Everybody in the fantasy hockey world knows whom to draft in the early rounds: your Jaromir Jagrs, Pavel Bures and Paul Kariyas are guaranteed to go quickly. But what makes any fantasy team successful is scoring balance, and that means scoring some gems in the later rounds of your draft. So here are some players who are poised to take the next step, and round out your roster. Chances are they were on your team last year, but can be expected to increase their scoring totals this year and could prove to be keepers for years to come, making you look awfully good for nabbing them.
15. Patrick Stefan, LW, Atlanta
Has suffered under the burden of being the #1 pick on an expansion franchise, and has been plagued by concussions. But has slowly improved as he adjusts to the NHL game, and a late-season shift to wing saw him produce 11 points in the Thrashers last 15 games. Huge leap in scoring may be a year away, but could sneak up on a lot of people this year, and could prove to be a keeper. And just think what he could do once Dany Heatly and Ilya Kovalchuk develop.
2000/01 stats: 66GP, 10G21A=31PTS Projected 2001/02 stats: (23G29A=52PTS)
14. John Madden, LW, New Jersey
You’ve got to love the Devils’ depth. This guy scored 23 goals while playing mostly on their fourth line. Now that takes talent. One of the league’s most dangerous shorthanded threats, Madden will be called upon to help replace Mogilny’s 43 goals. A high scorer at Albany of the AHL, Madden is proving he can do it at the NHL level.
2000/01 stats: 80GP, 2 Read more»
A popular debate amongst followers of the Leafs these days is which of Luca Cereda and Brad Boyes will be the better player down the road. Drafted in the first round by Toronto in the 1999 and 2000 drafts respectively, they were the second and third pivots selected first by the Buds in a row (with Nik Antropov going in 1998). So who is better? It’s still too early to tell, but a closer examination of both skaters is in order as the NHL gets ready for it’s various training camps.
Cereda since his draft year has had a myriad of problems, some personal, but the main one medical. With his heart murmur and surgery behind him now, this coming season looks to be the one in which he will leave his mark on the Leafs farm system. A slick distributor with the puck, the Swiss product is a rock on his skates who sees the game very well, both offensively and defensively. While there has been a knock on him that he is not a physical player, this columnist having seen him play doesn’t buy it. He will never be a Darcy Tucker type flying into the boards at high speed regardless of risk. That said, he uses his lower body strength very much to his advantage. Other players might have to get an elbow up here or there to gain leverage in the corners, but Cereda just plants himself and pivots where they aren’t. His skating doesn’t come into question as he is above average across the board. If there is something he could work on, it’s his finishing ability. Cereda will never been a 40 goal man, but he will no doubt be the setup man for one down the line. The best comparison when it comes to Read more»
-The following list is of players 23 and under who have a chance at
representing their countries in the 2002 Winter Games.
-The players must be 23 and under by January 1, 2002.
-The players are either from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden,
or the United States.
-The players from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, and the United States must
have been on the camp rosters.
-The players chances of making the team are next to their names. The ratings
are as follows:
1- Very slim chance of making the team.
2- Slim chance of making the team.
3- Small chance of making the team.
4- Chance at cracking the roster.
5- Fifty/fifty chance at cracking the roster.
6- Probable fourth liner/sixth or seventh defenseman/third goalie on the team.
7- Probable third liner/fourth or fifth defenseman/second tier back-up goalie
on the team.
8- Probable second liner/second or third defenseman/good back-up goalie on
9- Probable first liner/first defenseman/starting goalie on the team.
10- Star player on the team.
, Edmonton, 22 years old, 1.5 Read more»