A lot of teams were worried at the start of camp whether or not some of their players would show up in shape or not. There are a lot of players that went overseas during the lockout, but at the same time there are a lot that didn’t. It just makes sense that the players that left will come into camp at the start of season with a little extra jump in their step. With such a short fantasy season (especially in H2H leagues) it is going to be important for your players and team to get off to a fast start, because every Win and Loss are going to be crucial. I’ve complied a small list of notable players that played well during the lockout that you may want to consider drafting over players that didn’t.
- Evegeni Malkin-C-Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin is going to be one of the first players off the board. He had a great season last year and a great season in the KHL this year… Only one thing left, a great NHL and Fantasy season for you in 2013. Malkin had 23 G and 42 A for a total of 65 points in 37 games in the KHL. If you get the first overall pick in your draft I wouldn’t hesitate to jump all over that kind of production.
- Ilya Kovalchuk-LW-New Jersey Devils
Kovalchuk lost his partner in crime Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild during the offseason. The Devils who made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year are expected to take a step back this season, but Kovalchuk is still an elite scorer and he knows how to get it done on bad teams (ex. Atlanta Thrashers). He scored 18 G and 24 A in 36 games in the KHL, and stayed for the All-Star game. He’ll only have a couple days on the ice with his Devil teammates before the season opener, but don’t let Kovalchuk slip through your fingers in your league, he should still be poised for 20 goals in the shortened season.
- Tyler Seguin-RW-Boston Bruins
Seguin who had a good sophomore season and carried that to the Swiss-A league scoring 25 G in 29 games to go along with 15 A. Seguin will continue to progress in the NHL and should have great season on a strong Boston Bruins team. He is expected to quarter back the Bruins power play alongside Zdeno Chara which should lead to a lot of power play points.
- Pavel Datsyuk-C , Henrik Zetterberg-LW & Damien Brunner-RW-Detroit Red Wings
The trio of Red Wings all had successful stints overseas. Datsyuk had 36 points in 31 games to go along with a +14. Zetterberg and Brunner were linemates in the Swiss-A league and that lead to Brunner being the Swiss-A leader in points. The three of them are expected to open the season on a line together and should produce right from the word go.
- John Tavares-C-New York Islanders
John Tavares is an elite player and what I think people forget is that he is only 22 years old. He had 81 points in 82 games last year and is poised for a point-per-game shortened season in 2013. Tavares scored 17G and 25A for 42 points in only 28 games in the Swiss-A league. I like Tavares as the 4th or 5th player off the board. If you take him make sure you get some plus players because even though he’s a good player the Islanders are not a good team.
Other Notable Overseas Perfomances:
Jaromir Jagr-RW-Dallas Stars: CZECH – 34GP – 24G – 33A – 57PTS – +22
Alex Ovechkin-LW-Washington Capitals: KHL – 31GP – 19G – 21A – 40PTS – +13
Tomas Plekanec-C-Montreal Canadiens: CZECH – 32GP – 21G – 25A – 46PTS – +10
Joe Thornton-C-San Jose Sharks: SWISS-A – 33GP – 12G – 24A – 36PTS – +6