J-P Dumont was a very valuable prospect in the fantasy world. With more than 300 points in his final three Quebec League seasons and an astounding 46 points in 19 playoff games for Val d’Or en route to a playoff MVP award, the third overall pick from 1996 had a lot of potential.
(Originally in The Hockey News on February 15)
Keeper league owners had visions of drafting the next 100-point superstar when they picked up Dumont. After a couple of promising seasons in Chicago, Dumont notched 51 points for the Sabres as a 23-year-old. The best he would do for the next three seasons, however, was 53 points and by the time the lockout ended, Dumont was 27 years old and poolies had him pigeonholed as a 55-point player.
An NHL forward usually hits his prime at 27 or 28. Occasionally, players have their breakout seasons later, such as Kristian Huselius and the aforementioned Dumont.
At the age of 27, Dumont notched just 40 points for Buffalo, but played only 54 games. The signs were there, but his production was attributed to the presence of Daniel Briere on his line. Last season, he set a career high of 66 points, but poolies maintained he’d reached his peak. They figured he was a second-line player miscast on the first line.
It’s time to stop that line of thought.
The Nashville winger is 29 years old and is on pace for 73 points. He is in the prime of his career and looks like a legitimate 80-point player. His reputation will make him a cheap acquisition in your keeper league – if the asking price is anything less than a 70-point player, jump on the deal. Dumont is finally doing what he looked like he could do back in 1997.
He has 35 points in his past 29 games and has only been held off the scoresheet four times in that span. He has shown excellent chemistry with linemates Jason Arnott and Alexander Radulov. With future star Radulov on his line for the next couple of seasons, it would be a bad idea to put a ceiling on what Dumont can do for you…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: With Rod Brind’Amour out for the season, look for Eric Staal to go on a hot streak with the added ice time… Sidney Crosby has been skating for a few days now and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him back in action before the end of February…
Farm Report: Carolina prospect Drayson Bowman picked up five points Monday and has 68 points on the season for Spokane of the Western League. The third-round pick from last summer (72nd overall) is 10th in league scoring and is slowly watching his stock rise. He has high-end second-line potential.
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