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Fantasy Pool Look: Stewart making a case to stay

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Chris Stewart was drafted by the Avalanche 18th overall in 2006, seven slots ahead of where his brother (Anthony, Florida Panthers, 25th overall) went in 2003. It was thought the younger Stewart had more offensive upside, although both of them played an impressive power game.

Much like your typical power forward, Anthony is progressing slowly. Chris, however, is way ahead of the curve. A late cut in training camp, the 6-foot-2, 228-pound right winger was called up from Lake Erie of the American League and has proven he belongs with the big boys. He has also established himself as a fantasy asset in a lot of rotisserie leagues.

The points were hard to come by at first for Stewart, he managed just five in his first 17 games, although he did maintain an even plus/minus rating and had 16 penalty minutes. Since then he has become one of the better fantasy wingers out there. In his past nine contests, Stewart has four goals and eight points along with 19 penalty minutes.

His production won’t continue at a point-per-game pace, but should be decent through most of the remaining games, especially with Paul Stastny (broken arm) still a couple of weeks away and Joe Sakic (back and fingers) out until late March. Until Burnaby Joe returns, Stewart’s spot in the lineup is safe.

Stewart is proving he will be a full-time NHLer next season and although he is a good six years away from hitting his 75-point potential, he’ll still be a decent fantasy asset. Look for 50 points next campaign to go along with 100 penalty minutes…

After struggling with a couple of injuries to start the season, Dallas veteran Jere Lehtinen has found his form. He has eight points in his last eight games and is a plus-5 over that span…

Lehtinen’s teammate Steve Ott has always had the potential to do what Sean Avery does. Without the foot-in-the-mouth part, that is. Fifty-plus points and 200-plus penalty minutes were never out of the question, but his inability to stay healthy has hurt his final numbers every season. He has nine points and 10 penalty minutes in his past eight games and is a plus-4 as well. With Avery off the team and Brenden Morrow on the shelf, the Stars need Ott’s sandpaper-style of hockey…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective:
Robert Lang is out for the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Tomas Plekanec has struggled with Lang’s presence in Montreal. He has 21 points in 50 games compared to last year’s 69 total. One can only assume that with Lang out of the picture, things look more like they did a year ago in Montreal. For Plekanec owners, that is a good thing.

Farm Report:
Luca Caputi has 30 points in his last 28 AHL contests and with the suspension to Tyler Kennedy the Penguins have rewarded Caputi with his first call up. As a young, skilled offensive winger on a team flush with superstar centermen, it only makes sense to regard this kid very highly. However, after seeing Michel Therrien's treatment of Janne Pesonen (sticking him on a checking line and giving him little-to-no ice time with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby), I do not see an early impact from Caputi. But watch out for this kid next season.

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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