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Fantasy Mailbag: Who will win the Calder?

The season is underway and fantasy hockey problems are already starting to creep in. Of course! That's what makes it so fun! Let's get to some letters…
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The season is underway and fantasy hockey problems are already starting to creep in. Of course! That's what makes it so fun! Let's get to some letters…

Hey Dobber, Who will be manning the point for the Islanders power play this season? You know that John Tavares and co. will put up points, so one of the defensemen has got to benefit. Will it be Lubomir Visnovsky, or one of the younger guys (Thomas Hickey, Calvin de Haan)? Thanks for your help.

George, Halifax, N.S.

Hey George, Visnovsky is an easy one. The veteran has three seasons of 15-plus goals and he's just three years removed from 68 points. The Islanders generally use a four-forward, one-defenseman system for their top unit. However, Matt Donovan and Andrew MacDonald man the second PP unit. While MacDonald is pretty established in that 25-point range, Donovan, 23, has some upside in the long term. He's worth watching.

What prospect should I select first for my keeper league.... Sven Bäertschi, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ryan Strome, Morgan Rielly or Ryan Murray

Damon, Brutesville

If those are your options, take Rielly because defensemen are harder to find in deep keeper leagues.

Hi Dobber, I am in a 12-team year to year standard Yahoo League. I lost out on Cory Schneider and really want him to complete my team. So far I have S. Stamkos, E. Karlsson, N. Yakupov, A. Semin, JVR, P. Elias, B. Saad. J. Carter, T. Purcell, D. Keith, N. Leddy, S. Vatanen and goalies C. Anderson, J. Bernier, J. Markstrom. Who do you think is the fair sacrifice for Schneider? I was thinking of Keith because I know a few D players available would maybe give me about 2/3 of his production such as Hamilton, Josi, Voynov. Thanks for the assist.

Gilberto, Newark, N.J.

Hi Gilberto, first of all I'm unclear what the term “year to year” means. Is that "each year the league starts fresh" or "the year continues year to year?” I'll assume it means one-year league. I think Voynov would be a great return for Schneider in that format and his offense (although slow so far) should top that of Keith's.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a points league that includes hits, PIM, plus/minus, and power play points. I'm wondering if I should pick up Steve Downie as he's on Colorado's first line and feel like he's a pretty safe bet. To do this I'd have to drop either Milan Michalek, Teemu Selanne, or Scott Hartnell. I'm not convinced of Michalek's consistency, Selanne's age, and that Hartnell could bounce back. I should note that I've got hits pretty well covered with Brown, Richards, and Evander Kane. What do you think?

Scottie, Denver

Hey Scottie, grab Downie and drop Selanne. I'm not convinced Selanne will sustain even the current mediocre production beyond November.

Although we're only a few games in to the season, what rookies are making a case for the Calder? And, what do you make of Tomas Hertl so far?

Adam, Sacramento, Calif.

Calgary's Sean Monahan has made the best case for the Calder Trophy so far. He has yet to be shut out of a game and is still only seeing modest ice time. Hertl is probably second, but much of that is his amazing four-goal game that included a dazzling goal. I wrote more on Hertl in a recent THN article.

But the player I feel will win the Calder is the No. 1 pick of the 2013 draft, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon. He's the tortoise who is up against Monahan's hare, but by January his consistent results will see him well atop the rookie scoring parade.

Hey Dobber, I'm playing in a 20-team keeper league (in its fourth season) that counts well over 10 categories, from power play goals to faceoffs to blocked shots. I was recently offered a deal that would see me ship out Patrik Berglund for a first-round prospect draft pick. My team is in no position to compete for the title this season and the team that's offering placed only two spots higher than me last year, and their team is much the same, so it will likely end up being somewhere around the sixth-10th overall pick. With draft picks in that range in recent NHL history producing such names as Kadri, Skinner, Granlund, Scheifele, Trouba, and Nichushkin, would this trade be beneficial to my team? This is all with the fact that Berglund is currently playing with Tarasenko and Schwartz in mind, as that could be a very potent combo.

Mike, Winnipeg

Hi Mike, I don't see the rush. Berglund is off to a great start and you can hold out for a higher return. Of course, this method comes with a risk. Berglund could hit a wall. But you should be safe for another five or 10 games.

Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether or not your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only”, “standard roto league”, or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action. Also note that the mailbag is up every two weeks, so keep that in mind when sending in your question.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears regularly during the NHL season. To send Dobber your question, click here to email us.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out or follow him on Twitter at @DobberHockey.


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