Five Fantasy Players to Watch: Northwest

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

Mark Giordano (Calgary) – Best fantasy value the Calgary Flames have to offer from the blue line. Giordano led all Flames defense in all offensive stats. Giordano is a good skating, puck rushing defender who has rounded out his overall game quite nicely.  A late bloomer, the undrafted Giordano returned to the NHL after one season in the KHL and since his return his point totals have steadily risen from 19 in 08-09 to 30 in 09-10 to 43 last season. Expect another slight increase from Giordano this year in the 40-50 point range.

Semyon Varlamov (Colorado) – Varlamov joins the Colorado Avalanche after an injury plagued 10-11 season with the Washington Capitals. Up until then it had looked like he was the goalie of the future for the Caps, now he may be just that for the Avs. However, from a strictly fantasy standpoint he may not be your go to guy for this season. The Avs are a team on the rise, no question, but hard to say if they will get over that hurdle this season, which could mean an average year for Varlamov.

Martin Marincin (Edmonton) – Slovakia has not produced near the quality or quantity of prospects they were a decade ago but Marincin is an exception to the rule.  A towering blend of size and skill, he has the Edmonton Oilers brass really excited at his potential after a stellar first year of junior with the Prince George Cougars. Still only 19 years of age, it’s a coin flip to whether he dominates another year in junior or begins his pro career with the Oklahoma City Barons.  Edmonton is in need of some skill and size on their blue line and the faster Marincin gets there, the quicker they can begin to utilize his abilities.

Mikko Koivu (Minnesota) – The captain of the Minnesota Wild should have quite the new weapon riding shotgun alongside him in Dany Heatley.  That kind of firepower could be a boon to the big Finnish center who plays the power play and penalty kill in addition to 5-on-5.  Koivu’s strength is his playmaking, and that should suit him just fine with his new linemate.

Anton Rodin (Vancouver) – The comparisons to a young Daniel Alfredsson or Henrik Zetterberg have begun to surface for the 19-year-old from Stockholm. This year was a break out year in the SEL as Rodin saw an increase in ice-time and responsibilities and did it all with flair. Very shifty and creative with the puck, the Brynas forward has a real knack for finding the open man after fending off several checks.  Uses his blazing speed to drive to the net and pull defenders to him before making a simple dish off to the slot and is not afraid to retrieve pucks from the tough areas. Will need to add 20 pounds before he comes across the pond, so expect a two year wait minimum before he tries his hand at making the Vancouver Canucks.

To see more fantasy information like this you can purchase the 2011-12 FHC Fantasy Hockey Pool Guide at

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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