Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey - Week 4 Rookie Watch

Lets take a look at some of last week's hottest rookies and whether or not you should care.

Jason Demers (D) - SJS
9 GP, 0 G, 7 A, 7 PTS

The 21 year-old is currently tearing up the NHL as the Sharks 6th defenceman. An offensive defenceman from the QMJHL, Demers had no problem adjusting to the AHL as a rookie last year - putting up 33 points in 78 games. Now a rookie in the big show, Demers has already picked up 7 points in 9 games. While fellow rookie Michael Del Zotto has been snapped up in all leagues, Demers is available in most. He has 4 points in his last 2 games, and played 18:16 last night. Most importantly, he's getting time on the talented Sharks Powerplay (5:18 last night).
Fantasy Impact:
Demers is adjusting well for a second straight year and could stick with the Sharks. Pick him up if he's available, his upside on that powerplay is through the roof.

Evander Kane (C) - ATL - 6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PTS
Another 2009 draftee, Kane is impressing management in Atlanta. He scored a highlight reel goal against the living legend Marty Brodeur last week and has 3 points in 5 games. Many scouts felt Kane was a lock to make the Thrashers out of camp as he has the ability to be an impact player in all three zones. He is getting just under 14 minutes a game but should see that increase as the season progresses.
Fantasy Impact:
If Kane is still available, he is worth a look. He may be the rookie with the biggest second-half impact.

Ryan O'Reilly (C) - COL - 8 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 PTS
While Matt Duchene is getting all the press in Colorado, it is O'Reilly who may be more NHL ready. A smart, but slow-footed pivot, O'Reilly was drafted in the second round last year, 30 picks after Duchene. O'Reilly is currently centering the third line and averaging over 14 minutes a game. Responsible in both ends, O'Reilly may see his responsibilities increase as the season grows.
Fantasy Impact:
With 5 points in his past 4 games, he could be ready to play a more offensive role with the Avs. Take a flyer on O'Reilly as it looks like he'll stick with the Avs.

Tyler Myers, (D) - BUF - 6 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 PTS
Myers dominated the 2009 World Junior tournament for Canada and many felt he could have stepped right into the Sabres line-up once the tournament was over. The 6'8 rearguard moves like a fleet-fooded 6'1 Dman. His offensive game came a long way while getting huge minutes in Kelowna last season. He has already become a top Dman on the Sabres and they are giving him the opportunity to play in all situations. Myers has 4 points in 6 games while averaging just under 20 minutes a game.
Fantasy Impact:
His offensive production should slow-down a bit, but Myers could put up 25-30 points and 80 PIMs if he can stick with the Sabres all year.

Artem Anisimov, (C) - NYR - 9 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 PTS
One of our favourite rookies this pre-season, Anisimov is struggling to put up points with limited ice-time in the Big Apple. A slow start was expected as he made the squad as their fourth line centre. He has however put up 4 points in 9 games while averaging less then 10 minutes of ice-time a game. Artem should jump up the depth chart once the Rangers experience some key injuries.
Fantasy Impact:
Keep an eye on Anisimov and be prepared to snag him when you hear about Gaborik's groin, Avery's suspension, or another major injury.

Other notables:
Jamie Benn, John Tavares and Michael Del Zotto continue to fight for the rookie scoring lead. Matt Duchene scored his first goal last week and has 4 points in 8 games. Victor Hedman is still getting big minutes on the Lightning D and has 4 points in 7 games. Ville Leino has 3 points in 7 games and needs to step up with Detroit's key injuries.


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