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Fantasy Pool Look: You must be Jokinen

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

To fantasy owners, it looked as though Olli Jokinen needed a fresh start. His 71 points in 2007-08 was his lowest total since the lockout and he had established himself as an 85-point player. In Phoenix, a team with a bright future, it was assumed that he would find his 85-point self. But unless he tallies 51 points in the last 38 games, that ain’t gonna happen.

In fact, since Jokinen’s “upper-body” injury in December, he has managed just 16 points in 27 games – none of which came in his past five. Will he break out of his funk? Only if coach Wayne Gretzky finds a line combination that clicks with him.

Jokinen had been seeing a lot of action with Peter Mueller on one wing and Enver Lisin on the other. Those linemates have a lot of potential, but Mueller hasn’t found his groove yet and Lisin is still a couple of years away from being a top-six forward, if he ever gets there. Now that Mueller is on the shelf (concussion), Jokinen is back to playing with a variety of linemates. Believe it or not, that has primarily included Todd Fedoruk.

Jokinen’s current pace will put him at 53 points, which would be his lowest since 2002. That pace won’t increase until Mueller returns or Shane Doan is back on Jokinen’s line. Fantasy owners shouldn’t count on that, so for this season the mid-to-high 50s are all you are going to get. Next year holds promise, however, since one can only assume the youngsters on this Phoenix team will improve with experience. So for those keeper league owners who are looking to retool, Jokinen makes a solid “buy low” investment…

Sticking with the day’s FPL theme, I really like the outlook for Jussi Jokinen (no relation) in Carolina. He was praised for his hard work and in-depth study of the game as a rookie in Dallas and I find it difficult to believe he lost that in Tampa Bay. He was a potential 65-point, responsible player who became derailed for whatever reason. The Hurricanes take players like that and turn them back to their former selves and it will be no different in Jokinen’s case. In the final 28 games, look for 18-20 points.

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Andy McDonald is reportedly very close to returning from his leg fracture and ankle sprain. The Blues pivot, who signed a four-year contract extension Monday, could return as early as Tuesday night. He is a point-per-game player when healthy – last season was just a blip…Philly’s Daniel Briere is doing some light skating, but he is still about two weeks away…Kings rookie Oscar Moller (shoulder injury) is expected back in the lineup Tuesday.

Farm Report: It’s only a matter of time before 22-year-old Cal O’Reilly gets a real NHL shot. The Nashville prospect had a five-point game Sunday and has nine in his past four American League contests. He has 53 points in 50 games this season, sitting him firmly in the AHL’s top 10 scorers. He was a fifth round draft pick (150th overall) for the Preds in 2005.

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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