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PA Parenteau - unheralded and undervalued

Some thought PA Parenteau's production would dip after he left the Islanders, but it's actually continued to increase.  (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Some thought PA Parenteau's production would dip after he left the Islanders, but it's actually continued to increase. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

"I'll give you Jason Pominville for PA Parenteau."

This email came across my screen a week ago from a fellow GM in one of my points-only keeper leagues, where points transfer over in trades. He went on to add: "You get the better player, I get the points."

Hmmm. Give some thought to Pominville versus Parenteau and you'll come to realize that most people feel the same way as this GM does. After all, the 30-year-old Pominville is coming off a 73-point season and once reached the 80-point mark. He's been in the league for eight years and has topped 60 points in five of them. Meanwhile, Parenteau is the same age and yet just three years ago he was finishing the final few games of his AHL career.

A hockey player who toiled in the AHL as a 26-year-old isn't taken seriously in fantasy hockey. Generally speaking, if a prospect hasn't cracked an NHL lineup by the time he's 24, fantasy owners write him off as a career minor-leaguer. There are exceptions, but even those exceptions failed to turn into anything great. Anybody remember Jeff Hamilton?

What the New York Islanders are doing, however, is worthy of attention in fantasy circles. Ever look at an AHL star's numbers and wonder why he isn't getting an NHL shot? The answer is often a combination of two things:

1. One particular skill is just slightly below where it needs to be, in order to fit the mold of "NHLer." This could be (and often is) skating, defensive acumen, or lack of physical play.

2. Too many highly touted and younger prospects are getting priority in terms of opportunity. Why give Player X, who was drafted in the seventh round, a look when your 20-year-old former second round pick is waiting for his chance?

The Islanders have been foregoing some of that. They have been setting this "minor-leaguer bias" aside and giving the player a chance based on his talent and ability, not the name on the back of his jersey. The result has seen Matt Moulson make the jump to the NHL one month before his 26th birthday and Parenteau doing so at 27.

And because Moulson has become a proven 35-goal scorer and Parenteau a proven 65-point player, poolies need to set aside their own "minor-leaguer bias" as well. Look at Parenteau's career trend:

P-A PARENTEAU STATS
Year
GP
PTS
PPG
TOI
SOG
2009-10
22
8
0.36
13:41
38
2010-11
81
53
0.65
18:13
161
2011-12
80
67
0.84
18:39
167
2012-13
38
37
0.97
19:18
87


The points-per-game average is rising faster than his ice time. His shot totals (per game) are increasing. But those numbers, while promising, mean so much more when they go alongside the contract. At $4 million per year for another three seasons, you can safely bank on Parenteau logging the key minutes with the best linemates available.

As noted in the intro, I own Parenteau in one of my keeper leagues and am absolutely certain that I will never get value for him in a trade. His name doesn't carry weight like "Pominville" or "Staal," but the numbers support the notion. Apart from the improving production he's also been healthy, having played nearly every game since becoming a full-timer. That's fantasy hockey gold. But it seems it will be quite some time before the bulk of poolies catch onto that.

If Parenteau is going to be a top 25 scorer for the better part of five seasons, as I think he will, then I'll just hang on to him and enjoy the reliable production. The Avalanche will, too.

 

I'm not Josh-ing you

It looks like fantasy owners are getting teased by another late-season surge from the Islanders' Josh Bailey. He did this last year, posting 18 points in the last 20 games after 14 points in 60 before that. He did this the season before that as well, although not as blatantly - 13 points in 28 games to end 2010-11 after starting it with 15 in 42.

Now Bailey is on another hot run, with nine points in 11 games including five in his past four. Definitely worth the waiver grab for the stretch run of your fantasy 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. 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.com or follow him on Twitter at @DobberHockey.

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