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Fantasy Pool Look: McDonald's magic

Count me among the many fantasy owners who ruled this guy out.

Anaheim's Andy McDonald has shown glimpses of his offensive potential in years past, but his first three pro hockey seasons were riddled with injury.

The 2003-04 season proved to be a healthy one at long last.

Finally, McDonald could prove what he can do over an entire season. The result? 30 points.

That was all he could muster. 30 points and a minus-13.

My own preseason predictions had this guy down for 37 points this year and more than a few poolies agreed with me.

What I didn't count on was my own theory - Fourth Year Magic.

You may remember my article from The Hockey News Ultimate Pool Guide 2003. Traditionally, a player breaks out in his fourth season. This season is Andy McDonald's fourth, if you don't count his 16 game tryout in 2000-01.

The Strathroy, Ont., native has 44 points in 51 games so far, and is a plus-17 to boot.

McDonald has nine points in his last five games and is enjoying some nice chemistry with Teemu Selanne, who has been his linemate for most of the season.

The Mighty Ducks may miss the playoffs this year, but they have found a star in an unlikely source.

The 28-year-old is on a 70-point pace, and I would rate him as a 65- to 70-point player going forwardÂ…

While Columbus right winger David Vyborny won offensive player of the week last week, his linemate Jan Hrdina may be under the radar in your pool. Hrdina has awoken from his season-long slumber has quietly put up 12 points in his last ten games, giving him some fantasy value for the first time since 2003Â…

Tampa Bay rookie Ryan Craig has seven points in his last seven games. The 24-year-old seems to have found a home on the big team, although his ice time is still less than 14 minutes a game. He is a cheap pickup in rotisserie leagues, and may be worth a look in keeper leaguesÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: The official word on Ed Jovanovski (abdominal surgery) is six-to-eight weeks. What I hear is the Canuck rearguard may in fact be gone until at least the first two rounds of the playoffsÂ…Toronto's Eric Lindros (wrist) may be back as early as next weekÂ…

Farm Report: Malkin watch - if you thought Evgeni Malkin was looking good a month ago with his 25 points in 26 games for Magnitogorsk of the Russian League, wait 'till you see these numbers. He has 23 points in his last 15 games, making the first half of his season look like a warm-upÂ…Gilbert Brule was sent back to the Western League by Columbus and has seven points in six games for the Vancouver GiantsÂ…St. Louis prospect Alexei Shkotov has 14 points in 30 games for Mytishi Khimik of the Russian League. The 2002 second round draft pick (48th overall) has some offensive potential and the 21-year-old should be watched for the next couple of years to see if he can put it all together.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Hockey 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 Wednesday and Friday. Also find the top 250 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN's Fantasy section.

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