Draft Guru - Notes

Landshark Hockey breaks down your Fantasy Hockey Draft. Select the category for insight on NHL players to help plan your draft list.


Sleeper

These players will be overlooked by your average GM for a plethora of reasons. Mostly, because they're not as smart as you, and they haven't discovered the joys of the Landshark Draft Guru. Some of these guys had below average seasons last year, due to injury, etc. Others are traditionally undervalued. These guys will slide a round or two beyond where they should. Don't miss out on them.

Offense

Aleksander Barkov     FLA Barkov snuck into the #2 overall pick slot for a reason. He's got plenty of talent and great size. He will quickly emerge as Florida's #1 center.
Loui Eriksson     BOS Eriksson has been a steady, but un-spectactular fantasy option for the past half decade. During that time, he has managed to somehow linger under the radar for many fantasy players. The move to Boston may boost his production and fantasy value even further. Don't miss out on this potential sleeper star.
David Krejci     BOS Maybe one of these seasons, Krejci will stop saving his best play for the postseason and deliver us some of that magic when fantasy owners need it most. He's an underrated option that has the potential to come up big, at least in terms of assists. You can probably wait and grab him late in the draft.
Jason Spezza     OTT There's little chance Spezza will be completely forgotten by your competition, but anyone registering just 5 points last year is bound to be overlooked a little. Spezza should have no trouble returning to fantasy star status. He'll be extra motivated to earn his way onto the Team Canada after the summer snub. Don't forget, two years ago, he nearly won the scoring title.

Defense

Jay Bouwmeester     STL Bouwmeester's goal production started to reemerge last season. He has been burdened by a poor team his whole career, but he will be entering his first full campaign on a legitimate NHL contender. That could qualify him as a potential sleeper.
Justin Faulk     CAR With McBain and Corvo leaving town, Faulk defaults into the #1 offensive defenseman role in Carolina. Not that this is much to brag about, but somebody has to eat up those power play minutes. He won't be high on the radar on draft day, so you can probably nab him as a late sleeper and enjoy some moderate, unexciting, average production from him in 2013-14.
Jakub Kindl     DET Kindl was used somewhat sparingly by the Wings last season, but came on with a nice little offensive burst late in the season. That production carried into the playoffs. He will likely never be a top tier fantasy option, but he should be serviceable this season and will be around late in your draft.

Goalies

Jonathan Bernier     TOR Bernier finally has the opportunity to win a #1 job, thanks to the move to Toronto. He will have to get past Reimer, who had a career season in 2013. At a minimum, he should see a fair bit of action as the #2 in town, but don't be shocked if he ends the season with the starting job. Could be a fine sleeper pick.
Ben Bishop     TAM Bishop failed to overwhelm in his debut with Tampa last season. Should he manage to best Lindback and earn the starter position for Tampa Bay, he may pan out as a decent sleeper pick. Don't waste a selection on him until the end of the draft, as he may just as well be a forgotten man in the NHL by the end of the season.
Devan Dubnyk     MON For his first few seasons as a starter, Dubnyk had to deal with Khabibulin looking over his shoulder. He enters this season, clearly established as the man on a team that should (in theory) win a lot of games going forward. The defense remains suspect, which means a lot of action (saves), though his GAA may continue to suffer until this unit gels. He has potential for a big season, making him a sleeper target late in your draft.
Jhonas Enroth     BUF Given the uncertainty surrounding Miller and his future in Buffalo, Enroth could emerge as a hot sleeper option this season. He has been consistent (albeit nothing particularly special) as Miller's #2 over the past few season. He has stepped up in short stretches, but overall, hasn't excited. Should he default into the #1, his value will obviously rise.
Marc-Andre Fleury     PIT You'll need to focus hard, but try and forget what happened in last year's playoffs. And the playoffs the year before that. Focus. In the regular season (which is what we care about in fantasy town), Fleury has been a very good option. The Pens (for some unknown reason) insist on standing behind him as their #1, despite having a far more stable option in Vokoun at the ready. As long as that vote of confidence remains from the man behind the bench, Fleury will carry significant fantasy value. The Pens promise to rack up the wins again this year, and the Flower is the default option to gather those Ws. Because of his post-season struggles, you will probably see Fleury slide deep come draft time, making him a potential sleeper win.
Kari Lehtonen     DAL For years, injuries limited the productivity here, but that seems to be in the past now. Lehtonen has turned in 3 consecutive healthy seasons as a dependable, though not particularly thrilling, starter. Dallas made some solid moves in the offseason and may be a contending team again this season. Lehtonen likewise has the potential to emerge as a fantasy #1.
Tomas Vokoun     PIT Vokoun was money for the Pens in the playoffs and as a fill-in for Fleury last season; however, the boys upstairs are supposedly sticking by their man. That leaves Vokoun holding the bag from a fantasy value perspective. The situation is hardly settled, given Fleury's history, both performance and injury wise. At some point, Vokoun may regain significant fantasy value. Stash him away deep in your draft, just in case.