Angus looks at five more multi-category fantasy sleepers for next season…
Here are five young forwards who are ready to make an impact at the NHL level – either offensively or with other aspects of their game.
More and more fantasy hockey leagues are embracing hits and blocked shots as positive statistics. Why? Well, for starters, they are both recorded in every single NHL rink. The accuracy isn't the same as a goal or an assist (the fluctuations in how these stats are recorded from rink to rink are quite pronounced, actually), but adding these statistics gives fantasy value to a wider net of players. It is widely known that the New York Rangers receive a significant home advantage when it comes to hit recording – the Madison Square Garden statistician is very trigger-happy.
If you learn which rinks tend to award hits more liberally, you can use that information to your advantage.
And it is a nice way to reward gritty forwards and defensemen who otherwise would get little to no attention in fantasy circles. Some leagues are also moving away from PIM (a subject that was debated here last year), as PIM are inherently a negative statistic. Debating aside, there is no arguing that including PIM, hits, and blocked shots in fantasy leagues makes it more challenging (and thus, more rewarding) to evaluate and rank players as draft day approaches.
Patrick Maroon – Anaheim Ducks
A 6-4, 225 pound power forward with 259 PIM over his last two AHL seasons. Maroon is 25 years old and older than most prospects, but he also is a prototypical late bloomer. He’s skilled for a big guy, but he will have to play with an edge to have an NHL future (and fantasy value). Maroon has three 20+ AHL goal seasons and one 30+ goal season. He’s ready for the NHL, but do the Ducks have room for him?