The Canucks' Alexandre Burrows inked a four-year contract extension earlier in March. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Vancouver’s Alex Burrows showed a lot of promise last year in his second full NHL season. Not a lot of players can give you 31 points and 179 penalty minutes in your fantasy league. He’s shown a lot more than just promise in 2008-09, though. Burrows has delivered, and then some.
The late bloomer couldn’t even crack an American League roster until he was 23 years old. Now 27 and with a four-year contract in his pocket, Burrows doesn’t have to worry about making it in the AHL anymore because he’s in the NHL to stay. What’s more, in many rotisserie-league formats, Burrows is an elite player. His production is on pace to finish as follows: 82-26-22-48, plus-16, 138 PIM, 4 SHG, 2 GWG and 177 shots.
He is one of just three players who have at least 40 points and 115 penalty minutes - Scott Hartnell and David Backes are the other two. However, Backes is a minus-4 whereas Burrows is sitting at plus-14.
What’s more, the Canucks winger has 15 of those points (along with a plus-11 rating) in his past 13 contests. Now regularly logging around 20 minutes a contest, one wonders where this undrafted gem will top out. Reaching 60 points may be a stretch, but do you really want to doubt this guy? Put him down for 55 points and 130 penalty minutes next year and draft him accordingly in September…
The line on Sean Avery since he rejoined the Rangers reads: five points in six games, 10 PIMs, even plus/minus, while logging at least 16 minutes of ice time in his past three games. The Avery you drafted in September is apparently back…
Mark Streit has 14 points in 15 games since returning from his upper body injury. Despite missing five games this season, he's still going to top 60 points. The 31-year-old is signed for four more seasons and it wouldn't surprise me if he was among the top five in defenseman scoring in each of them. He doesn't have the pedigree of a Jay Bouwmeester, Ryan Whitney or Jack Johnson, but Streit will outscore all three of them over the next four years. In your keeper league, you may want to remember that – to trade Bouwmeester and receive Streit and another asset would be a major coup…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Jere Lehtinen (upper body) returning to the Dallas lineup Tuesday, all signs point to a decline in production from rookie James Neal. The youngster has been hot and cold all season: 11 points in 27 games were followed by seven in six; then one point in eight was followed by nine in six. Currently, he has five points in his past 17 games, so Neal is the top candidate to be demoted to the third line upon Lehtinen’s return…
Farm Report: It was an insignificant deal at the trade deadline, but it’s a Steve Mason injury away from having a major impact in roto leagues next season. Goaltender Kevin Lalande, Calgary’s fifth-round draft pick in 2005, was buried in the Flames’ system and forced to play in the ECHL. The Blue Jackets took advantage and ‘stole’ Lalande for a fourth-round pick. What’s the early return? Last week, Lalande backstopped Syracuse (the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate) to a 3-0-0 record despite being outshot 114-71. He was the first star in all three games and was named the AHL’s player of the week.