Keeper Watch: Another Wave of Rookies

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils

‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every Wednesday, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. We will also focus on young players once considered top prospects. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

This edition of Keeper Watch much like last week’s edition will take an extended look at the rookies getting their chance around the league.  Most on this list are recent call ups with some already receiving their demotions.  Still there are some young guys worth looking at in your keeper:

C: Mattias Ritola, Detroit Red Wings – Ritola received a call-up from Grand Rapids on December 27th and coach Mike Babcock almost immediately inserted him on the second line alongside Valtteri Filppula and Drew Miller.  In 32 games in the AHL the 22-year-old scored eight goals and added seven assists a modest total but certainly not lighting the lamp.  At this rate second line seems like an absolute ceiling but you never know the way Detroit develops players.

Prognosis: I would not project more than 30-40 points as a career-high once he lands a full-time gig.

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If I were a betting man…

Game 5 - Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks

…which I am

12/31/09        151     Canadiens (Montreal)     +110            +1.5 (-260)             Over 5.5 (+110)

17:05 ET        152     Panthers (Florida)       -130            -1.5 (+220)             Under 5.5 (-130)

AC’s Pick: Panthers and Under

12/31/09        153     Islanders (New York)      +130            +1.5 (-240)             Over 5.5 (+110)

19:05 ET        154     Senators (Ottawa)        -150            -1.5 (+200)             Under 5.5 (-130)

AC’s Pick: Islanders and Under

12/31/09        155     Predators (Nashville)    -105            +1.5 (-320)             Over 5.5 (-105)

19:05 ET        156     Blue Jackets (Columbus)   -115            -1.5 (+250)             Under 5.5 (-115)

AC’s Pick: Predators and Under

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Injury Updates 12/31/2009

Florida Panthers v Philadelphia Flyers

This thread will be updated all day, so keep refreshing it as the day goes along. Just a quick note, if I omitted a source it is due to a previous report with no recent updates. Here are your injury updates for tonight:

Injuries Tonight

Montreal Canadiens

  • Paul Mara still out.

Florida Panthers

  • Cory Stillman and Rostislav Olesz back in. [Steve Goldstein]
  • David Booth, Kenndal McArdle and Dmitry Kulikov remain out.

New York Islanders

  • Doug Weight back in. [Islanders Point Blank]
  • Radek Martinek, Rick DiPietro, Sean Bergenheim and Nate Thompson expected out.

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Goalie Starters 12/31/2009

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs

Please remember to keep refreshing this page or follow me on Twitter for the fastest updates. Here are your expected starting goalies for tonight:

UPDATED @ 12:58 PM

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Daily Fantasy 3 Stars 12/30/2009

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders

In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.

Overall a pretty low scoring night, some good goals by Philadelphia and San Jose.  I find it incredibly ironic that Michael Leighton pitched a shutout right after I wrote he probably would not get one.  Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:

THIRD STAR: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (0-0-1) –  Giroux amongst others helped the Flyers dominate the Rangers.  In his 14 plus minutes the 21-year-old scored a goal and assisted on another giving him his sixth multi-point game of the season.  In addition the Hearst, Ontario native posted a plus three while firing one shot on goal.

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Looking for a Defenseman?

Carolina Hurricanes v Buffalo Sabres

As we approach the midway point of the 2009-10 season in the National Hockey League, many questions remain unanswered.

Which teams are serious about playoff contention?  Who needs a massive upgrade to make the push from a bubble team?  Which team should sell off the year and attempt a mini-rebuild?

Those are some thoughts circulating the League as we take a look at the state of all teams around the NHL.  Now, when perusing through certain rosters some names that could bring in returns which would benefit a team in need of depth.

Today, we look at the defensemen around the NHL likely to be moved by the March 3rd, 2010 trade deadline. As a side note, be sure to tune into “The Hockey Guys” on deadline day as there will be an all day live event with a live chat room for discussion on all the rumors and news as it breaks in the NHL.

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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

Carolina Hurricanes v Dallas Stars

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.

This week we will go over several streaking players in the NHL leading us to another extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

C: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues –  Despite his position in most fantasy leagues, Steen plays left wing on the second line for the Blues.  Although this team deals with lack of production at times, this second generation forward continues to score at an alarming rate.  With nine points in his last five games the chemistry with current line-mates TJ Oshie and David Backes seems electric

Prognosis:  Hopefully Steen will gain LW eligibility.  Regardless, his production rivals many top fantasy superstars so ride him while he is hot!

C:  Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres –  With Derek Roy day-to-day, Connolly should get extended ice time.  This news comes on the heels of a four-game point streak in which this 28-year-old center produced six points.  Since the lockout, the Syracuse, New York, native averages nearly a point-per-game making him a safe bet in all formats.

Prognosis:  Another grab him while he is hot comment would fit here.  When healthy, Connolly makes a solid number two center in all formats.  If your league excludes PIMs, even better.

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