No matter what the Sens say, Nikita Filatov is not a top six forward.
Like an unstoppable force, the 2011-12 RotoRob NHL Draft Kit surges forward. Soon, we will require membership into the U.N.
At some point, there were going to have to be busts — those players that just stink up the goodness of your Fantasy hockey team. You have seen the rest and below there will be… well… less. When this juncture hits, there are really two ways this can go: either bad or ugly. What we have below is not necessarily the literal lowest of the low. However, reality dictates that with a circumstance or two, these are players that it can turn really ugly for with an express train ride down to Fantasy Splitsville.
It is time to get down to this list. Time is money and these names need to be revealed. So while you wonder what conference your favourite NHL team will wind up in should these realignment rumours come to fruition, here are 10 players you do not want to reach for on Draft Day.
1. Nikita Filatov, LW, Ottawa Senators: There is really little to say here, but we will bite anyway. Filatov has little or nothing to offer at the NHL level and probably does belong in the KHL or anywhere that will teach him some humble pie. That being said, he continues to get opportunities then proceeds to blow each one of them up. For those expecting a 50-to-60 point elixir, please look elsewhere. Filatov’s reputation oozes negativity, with suggesting that he does not work hard.
2. Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens: When your knee cartilage resembles Swiss cheese, it is a problem and a considerable one at that. Markov can skate with any player in the NHL, but can that knee stand the rigors of a full NHL season? We have our doubts and you should too. Does he make a pretty good fourth or fifth defenceman on your roster? Yes. Is he that reliable first or second Fantasy blueliner? No. Markov will be nowhere 55-to-60 points this season and if he plays more than 60 games, we will be surprised. Our caveat: he has played a total of 52 games in the last two seasons. We rest our case.
3. Chris Pronger, D, Philadelphia Flyers: Oh, I can see it now, people will have our heads, but we did mention that Pronger has been aging right before our eyes. This is not to say that he will not be Fantasy viable, but he will not be the force he once was for Fantasy teams. It would not shock anyone if Pronger found himself in and out of the lineup with a variety of ailments. Honestly, we suggest you look elsewhere for a top defenceman.
4. Travis Zajac, C, New Jersey Devils: Surely this may be painful, but a torn Achilles’ tendon could sideline Zajac until Christmas. That would pretty much derail the hopes he had for rebounding in 2011-12. Zajac was a quantified 60-point a season success playing alongside Zach Parise and then last season happened. The torn Achilles, suffered while doing conditioning exercises, was a blow to his owners that thankfully, for redraft leagues, happened before Fantasy drafts. Even when Zajac does come back, it will take a while for his timing to return. Stay away until next season.
5. Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings: Yes, this list gets more controversial but Doughty is not the 60-point defenceman everyone thinks he is. It looked like he was going to progress to around a 70-point season for the 2010-11 campaign, but Doughty displayed some alarming tendencies on his way to a disappointing 40-point campaign. What may have been more disheartening was the mere 15 power play points compared to the 31 he tallied the previous season. Of course, we haven’t even mentioned his contract impasse with the Kings. With Doughty still holding out at press time, you should be skittish when drafting him.
6. Tomas Vokoun, G, Washington Capitals: Again, this is not a bust in the truest sense, but at his age and the fact that Michal Neuvirth may be better in the eyes of some, there is a red flag to be raised. Sure, Vokoun can still win 30 games, but his save percentage and GAA may not be as good as people anticipate.
7. Sheldon Souray, D, Dallas Stars: Simply put, Souray is not the player he once was and Dallas is praying to catch lightning in a bottle with a team that took a major hit late last season and during the summer. There is no way that Souray is ready to put up the points. Seek other options, ladies and gentlemen. There are better risks out there.
8. Steve Mason, G, Columbus Blue Jackets: Just run now! That is our simple plea to Fantasy owners that would actually consider drafting Mason. Even in deeper leagues, I would take backups before the Columbus goalie. If he puts up a 2.75 GAA and .905 save percentage, consider yourselves lucky. Honestly, people keep waiting for this “bounce back” that is never going to occur. Draft elsewhere!
9. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes: Smith is not Ilya Bryzgalov and is nowhere near as durable. On a team that clearly took a step back already, Smith represents a guy who probably should not be starting, yet he is. There are backups that could be a better option especially if injuries happen as expected.
10. Claude Giroux, RW. Philadelphia Flyers: Those who are saying Giroux will morph into this 90-point player now are a bit off, perhaps by a season or two. Giroux does not quite have the tenacity just yet to be “that guy,” but does show it in more frequent flashes. The scoring spotlight is on him now in a town that wants to win desperately. Can he produce the goods or will he come up just a bit short? I would bet a little more on the latter though he will still get you around 75 maybe 80 points which is by no means shabby.
Well, that is it for now. Send us your comments and bring the heat so we can cool it down. Thanks again and good luck this Fantasy hockey season from RotoRob.com!