Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
At the end of every hockey season, you look at your team wallowing in last place and you think, “My God. What went wrong?”
Chances are, you’ll look back at your entire draft and wonder why you took this guy and who you could have taken instead. In fact, everybody in your league will have the same problems. It’s called Fantasy. Some just got luckier than you. Some didn’t even know who they had when they had them. They’re like all the supporting actors who were in The Jamie Foxx Show with Jamie Foxx. They never realized he’d become, like, JAMIE FOXX.
Here are the Top 5 Obvious Fantasy Hockey Studs Your Definitely Forgot to Draft:
1. Mikko Koivu
I know this because I forgot about him. Koivu already averages nearly a point a game or just below on a defensive-first Wild team that has suddenly gotten more offensive. How much better can he get? Well, the Minnesota captain and centre will play with any combination of wingers that will include Zach Parise, Devin Setoguchi, Dany Heatley, Matt Cullen, Kyle Brodziak, Cal Clutterbuck, or Torrey Mitchell. Everyone predicts a Mikko Koivu explosion every year. In 2013, you can bank on it.
2. T.J. Oshie
Still young, and on an ever-improving Blues team. He hits. He skates. He’s got a name you’ll be happy to see in your Utility bin. He’ll get powerplay minutes and he’ll be out there with the best St. Louis can offer, including defenceman Alex Pietrangelo and centre Patrik Berglund.
3. Steve Downie
I’m hoping you have Hits in your fantasy league, and I’m hoping you watched Downie put up 13 points in 20 games after arriving in Colorado last season. Playing with Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog, Downie became an offensive stud — and a gritty one, at that. He’s like Sean Avery, but actually Sean Avery.
4. Ray Whitney
No offense to Ray Whitney, but you forget about him every year, don’t you? That definitely won’t change this year, now that he’s changed teams and is another year older, but he’s absolutely worth your time.
5. James Neal
Neal clearly exploded last year, so this might seem like a stupid one. I mean, who didn’t let Neal get out of the first or second round this year? He’s an obvious choice for anyone at any time, but he still carries a bad stigma because his points seem so dependant on Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin. They’re not, obviously. Neal’s a great player in his own right. It’s just hard to look at your roster and know he was the first guy you drafted. But, he’ll be worth it.