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Fantasy Pool Look: McBain makes his case

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Carolina’s second round draft pick in 2006 (63rd overall), Jamie McBain thought he had a good chance at a full-time NHL gig back in September when he signed a pro contract after ending an impressive college career. Instead, the Hurricanes felt he would be better served with some American League seasoning.

“Someone please, give me a job. I lowered my quote to $8 million. I do nude scene, I play nerd. Don't make me punch your throat!” – Rainier Wolfcastle as McBain, The Simpsons.

The 22-year-old rearguard doesn’t need to punch any throats to stay in the NHL, but he does need to show he belongs. So far, so good.

The former NCAA all-star and Hobey Baker Award nominee had five points in the first four games of his NHL career and has yet to post a blank on the scoresheet. McBain acclimated himself to the pro game quickly. After ending last campaign with a modest 10-game stint in Albany, he started off this season with 40 points in 68 games to go with a plus-11 rating, second best among the River Rats.

Things really started taking off for him at the beginning of February. He went on a tear, potting 21 points in 21 games before finally getting the call from Carolina. Whatever switch he flipped on Feb. 1, he hasn’t turned it off yet. Two of his five points have come on the power play and the Hurricanes have only scored 12 goals in that span, meaning he has been in on nearly half of them.

Pencil him in for 40 to 45 points next season. As for a roster spot – mark that in ink…

It looks as though the Predators will have seven players finish with between 40 and 53 points; Martin Erat on pace to lead the squad with the latter total. That kind of parity makes it difficult for the opposition to key in on one player, especially when you factor in that both Colin Wilson and Cal O’Reilly would fall in that range as well had they played the entire season with the squad. But it makes owning them in fantasy leagues a good idea only if they are depth players (Shea Weber is the exception).

However, it all makes for an intriguing playoff scenario. Generally in playoff pools, only the best players on teams that are not favored to go anywhere get picked. That is to say, only players who get 70 or more points are drafted and even then only as a late-round wildcard. There will be many office pools come April where not a single Predator gets chosen. Red Wings, Sharks, Blackhawks, Penguins, Capitals – all those players will be in high demand. And the top scorers from Colorado, Los Angeles, etc., will be drafted in later rounds. But Nashville?

It’s not inconceivable the Preds steal a round or two. After all, goaltender Pekka Rinne is in a zone, winning six in a row and giving up just eight goals in that span. If they become a Cinderella story and wind up playing 16 or 17 playoff games, it looks as though their top scorer will have 10 points – with another four or six teammates boasting eight or nine. With a team like this, it’s only worth grabbing one of its players if you can add two more, otherwise don’t bother. So if the bones of all the favored playoff teams have been picked clean, you are about to make your 10th pick in a 12-round draft and you think there is a chance Nashville can go at least two rounds – go full bore and use all three picks on them.

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 first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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