Hot Starts: Who is For Real?

Updated: October 14, 2009 at 4:14 am by Ryan Campbell

TkachukKeith Tkachuk: Last year Tkachuk scored eight goals and an assists in his first eight games of the year.  After that… not so much.  Those eight games accounted for a third of his goal production for the entire year.  Don’t get sucked in, but if he is on your team at least try to trade him before you cut him loose.

Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth: The two Kings have ten and eight points respectively in five games, including six powerplay points apiece.  I was not high on these two heading into the year but it appears Smitty has reinvigorated the Kings powerplay which is clicking at a 33% clip.  You could try to sell high on these guys early but if not, they will still be reliable fantasy players for the rest of the year.

Joe Thornton: Big Joe is looking like the man of old thanks to the addition of Dany Heatley on his left side.  The ten points in five games are not a mirage, and he could be a serious Art Ross contender.  For those of you who got him in the 3rd round, well played.

Michael Del Zotto: I am a little torn on Del Zotto.  Before last night’s game against the Leafs he was only averaging 14 minutes of ice time per game.  However, 4:30 of that has been spent on the powerplay, which is where he does his damage.  As long as he holds on to that top powerplay spot, he is a good bet to put up points.  Keep a close eye on him.

Drew Doughty: Doughty has recorded points in every one of the Kings five games thus far.  This is thanks to him seeing 22 minutes of ice per game (4:30 on the powerplay), and encouragement from the Kings coaches for the weak side defenceman to jump up in the play.  Don’t continue to expect a point per game but 45 points is reasonable for Doughty.

John Tavares: The number one overall pick has done nothing but impress thus far with five points in four games, including two points apiece against Pittsburgh and Boston.  Tavares is going to have a very strong year, and if you are in a keeper league do not let him out of your grasp.

Matt Carle: Carle has been one of the biggest surprises this year in my opinion.  He is eating up almost 25 minutes a game playing with Pronger, and should have ample opportunities on a high-powered Philly Squad.  Try to pick him up if it is not too late.  He is still available in 27% of Yahoo leagues.

Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Joe Thornton, John Tavares, Keith Tkachuk, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Smyth