When you’re drafting players for your fantasy league it’s always easy to draft guys based on goals and assists. You can look at a list of the top scorers from the previous season and make a pretty good guess of how many points a player might get this season. But what about those leagues where you get points for penalty minutes? Sure you can go out and draft Zenon Konopka because he led the league with 307 penalty minutes last season, but he also only scored 9 points.
The key is to try and find the perfect combination of players who not only get penalty minutes but can also put the puck in the net. Remember during the 2007-2008 season when Dan Carcillo was a fantasy stud by getting 324 penalty minutes to go with his 24 points in 57 games? It’s those picks that can not only win you your draft but guys like that are almost priceless since there aren’t too many players like that in the league.
Everyone knows guys like Corey Perry, Steve Downie, Milan Lucic, Scott Hartnell, and Steve Ott are great because they’ll get you a decent amount of points plus put up 100+ minutes of penalty minutes. Here are some other names that you might want to add to that list when you make your picks this year.
#5: Kris Letang, Defense, Pittsburgh Penguins
2010-2011 Stats – 82GP, 8G, 42A, 50P, 101PIM (3 Majors)
Average PIMPG – 1.23 minutes
Average PPG – .61points
Last season Kris Letang had career highs in assists, points, plus/minus, and of course penalty minutes. He finished last season with 101 penalty minutes which was surprising since his previous high was 51 minutes. It’s hard to say how many penalty minutes Letang will end up with this season but it is easy to imagine that he’ll once again be looking at the 50 point mark.
#4: Danny Briere, Right Wing, Philadelphia Flyers
2010-2011 Stats – 77GP, 34G, 34A, 68A, 87PIM (1 Major)
Average PIMPG – 1.13 minutes
Average PPG – .88 points
Looking over Briere’s stats it seems like the more penalty minutes he gets the better he does in the point’s category. During the 2006-2007 season he had a career high in points (95) and in penalty minutes (89). He followed that up the next year with 68 penalty minutes and 72 points. 2008-2009 was an injury plagued season which saw him get 26 PIM and 25 points. Briere is probably high
on your draft list already but if you get points for penalty’s than you might want to move him up a few spots.
#3: PK Subban, Defense, Montreal Canadiens
2010-2011 Stats – 77GP, 14G, 24A, 38P, 124PIM (4 Majors)
Average PIMPG – 1.61 minutes
Average PPG – .49 points
Subban will probably get drafted higher in most leauges just based on the team that he plays for; however, you should be looking at drafting him higher though based on him penalty minutes and his points potential once again this season. With Andrei Markov still out with a knee injury, Subban’s going to get more minutes on the Canadiens power-play. Don’t look for Subban to change his play anytime soon either, he’s on his way to becoming one of the top agitators in the league.
#2: Brandon Prust, Left Wing, New York Rangers
2010-2011 Stats – 82GP, 13G, 16A, 29P, 160PIM (18 Majors)
Average PIMPG – 1.95 minutes
Average PPG – .35 points
Yes, Brandon Prust isn’t going to get you a lot of points but if you aren’t able to draft Steve Ott then Prust is a good replacement. When you compare the two players Ott scored 7 more points and 23 more penalty minutes over Prust last season. Prust had his first full 82 game season last year and at the age of 27 could be a great late round pick in deeper leagues. Plus, he started the season
off right by dropping the gloves with the Kings’ Kyle Clifford.
#1: Matt Cooke, Left Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins
2010-2011 Stats – 67GP, 12G, 18A, 30P, 129PIM (5 Majors)
Average PIMPG – 1.92 minutes
Average PPG – .45 points
When you pick players for your team you want some consistency. When you’re looking for agitators Matt Cooke might not be at the top of your list but consider that during the last three season’s he’s scored 30 points each season and has averaged 112 penalty minutes in that time. Last season he had a career high 129 penalty minutes and it’s easy to imagine that he’ll put up similar numbers once again. In the Pens first game this season he even scored 2 goals against a strong Vancouver lineup.