Skip to main content

Fantasy Pool Look: Late-round gems

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

As fantasy draft season reaches its peak, what better time to give you some suggestions for the late rounds? Here are some players who I think will give you more points than the alternatives out there.

Patrick O’Sullivan, Carolina

I’m notorious for my loyalty to this guy and his upside, but when a talented player gets 53 points as a sophomore, you can’t write him off even if he followed it up with a mediocre season and a horrible one. Now O’Sullivan is finding success early in Carolina and has been a fixture on the Eric Staal line. After seeing what Staal did to Jussi Jokinen’s fantasy value a year ago, one has to think the same could happen to O’Sullivan.

Matt Niskanen, Dallas

Niskanen took a step back in 2009-10, his third NHL campaign. We all know about the dreaded “sophomore slump” – this one was just delayed. I’d look for a rebound this season, as Stephane Robidas is hardly the answer. As further evidence for a comeback, Niskanen tallied four points in seven pre-season games.

Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton

Horcoff’s big seasons were all about Ales Hemsky – when Hemsky was out of the lineup, Horcoff tended to stumble badly. Now Hemsky is back, but Horcoff finds himself clicking with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as his linemates. Not a bad consolation. The three of them should get at least 50 points each this season, with a decent possibility of clearing 65 or even more.

Cal O’Reilly, Nashville

It is always a game of darts trying to figure out how the Predators’ lines will shake out, but early on there is one trio that is really clicking. Last year’s leading goal-scorer, Patric Hornqvist, is on O’Reilly’s right wing and veteran sniper Steve Sullivan is on the other. O’Reilly is one of the most underrated setup men. You do the math. Look for 45 to 50 points.

Derek Stepan, N.Y. Rangers

One second he’s centering Marian Gaborik’s line; the next he’s off. Regardless of who Stepan is playing with, the rookie is producing. He’ll be on and off that big line all season and in the end his final stats will surprise you.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia

The undrafted goaltender has had a marvellous training camp and with Michael Leighton on the shelf for a month or so, Bobrovsky will have a chance to take over the netminding duties. The Flyers aren’t exactly set in stone between the pipes.

Mike Comrie, Pittsburgh

He’s playing with Evgeni Malkin and the two are clicking. I shouldn’t have to say more than that, but I will anyway. Comrie is practically a lock to get hurt at some point this season and will likely lose his plum spot when Jordan Staal returns. But for the first four weeks of the season he is a safe bet for four points per week.

Alex Steen, St. Louis

Steen was actually the leading scorer on the team in the second half of last year with 43 points in his final 49 contests. Since he only finished with 47 points, that puts him fairly low on a lot of lists.

Nikolai Kulemin, Toronto

After starting last season with 12 points in 35 games to go along with four healthy scratches, Kulemin became a new man in the second half. His 24 points in the final 43 games do not give justice to how well he actually played. With six points in seven pre-season games, he is starting to show he would like to be more than just an afterthought on Toronto’s second line. He’s ready for 45 to 55 points.

Marcus Johansson, Washington

He beat out the favoured Mathieu Perreault for a roster spot because of his strong two-way presence. Still, on a powerhouse team like Washington, Johansson should find himself playing with some pretty sweet linemates most of the time. That alone will put him above the 40-point mark.

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. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.

Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out


NHL Helmet

NHL Announces COVID-19 Policy for 2022-23 Season

With the training camps approaching, the NHL unveiled its new COVID-19 protocols for the 2022-23 regular season.

Jack Campbell

NHL Hot Seat Radar: Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have the skill to go far once again after just missing out on the Stanley Cup final. Can Jack Campbell be the difference this year?

Jason Robertson

NHL Free Agency: Top RFAs Still on the Market in the Middle of August

The NHL off-season is deep into August and there are still some key restricted free agents out there without contracts. Let's take a look at the best youngsters still available.