Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fantasy Update Continued: Prospects

As we get ready to watch fantasy stud Mark Streit represent the Islanders at the All-Star Game in Montreal, let's continue our review of the Islanders roster as it pertains to fantasy hockey.

In the previous post, we took a look at players who are viable contenders for your fantasy roster right now. In part two of this update, we examine prospects.

When we last did a fantasy roster review, the prospects list consisted of Andy Hilbert and Rick DiPietro. Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, and Joey MacDonald had fallen off the list since the previous evaluation. Without further adieu...

Kyle Okposo—The rookie right wing has been one of the team's most productive players in the second half, putting him back on this list. He seems to have decided not to struggle through his rookie season and is instead looking like the player that some were touting for the Calder before the year began. Since the Christmas break, Okposo has 5 goals and 5 assists in 13 games. His last two goals have come on the power play where he is playing the point on the first unit. The return of Doug Weight may shake things up a bit, but you can count on Scott Gordon continuing to give Okposo ample oppotunity with the man advantage and plenty of ice time overall. Okposo ranks 17th in rookie scoring, but should move up the table as the second half progresses. He is 8th among rookies in shots on goal despite missing 13 games to injury.

Andy Hilbert—Hilbert made this list last time and was enjoying somewhat of an offensive renaissance playing under his former AHL coach. Hilbert was leading NHL forwards in blocked shots before he got injured. It remains to be seen where Gordon will slot him in when he returns next week, but expect him to get plenty of time on the penalty kill and possibly time on the 2nd power play unit.

Joey MacDonald—Still on the injured list but making progress, MacDonald is unlikely to replicate his great November. However, when he returns he may face some competition for starts from Yann Danis as they battle for the #2 job next year. Perhaps the competition will elevate his performance and make him an option for those in need of a depth goalie.

In the first part of this update, I teased Danis as a fantasy prospect. I'm not seriously recommending that you pick him up, but his statistics over the recent stretch do deserve a mention. In fact, on the season Danis actually has the best GAA and SV% of all Islanders goalies. Of course, it's close enough and he's played few enough games that it could change very quickly. However, in his last five games, Danis has a GAA of just over 2.00 with a SV% of .940. Unfortunately, there's only one win in there.

In the third part of this All-Star Break update, we'll take a look at fantasy specialists.

DiPietro in the Man Cave

I saw a commercial today for the DIY Network's Man Caves show, which stars Jason Cameron and Tony Siragusa. This looks like a typical home makeover show that focuses on converting areas of homes into sports and entertainment paradises that put the local sports bar or clubhouse to shame. What's notable is that in one clip from the commercial, you could clearly see a framed DiPietro jersey hanging in the background.

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