Wayne Simmonds was a popular sleeper pick earlier this season, but was forgotten in many leagues after spending some time on the IR, followed by a slow start on his return. He is one of those players like Ryan Clowe who contribute in many categories and still manage a respectable point total; In many ways, Simmonds is a better version of Clowe.
Simmonds is enjoying a breakout season in his second season in the league. Whether this statistical improvement is due to the Kings’ improvement, or the other way around, is arguable, he has now exceeded or nearly reached every statistic from his 82-game 08-09 campaign:
All this in spite of dealing with injuries. Most notable are his +/- and PIMs, two areas where flashy point-scorers often are a drag. Compare these stats with the far better-known Ryan Clowe’s:
Clowe is a better power play player, but +18 is very impressive compared to Clowe’s +3, nearly terrible in the context of playing for possibly the best team in the West.
Simmonds is not built heavily, but he has a commanding presence on the ice, as indicated by the penalty minutes he takes. He has impressive skill with the puck and could develop into an elite passer in time. He has seized on the opportunity opened by Justin Williams’ broken leg on 12/26, which was painful to watch, and should find a place as a RW in most leagues.