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Dobber here – see my dark horses piece on Yahoo! Puck Daddy right here.
I wrote a piece on Mikael Samuelsson and his importance to the Canucks this season – check it out over at the Hockey Writers right here.
Why are some Edmonton fans high on center Anton Lander? Read this. Lander may get the Jordan Staal treatment, though (good enough for a top six role, but more suited to a two-way third-line role with two star centers ahead of him on the depth chart).
An interesting topic over on the forum – who is the best candidate to be the next Zach Parise? That is, a hard working player who combines tenacity and a burning desire to win with an elite skill level? Matt Calvert was my first suggestion, but he lacks Parise's star upside. Another name I came up with was Washington prospect Cody Eakin.
Speaking of Eakin, a good read on him here (and a few other Caps roster hopefuls).
"Eakin’s season also included a blockbuster trade shortly after the WJC and he helped his new club to a Western Hockey League title and within one victory of the Memorial Cup.
“It’s been long, but it has been really exciting,” Eakin said. “I’m really happy to have experienced all the things that I did this past year. It was a pretty memorable year and one I will cherish for sure.”
Eakin is young enough and slight enough that more seasoning in the AHL won’t hurt him, and the contract situation of other players (Perreault specifically would have to clear waivers) could work against him, but he has become a favorite of many in the organization because of his speed, feistiness and lightning-quick release on his shot.
“I think you have to come into camp with a little swagger and that can carry you a long way,” Eakin said. “It’s not necessarily a cockiness, but just know that it is there to be picked and I could be the guy who they choose to do it. I’ve come into camp with one goal in mind and now I’ve got to go do it.”
Jacob Josefsen has a huge opportunity ahead of him for the first few months of the season.
"While coach Pete DeBoer appears to be counting on veteran Patrik Elias as his No. 1 centerman, Josefson is very much in the picture to center a top line, as he has this week in training camp with wingers Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson."
Clarkson lost a lot of fantasy value last season because he didn't see much PP time, but in a top six role he should get back on your radar (if you are in a league that counts PIM). Clarkson is a decent offensive player and he's a lock for 150 PIM or more.