First off fantasy hockey is approaching people! What can we expect to see here? 4 articles a week covering the fantasy hockey news? That’ll be all I cover until late August when the individual team projections start rolling in.
Let’s start off here with what defines a sleeper? This is always my favorite topic to talk about for multiple reasons. One, if you predict a sleeper right you look like a GENIUS. Two, thinking you know something others don’t makes me feel like a wizard. Three, predicting sleepers is the best because you get show some recognition to some under the radar guys. Anyways back to what defines a sleeper, for me it is someone who is capable of producing around 40-50 points a year, has all the tools to do so, just needs that consistent playing time, a little power play time and a few more looks in the offensive zone. The guy can do it, just stop sleeping on him!
For me, the sleepers on todays list…
- Ryan Pulock, this guy has an absolute CANNON first off and second off, two year contract on the “prove it to me” type deal, he is going to get it done this year. Looking at the Islanders disarray of a defense Pulock slots in around the number three spot and once Johnny Boychuk gets demoted he could be a potential line mate with Nick Leddy. Pulock will also be the lead on powerplay two, set that guy up 5 inches inside the blue line with a one-timer you have a missile coming your way. Heavy shot, heavy presence on the backend and looking at his numbers last year during his first full year, 68 games, 10 goals, 22 assists and 32 points. Increase in time on ice, increase in production. A certified SLEEPER. Draft him NOW!
- Tyler Bozak, I feel as if a lot of people are undervaluing Bozak and what he could and will bring to St. Louis. With all of St. Louis’s additions Bozak may be finding himself in the perfect role in St. Louis. Going from the crazy Toronto market to St. Louis a smaller hockey market is the perfect change of pace for him. Right now it is looking like Bozak will be playing with Patrick Maroon and David Perron. Shall we mention, Perron tallied 50 assists last year and Maroon is a bruiser down low and can finish in the dirty areas. Bozak is going to find himself among two similar style players, relatively same age, and a better more relaxed environment. He has produced 40 points every year and last year coming off a bit of a down year of 11G, 32A, Bozak is destined for more success in St. Louis. Watch out for this sleeper!
- Boone Jenner, I think if this guy stays healthy and Panarin actually does in fact not come back, this guy can be a sure sleeper and solid 40 point player. Coming into the year off a nice new contract, Jenner can be a solid option for a later, safer draft choice. Columbus usually works all four lines pretty well, and if Panarin does in fact leave Jenner will for sure be a top 9 forward, and possibly a top six forward… Jenner played in 75 games producing 32 points, prior to this year he tallied 34 in 82 games and 49 in 82 games. He is a safe bet in my eyes and if given the right opportunities and chances he could easily excel.
- Elias Lindholm, I think he was on my list last year but this is a GURANTEE pick this year. Lindholm is coming off back to back 40 plus point years and his highest goal tally in his career(16). Going from that dump in Carolina to Calgary playing alongside James Neal, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, the guy is going to excel mark my words. Lindholm will be a top six forward for Calgary next year playing with Backlund and Tkachuk on the second line. A guaranteed 45 points maybe even more and if this guy is still around late in the draft, GRAB him! Be patient with him though. He will a top six forward by late November watch.
- Erik Johnson, this is the second time in two years that Johnson has missed substantial time due to injuries so everyone is going to be very wary on the injury prone 30-year-old defenseman. But if and when Johnson stays healthy this year he is an easy top 4 defenseman for the Avalanche and a given 35 plus point defenseman who can sprinkle in some penalty minutes and power play points. Colorado has a pretty solid backend now with the signing of Ian Cole and emergence of Nikita Zadorv. Johnson will be a number three defenseman playing on the second line for Colorado so he will see major minutes and be used in a ton of scenarios. When he is healthy he is on, last season playing 62 games he tallied 25 points, easily could have racked up 10 more points in 20 more games. My guy to watch if he starts falling, take him!
So here is the schedule for the rest of week peeps
Thursday: Deep sleepers! We are talking guys ranked like 280 plus on the draft board.
Friday: Forwards ranked 1-50, the usual!
Saturday: Read the three articles out, sheesh.
Sunday: Defenseman ranked 1-25