With the holiday season coming up, and jewelry commercials saturating all forms of media and consciousness, I thought I’d talk about NHL players have been certifiable gems thus far this season, as well as some that have been absolute fool’s gold.
Let's try not to address the same tired old players that you’ve heard about time and time again. Everyone and their mother knows that Nik Antropov, Matt Cullen and Mike Richards are producing at an amazing rate. These columns will address players that you haven’t yet read about in other articles.
***The following statistics are accurate as of Wednesday morning, December 12, 2007***
In Part I, I’ll discuss some players who (if you managed to snag them in the draft or off of the waiver wire in the early goings of the season) have paid nice and somewhat unexpected dividends. These guys have (in many cases) rewarded their savvy fantasy managers with a good position in the standings heading into the holiday season.
Shawn Horcoff – 33 Points in 32 games. He’s averaged just over a point per game which puts him on pace for a career season.
On top of his raw point total, further analysis shows that this guy has more goals (he currently has 15) than the likes of Dany Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Michael Cammalleri, and Zach Parise (who all have 14), Ryan Getzlaf (who has 13), Marion Hossa (who has 12), Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, and Daniel Sedin (who all have 11). He is the third ranked natural center in goals in the league. Only Vincent Lecavalier and Olli Jokinen have more goals than him thus far.
In addition, his plus/minus rating is a team leading plus-6 rating; he has 20 penalty minutes on the year, and has taken 69 shots on goal. He’s been one of the most well-rounded centers in the league through the first third of the season.
His production might taper off a bit through the rest of the season, but he is almost a lock to return to 70-plus points this season (after a disappointing 51 point season last year). Many people are recommending him as a sell high candidate, and in keeper leagues that is very advisable because of the depth the Oilers have in terms of prospects at center. In one year roto leagues however, I’d hold onto him for now. He’s currently riding an 8 game point streak in which he has 13 points, and for some reason people have a low opinion of this guy and you might not be able to convince many experienced fantasy players that he is worth their time of day. Remember, they don’t have to be pretty to watch, but if they put up the numbers they are worth your time.
Rod Brind’Amour – 32 Points in 31 games. Many people out there continue to think that he’ll slow down… he’s got to right? Apparently he didn’t get the memo. He’s once again on pace for 70-plus points, and has a great shot at breaking 80 for the second straight season.
Like Horcoff, Brindy is also a well balanced center who will get you goals, assists, shots on goal, and penalty minutes. He’s also one of the most defensively responsible