The title says it all. This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
‘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.
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.
Certainly a slower night in hockey with one bigger hockey match-up. The offense deserves its fame as only three of twelve teams scored two goals or fewer. Certainly a big night for the forward/defense portion of your fantasy team. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:
THIRD STAR: Radek Dvorak, Florida Panthers (0-0-1) – Dvorak turned back the clock to almost ten years ago, when he was a consistent scoring threat. Now a 32-year-old veteran who mostly dons a checking line, the Panthers rely on him to bring solid two-way play while chipping in goals. Last night, he did just that — chipping in a goal and assisting on two more giving him a three point night. Now on a season high five-game point streak the native of Tabor, Czechoslovakia posted an impressive plus five while firing three shots on net. Back with his original team, Dvorak will help the Panthers win games. However, I cannot say the same thing with confidence about your fantasy team.
Last night certainly was one for the offense. Out of the 16 teams in action 10 scored three goals or more. Most owners were able to smile at the end of the night, unless you own Steve Mason or Dwayne Roloson. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:
THIRD STAR: Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators (0-0-1) – Sully came through in a big way last night scoring a hat trick on the aforementioned Mason. In addition, the veteran winger posted a perfect plus three while taking a healthy four shots on goal and sitting two minutes in the box for high sticking. At the ripe age of 35, Sullivan shows no signs of slowing down following multiple back surgeries.
Well maybe our headline is taking it a bit too far, but you can’t get a better player for your money. Claimed off waivers last year from the Predators the 27-year-old now has 59 points in 58 games for the Thrashers. The undrafted free agent recently signed a 2 year contract worth a total of 2.6 million a modest raise from his current 487,500 cap hit.
Since he makes 487,500 this year, as a technicality we can put his stats over his salary to determine his cost-per-point production. Prior to joining Nashville, Pevs was a point-per-game player in the AHL showing glimpses of his potential. If the graduate from St. Lawrence University continues his pace, he may be one of the greatest bargains of all time.
He averages a goal for every 61K he makes, a small value in comparison to Dany Heatley’s 441K per goal. The center assists on a goal for every 33K paid, making Joe Thornton’s 300K per assist look like a king’s ransom. Peverley’s 22K per point is 15K less than the next player James Neal, who is coming off an entry level contract himself. Nobody can compare to his proverbial bang for the buck.