First, we'll start with some top ones.
Pavel Datsyuk: Seriously, how is he not rated in the top 10 in most pre-rated pools? That’s ridiculous. If he’s available after the first five, please take him.
Steve Mason: A real head shaker, not rated in the top 10 goalies in the game. That’s impossible—he won the Calder and was nominated for the Vezina last season. Take him at least in the top seven.
Ilya Kovalchuk: He always puts at least 40 pucks into the back of the net, usually taken just after the top 10. This year, watch him score over 55 goals and even more impressive, his plus/minus—which usually hurts poolies—might not even be a minus by the end of the season.
Alright, so enough with those guys. Let's look at guys you should have taken.
Paul Stastny: Last year, he was injured for most of the season. So for some reason, he’s rated really low. Take him if he’s still available by fifth round. Colorado will have a strong offensive team lead by the young Stastny.
Alex Burrows: Is he still playing on the top line with the twins? Yes, he is. He’ll also give you some extra penalty minutes, and he’ll be better than last year. Take him before the eighth round.
Paul Kariya: Again, just because some players were injured most of last season doesn’t mean they should be ranked low. Kariya will be back with a stronger Blues team. He should be gone by seventh round.
Ray Emery: Yes, he didn't play in the NHL last year, but his stats are solid. What else do you need? The best defense? Well, with Chris Pronger in front of him you got it. Take him before the sixth round.
Pascal Leclaire: Well, here's another one. He was injured most of last season. Also playing on a team like Ottawa last year hurt his rankings. Watch him and Ottawa have a rebound season.
Derrick Brassard: Ok, this is my last one. Another injured player from last season. Brassard is a great offensive kid, and playing with Rick Nash will only make him become the player he can be in less time. Take him late, he should be still available
Players that might be still available.
Brandon Dubinsky: Not sure if the Rangers put him on the first line, but he should be there. Signed a late contract and didn’t play in the preseason. He’s a great two-way player and if he plays with Marian Gaborik, he’ll be gold. Take him, he might be still available.
Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy: Both are offensive rookies who will help take the Rangers into the playoffs—maybe not much further though. Sleepers they are, but if you need defensemen that give you points, these are two kids you should take a look at. I know I did when I saw Boston U. in the playoffs. Go Gilroy!
Matt Stajan: Why do fantasy guides always rate Matty so low? Three straight years, he’s rated scoring about 10 goals. This will be three straight seasons he scores more than the season before. A bit streaky, but he’ll get top-line ice time. Take him the day after he scores a goal.
Tukka Rask: He'll get some ice time, and when he does, look for him to steal more games from Tim Thomas. Thomas can't play too many games.
David Moss: Around the league, they’ve gone back to the old Gretzky rule—though I don’t think Iginla needs it. Put an enforcer or grinder on your top line with your moneymaker. Moss will get points and penalty minutes playing on the top line.
Check around the league, there are a lot of other players like Moss who will get top line ice time. Byfuglien, Huselius, Antropov, Michalek, Knuble, and so forth.
Oh my god, did I just see Steve Downie with Vinny Lecavalier?
There are more out there, keep your eyes open, and good luck.
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