Sunday, September 20, 2009

Training Camp Notes: September 20th

Artem Anisimov, (C) NYR - Anisimov was one of my big sleepers coming into this season. The 6-3 Russian Centre put up 81 points in 80 AHL games last year, as a 20 year-old. He has great offensive insticts and developing speed/power. Head coach John Tortorella has already called Artem out as a candidate for the Blueshirts vacant #1 Centre job. How did he respond? A highlight reel goal and an assist last night in 16:27 of icetime. Take a flyer on Anisimov, he could pay off and become this year's Kris Versteeg.

Brayden Schenn, (C) LA
- The "other Schenn" made a big impact last night. The 5th overall selection in June's draft scored two goals for the Kings who beat the Ducks 4-1. Schenn played in all situations last night and has a decent shot at cracking the opening night roster. Maybe the most complete forward coming out of the draft, he could have some fantasy impact if he sticks with the Kings. Don't expect big point totals for another year or two though.

Nick Foligno & Mike Fisher, (LW & C) OTT - Ottawa made the Heatley trade with the hopes of acquiring some scoring depth. Well Foligno and Fisher aren't ready to be demoted to the third line quite yet. The pair combined for 8 points last night, led by Fisher's 3 goals. Both players are capable of producing during stretches but need to find consistency in their game. If he stays healthy (a BIG if), Fisher could lead the Sens 2nd line, surrounded by Alfreddson and one of Cheechoo/Michalek/Foligno. Based on that landscape, he could be primed for a career year of 50+ points. Foligno is out to prove he is more then just a 3rd liner. Look for him to top 20 goals this year and get some time on one of the top 2 lines.

Nikita Filatov, (LW) CLB - Filatov needs to impress this pre-season if he wants to stick with the Big club. Last night did not help his cause. Nikita received 17:05 of ice-time, and led the team in powerplay ice-time. The results, no points, 1 shot. Hitchcock needs more then that if he is going to give the youngster a spot on the top 6. Watch this situation carefully as Filatov has said he would rather go back to Russia then spend another year in the AHL.

Cody Hodgson, (C) VAN - Hodgson scored his first goal of the pre-season last night, though it was an empty-netter. The Canucks gave Hodgson just under 15 minutes of ice-time but over 3 of that was on the powerplay. It looks like Vancouver wants Hodgson to break in on the 3rd or 4th line and work his way up. This could limit his fantasy value this season, but he is still a stud in keeper formats.

Michal Neuvirth, (G) WAS - Neuvirth, the other goaltender picked high in the 06 draft (Varlamov was selected in the 1st, Neuvirth early 2nd), played a strong game last night against the Hawks. He gave up two goals in 26 shots and made several big saves. Varlamov enters the season as the #1 goalie but the rookie still has some flaws in his game. Neuvirth could surprise many and be the Caps #1 goalie by mid-season. Watch him closely and grab him if Varlamov stumbles.


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