Ales Hemsky

 

You may not have noticed this, but that ‘disappointing’ fantasy player has quietly returned to form.

After Ales Hemsky tallied 77 points in his third full season, many poolies felt that the next step was 90 points and beyond. So when the Pardubice, Czech Republic native followed it up with just 53 points last year, everybody and their mother jumped off the bandwagon.

 

(Published by The Hockey News on February 1, 2008) 

 

Those few who remained watched the shifty winger get shut out of six of his nine games this season before they, too, wrote him off as a 65- to 75-point player.

The mindset of poolies is funny. If a 23-year-old rookie picks up 53 points in 64 games, he is a potential superstar with an upside of 90 points or more. However, if the 23-year-old is in his fourth NHL season - coming off a 77-point campaign - and he garners 53 points in 64 games - well, then not only will he never be a superstar, but he probably peaked at 77 points. Ridiculous, but true!

Hemsky has been in the NHL since 2002, so it seems as though he is a veteran who has been around forever, but you have to keep in mind he is just 24 years old. He won’t hit his peak production for a good four years yet.

In the mind of fantasy junkies, Hemsky has slipped from the upper tier and into a secondary one – these are the poolies who you should be talking to.

Hemsky’s price will be low and his upside is still 90 to 100 points. He has points in 31 of his past 37 games (40 points in that span). He is one of the most creative players in the NHL and, as he gets stronger and gains more experience, he will produce at a greater rate. It can’t hurt that the Oilers will improve around him at the same time.

He’ll approach 80 points this season and makes for an excellent ‘buy low’ candidate in keeper leagues…

The Ducks will probably not break up the line that is clicking. This means Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry will continue to play together. By extension, this implies Teemu Selanne will play with Doug Weight and his old linemate Chris Kunitz. This means two things: Drop Brandon Bochenski and pick up Doug Weight…

Mike Fisher has 26 points in his last 22 games. Now if he could only guarantee his health…

Injuries, from a fantasy perspective: Colorado’s Ty Arnason has eight points in his past eight games and he will continue to step up for as long as Paul Stastny is on the shelf, which is reportedly until Feb. 10…

Farm Report: Here’s a late bloomer to keep your eye on: Undrafted prospect Charles Linglet. The Blues signed the 25-year-old last January and his play in the American League has improved with each passing month. He was a prolific scorer in junior and has 47 points in 48 games for Peoria, including seven in his last four. He is a left winger and offensive players in that position are hard to come by.

 

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