Fantasy 202: Three Young Guns To Watch Next Year

Todd CordellCorrespondent IMay 19, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 21:  Peter Mueller #88 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during warm-up prior to their NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on March 21, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Though their are many promising young players in the NHL today, these are three young players who I feel, will make a huge impact both for their NHL team and for your fantasy teams.

Peter Mueller (Colorado)

Mueller has never been questioned about his skill level, it has always been about his heart and will to play the game.

However, that question has been answered by the play of Peter Mueller after he was dealt to the Avalanche at the trade deadline.

Playing on a young and relaxed team has really helped Peter in the 15 regular season games with the Avalanche, Mueller notched a very impressive 20 points in 15 games.

Don't expect him to be a on 1.25 point per game pace next season, but you should expect a very solid player who is under many peoples radar.

Point prediction: 70-78 points


Jakub Voracek (Columbus)

Voracek did not have great numbers last year (50 points in 81 games) but if you look closely he along with a few other young players in the NHL (Erik Karlsson, and Peter Mueller) went on an impressive offensive run to end the season.

Though Voracek's numbers were not as impressive as Mueller's, Voracek did have a pretty impressive stat line of eight points in the final 10 games, though that does not seem that great, it is, especially for a young player like him.

Next year Voracek will likely be on the Blue Jackets first line with Rick Nash which should lead to some good offensive numbers.

The thing that really sells me on Jakub Voracek is the fact that the Blue Jackets will have the cap to sign some of those top free agents (maybe a centre like Marleau.)

They also have a top five pick to select a guy like Brett Connolly who could play centre, another interesting option is the fact that they have a very young and talented centre in Derick Brassard, who could break out next season.

I wouldn't expect scary big numbers from Voracek but I do expect him to be a solid consistent fantasy option.

Prediction: 67-75


Claude Giroux (Philadelphia)

Though he only had 47 points in 82 games for the Flyers this year Claude is definitely a guy to watch out for next year.

His regular season stats is not what impresses me, it is his playoff stats.

In 14 playoff games so far, Claude Giroux has 14 points (6G, 8A.)

I know you are thinking it is just the playoffs, he probably won't be good next season but in Claude's case, he is different. He is a very young and very skilled player who will only improve.

Let's look at some of the playoff heroes over the past few years, guys like Cam Ward, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and last year Jonas Hiller have emerged as top players in the NHL in both the regular season and playoffs.

Don't get me wrong, I am not expecting Ryan Getzlaf like numbers from Claude Giroux next year but I am expecting him to be a solid fantasy option.

Prediction: 60-70 points


What are your thoughts on these players?

Are they studs or duds?

Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section.