Sunday, October 19, 2008

InCognito

Often the best keeper draft picks are the ones that fly under the radar late in the draft, or go all together undrafted. Players that were highly touted prospects a season or two ago, didn't have huge seasons so far, but still have a ton of upside. Players on good young teams that are going in the right direction and should continue to improve. Players like Andrew Cogliano. I drafted Cogs 243rd overall in my keeper league, the 16th round. He was a 1st round, 15th overall pick in the real life 2005 NHL draft, had 18 goals, 27 assists in his rookie season last year, and is only 21 years old. A player like that has no business being available in any keeper league. If he is? You better get out there and pick him up. If not? Then keep your eyes open for those incognito keepers that the other GMs aren't picking up on.

Alexandre Picard - Maybe the defensive version of Cogliano. Not as young (23) or as highly touted (3rd round pick) but highly valued by each of the teams he's been on so far. Now he's in Ottawa seeing powerplay time with guys like Heatley and Spezza. He has all the tools to be a 35+ point defenseman and he has a chance to secure a spot as a top defenseman on the Senators which it looks like he's taking advantage of.

Mikkel Boedker - Opportunity has come knocking for young Boedker as well, and he's responded with 2 goals in 5 games. An 18 year old 8th overall pick seeing time on a line with Olli Jokinen? In a keepers he's a "duh" pick up, and might be worth your time in standard leagues as well.

Nikita Filatov - It didn't last long before Filatov was called up by the Blue Jackets. I said before that keeper GMs should keep an eye on him. Well he may only be up for a short period of time to fill in for injuries, but he already has a goal in his first two NHL games. If he makes a case for himself that's too strong to send back down, then he'll be another essential player in keepers.

Ales Kotalik - Let's throw a bone to the GMs in non-keeper leagues. Kotalik has shown 60+ point capabilities in the past, and is off to a torrid start (7 points in 5 games). Do I think he'll keep it up? Not at all, but for the time being Kotalik is as hot of a hand as you'll find available in the majority of leagues.

Bryan Little - It looks like Little has shown up to play in a big way this season. There's nothing tiny about the caliber of play he's shown so far. Putting up better than a point per game on an offensively lacking Thrashers team is no small feat. Other synonyms that may appear in bad puns on the cover of an Atlanta sports page near you: bantam, diminutive, elfin, imperceptible, meager, miniature, shrimpy, teeny and wee.

Christian Ehrhoff - Much like I was saying about Vlasic the other day, Ehrhoff's value is decent just for being a defenseman on the Sharks. The fact he's getting serious ice time and powerplay action just increases it that much more.

Kris Versteeg - I would feel bad not knowing anything about Versteeg, but the fact that he's a former 5th round pick that had only played 12 games before this season might have something to do with it. Regardless, this young LW is getting the chance to play next to guys like Toews and Kane and has put up very good numbers in the process (1 G, 5 A through 6 games). Sound like he fits into the theme of this update?

T.J. Oshie - Berglund might have the better season but Oshie has the better hockey name. He's young, he's playing next to Paul Kariya right now, and will probably play a fairly big part in the Blues offense for a long time to come.

Shea Weber - I'm trying not to say "I told you so" about too many guys, but with Weber? Come on. I told you so.

1 comment:

Craig Kanalley said...

Hi, I thought you may be interested in reading this feature on Kris Versteeg and his rise to being the NHL leader in rookie scoring at the Blackhawks blog Hawkey Central.

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