NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals

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

This week saw several players breakout, several produce above their means and others who continue to produce all of which leads us to an extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

LW: Dean McAmmond, New Jersey Devils –  As of this writing, McAmmond slots between Zach Parise and Patrik Elias.  Having said that the veteran center boast a four-game point streak where he scored two and assisted on four more.  Although center is his position called upon in real life, the 36-year-old qualifies at LW due to playing there the majority of his career.  Does anyone remember the McAmmond – Craig Conroy Jarome Iginla line? I sure do, that was a looooong time ago.

Prognosis: McAmmond showed signs of life last year with the Isles when he posted 9 points in 18 games.  His current projection mirrors these numbers with 8 points in 16 games.  This production marks the veteran’s absolute ceiling.  At best he will pot 40 points, but with David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus eventually returning even that is a stretch.  Stream if desperate, definitely not a keeper.  Otherwise read more for better options on the left side.

LW:  Scottie Upshall, Phoenix Coyotes – Upshall plays a scoring role on the top line in Phoenix.  Playing between Matthew Lombardi and Shane Doan transformed Upshall from a speedy, gritty winger to a scoring threat his coach trusts.  As mentioned this morning in our 3 Stars section, this guy projects for 47 points a jump in production from every previous season.  With potential for a 25 goal- 50 point – 100 PIM season, we have a poor man’s Scott Hartnell or David Backes on our hands.

Prognosis:  Combining Upshall’s role on a winning team with his rugged playing style makes him a viable 2nd or 3rd line option on your team’s left side.  The Coyotes have won seven in their last 10 and this kid has been right in the middle of it.  If this keeps up Upshall will remain fantasy worthy for years to come.

LW: Andrew Ladd, Chicago Blackhawks – Ladd plays second line on a very very strong Hawks team.  I’m not sure if I made my particular strategy well-known but if the choice comes between a player on a good team and a powerhouse, you need to choose the latter.  On this second line, the recently turned 24-year-old slots to the left of Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa.  This line easily could be a first on most other teams.  Two points and ten PIM in his last two certainly shows a promising start.

Prognosis: All signs point to an increase in production from this point forward. Last year the left wing flirted with 50 points, a total which is still attainable should he continue his mini-surge. Should he attain that plateau this year his production from this point forward should be very helpful to your team.

C: Matthew Lombardi, Phoenix Coyotes – Similar to Upshall, playing top minutes with Doan boosts the fantasy value of this young player. Never reaching the 50 point plateau in his career, the 27-year-old projects to top 2o goals and finish around 55 points for the season.

Prognosis: From this point forward, a top center on an expected playoff team will not hurt your team.  Keep him in mind if injury or lack of production suddenly hit your team.  The six-year veteran seems to have found his home in Phoenix after remaining on the cusp for several years.

D: Michal Rozsival, New York Rangers – Things are changing in New York.  In an attempt to teach accountability to his team, coach John Tortorella benched Wade Redden as well as demoted Matt Gilroy.  The beneficiary to this is Rozsival with three assists in as many games.  Prior to last season the Vlasim, Czechoslovakia native averages around 10 goals and 40 points, a plateau he shows capability of reaching once again.

Prognosis: This guy is a top pairing defenseman on an improving team.  If you lost a player like Cam Barker to injury this week Rossy deserves a look for a quick fix.  Consider him a band-aid and nothing more.

D: Dennis Seidenberg, Florida Panthers – Somewhat fantasy worthy last year, Seidenberg’s mere ability to make an excellent outlet pass led to racking up points in Carolina.  This year, on Florida the results may become similar.  With the injuries to Dmitry Kulikov and Bryan Allen someone besides Bryan McCabe needs to feed the young talented forward core in Florida.  Seidenbeg is my prime candidate.

Prognosis: The veteran sees some powerplay time and plays on what looks like a playoff team.  The extended minutes combined with a recent PIM surge certainly help his value.  Last nights game in Philadelphia could mark the start of a mild streak.

G: Jonas Gustavsson, Toronto Maple Leafs – The Monster kept the Tuukka Rask win-less streak to two, trying his best to impersonate his Swedish counterpart. Since returning from a procedure on his heart, the promising netminder stopped 68 of 72 shots while winning one game by shutout.  Climbing out of the Eastern Conference cellar the Leafs now sit a mere five points out of a playoff berth.

Prognosis:  So far the Leafs play screams bad team, but recently they have been above average.  If you missed out on Halak last week, The Monster makes a decent second choice.  As long as Phil Kessel remains healthy this team will remain competitive.

A few quick thoughts in re-iteration…

  • Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Callahan were last week’s first and second stars of the week.  They both play important minutes on hot teams.  Callahan enjoys first powerplay unit time with Marian Gaborik and Michael Del Zotto amongst others.  Hornqvist found success on the left side of Nashville’s second line.  He may gain dual-wing eligibility if he plays enough on that side, an added bonus.  Grab either one if they are still available.
  • Since we mentioned Jaroslav Halak last week in this section, the 24-year-old stopped 87-90 shots, winning two games, one coming by shutout.  Grab him now, in all formats.  He remains in the center of trade rumors in addition to playing like a number one.  Pick. Him. Up.
  • We previously told you to grab Kurtis Foster in this section.  In his last four games he has five points.  Excellent production, listen to us. He makes a great d-man coming off the bench as he is a powerplay specialist.  Think poor man’s Marc-Andre Bergeron.

Hope you enjoyed our latest edition of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups. You can help NHLHS stay alive by visiting our sponsors to the left.

Follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates

-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder
thehotstove@gmail.com

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