First quarter grades

Eric Maltais




We’re now at the first quarter mark of the 2008-09 NHL season so it’s time to get out the first grades and who better to evaluate than yours truly to give you an idea if you’re in good hands when the Fantasy Frog gives you advice. That’s right, in this column I am evaluating myself by looking back at the advice I offered in this year’s Dobber Fantasy Guide where I listing 20 players whose stock I expected to drop this season and where the names you found were not the easy ‘anybody could have told you’ names you found in most other fantasy guides. 

Note: Next to each player you’ll find his stats as of November 26, games played, goals, assists and points.

Nik Antropov 21-8-8-16 – Boy, right off the bat I’m not looking so good. Antropov has been a leader in Toronto this season and is on pace to break last year’s 56 points…if he stays healthy all season. However, I don’t expect him maintain such a pace and he’s still a good bet to miss at least 10 games. He’ll break the 40 point mark, but I still wouldn’t bet on him to reach 50. Grade: D (for now)

Brad Boyes 19-10-7-17 – Ok, I’m really not doing too well now since Boyes is on pace to match last year’s 43 goal performance. Grade: F

Dustin Byfuglien 17-2-4-6 – I actually expected better numbers out of Byfuglien, just not numbers worthy of a forward. However, his numbers don’t even warrant owning him even if he qualifies on defense. Grade: B

Pavol Demitra 12-7-6-13 – Demitra’s numbers are actually pretty good, the only problem is that he hasn’t played that much. He’s playing with the Sedins at the moment and as long as this lasts, Demitra will put up excellent numbers. Grade: D (will become an F if he stays on the Sedin line and stays relatively healthy)
Jean-Pierre Dumont 21-4-17-21– Dumont’s is the player that has surprised me the most on this list with his point-per-game production. However, his four goals make up for that somewhat if you expected him to duplicate his career high of 29-goals. Dumont is a definite sell high candidate at the moment. Grade: C (because of the low goal total)

Rick Nash 20-10-9-19 – It’s not that I didn’t like Nash, it’s just that I didn’t think he could reach 40-goals in that Columbus lineup. While he’s on pace to do exactly that, I’m still not convinced he’ll reach the mark since as always Nash has been inconsistent this season going through a stretch of nine games without a goal. Grade: D (yes, will be an F if he scores 40)

Vaclav Prospal 20-4-9-13 – Continuing his good year-bad year habit, Prospal has been disappointing this season. But hey, look on the bright side, he’s a great sleeper for next year. Grade: A

Mike Ribeiro 20-2-16-18 – I guess Cuba Gooding Jr. won’t be winning another Oscar anytime soon (read the guide if you don’t get it). After posting an outstanding 25.2 shooting percentage last year, his shooting percentage is 6.2. No surprise that he won’t score 20 goals. Grade: A+

Cory Stillman 13-5-4-9 – After a hot start Stillman went scoreless in his six straight games. He’s currently out due to injury so the jury’s still out on him, but his numbers are pretty much the drop expected. Grade: B

Tobias Enstrom 20-1-6-7 – I know some of you didn’t believe it when I wrote that Ron Hainsey would hurt his production. Grade: A

Niklas Hagman 21-7-8-15 – On pace to match last year’s 27 goals, Hagman has turned out as a good signee by the Leafs. Grade: F (since I thought he’d have a hard time scoring 15 goals)

Nathan Horton 20-6-7-13 – Without Jokinen in town he gets no help so opponents are focusing on Horton. Grade: A

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