Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis are listed at 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
With his brief, but impressive appearance late last season, Tyler Ennis was expected to take a run at the Calder Trophy this campaign - at least in fantasy circles. But poolies came back to reality 40 games into the season as Ennis has shown us that, while he is talented, he is no different than most rookies and needs time to develop.
Meanwhile, his miniature compadre, Nathan Gerbe, was expected to make the team, which he did. The hope was, however, we would see glimpses of a potential Theoren Fleury. That, too, was unrealistic. Smaller players generally do not put the big points on the board until they are 26 or 27 (see Steve Sullivan and Martin St-Louis). If they just make the team, put up 20 or 30 points this year, 40 next and I’ll be happy and hopeful for a breakout in 2012-13.
But the recent season-ending injury to Derek Roy could expedite things. These two promising young players are seeing more ice time and power play time and, more importantly, they’re making the most of it. Gerbe has five points in his past six games and was considered Buffalo’s best player in one of the games he failed to post a point. His ice time is up around 15 minutes per game. This is a great sign and if he can keep it up he will possibly have that breakout in 2011-12 instead of the season after. Look for another 20 points in the second half.
With Ennis, things are moving even faster. The 21-year-old first round pick in 2008 (26th overall) had three consecutive two-point games this week, with five of those six points coming on the power play, where he is now a staple. Last season he had 13 points in 16 regular season and playoff games and with Roy out of the mix I get the feeling Ennis will produce at that pace once again. That would give him about 32 points over the final 39 games and have him finish with 57, a total that would be enough to get him into the top five in Calder voting, I’m sure.
The future is bright for these two, but the loss of Buffalo’s star player may see that future arrive sooner than you think.
Gabby’s New Sidekick
Marian Gaborik put on a show Wednesday, scoring four times and adding an assist. But while Gaborik owners are breathing a sigh a relief, Artem Anisimov owners are doing a jig. You see, Anisimov was expected to be a 40-point player this year, but he was Gaborik’s center during that five-point game. If Gaborik has finally found chemistry with his linemates, that makes Anisimov the lottery winner. The 22-year-old, who had four assists in that game, should ride the wave of any Gaborik hot streak.
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective
The shocking news that Tomas Fleischmann was suddenly out for the season caught everyone off guard. You were smiling when you watched your dark horse get traded to a new team and tally 21 points in 22 games, but now you’ve lost him for nothing. It’s a scary injury as well - a blood clot in his lung. This is his second blood clot in two seasons. Until Peter Mueller (concussion) gets back, which is still at least a month away, look for T.J. Galiardi to start posting points again.
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.