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Smells like draft season

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Fantasy drafts, for the most part, begin this week and gather momentum as training camp hits. No time is more crucial for poolies than right now. Let’s get to the letters!

Dobber, got a question: What kind of impact will Kyle Quincey have this year and years to come? I have traded for him in my fantasy league. What do you see of him this year?

Scott, Oshawa, Ont.

Quincey, believe it or not, is actually more of a stay-at-home type (by his own admission) who got lucky early on in Los Angeles and the points started piling up for him. With his early offensive impact, the Kings used him in those situations with more frequency and his point total continued to climb. It looks like he found another angle to his game. However, with the quality coming up through the ranks in L.A., I would have had my doubts about him reaching 38 points again, as he did last season. This trade to Colorado will work out nicely as he will be the No. 2 power play quarterback there. As such, I think 40 points sounds about right for this year and once he does that, his NHL team, as well as his fantasy owners, will always expect that kind of production.

My youngsters are Angelo Esposito, Jesse Joensuu, Zack Kassian, Jordan Caron, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Calvin de Haan, Tuukka Rask, and Thomas McCollum. I cannot drop the players, so who should I keep on my main roster? (Keep in mind a prospect in our league is a player who has played fewer than 82 total NHL games.) Obviously I am going to keep Rask on the main roster as he should be getting a few starts next season, but who else? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Marshall, Dartmouth, N.S.

Joensuu will probably make the Islanders this season. Furthermore, he is a dark horse to line up with John Tavares. I wouldn’t count on more than 30 points from him this season, but there is that intriguing possibility of a 50-point impact. None of the other players will make their teams this campaign, though Esposito will have some cups of coffee with Atlanta.

Of these goalies: Ray Emery, Jonas Hiller, J-S Giguere, Pascal Leclaire, Jonas Gustavsson, Vesa Toskala, Nikolai Khabibulin, Rick DiPietro, Dwayne Roloson, Mike Smith and Cristobal Huet, how would you rank them for fantasy value for the upcoming season? I would especially like to know if you have any predictions as to how the games will be split this season for goalies in Anaheim, Toronto and Long Island.

Iain, North Vancouver, B.C.

In order:

• Hiller and Emery are above the pack.

• Huet and Khabibulin are a little behind them, but above the rest of the group. Both have injury issues, which will hold their win total down.

• Toskala would be next. I am one of the few who believe he is a great goaltender who had an off year and played through much of it with an injury. If Gustavsson proves to be a strong goaltender, then Toskala will be moved.

• Leclaire and Smith come next. With Leclaire, he is so fragile it seems as though he would break his foot if he ties his skate lace too tight.

• Gustavsson is next, followed by Roloson. Don’t look at DiPietro at all. I question whether we will even see him this season. At least, in the first half.

• To be honest, I wouldn’t look below the first four I listed.

In Anaheim, I think Hiller will start two-thirds of the games. Ditto for Toskala in Toronto. On the Island, I think Martin Biron will start 40 percent, Roloson will start 30 percent and DiPietro will start 30 percent.

I’m in a keeper league that can keep five players, and I have six very legit keepers in Vincent Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom (skater, not goalie) and Evgeni Nabokov. I feel like the decision is between Green and Backstrom and I have a hard time letting either one go.

Alex, Osseo, MN

Semin goes, no question in my mind. He’s very fragile. If your league requires you to carry defensemen, there is no better one to own than Green.

Hey Dobber, I am in a 10-team fantasy league where goals and assists both count for one point. We are also allowed to keep five players, of which I am keeping: Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, Corey Perry, Steve Mason and Jonathan Toews. I got an offer from another league owner who wants Heatley for Patrick Kane. I love the thought of the Toews-Kane connection. Would you pull off this trade?

Dave, Calgary

Pass. Heatley is a proven 100-point player. Off-ice issues and recent poor season aside, he is in his prime and produces at a level that Kane will never reach.

Hey Dobber, great column! Will Martin Brodeur be putting up big numbers this season with Jacques Lemaire acting as head coach (i.e. 40-plus wins and six-to-12 shutouts)? Also, do you think Anze Kopitar will bounce back from an off year? If yes, what kind of numbers will he put up? Finally, will Chris Kunitz be a good sleeper pick this season, since he was at a .90 points-per-game pace when he joined the Pens last year?

Robert, Vancouver

Hi Robert. I believe Brodeur will get back to that level, yes. He has at least two more great years in him. Kopitar is entering his fourth year and I do see strong numbers – especially now that the team has veterans in its top six. Look for 80 to 85 points. Kunitz makes a poor sleeper because everybody and their mother knows about him and thinks he’ll be “the bomb” with Sidney Crosby on his line. I think he’ll set career highs, but I don’t think he’ll get to 70 points. Let someone else overrate this “amazing sleeper.”

Hey Dobber, I've been reading your articles forever, even though I've never been in a pool. I really want to get in one for the upcoming season, but don't know where to go. Any suggestions?

Thomas, Halifax, N.S.

Sure Thomas, I have a section in my forums over at where poolies post openings in their leagues or post that they are looking for a league to join. It’s kind of a “help wanted” deal for hockey pools. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, post what your needs are and I guarantee you’ll find something within a couple of days. Alternatively, you can get 10 or 15 buddies together, make up your own rules and do a draft.

Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether or not your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only,” “standard roto league,” or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every Wednesday throughout the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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