To say James van Riemsdyk had a decent two games would be an understatement. The Charlie Conway look-alike scored five goals over the last two nights, scoring a hat trick against the Stars on eight shots before scoring two goals and an assist against the Sabres. That brings JVR to 31 goals and 16 assists on the season with just under three shots per game. Obviously he's owned in virtually all leagues at this point, but I wanted to start off with him because he doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's played at a 27+ goal pace for six straight seasons now and the two goals last night gave him a new career high. I'm not sure Toronto will be to keep the impending UFA past this season, but one thing is for certain: JVR is about to get paid handsomely. Look for him to maintain his value no matter where he ends up, meaning someone who is a top 75-100 player. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Loyal Razzballers know the love that the writer, editor and chief of Razzball Hockey has for Sebastian Aho long term. He hasn't taken the league by storm but his rookie season has been incredibly impressive for a 19 year old. Aho had his second best game to date on Thursday scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the win over the Rangers. That gives him 19+19 on the season with over 2.5 shots per game. He's been a great streamer most of the season but right now I would grab him for the rest of the season. Why? If you recall, the Hurricanes have the best schedule over the last four weeks by a country mile (schedule breakdown here). Aho will be a solid contributor at his current pace given the volume but as we've seen, there is plenty of upside as well. He's still available in over 75% of leagues so go pick up that Aho! Here's what else happened around the league the last two nights:
The beginning is nigh! Yes my dear readers we’re drawing near to the start of the season so I won’t waste your time with a long blurb to kick this post off. I will say that this list is pretty comprehensive and if you can’t fill out your D based on this list you’re either playing in the deepest of leagues of you’re not very good at this fantasy hockey thing and should take up knitting. I covered as many guys as I could, but when I hit around the 65th rearguard there wasn’t much to say about the last ten guys so they became the honorable mentions. I guess that makes this a top 65 in some ways, but whatevs. There’s 75 names and sets o’ projections so I’m sticking to my guns. Plus, 75 sounds so much better than top 65, you know? As usual if I missed your guy or you have any questions, hit me up in the comments! At any rate, without further ado (there’s that word again), here are the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 75 Defensemen:
Rick Nash (2 G, 5 SOG, +1) finally showed some of his old Nashty-self potting two goals against his former team last night, aaaaand the Rangers lost anyway. It’s quickly becoming a season for Nash who was expected to score 40 goals and keep a point-per-game pace, but has come up well short of that with just 18 points in 27 games so far. When he was traded to the Rangers with his $7.8 million dollar salary he was billed as the superstar that would finally help the Rangers score goals. Well, the Rangers are near the bottom of the league in scoring and Nash hasn’t looked 100% right since his concussion, and that has to worry Rangers faithful and fantasy owners alike. Apparently all of this was overlooked by Team Canada, who added him to their Olympic squad while leaving guys like Claude Giroux and Martin St. Louis off. I’m not sure what logic they were using making that decision but I’ve heard and read rumblings about “international experience” or some such nonsense as the deciding factor. At any rate, that's neither here nor there, but it bugs me. And just about every hockey fan in Canada I bet. Unfortunately for fantasy owners there isn’t much you can do with Nash at this point but hope for a turn around. Hey, maybe the Olympics will spark him for a solid stretch run, or maybe I’m just telling myself that because I own him. Blah. You can’t trade him for even close to the value you paid and you can’t drop him because he can go off any day and score goals like it’s going out of style, so you have to sit tight and take it. Just like Rangers fans! Aw. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Kyle Okposo (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) is probably a more shocking snub for the US Olympic team than Bobby Ryan is if you ask me, and if you’re reading this, you kinda are. The logic behind the Ryan snub is that he wasn’t a top-six forward on that team and if he doesn’t have a place there, he’s not going to do anything to help your grinding and checking lines and he doesn’t kill penalties. So what’s left? He just doesn’t fit and that’s all it came down to. I don’t know that I agree with how they treated Ryan, but whatever, he’ll live, but Okposo? Dude is tearing it up this year and I can’t for the life of me see why he was left off the roster. Apparently he wasn’t even considered because he isn’t “built for the big ice” used on the Olympic stage. It didn’t seem to bother him much as he continues to pour it on with John Tavares and has 10 point in his last five games and is on pace for 31 goals, 82 points, and a big eff-you, David Poile. If team USA lacks for scoring while Okposo keeps this up, you have to wonder what Poile and his people were smoking. It must be good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw on a full night o’ fantasy hockey:
We continue our look at the Top 40 rookies in the NHL this up coming season. Here’s Part 1 if you need to catch up.
Top 40 NHL Rooks -PART2 – #21-30
(Accompanied by their 2012-13 stats prediction & Razzball Recommendation for drafting)
#21 Justin Schultz – (EDM D) (76gp/6g/18a/24pts) Edmonton won the battle for Justin Schultz as he ended up heading to Oil Country to play this season, and his presence will be known when he hits the ice in Alberta. Please, blog, may I have some more?