The players on this list are generally not the most liked among hockey fans. This often leads to them slipping later on in fantasy leagues, as a lot of people pick their favourite players over other skaters who may be more beneficial to their fantasy squad. Break the trend, and take a look at these guys come draft day (or if that has already passed, on the waiver wire)!
Mike Ribeiro – Dallas. Ribeiro has been lambasted countless times for his soft, heartless play, and that culminated in his faking of a neck injury in the playoffs back in 2004. No one has ever questioned his skill level, though. Since coming to Dallas, Ribeiro has been working hard, and playing a much smarter game. He is by far the most creative Star forward, although that may not be saying much. He is dynamic on the powerplay and adds skill and poise to the first unit. He will lead Dallas in scoring this season, playing the majority of his minutes with Brenden Morrow. If you need assists and powerplay points, Ribeiro would be a smart player to look at.
Dan Fritsche – Columbus. Fritsche’s agitating style of play has driven many Western Conference opponents crazy. He played mostly on the third line last season, and will probably start there. The opportunity to move up in Columbus is very big, as they are extremely thin at center. They are playing Gilbert Brule on the wing, and star prospect Derrick Brassard needs more time in junior (although he is the most talented center in the organization already). Fritsche has chemistry with Rick Nash and plays a feisty game that will endear himself to Ken Hitchcock. His versatility at either center or wing also works in his favor. Keep an eye on where Fritsche plays early in the season.
Corey Perry – Anaheim. Perry was a major thorn in the side of many a team last season, because of his aggressive, chippy play. The Ducks as a team played mean last season, thanks to some serious protection with the likes of Parros, Thornton, Moen, and so on. Perry has 40-goal upside, and is the best winger in Anaheim as long as Selanne is still back home in Finland. Everyone knows about his hands, but his major skating improvements are the main reason why he has adapted to the NHL. Perry’s combination of work ethic and skill make it virtually impossible for him to not be a star.
Chris Chelios – Detroit. Chelios has no fantasy value, but he is awesome. 45 years old and still a menace on the ice!
Read more of Jeff Angus, or comment on this article, in Angus Unleashed! His blog on DobberHockey.com.