(C) Patrick Berglund – St. Louis Blues
Patrik was one of the best players at the World Juniors last winter and I remember saying this kid is going to be dynamic in the NHL..in a few years. However, he has looked to mature much faster than I expected and he is making a big impact on St. Louis right now. The 10 points in 13 games is impressive in itself for this young Euro player, but what jumps out most is he is a +8 on a bad St. Louis team.
(C) Travis Zajac – NJ Devils
It may seem weird to hear a player being suggested from the NJ Devils (because they can’t score) but with Brian Rolston, Bobby Holik and other injuries swirling the Devils, Zajac will see even more ice time and he should be in the midst of most of the Devils scoring. He has gotten off to a good start so far, but expect him to step it up even more.
(C) Matt Stajan – Toronto Maple Leafs
I suggested Alexi Ponikarovsky from the Leafs last week, and that’s fine. Stajan looks to be the better choice right now from a production standpoint (16 points in 16 games). But don’t expect him to keep a ppg pace, but he is someone you’ll want for the immediate future. You can pretty much shave down the Leafs roster and find some other good finds in Nik Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski as well.
(D) Chris Campoli – NY Islanders
Chris is the #2 D-man on the Isles next to Mark Streit as far as production goes. He was injured for most of the year last year so he is still a bit rusty to enter this season. Expect Chris to soon step it up and be pretty productive.
(D) Cam Barker – Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago has an overall pretty productive defense in their top 4-5 guys. Barker is probably in the top 2-3 as far as an offensive upside goes, plus he feels he has something to prove by starting the season in the minors. He has gotten off to a fast start with 6 points in 6 games. Chicago has a potent offense, and Barker is someone who can turn out to be a nice free pickup for you.
(G) Brent Johnson – Washington Capitals
If you’re looking for a goalie look no further than Brent Johnson. He has stellar numbers as the “supposedly” #2 netminder, and everyone knows when Jose Theodore is not working for a contract, he tends to suck, plain and simple. Johnson is bit injured right now, but nothing serious.
(G) Joey MacDonald – NY Islanders
I’m not gonna lie, I was saying there is no way a #2 goalie on the Islanders can be productive in any way positive. I will gladly eat those words, because I’ve watched this guy play the last few games and he is a very good goalie. The Isles D is terrible, but MacDonald is a great positioner and has great lateral movement, in other words he looks like a legit #1. With Dipietro out for some time, take a look at this guy.
If you’re a yahoo fantasy player, all of these players are at least 70% available. If you have holes in any of these positions, these are some good choices for the forseeable future at least.