A look at some short and long term fantasy hockey sleepers from Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, and Winnipeg.
2013-14 sleeper pick – Joe Colborne
I try not to make evaluations/decisions based on really small sample sizes, but Colborne's strong play against the Bruins in Round 1 this year has be considering him as a legitimate NHL prospect once again.
He seemed to stall a bit over the past two years in the AHL, but the Leafs have to be encouraged with his performance this spring. He was overmatched at times physically (for a tall guy he needs to add some muscle), but he made great plays with the puck and played with a lot of confidence.
The Leafs could use Colborne as the fourth center next year, assuming Kadri re-signs. The production won’t come right away if he starts on the fourth line with the likes of Orr and McLaren, but Colborne’s future lies in Toronto’s top-six.
Long term sleeper pick – Tyler Biggs
This pick applies more to leagues that count hits and PIM. Biggs won't be a big-time point producer in the NHL, but he's gritty and plays a very simple game (which is a good thing in many cases). He only recently turned 20, and he has only five games of pro hockey under his belt.
Biggs had a good 2012-13 season for Oshawa (although he was a no-show offensively in the playoffs). Look for Toronto to give him a few years with the Marlies before seeing where he fits in (second, third, or fourth line).
2013-14 sleeper pick – Nicklas Jensen
The Canucks are going to be younger this coming season. They want to have an infusion of rookies into the lineup, and that is one reason why Alain Vigneault wasn't brought back (in addition to both sides needing a fresh start). The team will likely look for a coach who can