry emails, let me preface this by saying that Parise is a great player who is only scratching the surface of his talent. He will regularly fall in that 85- to 95-point range year in and year out. He is in his fourth NHL season so this breakout is expected. However, he is currently on pace for 101 points. If you expect him to flirt with 95 points this season, you are mistaken. He’ll do that in his prime – which is in about three or four years. Look for 85 points – he tends to slow down in the second half given the workload in the NHL versus college. That means 40 points in 45 games, give or take.
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia – If you were smart, you would have traded him two or three weeks ago. Now that he is injured (shoulder) it has driven home a bit of reality on fantasy owners. His concussion problems will always be an issue and while Gagne’s owner was enjoying his resurgence, he or she was also ignoring the white elephant in the room. Gagne is fragile and could be one big hit away from producing zero points in zero games for you going forward. He is still a Top 20 scorer right now, so let someone else deal with it and get the good return that you can.
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota – His talent is underrated, but his upside is probably 75 points. So seeing the younger Koivu sit at a point per game would have my trigger finger pretty itchy. You are already seeing a slowdown with this guy, as he has eight points in his last 12 contests.
Devin Setoguchi, San Jose – The 22-year-old has an upside of about 85 points and in his first full NHL season he is on pace for 81. Too soon for this. If you act quickly, your fellow GM’s may not have noticed that Setoguchi has just seven points in his last 11 games. He should finish with around 70 this campaign.
Todd White, Atlanta – Do I really have to explain this one? Players who are in their mid-30s and have career highs of 60 points do not suddenly produce into the 70s. In his last four seasons, White has averaged 13 games missed. He’ll miss at least five or six this year and his production will slow down. I think 27 points in 33 games going forward sounds about right. That would give him a new career high of 62.
Martin Havlat, Chicago – If you think this guy will play 82 games this year, then I have got a bridge that you may be interested in buying. The numbers: 73, 72, 67, 68, 18, 56, 35. Those are his games played in his career. His shoulder is being held to his body by a piece of gum and some spit. Any game now he could be out for the season.
Kyle Okposo, NY Islanders – He is on pace for 30 points and I still believe he will make it to 45. That would require 33 points in 42 games. He has seven in his last six, so the rookie already showing signs.
Robert Nilsson, Edmonton – He is one of those players who responds to healthy scratches. Since he was scratched, he has two points in five games and is a plus-6. Those are modest numbers, but he is clicking on a line with Sam Gagner and Erik Cole – each of whom also make decent “buy low” candidates. Nilsson is on pace for 28 points, but like Okposo I think he will flirt with 45.
Michael Frolik, Florida – Fourteen of his 16 points have come in his last 16 games, so although his pace says “36”, he is actually at almost a point per game. With 44 games left, I think he could get 36 to 41 points, meaning he will finish with 52 to 57.
Andy McDonald, St. Louis – He is a week to 10 days away from practicing with the Blues and should be in action before the All-Star break. He was over a point per game before breaking his leg and I don’t see him slowing down any. His owner would be sour on him, with this injury, so jump on that.
Nathan Horton, Florida – C’mon, he’s not going to finish with 45 points. Be realistic. He needed a few games to get his timing back and going forward I can see a good 35 points or more. That would put him in the 55- to 60-points area.
Tomas Fleischmann, Washington – He had 13 points in 17 games prior to his bout with pneumonia and I noticed his responsibility increasing. He is due back on Tuesday, so I would anticipate that he will notch 33 points in his final 42 games – giving him 52 on the season.
Sergei Samsonov, Carolina – He is on pace for 43 points, but the 30-year-old is back to his old self. He has 18 points in his last 22 games, which translates to about 67 points. He’ll get 35 going forward and finish with 56. That’s not great, but much better than what he started at.
More next week!