Five Fantasy Players to Watch: Northeast

Here are five player profiles taken from the 2011-12 FHC Fantasy Hockey Pool Guide from the Northeast Division.

Alexander Khokhlachev (Boston) – One thing that adds to the allure of the Boston Bruins second round pick is the fact he is almost a year younger than those in his 2011 draft class. Coming over from Russia as a 16 year old at the start of the season, averaging over a point per game and continuing that success and points all through playoffs, is a huge accomplishment.  There is of course the dreaded KHL risk, but use that to your advantage cause this guy plays a North American style game.  Incredibly shifty, scores goals from all areas, uses the body effectively and has excellent on-ice vision.  Should have been a first rounder but falls into the laps of the Champs.

Drew Stafford (Buffalo) – Stafford scores his goals in bunches, as evidenced by his three hat tricks last season.  Stafford finished the year with 31 goals and was rewarded with a rich contract extension from the newly wealthy Sabres.  Stafford will get power play time as well as some penalty killing minutes and gets his nose dirty from time to time for PIMS.  He’ll be another player to look at towards around the middle part of any hockey pool draft.

Carey Price (Montreal) – It’s hard to imagine that Price will have more fantasy value than he did last season where he put up huge numbers. His number of starts may diminish slightly and their division is much stronger this year with stronger teams in Toronto and Buffalo. That being said Price will see a bulk of the action and the team’s defense should be better in front of him if they stay healthy, so count on similar or slightly lower numbers than last season.

Nikita Filatov (Ottawa) – Filatov is extremely talented, offensive player who never really got a fair opportunity with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He is always a threat to run off to the KHL so this might be his last attempt at the NHL.  The Ottawa Senators are desperate for offense and will give Filatov every chance to be a star.  Dark horse potential here as he could be a 30-goal and 60-point player this year or he could be a 9-goal and 20-point player.  Filatov has too much talent not to take the gamble on.

Cody Franson (Toronto) – The latest coup by Brian Burke and company was acquiring Franson in one of the most lop-sided trades since… the Dion Phaneuf deal!  The big offensive defenseman is yet another product of the vaunted Nashville Predators system that has produced the likes of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Dan Hamhuis, Kimmo Timonen, Marek Zidlicky and Ryan Ellis to name a few!  Franson is beginning to show more and more confidence in his abilities and looks very comfortable on the powerplay.  Franson oozes potential and produced a respectable 29 points last season. Expect Franson to continue to improve and along with Phaneuf for a very formidable top pairing as good as any in the NHL for many, many years to come.  Forecast ten goals, 25 assists for 35 points.

To see more fantasy information like this you can purchase the 2011-12 FHC Fantasy Hockey Pool Guide at www.fantasyhockeycoach.com. Be sure to check out the two free fantasy hockey pools we are running this year.  One pool is a regular hockey pool where you pick players and get points for different stats they accumulate.  The second pool is a “Saturday Pick’Em” pool where you pick the winner of each NHL game that Saturday.

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