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 continue with the Central Division. Plenty of stud players for fantasy poolsters to familiarize themselves with, so lets keep it going with the Dallas Stars.
The Elite Suite – Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn finally found each other last season, and took the NHL by storm, forming one of the most feared duos in hockey. Tyler Seguin was always known as a high end offensive center, but he finally proved it in a big way when he moved back to the middle for the Stars. After finishing 4th in points and 5th in goals, Seguin is a contender to take home some hardware this season. Despite dealing with a contract dispute going into last season, Jamie Benn took a next level shift and posted a career high 79 points. His showing at the Olympics with Team Canada was eye opening for the casual observer as he established himself as a bonafide superstar among the game’s best. Both players rack up the PP and shots totals needed to own your opponent in fantasy.
Dependable Joe – It took him a while to pay dividends for the 40 goal man James Neal trade investment, but Alex Goligoski has become the minute munching, offensive defenseman that Dallas envisioned. He quarterbacks the powerplay with four highly gifted forwards that will net him at least 30 assists without even trying. Its hard to believe that he could top the 60 point mark based on past performance, but the supporting cast and role are certainly there. Freed from the glaring spotlight of being an NHL captain in a Canadian city, Jason Spezza is sure to be re-born in big D. With Ottawa pal Ales Hemsky to ride shotgun and a bevy of young, AHL ripened wingers to form chemistry with, Spezza will deliver on 70 point expectations despite not being the number one center. Thankfully, Spezza will get a chance to play with Benn and Seguin on the top powerplay, forming one of the deadliest PP trifectas in the league.
Risky Plays – On an improving team, Kari Lehtonen should pile up the wins and generally give you good all around production. A history of injuries make us a bit wary though, and after getting imploded for 10 goals in the last two games against Anaheim in last year’s playoffs, Lehtonen will be under scrutiny. The strength of this team is on offense, without stalwart defenceman in front of him, Lehtonen may be vulnerable to some shootouts that bring his GAA above 2.50. A friendly caution for those thinking Sergei Gonchar will return them 50 points, he’s already injured in preseason and should be left on the waiver wire unless he finds a magic elixir that makes him 10 years younger.
Sleeper Seeker – A Russian beast in the truest sense, Valeri Nichushkin showed himself very admirably for an 18 year old playing his first season in North America. He scored a respectable 14 goals and 34 points, while occasionally spending time with the big two. As a perfect piece that can hang with Seguin and Benn, Nichushkin can make this far and away the most unstoppable line in all of hockey. Ales Hemsky’s stock has fallen after years of wallowing in the doldrums of Edmonton’s rebuild. Freed in a deadline deal last season, Hemsky recorded almost a point per game playing with former and current linemate Jason Spezza in Ottawa. With an elite centerman to play with, this could be Hemmer’s best season since 2008-09 when he recorded 66 points.
Rookies Ready to Break the Ice – The behemoth 6’7 Jamie Oleksiak may crack the Stars blueline, after honing his game for a couple seasons in the AHL with the Texas Stars. As the 14th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Oleksiak has upside and is seen as an important part of the franchise going forward. He may not be serviceable in fantasy this season as his offensive numbers are limited, but he has potential to grow into being an impact player.
Keep Eyes Peeled – The undrafted wingers Ryan Garbutt and Antoine Roussel both almost eclipsed the 20 goal mark last season and bring needed PIM and hits help in deep leagues. Colton Sceviour finally got a cup of coffee in the NHL last season with 26 games, and he showed he belonged with an impressive 8 goals. His promotion was due to his production in the AHL rising above the PPG mark for the first time last season, which is a good sign of his ability to contribute offensively if given a top 6 chance.
For Hockeyland Canada,