Just two weeks into the NHL season and there are more than a few surprise producers around the league. Here is what you can expect from two of them, in both the long and the short term.
Six games into his NHL campaign and Carolina’s Jeff Hamilton knows his role. With approximately 12 minutes of ice time per game, but six minutes of power play time – he is there to boost the offense. Hamilton has been on the point for the majority of the power play time – he leads all ‘Canes in that department by a wide margin. Four of his six points were with the man advantage.
With Carolina’s power play in the top seven in the league right now, you know that they will continue with this arrangement even if Hamilton were to go pointless for five games. They will keep him as their quarterback and it would take a colossal slump to remove him from there.
A point per game is obviously a little much to expect from Hamilton this season, but a high-level power-play quarterback will generally produce in that 50- to 65-point range. Barring one of those colossal slumps, that is where you can expect Hamilton to wind up. In the meantime, he makes a great short-term pickup as a depth center. It’s just too bad he that he will likely not get rotisserie consideration as a defenseman…
If Niklas Hagman hasn’t caught your attention yet, allow me to point him out to you. The 28-year-old has seven points in six games, including five goals. On a team desperate for offense, this is coming from an unexpected source. He was a big scorer over in Finland and when he arrived in the NHL, the upside at the time was considered to be that of a second liner capable of potting 65 points. However, after five seasons of not even posting 30 points, he has long been written off by poolies.
He is clicking on a line with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro and is also seeing time on the second power-play unit. His production will depend on how long his linemates can stay healthy. Since Dallas will be hard-pressed to boast a 65-point player this season, it is unreasonable to expect Hagman to get to that level. For the short term, he is another good one to grab off the waiver wire. By the end of the season, however, I would be surprised if he reaches the 45-point mark. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t watching him closely. Just to make sure…
For the last couple of years, fantasy fanatics have used something on NHL.com called a ‘shift chart’. It is a way of determining quickly which players played with whom at different points in a hockey game. It is a valuable tool as it determines line combinations, power-play units, etc. You may have noticed that NHL.com has revamped their website and have replaced the shift chart with an in-depth TOI listing. While the new chart is interesting, it is very time consuming if you want to see who was on the ice at the same time with a given player. Let’s bring the shift chart back! An email campaign has begun and we need YOUR help. At the bottom of NHL.com is a link for “feedback” . When you click that link, there is a link at the bottom of the new page that says “contact us here”. Tell them you prefer the shift chart and would like it back!