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Fantasy Pool Look: Who to avoid at the draft

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The playoff pool season is upon us and while you’re scrambling to get your stats and sheets together, keep some of these names in mind when you get to them on your list - and downgrade or eliminate them.


These guys have to be drafted in most pool formats, but knock them down your list a peg or three…or 20.

Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver

Burrows is a 40-point player without the Sedin twins and a 65-point player with them; the difference is pretty drastic. Last year he played all season with them, but come playoff time Mikael Samuelsson suddenly played with them. So while Samuelsson enjoyed incredible success, Burrows managed just six points in 12 games.

Mike Green, Washington

Green is coming off a rough season health-wise and production-wise. He should be back from his concussion problems by the time the playoffs start and you may be tempted to pick him up because he is one of the best offensive talents in the league. But he has just 12 points in his past 21 playoff games, which is a far cry from the point-per-game pace he was on during the regular seasons before this one.

Alexander Semin, Washington

Just because I do not believe the Capitals will choke again this year, does not mean Semin won’t. The zero goals and two points he managed last spring in the first round will resonate with me for a long, long time – or, at least, until he gets a hat trick in Game 1. Whatever, I’m not drafting him in the first round and I’m sure someone else will, so he won’t get to me in the second round.

Ryan Smyth, Los Angeles

Captain Canada, right? A clutch player, right? A hard-nosed competitor, right? I won’t argue with any of that, but he has a few things running against him. First of all, his season production is declining as he ages (he’s 35 now). Second, his post-season numbers the past two years were underwhelming (seven points in 14 games). And finally, with Anze Kopitar out of the lineup, I’m not sure how eagerly I will be taking any Kings. But if I do, there are six Kings I would draft before Smyth.

Joe Thornton, San Jose

Let’s call a spade a spade: even if Thornton is better than a point-per-game in the regular season (and he’s not this year), he is still less than a point-per-game player when it comes to the post-season. In San Jose he has 47 points in 56 playoff games.

Don’t draft at all

For their name or their point totals this season, you may be tempted - but don’t be. Let someone else take them. No exceptions.

Jason Arnott, Washington

Arnott, like Smyth, has a reputation as a big-game player. He’s a former captain, a Stanley Cup winner and on two occasions tallied more than 14 points in the post-season. Well, Wayne Gretzky was a big-game player too, but you won’t see me drafting him next week. Arnott’s best days are behind him and while he should still be good for a point every two games, he probably won’t play all of them. His body is breaking down and injuries are becoming quite frequent. If the Caps play 15 games, Arnott will play 12 of them (because he’s a warrior) and give you six or seven points. Worth it? Depends on how deep your draft is.

Eric Belanger, Phoenix

Belanger is a steady 35- or 40-point player; in the past six seasons he has tallied between 35 and 41 points. But unfortunately, his playoff track record is horrible. In his past 24 playoff games he has a whopping two points. I had to double-check my numbers, but the stat is true. If you like Phoenix to go two rounds, take someone else.

Tim Connolly, Buffalo

Connolly is having an off year (or an on year from a health perspective, but that’s not the point). His hot play of late combined with his track record of putting up decent numbers may tempt you if you like the Sabres to surprise. But last year Connolly managed just one point in six games, contributing nothing as the Sabres were eliminated early. If I want Sabres, I can think of several I would take before him.

Jamie Langenbrunner, Dallas

A big name (in more ways than one) and a playoff reputation, but those days are behind him and he’s not putting up anything in the way of offense now that he is back in Dallas. Pass.

Paul Martin, Pittsburgh

It’s now clear his potential as an offensive defenseman existed because New Jersey desperately needed him to be one. Now that he is in Pittsburgh, with Kris Letang on the scene, that role is no longer desired from him. So he’s a 30-point player at best, which would mean about five points if the Pens go three rounds. No thanks.

Benoit Pouliot, Montreal

I don’t even know why I kept this guy’s name in the column. But I suppose, if your pool has 20 participants drafting 12 players each, you would get down to the Benoit Pouliots on your list. He would have been more tempting had he maintained his earlier pace when he had 25 points in 58 games, but five in his past 20 pretty much killed it for me.

Mason Raymond, Vancouver

Not only has he regressed this season, but his playoff output in his two NHL post-seasons were nothing to write home about: Raymond has seven points in 22 career playoff games. Someone is sure to take him in the fourth or fifth round of your pool, because many people like the Canucks to go far. Let them have Raymond, because he is worthy of a selection in the eighth or ninth round, no higher.

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. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.

Want more fantasy insider information or to contact The Dobber? Check out dobberhockey.comor follow him on Twitter at @DobberHockey.


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