With the end of the 2010-11 season in sight, it’s time to gauge who’s going to be amongst your keeper selections heading into next season. Of course which players end up staying on your rosters depends greatly on your league make up, number of keepers and your own personal risk tolerance. I've compiled a list of players that may have some question marks as protectable players in limited keeper leagues heading into next season. This is part one of two, with the second one coming tomorrow.
Let me get this out of the way right now, I hate fishing. The score card is simple here; Fish means I find the player in a favourable light as a keeper for next season. Cut Bait means I’d rather throw this one back into the water and hope for a bigger catch. Be aware that I tend to be quite conservative with my protected players, preferring the vast majority of my keepers to come down on the proven side of the ledger.
Gut Feel: Fish
The Big Wheel has 13 points in his 17 games with the Thrashers, ten of them coming within the last 11 contests. Since the trade from the Bruins, he is receiving over four minutes more overall ice time and about one minute more per game on the man advantage. Only Andrew Ladd spends more time on the ice amongst forwards still employed by Atlanta. This is a tough one to start out with, but I lean towards the keep side for this pending restricted free agent. Big guys typically take longer to hit their stride.
Gut Feel: Cut Bait
Stewart began the year with 25 points in 41 games (a 50 point pace), but when the calendar turned to 2011, Stewart’s game took a turn south. He recorded 13 points in the next 33 games, only a 32 point pace. On a positive note, he has four points in the last six games. What gives me reason to pause is that he is 26-years-old and he spent the entire year in the AHL last season, recording only 31 points in 77 games. He had 67 points in 62 games in his last season of junior. I’m not convinced he is legit.
Gut Feel: Cut Bait
With Byfuglien and Enstrom in the fold for Atlanta, Bogosian’s offensive contributions from the backend will be muted. I love his talent and potential, but don’t get seduced by that and keep him over a veteran 40 point defenseman.