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 Carolina Hurricanes.
The Elite Suite – By his standards, Eric Staal had a down year with just 61 points and a -13 rating. Despite this, he was still remarkably durable playing 79 games and being the franchise rock that he is. We’re hoping for a bounce back campaign, but his teammates around him will have to shoulder the load a bit more to make it happen.
Dependable Joe – At the tender age of 22 years young, Jeff Skinner already has two 30 goal campaigns to his name. Lets hope a summer of training helps Skinner stay healthy and play a full 82 games, and you may even see 40 goal upside. We’re waiting for Jeff to take the step to the Elite Suite, and with Jordan Staal going down to injury in preseason, the Hurricanes are going to need him to do just that. Signed to a long term deal starting this season, Justin Faulk’s place on the Canes blueline is solidified. He’s shown hints of offensive capability, and a 40 point season could be in the cards with powerplay time.
Risky Plays – The former 2005-06 Conn Smythe Trophy winner and franchise goaltending backbone for the Hurricanes, Cam Ward has lost the crease in Carolina over recent years. He may be worth a stab as a late round lottery ticket, but don’t count on name value returns. The man who took over for Ward was Anton Khudobin as he sported an impressive 2.30 GAA and 0.926 save % last season. This situation figures to be a time share so I’d seek goaltending help elsewhere, but we think Khudobin is the favourite over Ward. Alexander Semin hasn’t topped 54 points since 2009-10 when he registered a career high 40 goals, but those days seem to be in the past. Draft as a 25 goal and 50 points scorer, and hope he decides to pick corners with more frequency like we know he can.
Sleeper Seeker – With a high offensive pedigree like Ryan Murphy’s, its hard not to get excited about the possibilities if he sticks full time in Carolina. We know defenseman take time in the NHL, but when the day comes that Ryan Murphy owns his rightful spot on the point on the powerplay, you’re going to want to own him in fantasy hockey. After the unfortunate injury to Jordan Staal, others will be looked upon to step up and Elias Lindholm is just the guy for Carolina. If the former 5th overall pick doesn’t suffer the dreaded sophomore slump, expect him to take a step with the opportunity in front of him.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – Victor Rask had a good rookie season with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL by registering 16 goals and 39 points in 76 games. He could use more time developing in the minors, but the aforementioned injuries may call him into duty at the bottom of the lineup.
Keep Eyes Peeled – Jiri Tlusty expectedly came back down to earth last season, but still looks to play on the top line with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. Jussi Jokinen before him and during the lockout campaign for Jiri, the wing next to Staal was quite favorable so keep an eye on Tlusty if Eric bounces back. Having been up and down the last several years, Zach Boychuk looks to have taken a step in the AHL with a 36 goal, 74 point season. The Hurricanes need young players to step up and fill out some depth on their roster, Boychuk fits the bill.
For Hockeyland Canada,