Thursday, September 29, 2005
Most hockey fans look at the hockey pool as a crap shoot. As in, "My guys are crap and I want to shoot them."
Anyone can grab a list of the previous year’s scorers in preparation for next week’s hockey pools. Do that in a deep pool this year and you will lose. What will win it is guys who do their homework. But homework sucks. So I’ve done some for you. I hate doing this. My Team 1200 opponents will see what I’m up to as they prep for our draft Monday night. But nonetheless, it is you, good listener, that I serve.
So here is a list of my DEEP sleepers for the coming NHL season. These are guys that are rookies or, for one reason or another, might slip everyone’s mind (except yours) come draft day.
Thomas Vanek – Buffalo. Top line – 42 goals at Rochester last season
Tuomo Ruutu – Chicago – Top line. Someone has to score in Chicago
Ales Hemsky – Edmonton 50-60pts is very do-able this year
Alexander Frolov – 50 pts in 03/04 likely to play this year with Demitra. Might manage 70-80.
Nikolai Zherdev – colombus – Likely on top line with Rick Nash
Oleg Tverdovsky – Oh, yeah, that guy. anchoring Carolina’s power play
Rostislav Olesz or Nathan Horton – keep an eye on it. One, likely Olesz, will play with Nieuwendyk and Jokinnen on top line
Jeff Carter – to play with Forsberg and Gagne. Big junior and AHL playoff performer
Brandon Bochenski – But will it last?
Eric Staal – Carolina – 31 pts in rookie year but a year in the AHL and top line status should make for a major improvement
Ryan Malone – playing with Mario and Palffy. Slam dunk.
Ruutu, Zherdev, Staal and Malone are all good bets. They were good rookie scorers and year three is usually a breakout year for a lot of players. The second year of development came and went when we weren’t looking. They could be ready to break out. Big time.
Other tremendous rookie scorers who could be ready to really jack it up in year three: Bos Patrice Bergeron, Mtl Michael Ryder, NYI Trent Hunter, Ana Joffrey Lupul, Chi Brett McLean, Cal Matt Lombardi, Van Jason King.
Just for fun, I will post the draft results of Monday's Team 1200 hockey pool sometime next week.
By the way, Shaun Van Allen is a sleeper too. He’s OUTSTANDING at colour commentary tonight alongside Gordie’s play by play. Van Allen, who quietly retired this summer, and TSN’s Bob Mackenzie both join our Senator game day broadcasts this year. Vanner joins the post game. Mackenzie the pre game. Nice.
Note: I'm out until middle of next week. Having a little laser eye surgery in the morning.
Posted by Steve Warne at 8:58 PM