Shawn Horcoff had only 36 points in 77 games last season, but has a career high of 73 points. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
As fantasy draft season reaches its peak, what better time to give you some suggestions for the late rounds? Here are some players who I think will give you more points than the alternatives out there.
I’m notorious for my loyalty to this guy and his upside, but when a talented player gets 53 points as a sophomore, you can’t write him off even if he followed it up with a mediocre season and a horrible one. Now O’Sullivan is finding success early in Carolina and has been a fixture on the Eric Staal line. After seeing what Staal did to Jussi Jokinen’s fantasy value a year ago, one has to think the same could happen to O’Sullivan.
Niskanen took a step back in 2009-10, his third NHL campaign. We all know about the dreaded “sophomore slump” – this one was just delayed. I’d look for a rebound this season, as Stephane Robidas is hardly the answer. As further evidence for a comeback, Niskanen tallied four points in seven pre-season games.
Horcoff’s big seasons were all about Ales Hemsky – when Hemsky was out of the lineup, Horcoff tended to stumble badly. Now Hemsky is back, but Horcoff finds himself clicking with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as his linemates. Not a bad consolation. The three of them should get at least 50 points each this season, with a decent possibility of clearing 65 or even more.
It is always a game of darts trying to figure out how the Predators’ lines will shake out, but early on there is one trio that is really clicking. Last year’s leading goal-scorer, Patric Hornqvist, is on O’Reilly’s right wing and veteran sniper Steve Sullivan is on the other. O’Reilly is one of the most underrated setup men. You do the math. Look for 45 to 50 points.
One second he’s centering Marian Gaborik’s line; the next he’s off. Regardless of who Stepan is playing with, the rookie is producing. He’ll be on and off that big line all season and in the end his final stats will surprise you.
The undrafted goaltender has had a marvellous training camp and with Michael Leighton on the shelf for a month or so, Bobrovsky will have a chance to take over the netminding duties. The Flyers aren’t exactly set in stone between the pipes.
He’s playing with Evgeni Malkin and the two are clicking. I shouldn’t have to say more than that, but I will anyway. Comrie is practically a lock to get hurt at some point this season and will likely lose his plum spot when Jordan Staal returns. But for the first four weeks of the season he is a safe bet for four points per week.
Steen was actually the leading scorer on the team in the second half of last year with 43 points in his final 49 contests. Since he only finished with 47 points, that puts him fairly low on a lot of lists.
After starting last season with 12 points in 35 games to go along with four healthy scratches, Kulemin became a new man in the second half. His 24 points in the final 43 games do not give justice to how well he actually played. With six points in seven pre-season games, he is starting to show he would like to be more than just an afterthought on Toronto’s second line. He’s ready for 45 to 55 points.
He beat out the favoured Mathieu Perreault for a roster spot because of his strong two-way presence. Still, on a powerhouse team like Washington, Johansson should find himself playing with some pretty sweet linemates most of the time. That alone will put him above the 40-point mark.
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.