With all the hype surrounding this week's World Junior Championship, it would seem silly to not start this week's article off with theÂ…
Farm Report: This year's WJC was as exciting as ever, and there were some revelations for keeper league owners. First and foremost - Evgeni Malkin is a dominant player. No big revelation there - more of a reassurance, actually. Poolies have been drooling over this guy for over a year now, and leading the tournament in points is further proof. His performance at the upcoming Olympics will take that reassurance one step further. How he performs there will speak volumes, but don't judge him completely on that. He is, after all, only 19 years old. If Malkin contributes a point or two on the third line for Russia at the Olympics, be very impressed. 19-year-olds just don't do that for a hockey powerhouse like Russia. In October, Malkin will make his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and his impact will be similar to that of fellow Russian Alexander Ovechkin. I'm serious - expect more of the same. Playing on the same power play unit as Sidney Crosby should provide big offensive numbers for the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder. Ovechkin, Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Marian Hossa, and Malkin - you will these names sprinkled throughout the top 10 NHL scorers for the next dozen yearsÂ…Buffalo prospect Marek Zagrapan put on quite a show at the tourney. The Slovakian center compiled eight points in just four games. He's two or three years from entering the NHL, but he looks like a good oneÂ…Fellow Slovak Stanislav Lascek also had a good tournament, garnering 10 points in four games. Drafted in the fifth round (133rd overall), Lascek is on more than a two-points-per-game pace in the Quebec Major Junior LeagueÂ…If Washington can get over Chris Bourque's 5-foot-7 stature, he may have a future as a star in the NHL. Bourque had a tourney-high seven goals for Team USA. Washington certainly has plenty of room for him, that's for sure. He'll be a dark horse for the next three or four yearsÂ…Long term prospect: Montreal's Alexei Emelin. The tournament's top scoring defenseman is a good four years away, but should be one of the better scoring NHL defensemen when he arrives.
Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Tampa Bay's Fredrik Modin missed Thursday night's game with a lower body injury. No word on what that isÂ…Mike Ribeiro missed his second straight game for the Habs. Not because he is injured though - he was a healthy scratch. You may want to take a flyer on him in rotisserie pools because a) Montreal lost Thursday night so they'll put him back in on Saturday and b) healthy scratches generally spark the playerÂ…Ovechkin left practice Thursday with a slight groin pull. He may not miss any games, but be forewarned.
Other notes: Alexander Mogilny cleared waivers and New Jersey will now attempt to trade him. A number of sources have rumored Phoenix is interested, but they would likely need to move a couple of million dollars off of their roster to pick up Mogilny's three million-plus tab. HmmmÂ…doesn't Petr Nedved make two million?Â…Chicago's Pavel Vorobiev was sent to the minors. Yes, the 23-year-old that shot out of the gates with 15 points in 13 games will be playing in Norfolk of the American League. Vorobiev has been a high risk-high reward player for quite sometime now, and poolies are now seeing the Â“high riskÂ” part.
Fantasy Hockey 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 Friday afternoon. Also find the top 250 roto-player rankings at the first of every month (email me for the rankings).
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