It is that time again… time to bring another sensational snoozer into the fantasy spotlight. We now take a trip to the Dub, aka the Western Hockey League. The former home of instant-impact NHLer Martin Hanzel has brought us another gem. This is different however. Colin Long is an absolute snorer that no one is talking about.
If you look, many of your favorite hockey sites barely say a peep about this guy. I’d suspect I could count on one hand all the fantasy players who know about him in my country (an exaggeration, but I do live in the US after all).
Colin Long possesses a unique combinations of traits not often found at the top of major junior leaderboards. He is a player who went undrafted despite being draft eligible. He isn’t too old for his league, and he isn’t extremely small like the 5-foot-7 Colton Yellow Horns of the world. Colin is listed at 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds… a completely acceptable size for a hockey prospect at the age of 18. He is the top scorer in the WHL this season, and no one gave him a chance in the draft. Why? Is it because of some strange bias against the Kelowna Rockets? No, many Kelowna alums such as Sheldon Souray, Shea Weber and Chuck Kobasew now skate the NHL ice. Is it because he is from the hockey hotbed known as Santa Ana, California? No. Although that really isn’t going to help him get noticed, his previous production is the actual reason for the snub.
Colin Long, C, Kelowna Rockets
2005-06: 20GP, 1G, 3A, 4P, 6PIM
2006-07: 69GP, 11G, 17A, 28P, 38PIM
2007-08: 46GP, 23G, 44A, 67P, 23PIM
Whatever the reason, Colin Long was a late bloomer and has become an instant star this season. With 23 fewer games played thus far, Long has already exceeded (more than doubled!) his WHL career high by an astounding 39 points. He was the Player of the Month in December with 23 points during that time and is now ahead of fantasy prospect heartthrobs like Mark Santorelli, Kyle Beach and Oscar Moller…. all players spoken of and found on farms around the fantasy world. Meanwhile, Colin Long lurks unnoticed by most. He is younger than Santorelli or Moller and was already draft eligible, unlike Mr. Beach.
What does this mean? It means in many fantasy leagues, this is a guy who may be eligible for your farm that no one has snagged. Just like David Perron who was a year older when drafted, Colin Long looks primed to jump on the NHL fast track. Just think… Martin Hanzal had 85 points in 60 games in the WHL last year and now look at him. Colin Long is on that same pace. Heck, with a healthy season, he is on pace to easily pass the 93 points put up by 2006-07 scoring champ Zach Hamill. Colin Long is having one of the best WHL seasons in recent memory, and a 100-point season isn’t out of the question. Neither is an NHL career. Get this guy.
The Status Report: A very dusty version this week.
Sergei Zubov, D, DAL
Don’t let the current injuries disturb you. If you look at his history, Zubov always misses five to ten games each season but manages to still be one of the best fantasy defensemen around. With 35 points in 44 games, he is well ahead of last season’s production, even with the injuries. Zubov is showing no signs of slowing down, and Mr. Ribeiro and company are only helping the cause.
From the Dust: The player who may have some value after all.
Joakim Lindstrom, C/W, CLS