Pools call for agonizing roster choices and THN is here to help
FANTASY HOCKEY IS A SERIES OF CROSSROADS. PICKING between two high-upside rookies or weighing which veteran to keep can make or break your season. There’s no shame in asking for help, especially when you don’t have to tell any of your rival GMs. As the reigning regular season champ of the THN o ce pool, I can at least pretend I’m qualified enough to help. I took questions via Twitter and answered as many as possible here.
DANIEL HERREJON (@DanHerrejon):
Is Ben Bishop a true No. 1 goalie or was last season a fluke?
MATT LARKIN @THNMattLarkin:
Bishop is the real deal. He’s blessed with tremendous size, he was a standout in his college days and Tampa has confidence in him. Steve Yzerman traded Cory Conacher for him while Conacher was having a great year. That said, Bishop needs to keep up the good work and stay healthy. Tampa has Andrey Vasilevskiy, one of the sport’s elite goalie prospects, waiting in the wings, not to mention Kristers Gudlevskis.
MATTHEW SKIPPER (@mtskls00):
Should I invest in Teuvo Teravainen?
That depends. If you’re in a keeper league, absolutely. In THN Future Watch 2014, Teravainen rates as the No. 3 prospect in the game. He possesses skills comparable to Patrick Kane and he lit up the world juniors for Finland. In a re-draft league, however, be careful not to reach. He’s a great late-round flier, but he needs some filling out to do, so he could start 2014-15 in the American League. Training camp will be huge for him.
MIKE LACKEY (@mobilope):
Who is a goalie no one is talking about that can be grabbed late in a draft, making everyone wish they had him in the end?
John Gibson would’ve been my pick, but the playo s shed enough light on him that he probably won’t be a bargain. I’ll go Jake Allen. His pedigree is almost as strong as Gibson’s, and Allen should play at least half of St. Louis’ games, sharing time with Brian Elliott. He’s a near lock to rack up wins and post a low goals-against average on a top defensive club.
JONATHAN C (@PTIQI):
Who should I sell high? Kyle Okposo, Max Pacioretty or Gustav Nyquist?
I don’t dislike any of these fantasy options, but Okposo is the one I’d sell high. Pacioretty isn’t even in the conversation, as he’s scored at a 30-goal pace or better three straight years. Okposo took six full seasons to reach his potential, whereas Nyquist exploded into stardom in his first full-time NHL duty. Okposo’s 2013-14 season looks more like an outlier.
I’m in Year 2 of a sixyear keeper pool. Should I keep Je Carter or Je Skinner?
Carter is the safe choice, but Skin- ner’s ceiling is higher. If your team is loaded with stars already and you aren’t depending on one of these two to carry you, go with Skinner. He’s a two-time 30-goal man and he’s still only 22. If you need reliable production, keep Carter, as Skinner has proven brittle in his short career, missing 35 games in his past three seasons and battling concussion problems.
Without Martin St-Louis, how will Steven Stamkos hold up as a firstround pick? Can he still score 50 goals?
‘Stammer’ will be just fine. He’s one of the game’s elite talents, and the decline in St-Louis’ production once he joined the Rangers tells you Stamkos made him better, not the other way around. Stamkos scored 11 goals in 20 games after the St-Louis trade, a 45-goal pace, and that was after returning from a broken leg. A healthy Stamkos easily pots 50. He’s a top-three overall pick.