Hagelin a Must Add!Saturday, February 16, 2013
Recently we’ve seen some big players go down, but no loss has been more potentially devastating to fantasy owners than that of Erik Karlsson. Finding capable offensive defenseman is a hard task to begin with and at this point, the options on the free agent market are nothing to get excited about. Still, there are a few blueliners out there you can pick up if you need to make a change. This week we’ll highlight three examples and also talk about a few young forwards who might be worth your time:
Joe Corvo (D – Carolina Hurricanes) – I was pretty surprised to find out Corvo was only owned in 8% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. It seems that fantasy owners have dismissed his 40-point 2010-11 campaign in favor of his 25-point stint with the Boston Bruins last season. The fact that he got off to a slow start and was then made a healthy scratch for three games didn’t earn him any fans either. All the same, Corvo has exploded since returning from the press box with two goals and five points in four contests. He’s traditionally done his best work with the Hurricanes and if he keeps playing like this, it’s not hard to imagine him getting more responsibilities. Could he simply cool off and even end up back in the press box? Sure, but you’re not going to find many blueliners on the free agent market with more potential upside than Corvo.
Carl Hagelin (LW – New York Rangers) – Hagelin has four goals and six points in his last three games. That kind of stuff will happen when you develop some on-ice chemistry with Rick Nash. In Tuesday’s game, Nash drew three Bruins to him and goaltender Tuukka Rask before executing a highlight reel pass to Hagelin, who quickly slapped the puck into the wide open net. Nash will be the real hero of many plays, but Hagelin is a valuable part of the equation. Besides, if you don’t have Nash already, it will cost you dearly to get him now. Hagelin, on the other hand, is owned in only 15% of Yahoo! leagues at the time of writing.
Slava Voynov (D – Los Angeles Kings) – Voynov had a solid rookie season with 20 points in 54 games. Now in his sophomore campaign, he’s been getting more responsibilities due to the health problems of blueliners Willie Mitchell (knee), Matt Greene (back), and Alec Martinez (upper body). Recently, Voynov has excelled with five points and a plus-seven rating in his last six games. He’s still young and will probably have some rough patches, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him average about 0.5 points per game.
Jonathan Ericsson (D – Detroit Red Wings) – Ericsson didn’t do a lot offensively in his first few seasons with Detroit, despite having some solid offensive showings in the minors. This season, Ericsson might have taken a step towards breaking out with two goals and six points in 11 games. Of course, he could just be riding a hot streak and of all the players on this list, he’s probably the most likely to fizzle out. The thing that makes him appealing, though, is the fact that he’s a defenseman who spends some time in the sin bin and is traditionally solid in the plus/minus department. If this hot streak turns into something more, you’ll have a well-rounded blueliner. But only take a chance on him in the first place if you’re hurting for defense and have missed out on Corvo and Voynov. Getting Ericsson shouldn’t be an issue as he’s available in all but 3% of Yahoo! leagues.
Jamie McGinn (LW – Colorado Avalanche) – Sometimes a fresh opportunity can go a long way. McGinn was never able to become more than a bottom-six forward in San Jose, but he was still young when they sent him to the Colorado Avalanche. Since then McGinn has recorded nine goals and 20 points in 29 contests between last season and 2013. The big difference is his playing time. He went from averaging 12:33 minutes with the Sharks to 16:40 with Colorado in 2011-12. This season he’s up to 18:00 minutes per contest and that isn’t likely to drop dramatically. McGinn is only owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues and could flirt with the 30-point mark this season.
Troy Brouwer (RW – Washington Capitals) – Brouwer is having a fantastic month with five goals and seven points in seven games. Part of that is just a hot streak – one that appears to be peaking at the same time his team is finally bouncing back – and if that’s all it is, that’s reason enough to pick him up and see if there’s any extra juice left in it. There may be a little more to it than that, though. Brouwer’s early success has been tied to Nicklas Backstrom as Backstrom has assisted on five of Brouwer’s seven goals this season. If the two continue to gel together, Brouwer is a good candidate to over-perform this season.