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Schenn or van Riemsdyk?

Brayden Schenn scored 33 points in 33 games with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms this season. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Brayden Schenn scored 33 points in 33 games with the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms this season. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Camps are in full swing - and four days into them they are actually winding down. Puck drop is upon us. Let’s get to some letters!

Only five letters submitted this first week. Let's get some more questions coming for the next edition, set for Jan. 30…

Would you rather have Ilya Kovalchuk or Erik Karlsson this shortened year? I can keep one of the two.
John, Somerset, N.J.


I would keep Karlsson. In fantasy hockey, he's the best defenseman to own and would be difficult to reacquire in the draft. Whereas with Kovalchuk, if you fail to reacquire him you can always grab a winger with potential that is fairly similar.

Hey Dobber, in a keeper league, which young gun would you prefer - Brayden Schenn or James van Riemsdyk? Schenn is going to cost less after this year.
Kelly, London, Ont.


Hey Kelly, I would keep Schenn. Although he had a couple of injuries last year, he still strikes me as more durable than JVR, who is hurt quite often (and already this week left practice with a bruised foot). Their upsides are similar, but my hunch is that Schenn will give you reliable games. The cheaper price seals the deal.

My fantasy league is head-to-head with G, A, Pts, PIM,PPP and plus-minus. I was wondering who I should take - Jakob Silfverberg or Roman Cervenka? They are both untested, but I think they could have great sleeper potential. Should I go with one of these two, or go with a veteran that I know will be solid, but without the potential?
Derek, Wallaceburg, Ont.


Hi Derek, I would go with Silfverberg. He has tremendous upside for Ottawa, having dominated the Swedish Elite League last year (he won league MVP and playoffs MVP). This season it took him a few games to get acclimated to the American League, but once he got rolling he tallied 25 points in his last 24 games for Binghamton. Cervenka has decent upside, but he is battling through a blood clot issue. Besides that, the Calgary forward also has proven little in North American hockey.

We like sleepers in terms of players, but what teams do you think will surprise and flop this short season? Thank You
Maurice, Bouctouche, Que.


I think either this season or next the Oilers will catch everyone off guard and finish 10 spots higher in the standings than the most optimistic expert will peg them. As well, since the Islanders have signed Radek Martinek, brought back Lubomir Visnovsky and claimed Thomas Hickey, their defense has improved quite a bit over the past three days. That was their weakness. I think they'll surprise.

On the flip side I think the San Jose Sharks could surprise us by finally taking that step back. It was a good run, but the core of this team is aging, Logan Couture aside.

Hey Dobber - love your work!!! Do you think Mikhail Grigorenko makes the Sabres squad this season? If not, how close do you think he is? And more importantly, what is his future fantasy upside? Is he an 80+ point player? Thanks.
Phil, Mississauga, Ont.


Thanks Phil! I do think Grigorenko makes the team. I also think he is a future 75-plus guy, just falling short of a point-per-game, but coming pretty darn close. But before he gets to that level you will probably see two or three seasons of 50 or 60 points. He's a great player with a combination of size, hands and hockey sense that you don't find in many players.

As a supplement to your THN Fantasy Guide, my own guide over at DobberHockey has projections adjusted for a shortened season. I also have a mobile draft app for Android and iPhone.

Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether or not your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only”, “standard roto league”, or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action. Also note that the mailbag is up every two weeks, so keep that in mind when sending in your question.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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