Jakub Voracek has 14 goals and 46 points in 77 games this season for Columbus. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
We were warned of this in Jakub Voracek’s draft year: high-end, game-breaking talent, but head-shaking inconsistency. And three years into his NHL career, we’re seeing it first hand.
The thinking is, in both the fantasy world and reality, most 18-year-olds struggle to remain consistent and as they mature and gain experience things start to iron out. There are, of course, exceptions - look at Kristian Huselius or Andrei Kostitsyn - but for the most part, the youngsters will eventually play a steady game and become quality NHL players.
Poolies are getting frustrated with Voracek, however. The Columbus right winger has been pointless in his past 10 games and it is now looking as though he will follow up his 50-point sophomore season by, well, not getting 50 points.
Keeper-league owners, this is your time to strike. Voracek’s owner has sat on him for nearly four years now (he was drafted seventh overall in 2007) and all there is to show for it is a 50-point season. But Voracek is still just 21 years old and next season will be his fourth in the NHL - and we all know how much I favor that magical fourth season. I think we’ll see him in that 60- to 65-point range in 2011-12, eventually peaking in the mid-70s. If you can acquire him for a draft pick, then I suggest you roll the dice.
Alex Tanguay lost a small step when he went from Calgary to Montreal in 2008-09 and that developed into a giant step when he signed with Tampa Bay the following season. Calgary gave him another chance this year and by mid-season he clearly found his stride. The 31-year-old has 32 points in his past 30 games, pushing his season total to the 65-point mark for the first time in four years. It’s almost as if the shoulder injury that plagued him in Montreal continued to impact his game with the Lightning and even the first two or three months back in Calgary. Whatever the reason, he’s fine now and if he can re-sign with the team I don’t believe this is a one-off - he’s back to being a 70-plus point guy.
Matt D’Agostini really took off once Alex Steen became sidelined. However, even though Steen has returned, D’Agostini is still wielding a hot stick. Steen has been unable to get back his time on the top power play unit and the reason for that is D’Agostini’s play. The 24-year-old has 16 points in his past 12 games and with three more strong showings he could reach the 50-point mark.
With the Blues being such a deep team brimming with potential, it is hard to see where either of these two shake out. All we know for sure is T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart, Andy McDonald and David Backes are the five key players up front. It is left to Steen, D’Agostini, David Perron and the highly touted Vladimir Tarasenko to show enough to get the final top-six spot next season.
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. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.
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