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2014-15 NHL Wire Troll All-Star Team

April 26, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Mikko Koivu has become a stud playermaker for the Minnesota Wild
Mikko Koivu is one of the league’s best faceoff men. (Wild.nhl.com)

The 2014-15 NHL regular season is over and with it, we’ve also reached the end of the Fantasy hockey season. It’s now time to take a look back at the season’s best waiver wire recommendations with the 2014-15 RotoRob Wire Troll All-Star Team.

FIRST TEAM

Mikko Koivu, C, Minnesota Wild (Final Ownership – ESPN: 32.3 per cent; CBS: 55 per cent): Koivu is always one of the league’s best face-off specialists (see video below), and he finished the season with 14 goals, 48 points and a plus-2 rating while averaging 19:01 of ice time. Minnesota’s captain recently became the first player in franchise history to top 500 points while playing his entire career with the Wild. He’ll start the postseason between bruising power forward Chris Stewart and speedy young goal scorer Jason Zucker.

Nikita Kucherov, LW/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (Final Ownership – ESPN: 64.2 per cent; CBS: 97 per cent): One of Tampa’s rising young stars, Kucherov had 28 goals, 64 points and a plus-38 rating. With Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and other promising youngsters still a ways off from realizing their full potential, Kucherov adds to a group that will be downright lethal for years to come.

Steve Downie, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (Final Ownership – ESPN: 13.5 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): Downie had just 14 goals, 28 points and a plus-2 rating, but his 238 minutes in the sin bin made him a beyond valuable asset in leagues with penalty minutes as a statistical category. He also contributed in the hit department.

Anton Stralman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning (Final Ownership – ESPN: 42.4 per cent; CBS: 87 per cent): After an impressive run with the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, Stralman signed with Tampa Bay… and proceeded to post the best numbers of his career. In 82 games played, the Swede had nine goals, 39 points and a plus-22 rating while averaging 21:05 of ice-time. Can he keep up his exceptional performance in the postseason? If Game One (+1, five shots) is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

Kris Russell, D, Calgary Flames (Final Ownership – ESPN: 36.5 per cent; CBS: 62 per cent): With a season-ending injury to Calgary’s top defenseman Mark Giordano, Russell was the guy who stepped up, and he did so beautifully with four goals, a career-high 34 points and a plus-18 rating while averaging 23:05 of ice-time. Playing with a team that has not made the postseason since 2009, Russell will be forced to play big minutes. So far, he’s proven himself to be up to the task.

Devan Dubnyk, G, Minnesota Wild (Final Ownership – ESPN: 66 per cent; CBS: 81 per cent): If you were one of the many that snatched up Dubnyk, you probably took your team on a pretty good run in the Fantasy postseason. Minnesota is looking to ride him all the way to victory just like we did, and it’s easy to see why. The 6′6″ netminder had 36 wins, a 2.07 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and six shutouts in 58 games between Minnesota and Arizona. He’ll be a finalist for the Vezina as the league’s best goaltender and the Hart as the league’s regular season MVP.

SECOND TEAM

We just want to say that while some of these players have better numbers than players on the First Team, they contributed in fewer statistical categories, decreasing their worth in many league formats.

Troy Brouwer, C/RW, Washington Capitals (Final Ownership – ESPN: 27.5 per cent; CBS: 52 per cent): 21 goals, 43 points, plus-11 rating

Mike Hoffman, LW, Ottawa Senators (Final Ownership – ESPN: 24.2 per cent; CBS: 69 per cent): 27 goals, 48 points, plus-16 rating

Mark Stone, RW, Ottawa Senators (Final Ownership – ESPN: 43.5 per cent; CBS: 67 per cent): 26 goals, 64 points, plus-21 rating

John Klingberg, D, Dallas Stars (Final Ownership – ESPN: 35.1 per cent; 84 per cent): 11 goals, 40 points, plus-5 rating, 21:04 average ice-time

Kyle Quincey, D, Detroit Red Wings (Final Ownership – ESPN: 1.7 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): three goals, 18 points, plus-10 rating, 19:02 average ice-time

Cam Talbot, G, New York Rangers (Final Ownership – ESPN: 22.4 per cent; CBS: 59 per cent): 21 wins, 2.21 GAA, .926 save percentage, five shutouts

We would have included Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad on this list, however, we forgot to include him as a wire pickup, though he did make our “Studs” list on a few occasions. The first overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft finished the season with 12 goals, 39 points, a plus-12 rating and an average ice-time of 21:04. It was the best season by a rookie defenseman in Panthers history.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks helped you the most this season.

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The Wire Troll: Joel Peralta Saving the Dodger Bullpen

April 19, 2015 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Talk about a dude coming out of nowhere. How often does a Rule 5 pick win a starting job? Herrera broke camp as the Phillies’ centre fielder and has been making a real impact recently. Over the last four games, he has three multi-hit efforts (twice getting three hits) with four runs, three doubles, two triples and two steals. Batting leadoff for the Phils, Herrera has been a real bright spot, especially now that the runs are coming. He needs to make better contact, but is already showing signs that he’s capable of adjusting on the fly.
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The Wire Troll: Jump on Jake Lamb

April 12, 2015 | by Michael Seff | Comments Comments Off
Lamb is roasting opposing pitching (see video below) to the tune of seven RBI in his first three games. He will get ample opportunities for the young but potent D-back offense, even if his .857 slugging percentage is setting the bar a little high.
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The Wire Troll: C.J. McCollum Flashing His Potential

April 11, 2015 | by McCade Pearson | Comments Comments Off
He’s been massively inconsistent and the free agent to be could be nearing the end of his Lakers’ career. However, Johnson’s recent play may give LA pause to think about bringing him back next season. He’s been logging a big load lately, and while his shooting leaves something to be desired, Johnson has reached double digit points in four of the last five (including a team-high 16 on Sunday), while canning plenty of treys and pitching in with more boards than usual (although, overall, his rebounding is down slightly after averaging a career-best 4.4 last season).
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The Wire Troll: Jared Sullinger Makes Surprise Return

April 4, 2015 | by McCade Pearson | Comments Comments Off
Exum, the fifth overall pick in lat year’s draft, has shown promise as a rookie but is still very raw. He did break into the starting lineup but that was more for his defensive presence than his offensive ability. Exum wasn’t as aggressive as most fans had hoped, however he has taken that criticism to heart and has started attacking the hoop more. He is still struggling to score but did have a career high 12 assist on Wednesday. It’s a small sample size but the eye test says Exum could finish this season strong, and is a great option to trade for in dynasty leagues as he has a very bright future.
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