Artem Anisimov vs. Shawn Matthias

steve laidlaw





This week’s fantasy hockey cage match: Anisimov vs. Matthias.


Post-hype sleeper is a term you don't hear often in fantasy hockey (it's more of a fantasy baseball term) but I feel like it's a term every poolie should get acquainted with regardless of his fantasy sport of choice. The reason is that the post-hype sleeper is quite possibly the best bang for your buck you can find. For instance, if you were patient or savvy enough to acquire any of Sam Gagner, Nazem Kadri or Jakub Voracek you'd have landed yourself a player far exceeding his projections and his draft slot if only because some of the shine had worn off because of exposure. These guys pop up every year though – after disappointing us for years they finally "get it" and produce. Joffrey Lupul and Blake Wheeler were two fine examples from last year and if you still aren't convinced that the post-hype sleeper is a real thing well then I guess you can just keep on hitting the snooze button. This week's Cage Match features two such post-hype sleepers, Artem Anisimov vs. Shawn Matthias.


Like any good post-hype sleeper Anisimov has been on our radar for quite some time. He popped up in 2007-08 like any good Russian prospect will when he leaves the KHL to apprentice in the AHL. And when Anisimov scored 81 points in 80 AHL games in just his second season in North America the hype machine started to churn. Anisimov has been slow in adapting to the NHL game but all that potential is still clearly there as indicated by his KHL showing during the lockout earlier this year (29 points in 36 games) and at just 24 years old he's hardly too old to take his game up another notch.

The big thing for Anisimov (and really any young player) is getting the opportunity to demonstrate what he can do. This isn't to criticize the idea of bringing a prospect along slowly but rat