F Joffrey Lupul, Philadelphia Flyers
After enduring a rather disappointing season in Edmonton last year, the Flyers took a chance on Lupul, hoping that a change of scenery would help jump start his career. Only seven games into the season and it appears that the move has paid off. Scoring two goals and five assists with Philadelphia, Lupul has proved to be an excellent acquisition thus far, leading the Flyers atop the Atlantic Divison.
Fantasy Take: Although the goals aren’t there yet, Lupul has been getting his chances, as his 18 shots rank third on the team. If he is available in your draft, it might be wise to pick up the former Anaheim Duck, as a strong rebound season appears to be in the cards.
F Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
It’s difficult to find any success in Chicago’s season a year ago, but one of the lone bright spots was certainly Patrick Sharp. Scoring 20 goals for the first time in his career, Sharp ended off the year with 35 points, good for sixth on the team. With many of Chicago’s top goal scorers gone, Sharp has been given an increase in playing time, which has resulted in six points in his first eight games. Benefiting from the play of rookies Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Sharp has been given a great opportunity to surpass his career high’s in points, goals and assists set a year ago.
Fantasy Take: Although Sharp has six points on the year, three of those points came in one game. Before making a waiver claim on Sharp, keep an eye on his next few games to see if he can keep up this increased pace.
F Marek Svatos, Colorado Avalanche
Scoring 32 goals and 50 points in 61 games two seasons ago, Svatos was a highly regarded forward last year. Unfortunately for owners, the young Czech did not produce scoring only 30 points in 60 games played. Beginning this season mostly unnoticed, Svatos has emerged over his last four games, netting two goals and one assist. Although it’s too early to call for another breakout season, it should be reminded that Svatos is only two years removed from his 30+ goal season.
Fantasy Take: Svatos has produced well over his past four games, but owners should not jump the gun quite yet. There are plenty of other options out there that can out produce Svatos, but continue to keep an eye on the Czech as he has a rather high upside.
F Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks
Clowe has been the main beneficiary in Cheechoo’s struggles, as the forward has appeared alongside Joe Thornton, as well has receiving several minutes on the power play. Scoring a power play goal on Monday, Clowe now has five points in eight games and has seen his minutes steadily rise over that time.
Fantasy Take: Those in deeper leagues may want to take a flier on Clowe as Thornton is one of the best in the business at setting up forwards.
F Sam Gagner, Edmonton Oilers
Drafted sixth overall this past year, Gagner has had an immediate impact on the Oilers. Leading the club in scoring with seven points, Gagner has given Edmonton a much needed scoring option. Look for the rookie to be in contention for the Calder Trophy throughout the season.
Fantasy Take: Gagner is an excellent keeper selection, and an efficient starter. Although his plus/minus may suffer, continue to start the rookie in most formats.
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…HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICH!