Fantasy Hockey Poll: Is There Still Hope?

Rick Roos

2021-12-29

Some players take longer to achieve success than others. The problem is, if you wait for success to occur it might never happen. The magic question therefore becomes which players are simply late bloomers versus ones who won't truly bloom at all; and that's the subject of our poll.

Below is a list of 19 skaters, each having played 200-500 NHL games. In some cases – due to their size and/or their position – they technically might not have reached their breakout threshold. Still, they've logged enough games for there to be doubt regarding whether they have what it takes to become successful. What exactly defines success? For this poll, let's say it's 70+ point scoring for forwards, while for defensemen it's 50+ points.

The list of 19 is in alphabetical order, with – as of the Christmas break – each player's age, his total career games played, and his career high in scoring pace plus when that high was – or is now being – achieved. The voting link is at the bottom the column.

To reiterate, you should vote for any and all players whom you believe can ascend to heights where it is realistic for them: 70+ points for a forward, or 50+ points for a defenceman. Don't vote for someone if you think they might "succeed" just once – only do so if you think believe they'll become a player who can be drafted with their respective point mark as a realistic expectation. Just to be clear, you should vote for them even if you think they won't hit their applicable point mark this season. What if you believe that none of the 19 will achieve their respective point mark? Then you should vote for the "none of the above" choice at the end of the poll. Without further ado, here's the list.

Anthony Beauvillier (Age: 24; Games Played: 356; Best Scoring Pace: 49 points in 2020-21)

Perhaps no player runs as scorching hot but also as freezing cold as Beauvillier, who had point per game stretches stretch of 10+ games in each of the past two seasons, but also ran just as bad for as long or even longer stretches, with the result being frustrated owners. Still, he's not that old and will be a UFA at age 27 after 2023-24, so there's seemingly reason to be hopeful.

Sam Bennett (Age: 26; Games Played: 436; Best Scoring Pace: 48 points this season)

He arrived in Florida with low expectations then proceeded to post 15 points in just ten games, firing shots and delivering hits left and right. This season he's still shooting, but the points aren't there, at least not yet. At his age and on this team, and given the type of game he plays plus his pedigree of being a fourth overall pick, he has a good chance to connect the dots.

J.T. Compher (Age: 26; Games Played: 286; Best Scoring Pace: 60 points this season)

Before getting hurt it looked like all the ingredients were there for Compher to have a great season, with a spot on the second line for the Avs, which is as good as some teams' top line, and a regular shift on PP1. It looked like his spots might get taken by Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky, yet upon his return from injury Compher was back on PP1 and skating in the top six, paving the way for good results now and,