Now that you got your fill on defensemen, it is time to showcase a few deserving forwards who excel in the combined ‘Hits’ and ‘Blocked Shots’ department. Forwards are a very different breed than defensive defensemen and blocked shots are not very forward friendly.


On the front line, reaching 100 blocked shots should be considered a rare feat.  In fact, the last forward to record 100 or more blocked shots was Ryan Johnson with 109, in 2007-08. One season later, Chris Drury posted 97, but only finished 67 hits… not exactly monster worthy.

Since then, few forwards have stood out of the pack, and only a handful have been as consistent in blocking shots as they are in hits. With that in mind, Roto Keeper Monsters presents to you three shot blocking musketeers: the veteran, the graduate and the breakout.

The Veteran

Over the last four years, only one forward has averaged 74 or more Blocked Shots - Mike Fisher. The former Senators’ forward has flourished in the block shots department, finishing top five in three of the last four seasons. Usually, when a player moves to a new franchise (and system) mid-season, you expect an adjustment period, but Mike Fisher’s change in team did not affect his on-pace totals. When prorating both sets of numbers to 82 games, the results show 88 (Ottawa) and 91 (Nashville) – Mike finished the 2010-11 season with 89 blocked shots, topping all other forwards.

It is not recommended to draft Mike Fisher as your first line center, because on most other teams, he wouldn’t be. More specifically, those drafting him expecting heavy production based on goals and assists have been misled. Reality check! What best suits Fisher for your fantasy squad is his ability to put up high combined totals of hits and blocked shots (shots on goal as well).

Fisher should consistently finish top fifteen in hits and top five in blocked shots yearly, hovering just over 200 and 80 respectively. Although, like seen this past season, expect the odd off year.

One Year Upside : 202 Hits, 87 Blocked Shots
Three Year Upside : 223 Hits, 99 Blocked Shots


The Graduate

Welcome to the shot blocking show Ryan Callahan, and congratulations on posting back-to-back top five finishes! With the departure of Chris Drury, Callahan becomes the likely candidate to turn Captain – a seamless transfer in the eyes of many. It is evident that Drury was invaluable to Callahan’s learning curve, as the young 26 year old seems to have taken many pointers from this veteran’s game.

Over the last three seasons, Callahan recorded 774 hits, an average of 258 per campaign. However, this past season, Callahan was poised to shatter career highs in both hits and blocked shots; unfortunately it was cut short to 60 games due to injury. Even then, Ryan finished the season posting a remarkable 224 hits and 77 blocked shots. A deeper look will reveal that when prorated to a full season, those same numbers leap to 306 and 105, respectively.


When the New York Rangers needed a spark, he showed up, and he will do the same for your fantasy team. While he remains a Restricted Free Agents, it would not be wise for the Rangers to lose their team’s heart and soul. What Callahan brings to the game is truly intangible.

One Year Upside : 292 Hits, 93 Blocked Shots
Three Year Upside : 318 Hits, 107 Blocked Shots

The Breakout

One offseason ago, who would have guessed that a player named Brian Boyle would finish the season with 240 hits (one hit behind Ovechkin) and 86 blocked shots (three blocked shots behind Fisher)? For those counting, he also recorded 21 goals, 14 assists, 74 PIMs and 218 shots, all while making $525,000.

As seen in Tim Lucarelli’s “Late Blooming Brian Boyle”, Brian’s career path was a rollercoaster ride filled with obstacles. Despite this, the Rangers have shown confidence in him, dishing out a stellar three-year, 5.1 million dollar contract extension. Good term, great contract. Sitting behind newly acquired centerman Brad Richards and sophomore Derek Stepan on the depth chart should not be of concern - third line duties serve Boyle best.

Until puck drop, the thought of the former first round draft pick being a one season wonder will undoubtedly linger. However, Brian Boyle may have finally found his niche, and we should expect similar peripherals from him in 2011-12.

One Year Upside : 237 Hits, 78 Blocked Shots
Three Year Upside : 249 Hits, 90 Blocked Shots


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Comments (5)add comment

shaun b said:

Blocking Shots and Injuries @ Michal Sk

Good point.

July 17, 2011
Votes: +0

Michal Sk said:

... Great observation, very good article - as Callahans owner last year (the league has both, hits and blocks) i was very pleased with all categories he was able to fill in. The only problem is that there was not injury as you say, but a couple of them - both caused by shots he blocked and both were broken bones (hand and leg)...
For my fantasy team was this type of injury much worse than concussion, because last year i had my players out with broken bones while blocking shots on 4 occasions, twice Callaghan, Brassard and Mikko Koivu once. Two of my players, Pomminville and Andy McDonald, did have concussions so the impact of blocked shots on my team was much worse...
The year before, two of my players were out with broken bones, too... Sedin and Dubinsky - just one of them while blocking shot, Dubinsky and in Sedins case it was shot by his own teammate...
What i want to say is that i will try to draft forwards who will produce points, faceoff, shots and hits, guys who don't kill penalties as much, but i will try get my blocks from dmen. They are not so hard to obtain at the end of draft, or even from FA...
July 16, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Great Value Perfect piece.
Well written, concise, with a ton of value!!!

Nice job Gates!!
July 15, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

... Really good article! I traded away Fisher a couple of years ago but I've been thinking about reaquiring him since we use quite a few categories.
July 15, 2011
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

Good job Nice work Gates. What's also useful for all three is that they all have some offensive value dependent on the depth of the league. Callahan of course is the most offensive of them all, and being a RW he would have far greater value. But in deeper leagues, Fisher and Boyle could be useful depth additions, especially as they have shown the ability to score 20+ goals and fire 200+ shots on goal. For a centre, that helps them separate themselves from other players in this position.
July 15, 2011
Votes: +0
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