As any good poolie knows, drafting someone that has dual-position eligibility can be a great asset throughout the season. After perusing through Yahoo's rankings yesterday, there seems to be more players than usual that are labelled with that distinction.
Some notable names are: Evgeni Malkin (C,RW), Patrick Kane (C,RW), Claude Giroux (C,RW), James Neal (LW,RW), Rick Nash (LW,RW), Thomas Vanek (LW,RW), Bobby Ryan, (LW,RW), Tyler Seguin (C,RW), Joffrey Lupul (LW,RW), Pavel Datsyuk (C,LW), Henrik Zetterberg (C,LW), Logan Couture (C,LW), Jeff Carter (C,LW,RW) just to name a handful.
There's no worse feeling when you have to keep someone on the bench because you can't work them into your lineup, due to their position designation. Players with multiple uses allow for more versatility and increased overall production for your squad, so keep an eye on it even in the deeper rounds when drafting.
One goalie to monitor closely during training camp would be Nashville's Pekka Rinne. He underwent hip surgery back in May and although he is apparently progressing steadily, that's a tricky injury for netminders to recover from. It's certainly not enough to avoid him in pools this year as his reliability has been excellent the last five seasons, but you might want to have a serviceable number two just in case. He started 73 games in 2011-12, and 43 in the shortened 2013 campaign, however, coming off hip surgery the Preds may not push him that much this year and his starts could drop slightly.
A couple of veterans will be looking to make an NHL team when training camps open up shortly. Anthony Stewart has reportedly been invited to the San Jose Sharks camp. The Sharks have a history of giving cast-offs a shot and getting some minimal results, and it was only a few years ago that Stewart picked up 14 goals and 39 points with the Thrashers. There is plenty of talent in San Jose, but you would have to think even if he cracks the squad, Stewart would be relegated to nothing more than fourth line duties.
Danny Cleary will skate with the Red Wings next week in hopes of landing a new deal. He had offers from Pittsburgh, Anaheim and Philadelphia this off-season, but ultimately wanted stay with Detroit. The Wings would probably want him back, but the issue is they already have 16 forwards under contract for this season. However, those include the injury-prone Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson, so a Cleary insurance policy wouldn't be a terrible plan. There is still fantasy value for the 34-year-old with Detroit, as he was the team's second leading playoff scorer earlier this spring.