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Fantasy Pool Look: Keeping up with the Jones

David Jones of the Colorado Avalanche has 12 goals and 24 points in 70 career NHL games. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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David Jones of the Colorado Avalanche has 12 goals and 24 points in 70 career NHL games. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If only he could stay healthy.

It looks as though we’ll be hearing those words a lot when referring to David Jones in the future. I sure hope I’m wrong, given the way he’s produced since his recent return from the injured list. Colorado’s 25-year-old winger has a point in each of his three contests and has five points in all. He hasn’t done this playing with big names such as Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk or even Matt Duchene, either. No, this has been done with the likes of Cody McLeod and his former Dartmouth teammate T.J. Galiardi.

If the Avs are getting this kind of production from their third line, it’s no wonder they’re off to such a surprising start.

Jones was picked late in the 2003 draft – 288th (wow) overall to be exact. Three years later he blew onto their radar by posting a point-per-game at the college level. He followed that up with 44 points in 33 NCAA contests and the Avs started to realize they may have a sleeper on their hands. He had a solid American League debut a year later in 2007-08 - and although he looked raw during an end-of-season NHL call up, he did not look out of place.

That’s when the injuries began. Between back problems and a shoulder injury, Jones was held out of 42 games in his first full NHL campaign. To start the 2009-10 season on the IR (chest injury) is not a good sign. But it’s still early and he’s still young.

When the Avs start losing – and it’s bound to happen because this is not a 110-point team (or a 90-point team, for that matter) – they will do what every squad does when mired in a losing streak: scramble the lines. When that happens, Jones will be a regular on a scoring line.

Look for David Booth-type statistics out of Jones. Of course, it all depends on his health…

Maybe the Frenchmen in Tampa Bay won’t click together after all. Alex Tanguay has but a single point in six games and sits at minus-3. Naturally that would change when Vincent Lecavalier hits his inevitable stride, but will Tanguay stay on the line that long? If you own him, you’re probably stuck holding onto him because your return on a trade would be pretty poor…

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Has the poster boy for “How Not to Treat a Prospect” actually turned things around? Gilbert Brule has been excellent for the Oilers this season, despite playing just 12 minutes a game. If he hits even a portion of the potential he had as an 18-year-old, he could be a 50-point, 100 PIM player. This season, he has four goals, seven points, nine PIM and is a plus-3 in seven games…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Martin Havlat (groin), Petr Sykora (groin) and Cal Clutterbuck (ankle) all recently injured, the Wild are desperate for some scoring help up front. Considering they have one of the worst prospect systems in the NHL, they won’t get any help there. They have, however, recalled Andy Hilbert and he will be put on a scoring line right away. Hilbert is notorious for going on streaks. He may be worth a short-term flyer if you are desperate for help on the wing.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.

Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out dobberhockey.

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