Buy Low – An Early Look at 2008-09

Dobber Sports


Rostislav Olesz


As the 2007-08 campaign draws to a close, I’ve noticed some keeper-league owners growing increasingly sour over certain players. These players are almost certain to come back strong next season – or finally have that long awaited breakout.



Let’s take a look:

Thomas Vanek, Buffalo:
No surprise here. He is an 85-point player in a 65-point player’s body right now. If you can get him for a 75-point guy, make the offer.
Production next season: 85 points

Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina: My favorite “sell high” player of the last three seasons is now a “buy low” player. His age (37) and his injury (ACL) have a lot of poolies jumping ship on this guy. If you own him – don’t waste your time shopping him; you’ll get nothing for him. If you don’t own him and think you can contend next season, I have no doubt that he could be had for a pick. Keep this in mind: he has three years left on his big contract.
Production next season: 65 points

Gilbert Brule, Columbus: A bust? Sure, let’s write a 21-year-old off as having no fantasy future and no upside. Or, we could be reasonable and give him a couple more years. Brule will show signs of what is to come next season, before a big breakout the following year.
Production next season: 35-40 points
Production 2009-10: 65-plus points

Jiri Hudler, Detroit: Fantasy owners don’t have a lot of patience. If a player doesn’t notch 60 points by his second season, he often gets dumped for cheap in fantasy leagues. You should be flying around Hudler’s owner like a vulture.
Production next season: 65 points

Ales Hemsky, Edmonton: He had seasons of 77 and 53 points and is on pace for 69. His fantasy owner no doubt considers him an 80-point guy now. That’s your cue to make the phone call. It may not be next year, or even the year after – but within three years this guy will explode like Vincent Lecavalier did last season. Remember, many people were starting to label Vinny as an 80-point player.
Production in one of the next three seasons: 100 points

Rostislav Olesz, Florida: Once upon a time, there was a top-10 draft pick who made the NHL full time as a 19-year old and put up seasons of 21, 21, 16 and 29 points. Almost every fantasy owner I know bailed on him and lived to regret it when Olli Jokinen posted 65 points. Now, Olesz will never be a Jokinen – he doesn’t have that ability to avoid injury – but he could be just as adept a producer. With his third consecutive sub-35-point season, Olesz could be had for a song.
Production in one of the next two seasons: 70 points, health permitting

Andy McDonald, St. Louis: He’s perfect for the second line, and with the arrival of T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund next season, he will at least be shifted down to a 1B or 1C type of pivot. His production as a Blue has dipped lately and he is looking like a 60-point player. That should improve with a better cast around him next year. His 50 points this year will be an eye