|Written by Dobber|
|Friday, 09 February 2007 12:12|
By Dobber - Originally posted Jan. 24 by The Hockey News, ESPN.com, and MSN.ca.
At every position there are players that immediately come to mind as a poolie’s dream. Left wing: Alex Ovechkin. Center: Sidney Crosby. Right Wing: Jaromir Jagr. Goaltender: Martin Brodeur. Defenseman: Chris Pronger. There is turnover at every position. With these examples, the first two will be there for awhile, whereas the latter three have been there awhile.Before you know it, perhaps as early as next year, there will be a new name to replace Pronger’s. That name is Dion Phaneuf. Like Pronger, this kid has a full fantasy toolbox. He’ll get you goals, assists, power-play goals, penalty minutes, shots, plus/minus…pretty much every possible fantasy category out there. Unlike Anaheim’s Pronger, the 21-year-old (wow – 21 years old!!) is producing immediately. It took the veteran Duck rearguard seven NHL seasons to start putting up the numbers.
The Calgary blueliner put up some very impressive numbers as a rookie last year in all the fantasy categories. He will blow each and every one of those numbers away this go-around. The ninth-overall draft pick in 2003, Phaneuf is already a Top 10 rearguard both in real, as well as fantasy hockey. By 2008, there is no reason to believe that he will not be number one.
Dion Phaneuf is destined to be a 65-point, 120-penalty-minute, plus-20 defenseman year in and year out….
Vancouver winger Taylor Pyatt, a preseason fantasy dark horse with the potential for good things on a line with the Sedin twins, is starting to show some spark. He had three points in two games prior to breaking his thumb. After missing just one game (and now playing with a brace) he has returned to tally three more points in his two games back. His ice time has not increased any, as he has still hovered around the 13-minute mark during those four games. As well, he has not been clicking with any particular line, since he is seeing pretty much equal time on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and on a line with Markus Naslund and Ryan Kesler. Just chalk up the hot streak for what it is – a hot streak. Expect 45 points this season from the big winger…
The all-star break could not have come soon enough for the Los Angeles Kings, who are winless in their last seven games. The team has also scored more than two goals just once in that span. Leading scorer Alexander Frolov has just two points in his last eight games. The offense, what little there has been, has come from Michael Cammalleri. He has 11 points in his last nine games…
Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective:Florida’s Todd Bertuzzi will be back in the lineup in mid-late February after an extended stay on the IR after back surgery. It is expected that he will displace Nathan Horton from the top line, who will in turn displace Rostislav Olesz from the second line.