Found September 07, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Vancouver_canucks_v_42df
Canucks could help bring home a trophy? Ah fall, the time where the leaves begins to change color, bikinis are sadly packed away in favour of parkas and morning iced coffees become hot again. Hang on, this also means hockey season is nearly upon us… which means Fantasy Hockey is almost here and its time to prepare to draft like a champion so you can ridicule your friends mercilessly.  You never want to be that guy that funds your league and takes a verbal beating from your supposed “friends.” Can any Vancouver Canucks help you avoid this? Time to have a look: On Forward:  The Sedins, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler The Sedins have been consistent top performers for years now, leading Vancouver 1-2 in scoring in every season since 2006-07. While Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin had slight down years last season, with 45 points and 40 points respectively, they are relatively safe bets to finish in point-per-game territory again this year. The Sedins are still worthy top round picks for your fantasy team. Yes, there has been much made about them getting older, but part of that is the fact that they’ve been around for a long time with the same team and it should be noted that they’re still only 32. The Sedins have also been remarkably durable and will give you powerplay points and solid plus-minus, so if you’re looking for a later first or early second round safe-bet, look no further than a Sedin. Alex Burrows is one of a select few fowards to put up 20+ goals and over a PIM per game over the course of four full length seasons (was on pace to do so again last year if not for the lockout) and if he remains on the Sedin line he should continue that trend. There is, however, the risk that Zack Kassian steals his #1 RW job away, which would hurt his production significantly. Ryan Kesler is a bit of a risk as he has been hampered by injuries in recent years, however he still has put up decent point totals, +/- and PIMs when healthy. He’s worth a 3rd round pick if you believe he can stay healthy, which is a gamble. On Defense: Any in top 4 have value Alex Edler led the Canucks defense in points and is poised to do so again this year. He gets ample powerplay time and should be good for around 40 points. Would tend to draft in the 4th or 5th round. Jason Garrison has a rocket from the point and caught fire after adjusting to the new team and system towards the end of last season. He should lead the back end in goals and be close to the top in powerplay points, which should justify a mid-round pick on him. No Canucks story is complete with a Luongo reference…even fantasy. Dan Hamhuis is understated in the points department and will provide decent production as a 3rd or 4th defenseman on your fantasy squad. He can contribute with a solid +/- and decent amount of powerplay points, and is not generally considered a top 30 pick on defense, so Hamhuis could provide very good value at where you could likely select him. Kevin Bieksa is much of the same, although he will likely put up slightly less points but provide more PIMs. If you need a 4th or 5th defenseman that will score you some tough guy points, Bieksa should be able to help you out. Between the Pipes: Roberto Luongo Roberto Luongo had been a top fantasy netminder for a long time before being dethroned as #1 by Cory Schneider. There is no reason to believe that he can’t return to that form this year as the clear cut #1 and under a new coach that’s been known to preach taking care of his teams blocking shots. Should Luongo’s head be in the right place, he should be a top-7 backstop. Sleepers: David Booth, Zach Kassian If David Booth can stay healthy for once (along with linemate Ryan Kesler), he could be a nice value pick later in a draft for a fantasy team that needs goals and shots. He has the pedigree, speed and shot to re-gain success and will be given every opportunity to do so. There’s talk Zack Kassian could get the first look on the Sedin line this year, and if this rumor is true he could be a force. He has all the makings of a power forward and put up five goals in seven games when given the audition at the beginning of last year before being replaced by Burrows. Happy drafting and may the hockey gods favor you. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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