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 2014-15 NHL season is still in its infant stages, it is time to evaluate the reality of some of your draft picks in comparison to the reality of their performance and opportunity. 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 underperforming, 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 here are some players you need to consider adding to your team.
Brock Nelson – New York Islanders, LW 59% Fantrax owned
The Islanders are off to a hot start and Nelson is red hot with four goals and three assists for seven points in his first four games. What is even more promising about his great start is his line mates are Mikhail Grabovski and Ryan Strome, good line mates but safe to say he is not riding the coat tails of super star John Tavares. The former 30th overall first round pick from 2010 is in his second season showing no signs of the dreaded sophomore slump.
Johnny Boychuck – New York Islanders, D 62.5% owned
The new addition to the Islandres has seen an increased role and increase in power play minutes since leaving Boston and getting out from behind the big shadow of Zdeno Chara. Boychuck has a heavy shot and is now getting prime power play opportunities and playing over 22 minutes a game with six points in four games and a plus -5.
Damon Severson – New Jersey, D 28.3% Owned
Severson has jumped from the WHL straight into the NHL with aplomb. The big 20 year old rookie has three goals and four points in his first four games as a Devil. Paired with Andy Greene, he is logging 19:43 minutes per game and has a plus -5 rating with 15 shots on goal.
Andre Burakovsky – Washington, LW 54.6% Owned
Still may yet see time in the AHL this season, but after four games he has five points including two goals. Last season on the power house Erie Otters he scored an impressive 87 points in 41 games. He has tremendous fantasy value and should be considered a keeper.
Leo Komarov – Toronto, LW 21.7% owned
Komarov makes his return to the NHL on an impressive third line with David Clarkson and Mike Santorelli. Komarov has more value in leagues with hits and penalty minute categories as he is the hit seeking missile. However in the KHL he was a scorer and after four games he has three assists, seven shots and 14 hits.
Simon Gagne – Boston, LW 7.2% Owned
At 34 years of age he was given a PTO during training camp and has earned a contract. He has only been in two games early in this season but has made an impact so far scoring a goal and seeing some time on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. If he continues to line up with those two, he will have fantasy value and in capped leagues, he is very affordable at $600,000
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