Will Clutterbuck reunite with his former OHL linemate on the Islanders top line?
Cal Clutterbuck likely isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you are putting together your list of fantasy hockey sleepers for 2013-14. However, he should be somewhere on your list.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons as to why:
Reason #1 – Chemistry with Tavares
Clutterbuck spent three seasons in the OHL playing for the Oshawa Generals. In his final two seasons there, John Tavares was a teammate (and frequent linemate) of his. It would be grasping at straws to project a big breakout season from Clutterbuck based on chemistry with a linemate over six years ago (and in a different league, no less), but don't discount the familiarity that the two players have with each other.
In Clutterbuck's final year with Tavares, he had 89 points in 65 games. Obviously he owes a lot of that production to his linemate, but it does show that he can produce points in the right situation. The Islanders have more talented players in the mix for the Parenteau/Boyes vacancy on line one, but do they have a better fit?
Kyle Okposo has been tried there with minimal success. PM Bouchard is a dazzling playmaker and makes a lot of sense “if” he can stay healthy, but that is a significant “if.” Ryan Strome may move to the wing in order to get some more ice time, but is he ready for top line duty at the NHL level? Probably not.
And even if Clutterbuck isn’t on line one, he will get to play with some good players. Bailey, Nielsen, Cizikas, Strome, and so on. The Islanders have a lot of talent up front and should be able to put together three solid scoring units. He wasn’t exactly playing with stars in his final season in Minnesota (from Frozen Pool):
||96 BOUCHARD,PIERRE-MARC – 21 BROD|