Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey: Rookie Report

It's been a few weeks, lets take a look at how the NHL's top rookies are impacting your fantasy leagues.

James van Riemsdyk (RW), PHI - 18GP, 6G, 12A, 18P
JVR is now the only rookie averaging at least a point per game. The 21 year-old has however slowed down of late and he may be starting to tire from the pace of the NHL. Remember, this kid just spent 3 years playing college hockey and isn't used to a full NHL schedule. He has just 1 point in his past 3 games and played only 11:13 against Colorado.

Fantasy Impa
If you have JVR, I would recommend trading him to an owner who buys his impressive start. He'll struggle with the grind of the NHL season and may even see a late-season demotion to the AHL. Sell High and get an asset that will help you all season.

John Tavares (C), NYI -
24GP, 9G, 10A, 19P
Tavares has struggled of late with no points in his last 3 games. His ice-time in those games had fluctuated from 15 minutes to 21 minutes. When this kid is going, he is gonna get the ice-time and with ice-time comes points. Tavares will continue to have hot and cold stretchs throughout the year but will get to play through the tough times. The Islanders are investing in this 18 year-old and fantasy owners can feel comfortable doing the same.
Fantasy Impact:
Try to jump an a Tavares owner during one of his dry spells. This kid is for real and should have a Stamkos-type finish to the season. Grab him off an impatient owner if you can.

Artem Anisimov (C), NYR - 23GP, 5G, 6A, 11P
Okay, the numbers still aren't great but it is the ice-time that encourages us with Anisimov. He is on an upward trend and played 16:45 against Columbus -puttinh up 1 goal and 2 assists. He also saw some time playing with Marian Gaborik. We have been telling you about this guy for a while and if you don't act soon, you may lose out on an impactful rookie.
Fantasy Impact:
Grab him off waivers if you can, he is the rookie that may have the biggest upside the rest of the year - outside of Tavares.

Ryan O'Reilly (C), COL - 24GP, 4G, 13A, 17P
As we speculated earlier in the year, O'Reilly has come back down to earth. He was never a big scorer in junior and anyone expecting him to be a point-per-game NHL rookie had another thing coming. O'Reilly has 3 assists in his past 7 games, but more importantly, his ice-time has been on a downward spiral - averaging just 13 minutes over the past 2 games. He is a good two-way forward but he could very well struggle to post 45 points this year and is no where near being a point-per-game player.
Fantasy Impact:
If you haven't already, trade O'Reilly to an owner who hasn't noticed the recent slide in points and ice-time. O'Reilly's overall numbers are still good so he should remain marketable for a little while longer.

Michael Del Zotto (D), NYR - 23GP, 5G, 11A, 16P
Del Zotto continues to impress on the Rangers' blueline. He has 3 points in his past 5 games and is still among the offensive leaders on Defence. Importantly, MDZ is averaging close to 20 minutes as the season progresses. The rookie is being trusted in more situations which should only help with his development. He has shown that he is more then just a PP specialist and should continue to blossom.

Fantasy Impact:

Now would be a good time to acquire the young rearguard. His insane production to start the year has expectantly cooled off but he is still a fantasy-worthy rearguard. See if you can get him off a foolish owner who thinks MDZ is regressing.


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