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Young players to watch

John Carlson, like the rest of the Capitals, hasn't lived up to expectations this season, scoring only eight points in 21 games. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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John Carlson, like the rest of the Capitals, hasn't lived up to expectations this season, scoring only eight points in 21 games. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’re nearing the mid-point of the shortened season. It seems like only yesterday when fantasy hockey kicked off - and now we're in crunch time already. Let's get to some letters!

I'm in a pool where we count for Goalies stats W, GAA, SV% and SO. I have Viktor Fasth and been offered Devan Dubnyk. I’m thinking of cashing in as I can't see Fasth’s stock getting any higher than now especially after he signed the 2 yr deal. Do you think I should pull the trigger?
Tony, Toronto


Hey Tony, I would prefer Dubnyk, to be honest, but I would not trade Fasth for him. Let me explain. There is a difference between getting improved value on a player versus getting full value on a player. You can make a deal that helps your team, yet it could still be a bad deal simply because there was a better deal out there for you that you didn't bother to explore. Shop Fasth around and see what's out there.

Hi Dobber. Been a long time reader and your site only seems to get better. I really enjoyed your top 25 prospect forwards. My keeper league counts G, A, +/-, SOG, Hits and goalie W. So as you can see we favor hits a great deal. It is my hobby to snag power forwards that hit and also have hands when they are prospects and develop them on my squad (ex/ Marcus Foligno and Zach Kassian). When looking at the up and coming power forwards I have been having to watch and read hours and hours of content. Is there any way to gauge a power forward’s likelihood to hit in the NHL? I believe most leagues like the AHL and CHL don't count hits as a stat? So out of Boone Jenner, Charlie Coyle, Nick Bjugstad, Ryan Johansen, Nicklas Jensen, etc. Who do you think will be dishing out the hits?
Marcus, Victoria, B.C.


Hi Marcus, thanks for the kind words. Since the other leagues don't track hits, all you can do is either watch them play yourself or listen to the scouts and NHL GMs. Since the former is next to impossible, due to the dozens of leagues out there, you're stuck with the latter. I think Jenner will be big on using the body at the NHL level, but I have my doubts about the others on your list.

Hey Dobber, Thanks for sharing your insights with us poolies! Our league is about to have our mid-season draft and I was wondering if you could suggest some young players who may be looking at a big jump next season - an example might be someone like Mike Green whose point progression went from 3 to 12 to 56 to 73. Only caveat is that they will need to have played a minimum of 12 games in this abbreviated season. Thanks in advance.
Bill, Calgary


Thanks Bill! And wouldn't that be nice? But having a crystal ball that could give me that information would suck all the fun out of fantasy hockey (after winning a couple of times first, of course). I could give you some candidates, though, who didn't pan out this year when we all thought they would:

Mikael Granlund, Minnesota
Cam Atkinson, Columbus
Jonas Brodin, Minnesota
Jakob Silfverberg, Ottawa
David Rundblad, Phoenix
Alexander Killorn, Tampa Bay
John Carlson, Washington (still waiting on this guy)
Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo

These are players who should, at least on paper, take a big step forward next season. But I can assure you that only half of them will, if that.

12 team head to head, keeper league, standard categories + FW and Hits.
1. Jordan Eberle, Derek Stepan for Jamie Benn, Mikael Granlund. Good or bad trade?
2. Goalies are at a premium in our league...Dan Ellis was just snapped up. Onto the point: Robin Lehner is available on the wire, should I drop Andrei Loktionov or Adam Henrique for him?
Ali, Scarborough, Ont.


1. That deal could be won or it could be lost and I don't see an edge either way. So if there is no point in making it and no obvious gain, then I wouldn't bother. I don't trade for the sake of trading.

2. If goalies are at a premium, then Lehner should be owned. The only reason I can think of for this not being the case is because it is a limited keeper league - as in, you can only keep 12 or 15 or something along those lines. If so, then Lehner is not worth grabbing at this point. If it is an unlimited keeper, then by all means drop your low skater for him. If the low guy is Loktionov, who is weak on the draw and doesn't really hit, then make the move.

Hey Dobber, I am in a one-year head to head league and in need of assists and power play points. I was wondering who to drop when Ray Whitney comes back - Danny Briere, Sheldon Souray, Brad Marchand or Whitney? Thanks
Ari, New York


Hey Ari, Mr. One-Point-In-His-Past-11-Games needs to be dropped. I refer to Sheldon Souray.

Follow me on Twitter - @DobberHockey

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.

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