Greetings readers, welcome to Fantasy Hockey, What’s the Point Man? Honestly, what is the point man? The point man is the player who plays the point on the powerplay, near the blueline. They in many ways run the power play by acting as an outlet for forwards on the half walls, by setting up for seeing eye shots, and by being the last line of defense should the penalty kill counter. The point man could also be considered the player with the most goals and assists. Soldiers, politicians, and even entrepreneurs could play the part of a point man as well. But, What is the Point Man? The point is to dominate your foes at fantasy hockey to win cash and pain inflicting bragging rights. Here is where you can find the scoop to help you get to the top.
As part of Hockeyland Canada’s season preview, each division will be examined one team at a time to identify players to pick and players to avoid. There are six categories of players covered and it’ll begin with the Metropolitan Division. Tons of talent and intriguing players to kick things off right, lets get going with the New Jersey Devils.
The Elite Suite – When Jaromir Jagr starts talking about playing the game he loves until he is 50 years old, well then you have to rethink if he is “too old” to put up elite numbers. Last year was a renaissance, a resurgence for Jr Mario as he put up 24 goals and 67 points in a full 82 games, demonstrating his fitness and dependability. As usual to stay competitive, GM Lou Lamoriello signed productive veterans that will help Jagr stay at a high level. Its been a long time coming for goalie Cory Schneider, but his time to run with the crease is now. Having put up elite numbers in a growing role the past few seasons, Schneider will have a ~2.00 GAA and 0.920 save % and finally, 60-65 games to rack up 30+ wins for the first time.
Dependable Joe – The last remaining staple of the cup winning Devils teams, Patrik Elias is back for more and is as dependable joe as they come. He may not reach PPG heights again, but a healthy 50 points is in order. His value had been inflated playing with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, but Travis Zajac has settled in as a dependable 50 point scorer who can help you win games.
Risky Plays – Martin Havlat is the ultimate wild card in fantasy hockey, if he plays a full slate of games he gets you strong production, but the last time he played 70+ games was in 2010-11. Perhaps old Czech pal Jaromir Jagr can share some of that fountain of youth to get Marty’s game going. Although a key part of the powerplay, Marek Zidlicky has game but at 37 years old, and young bucks in Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson, and Jon Merril breathing down his neck, he may not bring sizeable returns.
Sleeper Seeker – Yet another veteran player for the Devils’ roster, Michael Cammalleri put up 26 goals on a rough Calgary flames team last season. Next to a surprisingly deep roster, Cammalleri could be very productive on a top line with leader Jaromir Jagr. A revelation in his rookie year, Adam Henrique has yet to take that next step but don’t be surprised if it happens this year. Eric Gelinas is a towering figure from the blue line, and has an absolute bomb for a slap shot. A 10-15 goal season from Gelinas is entirely possible as long as the Devils keep lobbing it up on the powerplay, and they will.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – Already with NHL experience, but still considered a rookie, Reid Boucher has a chance to win a roster spot and has a goal scoring pedigree to stick if he gets hot. Acclimated well in his first pro season, former first rounder Stefan Matteau is a complete player who could take advantage if a veteran laden team gets caught with the inevitable injury bug.
Keep Eyes Peeled – Not likely to be a reliable source of fantasy numbers over the course of the full season, but Michael Ryder can pot goals in a hurry so ride the wave if you can catch it. Not a sure bet to stay healthy, but Ryane Clowe at his best offers up that points, PIMs combo that is so coveted in fantasy hockey.
For Hockeyland Canada,