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Fantasy Pool Look: Booth drawing attention

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

One of the more difficult positions to fill in rotisserie leagues is the left wing slot. So, given the lack of options, it is quite possible David Booth has already been snapped up in your league. If so, his owner may be in for a pleasant surprise.

The Florida left winger has picked up where he left off last season, starting the campaign with four points in two contests. Since he is averaging nearly 19 minutes of ice time, it is safe to say he is on coach Peter DeBoer’s good side.

Despite four seasons as one of the better scorers for Michigan State University, Booth has never been taken seriously in fantasy circles, often being written off as a 45-point player at best. However, there seems to be much more to this guy. He had 26 points in the second half of last season, primarily playing with Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss. With Olli Jokinen now out of the mix, the Panthers are relying on Horton and Weiss, as well as newcomer Cory Stillman, to carry the offense. Any player who plays with these three is bound to see a boatload of ice time.

This year, because Horton has been moved back to center, Booth is playing with Weiss and Richard Zednik. DeBoer is leaning on Booth a lot more this season and his power play time is up nearly a minute and a half per game. Granted, we’re only two games into the season, but this is a great early indicator.

So where will things end up for the 23-year-old? On one hand, we shouldn’t overrate. A point per game is out of reach this season and probably won’t happen at all in Booth’s NHL career. On the other hand, it’s time to stop pigeonholing Booth as a third-liner, because it is clear he is in the top six to stay. With that in mind, look for 55 points with a 65-point upside…

Nigel Dawes wasn’t meshing with Nikolai Zherdev and Brandon Dubinsky, so coach Tom Renney decided to try Aaron Voros in his place and the results have been spectacular so far. Voros has seven points in his past four games, while Dubinsky has seven and Zherdev has five this season. Things will slow down, but for the time being there isn’t a hotter line out there and Dawes will continue to have difficulty getting back into the lineup…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective:
Washington’s Viktor Kozlov could miss up to two weeks with a leg injury. Either Chris Clark or Tomas Fleischmann will take his spot on Alex Ovechkin’s line. Whoever gets the promotion will warrant a short-term pick up in your pool on the off chance they stick, depending on the depth of your league… With Lee Stempniak sidelined with a knee injury, rookie T.J. Oshie has slid into his spot on the red-hot Andy McDonald line. Brad Boyes is the other winger… With Jochen Hecht possibly missing some time (hand injury), Clarke MacArthur should see more ice time and I think he’ll produce good numbers.

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Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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