Article #2 of answering Drafting Sleepers Fantasy Hockey questions, last week I answered four questions and the response was well perceived, therefore I will continue to do this, and more than likely later down the line I will turn this edition into an audio experience. Anyways, today we have five questions and some really difficult ones too, but let’s dive into them!
Question 1: Frank asked, “How likely is it that Jason Zucker maintains this type of production? Sell high candidate? Sell before Praise comes back?
Answer: Mind you this question was asked on November, 15th. Therefore this was when Zucker was coming off a three-goal performance and six-game point streak. Well since the 15th, Zucker has played two games and in those two games, he recorded one goal and three shots on net. To answer the question, yes I think Zucker continues this production. For two reasons, one the Wild’s offense has also consisted of three top players with production from some bottom six or players that are streaky. Mikael Granlund has been off to a slow start and Charlie Coyle, Zach Parise are still out, which means Zucker will continue to see 18 plus minutes per game, be a power play threat and focal point of Minnesota’s success. Don’t worry about when Praise comes back by no means will he alter Zucker’s production. If you can start the conversation in terms of trade talk with Zucker see what you can get, it may not be much but even so, he is a solid year-round player. Let’s not forget he did score 22 goals last season along with 47 points.
Question 2: Peter Tyler asked, “Which player do you think currently not ranked in the top 100 can end the season as a top 50 player?”
Answer: Wow, interesting question. Looking at Yahoo’s current rankings, Mike Hoffman is listed a 105, so this is a no-brainer for me anyways. I’ve always been a big believer in Hoffman he possesses great skating ability and a knack for scoring goals. This Ottawa team has such a deep offense and a lot of their success come from three guys scoring goals, one of them being Hoffmann. Last season Hoffman had 26 goals, he has 16 points on the season now and I think he can reach 30-goals this season. Once Hoffman gets moved alongside Duchene and Ryan his production will increase it’s inevitable that this will happen but I’m a firm believer that Hoffman can reach the top 50 this season.
Question 3: Jackson Rodgers asked, “Trade 1. Drop 1. Hold 1. Conor Sheary, Cam Atkinson, Kyle Turris.”
Answer: I like this question a lot! For me I’m looking to drop Sheary, production is simply not there, no value in his name so you won’t get much from him and he is always a guy you end up sitting on busy nights anyways. Trade Cam Atkinson the name holds value and what Atkinson did last season scoring 35 goals you may be able to catch an owner sleeping or someone that just loves Atkinson. I believe Atkinson’s name alone is the driving factor here. Hold Kyle Turris, a new environment, new contract and new linemates, Turris is bound to be a top center, Turris was able to score 27 goals and add 28 assists last season, playing alongside Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith, Turris will be the focal point to that line’s success. I like Turri’s value this season he is a keeper for the year.
Question 4: Tanner replied, “Will Aho find his goal scoring touch this year or can we define his season as a sophomore slump?”
Answer: Heartbreaking, it really is, I spoke so highly of Aho last season and he came out and produced, therefore I said, he’ll do it again on this young, hungry Carolina team. Unfortunately, it has not panned out. BUT it is early still(kind of) Aho has showed signs of improvement over the last week, he’s tallied 3 goals, 3 assists, and 2 power play points. With 3 goals and 11 assists on the year with 64 games left to play, I think Aho can tally 20 goals this season. I would not say he is a sophomore slump just yet, come around Christmas to re-address this question if he has continued to struggle up to that point then yes he is a bust.
Question: Henry Owens asked, “Do you think Joe Thornton is droppable?”
Answer: 1000 percent, when there are players that are producing at a way more effective rate than Thornton why even bother holding onto to this guy. We all know he is not going to score 25 plus goals, not even 20. He’ll maybe tally 40 assists this season but it isn’t even worth the risk. He barely shots and doesn’t bring any value to one’s line up. Get rid of him and check the waiver wire for players like Sven Baertschi, Michael Ferland, Tomas Hertl, Yonni Gourde, J.T. Miller, Riley Smith, all players I’d rather have over Thornton especially since he is also a straight C in fantasy.