Welcome to this week’s edition of Crashing the Net. For this 21st week of the season we’re going to take a look at each position and the players that you might want to add to your roster this week. We hope you will be able to utilize this article in order to gain a competitive advantage over your opponents throughout the season. Feel free to add omissions and critique our current choices in comments section as we welcome an open discussion at DailyFaceoff.com.
As of a few days ago Ales Hemsky was one of the biggest names mentioned to be moved at the traded deadline. Most Oilers fans breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as the Oil signed Hemsky to a two-year extension all but ensuring that the 28 year old will be in Edmonton for the remainder of this season and the next two years. Prior to the contract extension Ales Hemsky hasn’t really given most fantasy owners a reason to add him to their team. Hemsky only dressed in two games during the first month of the season before missing 11 games with another shoulder injury. Even after returning he didn’t exactly set the world on fire by scoring 10 points through all of November and December. Since being moved to the Oilers top line with Taylor Hall, Hemsky has looked like a superstar by scoring 10 points in his last 13 games. With all the trade talk behind him he can now focus on his game and continue to put up points playing alongside the Oilers skilled youngsters.
Wojtek Wolski, Left Wing, Florida Panthers
If Wojtek Wolski was traded to any other team I probably wouldn’t recommend adding him. However, there’s something about the Florida Panthers this season that makes this a very interesting move. So far this season the Panthers have been seeing some inspired hockey from unlikely candidates like Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell, Shawn Matthias, and Jose Theodore. Wolski seems like the perfect player to join the NHL’s version of the Island of Misfit Toys. In Wolski’s first game as a Panther he scored his first goal of the season while playing on a line with Matthias and Mike Santorelli. Wolski’s only 2 years removed from a 65 point season with the Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes. After sitting out most of the season with the New York Rangers, Wolski is owned in only 2% of all Yahoo! leagues. Make sure you keep your eye on the Panthers next few games as Wolski could be a steal for your team this late in the season.
Colin Wilson, Center, Nashville Predators
One of the most impressive things about the Nashville Predators this season has been their scoring by committee approach. The biggest misconception about the Predators is that they don’t score a lot of goals, even though they’re currently 9th overall in the NHL in scoring. The Predators don’t have any players with 20 goals but they do have 8 players with at least 30 points. One of those players with at least 30 points is Colin Wilson. Wilson is in his third season with the Predators and is on pace to easily eclipse his career high of 34 points which he set last season. So far this year Wilson has 33 points in 59 games and is on pace to finish the season with 43 points. Wilson has 4 points in his last 5 games while seeing time on the Predators third line with Jordin Tootoo who is also having a career season. Colin Wilson is currently owned in 7% of all Yahoo! leagues.
Erik Johnson, Defence, Colorado Avalanche
It’s easy to say that Erik Johnson hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of being the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on you when you’re selected before players like Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, and Nicklas Backstrom. Last season wasn’t a great year for Johnson as not only did the Blues send him to Colorado for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk but he had his lowest points total as a pro (29 points in 77 games) and a career low minus 13 rating. This season has seen the former first overall draft pick turn his game around. Johnson currently has 24 points this season and is on pace to finish the season with 33 points. He’s on a bit of a hot streak scoring 5 points in the last 7 games. The great thing with Erik Johnson is that he plays in all situations for the Avalanche including major time on the power play. Johnson leads all members of the Avalanche with over 21 minutes of ice time including 2:27 on the power-play.
Ben Bishop, Goaltender, Ottawa Senators
After the freak injury to Craig Anderson, 25 year-old Ben Bishop is going to get a chance to prove why he’s one of the top goaltending prospects in the NHL. Bishop was the odd man out in St. Louis this year after losing the backup job to Brian Elliot. Prior to this season, Bishop had appeared in 13 games for the St. Louis Blues and registered a 4-5-1 record with a save percentage of .896 and a GAA of 2.93. So far this season in Peoria of the AHL he has an impressive record of 17-14-2 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.55 GAA. With the Senators trading for Bishop on Sunday, this shows that Bishop is the Senators goalie of the future. Bishop should get a couple of starts before Craig Anderson comes back from his injury. If you’re in any sort of keeper league than Bishop is a no-brainer for you to pick up.