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Fantasy Pool Look: Lucic on the radar

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Milan Lucic is one prospect that was not on many radar screens in fantasy hockey circles. But he’s certainly on them now.

Boston’s second round pick in 2006 (50th overall) has pushed his stock higher with each month that has gone by since that draft, highlighted by his being named the 2007 Memorial Cup MVP.

A big, strong, physical winger, Lucic showed enough hustle in training camp to surprise everyone by cracking the Boston roster. The 19-year-old then played well enough in the early stages of 2007 to earn a spot for the rest of the season.

Although Lucic has four points in his past three games (and is a plus-5 in that span), he will probably never be a 70-point player. His value in keeper leagues is for his all-around game. I can see seasons of 60 or even 65 points for the Vancouver native, while flirting with 180 or more penalty minutes. That kind of combination is rare and makes him extremely valuable in leagues with roto-style rules.

Power forwards take a little longer to find their offensive game than skill guys, so expect Lucic to plug along with 25 to 40 points for a few years, before busting out into the 60s sometime around the age of 26 or 27…

After tallying just six points in 13 games, Calgary winger Kristian Huselius busted out in a big way Thursday with a five-point effort. So much for hints at a revival of the Huselius-Mike Keenan feud. He’s just too good to bench…

In the 12 games since Ryan Getzlaf signed his big contract extension, he has 15 points. He’s ready to become a point-per-game player this year and he’ll be a 90-point guy going forward…

The return of Scott Niedermayer may be just what Andy McDonald needs to get rolling. Not only has McDonald had stronger second halves in each of the past two seasons, what Niedermayer brings to the power play can only help. It hasn’t just been Teemu Selanne that McDonald has missed – it’s been Niedermayer, too. See if you can pick him up for cheap…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: It turns out that Michael Nylander’s ‘undisclosed’ injury was a shoulder problem. He is expected back in the Washington lineup Friday night (Dec. 14), which will likely take Nicklas Backstrom off the first line…

Farm Report: Pittsburgh’s Angelo Esposito, Calgary’s Leland Irving, Boston’s Zach Hamill and Florida’s Keaton Ellerby were among the cuts at the Team Canada world junior camp. The forwards that made the team that I am most interested in watching to get a feel for how big their fantasy potential are: Claude Giroux, a small, but high-scoring winger in Philadelphia’s system; Shawn Matthias, a hulking power forward in the making for Florida; Steven Stamkos, the likely first overall draft pick next summer; Kyle Turris, a potential Steve Yzerman-type who could join Phoenix next season; and, of course, John Tavares, who needs no introduction.

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 Monday and Wednesday. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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