By now your fantasy hockey draft is done and you are feeling good about your team. No doubt you used the McKeens yearbook to find great value picks and stat stuffing players. Now it is time to move into the second stage of your plan to win the fantasy hockey championship.
While the 2013 NHL season is still in its infant stages only one week in, it is time to evaluate the reality of some of your draft picks in comparison to the reality of their early performance. Chances are, prior to your draft all you had to go on in later rounds were preseason performances, hype and prognostication. Some of those late risky picks may have panned out, some may have not. Perhaps you gambled and lost on players who were returned to junior and are gone for the year. Perhaps they were merely sent to the AHL, they may be back, but when?
Bottom line is if you have a player on your roster who is under performing, injured or not in the league, don’t wait too long to replace him because it may be too late. If your league has a waiver wire or free agency option, it is too late to pick up Tomas Hertl now, but here are some players you need to consider adding to your team.
1. Dave Bolland - Toronto Maple Leafs, Centre 45.7% owned on Fantrax
After scoring the Cup winning goal a few months ago Bolland is brimming with confidence. Perhaps even more importantly, he has the confidence of his Coach. As a result he is getting more ice time than Nazem Kadri and playing on the Leafs second line with Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond. Even Don Cherry was comparing him to Doug Gilmour on Hockey Night in Canada. In four games, Bolland has two goals (one game winner and a PP goal), one assist, is a plus -2, and has eight shots on goal, 12 hits and 32 faceoff wins. In multi category leagues he is dominating.
2. Damien Brunner - New Jersey Devils, Right Wing 64.6% owned
Unsigned all summer as a UFA he was a KHL flight risk and went highly undrafted in most fantasy drafts. He was on a PTO with the Devils and was signed prior to the season. With 26 points in 44 games last season and four points in four games including three goals already he is a solid pick up. Brunner is playing with Ryan Clowe and Loktionov on the second line.
3. Jamie McGinn – Colorado Avalanche, Left Wing 39% owned
McGinn is off to a strong start scoring two goals and two assists in the first three games. He is averaging 15 minutes a night playing on a line with first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, and P.A. Parenteau and the line has great chemistry
4. Vladimir Sobotka – St. Louis Blues, Centre 18.8% owned
Another strong start and another player who has the confidence of his Coach. Sobotka is playing mainly fourth line with Lapierre and Reaves and kill penalties. Don’t expect his three points in two game scoring pace to maintain over a whole season, but he is a viable 30 point producer and is currently winning 78% of his face offs as well
5. Tommy Wingels – San Jose Sharks, Right Wing 17.4% owned
Tomas Hertl is getting all the attention in San Jose, but Wingels has quietly scored three points in his first three games playing on the third line with Joe Pavelski and Matt Nieto. Only scored 13 points in 42 games last season, but has 30 point potential.
6. Alex Killorn – Tampa Bay Lightning, Left Wing 39.3% owned
The 24 year old Harvard man has shown an NHL scoring touch in the NHL already with 19 points in 38 games last year and already has two points in three this year. He is playing on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Ted Purcell. Killorn could score 40 points.
7. Mark Scheifele – Winnipeg Jets, Centre 66.5% owned
The seventh overall and first pick in Jets history has apparently finally made the Jets and looks very impressive on a line with Evander Kane and Devin Setoguchi. He is a Calder candidate with 40 point potential.
8. T.J. Galiardi – Calgary Flames, Left Wing 16.4% owned
Galiardi has found his rookie season production in his hometown in Calgary playing on a line with Jiri Hudler and Mikael Backlund. He has three points in four games and is playing over 14 minutes a game. Injuries have been a concern in the past, but if he can stay healthy he could produce over 30 points.
9. Radek Dvorak – Carolina Hurricanes 9% owned
The 36 year old winger was all but forgotten in fantasy drafts as he was an unsigned UFA. After being invited to Carolinas training camp, he has earned a contract and is playing on the third line with Jeff Skinner and Riley Nash. He has two goals in his first three games.
10.Mark Arcobello – Edmonton Oilers, Centre 17.8% owned
Arcobello played last season with Oklahoma in the AHL between Eberle and Hall during the lockout. He scored 68 points in 74 games. Given the injuries to RNH and Gagner he has started the season with Edmonton and is playing with Eberle and Perron and has two points in three games.