Every NHL season begins with uncertainty, but if you look at different teams in the league there are always opportunities for new players to emerge. This is particularly important to all fantasy hockey players[http://www.landsharkhockey.com/Home.aspx]
and how they are able to ice the best line-up. This season began with New Jersey as a fantasy juggernaut, so far, not so much. With the recent news of Zach Parise potentially suffering a serious knee injury and Ilya Kovalchuck’s slow start the Devils look like there headed to Hell in a hand basket. Flipping the coin, a team that almost everybody writes off pre season is the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers seemingly destined to be cellar dwellers with little fantasy relevance, has done the opposite. The loss of Kovalchuck allowed for most fantasy players to skim over their Thrashers roster sheet with a glance instead of a legitimate look. But loose a big name and how do we rebound next season, well I heard the Champions from last season are selling, lets see if we can pluck some talent. These next two guys are why the Thrashers are worth a fantasy look early on this season.
1. Dustin Byfuglien –G4 A6 P10 +/- -4 PIM 23
The fire sale that was necessary in Chicago really allowed for some fantasy points get get spread around the league. Dustin known for his offensive talents on the wing in Chicago’s cup run, has taken his talents to the blue line. Always known as being able to play defence he has actually always been a defenseman at heart. The move to the blue line along with the increased role has had Byfuglien flourishing in Hot-lanta. Fantasy value for this guy as a D-man makes him one of the hottest players in the NHL. I have heard he is a sell high fantasy candidate but if you scooped him up early, I like the fit in Atlanta, hold on to him he is looking to shatter his previous point total of 38
2. Andrew Ladd – G4 A8 P12 +/- 2 PIM
Byfuglien wasn’t the only piece of fantasy talent the Thrashers snagged from the defending champs. Andrew Ladd looks to be showing why he was picked in the first round 4th overall in 2004. Fantasy wise Ladd couldn’t have been predicted to be producing more with his new role in Atlanta. He is responding well to the situation in Atlanta but it’s too early to tell if this new situation will change him from a fantasy after thought to a top notch option. Stay tuned but this guy could be worth a pick up in the next coming weeks if he keeps up the pace.
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