Heading into this season all eyes were on rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov (1 A, 1 SOG) of the Caps and why not? The big Russian seems to have all the tools he needs to be an offensive powerhouse in the NHL. He showed some serious chops in his time with the KHL, but we all know that has to be taken with a grain of salt. Still, I fully expect he’ll break the 40-point mark this season, however, Kuz isn’t the only rookie worth knowing about in D.C. this year. Lost in all that Kuz hype is a dynamic Swede on the verge of a breakout and his name is Andre Burakovsky (1 G, 2 SOG, +1). I blame myself for not mentioning him earlier, I should have, but he slipped my mind so I’ll do it now. Well I already did it. In fact I’m in the middle of the mention at this very moment, and so are you! Trippy, man. I digress, Burakovsky is an offensively gifted pivot in the mold of Henrik Zetterberg, who coach Barry Trotz compared the kid to just the other day. The comparison might seem pretty lofty, but when you break down the kid’s bona fides it starts to seem pretty accurate. Last season Burakovsky lit the OHL up in his first go at North American hockey scoring a gaudy 87 points in 57 games for the Erie Otters. He followed that up by posting seven points in seven games in the World Junior Classic-20 division and then 14 points in 14 games in the U20 (all) International Juniors. Damn, that’s sexy. Do I sense a new mancrush coming on? Mayhaps! There’s plenty of room in my hockey heart for another and this young man is a leading candidate. He’s a strong skater with a remarkably high hockey IQ that will serve him well as he adjusts this season. Couple that with a sick wrister and the top six minutes he’s going to be getting and what does it all add up to? Me adding him in every keeper league, that’s for sure. He’s worth owning in standard leagues while he’s scoring too, and with five points in five games so far he’s doing just that. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Sidney Crosby dished out five assists to help Chris Kunitz net a hat trick and Pascal Dupuis score twice as the Penguins thumped the Islanders 6-1.
SPIN: Kunitz has goals in seven of his last nine games and is an absolute dynamo for Pittsburgh this season. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kyle Palmieri’s natural hat trick was more than enough offense for the Anaheim Ducks as they handled the Nashville Predators 5-1. Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu had the other goals for Anaheim while Craig Smith was the lone goal scorer for Nashville. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Evander Kane is showing everyone that he is a M-A-N at the ripe age of 20. 2 Goals last night put him just 2 short of last season’s total of 19. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Heading into Friday there were a lot of Matt Duchene owners growing anxious about his so-so production so far this year. Then he went all hat-trick on the Stars and now has 5 Points in the Avalanche’ last 2 games. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Drew Doughty is out at least a week with the dreaded “Upper Body Injury”. Which I think is better than a Mid-Body Injury… I’m starting to wonder if Double D is going to be one of those “I got my money now I’ll shut it down” guys. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just to reiterate, I think Left Wing is the most shallow of all positions in fantasy hockey. Right Wingers are 2nd but it isn’t particularly close, so many of these lefties could determine your fantasy fate for the upcoming season. Please, blog, may I have some more?