Fantasy Hockey 2013: Emerging Sleepers
Before the 2103 NHL campaign kicked off, I provided the fantasy hockey enthusiasts with a handful of sleepers that will awaken for fantasy owners. Now that we are almost two months into the season, let’s see how accurate I was with some of my predictions, shall we?
By the way, if you own any of these players, you are most likely doing very well in your league(s).
Note: I really did list the following players as sleepers prior to the season starting.
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers (7G, 15A, 22 pts): Arguably the hottest player in hockey as of right now, Voracek has been absolutely terrific for fantasy owners, including myself. His 22 points ranks him 10th in the entire league and is currently riding a five-game point streak. Many assumed he would join Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell on the team’s first unit. Due to injuries, that wasn’t the case to start the season, but now we are seeing these three headline the first line. Voracek, a tremendous playmaker, is now finally starting to shoot the puck more and fantasy owners are reaping the benefits.
Matt Moulson, New York Islanders (10G, 13A, 23 pts): Moulson has always showed top notch goal scoring potential and playing with emerging superstar John Tavares has allowed him to fulfill that very potential. Moulson’s 10 goals ranks 7th in the league and he has three multi-goal games on the season. I predicted Moulson to have a breakout season this year and it has been happening thus far. I hate to toot my own horn but… toot toot!
Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets (10G, 7A, 17 pts): In my eyes, Ladd is one of the most underrated and overlooked players in hockey. In fact, many people wouldn’t even know he was the captain of the Jets. He is off to a fast start in 2013, posting 10 quick goals. Now just imagine the point production possibility if he was on the same line as explosive talent Evander Kane. Look for Ladd to become more of a household name around the league if he continues to play like this.
Mike Ribeiro, Washington Capitals (6G, 15A, 21 pts): Ribeiro was one of my biggest sleepers heading into 2013, mainly due to the fact that he’d be playing alongside rare talent Alexander Ovechkin. Ribeiro’s playmaking abilities have been extremely visible thus far, posting 15 assists on the year, which ranks 8th among all players. His consistency has been another positive in his fantasy value, posting at least one point in all but four games this season. With Ovechkin finally starting to play like the great eight, expect the big time production from Ribeiro to continue throughout the year.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (8G, 5A, 13 pts): Less than two months into the season and Huberdeau is making an early case for himself as this year’s winner of the Calder Trophy. So far, he has been everything Panthers fans wanted and more. He is currently the team leader in both goals and points. Keep in mind that the rookie is producing points with a handful of injuries surrounding Florida’s offensive producers. Don’t be the least bit surprised if this kid wins the Calder, providing owners fantasy gold in the process.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy hockey/football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.