When talking about some of the elite fantasy hockey forwards in the game today, Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek is often overlooked. And to tell you the truth, I honestly have no idea why.
While guys like Patrick Marleau and a handful of red hot rookies are being plastered all over the headlines, Vanek’s season has slid under the radar. Vanek continued his impressive 2013 campaign on Thursday night against the Boston Bruins. He posted a hat trick on the night to go along with two assists. Are you kidding me? Thursday night’s stellar performance was remarkably already Vanek’s second five-point game. On the year, Vanek is now your leading point scorer in the NHL with 15 points (six goals, nine assists). To put into perspective of the type of year he is putting together, his pair of five-point performances alone would still rank him tied for ninth in points.
Also, last season, just one player had multiple five-point games. Evgeni Malkin had four of them during his MVP season last year, and that was a full, 82-game campaign. Vanek already has two.
Both Vanek and Sabres’ captain Jason Pominville are continuing to make the Sabres first line one of the most productive in all of hockey. The two have great chemistry together and will continue to throughout the season. Also expect the points to continue for Vanek, though not at this blistering pace. He is an offensive wizard when the puck is on his stick, able to snipe one past the goalie or find the open man.
Will Vanek finish the season as a top point scorer? That remains to be seen. However, it is evident that fantasy owners who drafted the 29-year old are extremely satisfied.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy hockey/football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.