Looking back at June 2009 rankings and the tease that is Ales Hemsky
A friend of mine always gives me a hard time when I say "I like that player, he has a good shot, or a smooth stride, or strong puck handling." His contention is that I am not an NHL scout and shouldn't be trying to correlate physical skills I witness visually with fantasy production.
On the one hand he's right, I'm not a scout. Outside of watching NHL games on the couch in my pajamas (and saving up for one Leaf game every four years) I'm not a professional evaluator of talent. However, there are some cases where you can legitimately discern certain skillsets. We all know Grabner is extremely fast, or Eberle has great hands, and can assume that the presence of these skills will translate to some level of fantasy production.
Where it becomes difficult to scout players yourself is when you come across one that appears better than the numbers would indicate.
Enter Ales Hemsky.
There have been multiple times over the last 10 years that I've legitimately considered Hemsky to be one of the most talented player in the NHL. You can click here for a montage of his better goals, the guy has hands that even a Mr.Clean magic eraser couldn't take care of.
Nowadays Hemsky has become a bit of wild card, settling into the late rounds of most drafts where one manager will often take a chance in hopes he regains some of his 71 or 77 point form from earlier in the decade. When I looked back into the rankings I was surprised with how highly regarded Hemsky was even just five years ago. Back in June of 2009 Dobber had him as the 27th most valuable forward. Ahead of guys like Phil Kessel, Alex Semin, Johnathan Toews, and Corey Perry. You can see the full rankings below: