Everyone believes it is coming. It just hasn’t happened yet.
Jeff Carter was one of the premier prospects in the game and when he made the NHL at age 20 he showed enough flashes of brilliance to convince most pundits that somewhere inside that 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame was a star in the making.
Opinions vary on his upside, with experts believing he can achieve anywhere from 80 to more than 100 points.
Personally, I believe Carter can reach the 95-point mark, with 40-plus goals. So when does he break out and become a fantasy asset? His third, fourth or fifth year?
A fantasy asset to me is a player that can reach the 60-point mark. Generally, offensive players break out and reach that level in Year 4.
Carter’s last campaign was marred by an ankle injury. This season is his third and things are looking fantastic so far.
He has four goals, one assist and is a plus-5 in five games. He is on pace for 200 shots on goal and just under 100 penalty minutes. That’s gold in all fantasy formats.
There are reasons to believe that, while his current torrid pace is unsustainable, he should be able to flirt with 30 goals, 65 points, 90 penalty minutes and 200 shots.
First of all, his confidence is at an all-time high. He is looking for the puck and he is hungry for it – because he knows what he wants to do with it before he gets it. This boldness, according to coach John Stevens, was not there a year ago.
Secondly, he is not in the spotlight. Last season, Carter was the first-line center for most of the year as Peter Forsberg was plagued with injuries and eventually dealt to Nashville.
Carter was not ready for the first-line job – yet. Now, with Daniel Briere firmly entrenched in the No. 1 slot, Carter can hone his game out of the Philadelphia glare.
He’s taking the next step this season, a step that will eventually lead him to stardom…
While I don’t trust Toronto’s Nik Antropov to remain healthy for more than 60 games this year, he does make a great short-term pickup in roto-leagues. The line on Antropov: seven games, nine points, 24 penalty minutes, plus-9 and 19 shots…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Anaheim rearguard Mathieu Schneider out for another two weeks or so, Francois Beauchemin still makes an excellent pickup. He has been logging a pile of ice time and has five points in his past four contests…With St. Louis rookie Erik Johnson on the shelf with a small fracture in his foot, Steve Wagner, another St. Louis rookie, has filled in nicely with three points in his past three games. He is worth taking a short-term flyer on.
Farm Report: Montreal prospect Sergei Kostitsyn is off to a great start in his pro debut. After impressing the Habs with a strong training camp, he has carried that momentum into the AHL. He has five points in three games for Hamilton. I had originally felt that he was three or four years away from t