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Fantasy Pool Look: News from training camps

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

As you read this, fantasy drafts are running and still more are fast approaching. All eyes are on the wire for the slightest piece of relevant player news. You would hate to draft a Justin Williams only to find out afterwards he ruptured his Achilles tendon earlier in the day…

The absence of Williams for the majority of the coming season (yes, he really did rupture his tendon) opens the door for Sergei Samsonov to see more ice time. Move Samsonov up at least five points on your projections for the coming season. This also means Jeff O’Neill has a better chance of making the team. Missing a full season will hurt the odds of O’Neill regaining solid fantasy status, however…

Sergei Gonchar now joins Ryan Whitney on the sidelines after injuring his shoulder Saturday. The injury is said to be one that will take weeks to recover from, as opposed to days. Kris Letang becomes the power play quarterback and the Pens have moved Evgeni Malkin back to play the point, where he did not look out of place (but really – does Malkin look out of place anywhere on the ice?). Rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski will now almost certainly make the team and he boasts a ton of offensive promise…

San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell broke his leg Sunday and will be out two months. While he did not play on a scoring line, his absence will still have fantasy implications. The team is now short one center, which means Patrick Marleau will probably be moved back to his original position. Marleau had been playing left wing on Joe Thornton’s line. This little bit of juggling will likely result in Jonathan Cheechoo ending up back with his buddy Thornton. Ryane Clowe will remain on the line as the other winger…

J-P Dumont is one of the more underrated fantasy players in the game today and he seems to be on a mission. The 30-year-old is in the prime of his career and has seen his points-per-game increase over the past four seasons (0.69, 0.74, 0.80 and 0.90). This is not a coincidence and is not at all attributed to Alexander Radulov. Dumont is a talented offensive player who started to perform to expectations at the age of 27, which is when many players do (just ask Vincent Lecavalier). Dumont is currently dominating training camp and brings up the play of his young linemates Patric Hornqvist and Rich Peverley…

So far in the Columbus camp, it has not been R.J. Umberger who has centered Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius; the honor has gone to budding star Derick Brassard. Umberger is centering Fredrik Modin and Jakub Voracek. The Brassard line has the potential to be explosive; all three players could surpass the Jackets’ club record for most points in a season…

It didn’t take very long for Mikhail Grabovski to be slotted on the first line in Toronto. Leafs coach Ron Wilson has the former Hab out there with Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Grabovski still has not mastered the English language, but the line communicates fluently in Russian. This bodes well for the combo to stick together when the season starts. Grabovski will be a surprise offensive player for poolies this year on a Toronto team that will not have many of them…

Not only will Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan have to play his way out of a roster spot in order to get cut, but he will get a huge opportunity to put up big numbers this year. The Ducks will try him on a line with Teemu Selanne and Brendan Morrison, which, if it clicks, is a solid second line.

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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