Thursday, September 24, 2009

Training Camp Notes: September 24th

Jamie Benn (LW), DAL - Benn was the best player in the WHL last season and a scoring machine during the Kelowna Rockets Memorial Cup run. His play in that tournament raised his stock in the Dallas system and he quickly became their top prospect. Given an opportunity to make the club this pre-season, Benn is earning a top 6 spot. Last night he played with Mike Ribiero and finished with a goal and a fight. Benn is tied for the pre-season scoring lead with 4 goals in 4 games. The Stars love Benn and would like to see him thrive on a top line. Look for him to start the season in the top 6 and watch his early-season progress. Draft Benn in the late rounds of your keeper leagues and hope for the best.

Jack Johnson (D), LA - Johnson played just 41 games last year and has battled injuries in both of his two NHL seasons. That said, he has always had a ton of potential and the Kings want to see it come to fruition. They moved the highly-productive Kyle Quincy to Colorado during the offseason to open up more opportunities for Johnson. Johnson should start seeing a lot more powerplay time which could help spike his production. Last night, Johnson had an assist while logging over 23 minutes of icetime and a team-high 1:05 on the powerplay. Johnson has 5 points in 4 pre-season games and could form a dynamic duo with Drew Doughty on the kings blue-line starting this season. Grab Johnson in the middle rounds of your draft and earlier in keeper leagues. He could finish the year a #2 fantasy d-man.

Evander Kane (C), ATL - The other big centre picked in the top 5 of last year's draft, Kane has an outside shot of making the Thrashers opening night roster. Kane played just under 17 minutes last night, with over 3 minutes on the powerplay and penalty kill respectively. The Thrashers love his size and responsible, two-way game. Kane may crack the opening night roster but it would probably come as the 4th line centre. Don't expect a ton of production this year, but Kane is worth holding onto in keeper leagues.

Matt Duchene (C) COL, Brayden Schenn (C), LA - The two top 5 picks played against each other last night. They combined for 0 points and a total of 2 shots on goal. Schenn had over 18 minutes of ice-time and played in all situations. Duchene was given 15 minutes of ice-time, but played 2:40 on the powerplay.

Although he didn't register a point last night, Schenn impressed in his first pre-season game with 2 goals and 1 assist. The Kings are soft up the middle and would like Schenn to make the squad if he is ready. Brayden should play a few more times over the weekend, and if he can keep up his solid play, he could find himself centering the Kings 2nd or 3rd line come opening night. Draft Schenn in your keeper league.

While the production hasn't been there for Matt Duchene this pre-season, he has impressed the Avs coaching staff with his speed, versatility and smart, two-way game. Expect Duchene to make the Avs starting roster and draft him in keeper leagues.

Nik Antropov (C), ATL - Big Nik proved last season that he doesn't need to ride shotgun to Mats Sundin to put up points. After being traded from Toronto to New York at the deadline, Antropov quickly became the Rangers most dangerous offensive player. Atlanta signed the big centre to a 4 year contract in the off-season, with the hopes of him becoming one of their top offensive players. Antropov has looked great so far in the pre-season with 5 points in just 2 games. He had a goal and an assist last night playing over 16 minutes on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Bryan Little. If Antropov maintains chemistry with Kovalchuk, he could be in for a career year. Draft him in the middle rounds as he could be a cheap, highly productive forward.


No comments:

Post a Comment