Week 7 Rookie Report
We're nearing the mid-season mark, and the fantasy hockey rookie picture continues to develop. This week we'll take a look at some of the names creeping up the scoring ranks, but first let's take a look at the rookie scoring leader...
Cory Conacher (TBL - C) Conacher remains the top NHL freshman, thanks to his 20 points in 23 games. His scoring has come in bunches (12 points in the first 7 games, and a 6 game scoring streak at the end of February) and, if the pattern holds true, he could be headed for another scoring stretch in the coming week. He had 2 points in his last outing on March 5th after a three game scoring drought.
↑ Brandon Gallagher (MTL - R) The old adage, "slow and steady wins the race" seems to apply to Gallagher. He started the season as 'the other guy' to Alex Galchenyuk, but matched him in points this week and is now tied for third overall amongst rookie goal scorers and point-getters.
Nail Yakupov (EDM - R) We haven't written a lot about Yakupov over the previous weeks due in large to his quiet production. He hasn't exactly lit the fantasy world on fire, but he is tied for sixth in rookie scoring, and third in goals. If Edmonton can start producing more offense Yakupov still has a chance to challenge for the Calder Trophy, but the problem is that the shortened season will end sooner than later - maybe too soon for Yakupov.
↑ Dougie Hamilton (BOS - D) Hamilton is a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year. He's tied for fifth in rookie scoring, but he's doing it as a defenseman. It's a shortcoming in fantasy, but not in Calder voting.
↑ Brandon Saad (CHI - L) We highlighted Saad last week, and low and behold he's jumped up to 10th in the rookie scoring race. Playing alongside Jonathan Toews is the primary reason for his recent success. He's got 6 points in the last 5 games, including a big 3 point night against Minnesota on March 5th. He's likely available in your pool if you need a rookie free agent.
↑ Alex Killorn (TBL - C) It just keeps getting better with Killorn: 3 points in his last 3 GP, and playing alongside St. Louis and Lecavalier.
↑ Jake Muzzin (LA - D) Another rookie coming off a big week, Muzzin has 5 points in his last 5, including 3 points in the Kings' big comeback win against St. Louis on March 5th. Muzzin was drafted 141st back in 2007, and he's been playing in the AHL for the past two years where he put up 49 points in 116 games. The Kings have been walloped with injuries on the blue line this year, and Muzzin is the beneficiary. It's unlikely he can maintain his 16-spot in the rookie scoring race, but if you need a rookie option, he's currently hot.
↑ Mika Zibanejad (OTT - C) Zibanejad has 2 goals in his last 2 games, and it looks like he's put on more bulk of late. He's quietly surpassed Silfverberg has the Sens' top-producing freshman.
↑ Beau Bennett (PIT - C) Another rookie we've previously highlighted, Bennett was recently sent back to the AHL, but has since been recalled. The latest news (as of March 7th) has him skating on a line with Malkin and Neal, which definitely boosts his value. He's a first round pick from 2010 (20th overall).
Ondrej Palat (TBL - L) 2 points in his first 2 games in the NHL deserves mentioning (March 4th and 5th). He is a 7th round pick from 2011, and he's 21 years old out of the Czech Republic.
↓ JT Miller (NYR - C) Chris Kreider has again been sent down to Connecticut, so Miller is now the regular freshman in Manhattan, but he's going to have to do something fast if he wants to be fantasy relevant. He has just 2 points in his last 11 games.
Leo Komarov (TOR - C) Finally, a roto shout-out to Leo Komarov who, despite only have one goal and five points on the season, is currently third in the NHL in hits with 105. (Seasoned hit-machines Matt Martin and Steve Ott lead the way.)
Good luck this week. Hopefully we've pointed out a few gems that the rest of your poolies are sleeping on.