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POSTED ON Friday, 02.10.2012 / 12:15 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Jokinen scorching hot for Flames

Hesitate and you might just miss out on one of the hottest players in the NHL, as Calgary Flames' forward Olli Jokinen is having a stretch to remember.

Who would've thought?

Before his recent offensive explosion, Jokinen went 15 games without registering a goal. But he's turned it on as of late.

The 33-year-old is in the midst of a five-game point streak. He also has points in seven of his past eight games. In that span, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound center has five goals and is coming off a hat trick, four-point performance against the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.

He added the fifth goal on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jokinen was originally ranked 229th in standard Yahoo! leagues, but has improved his ranking to 31st overall. The former first-round pick has 17 goals, 29 assists and 46 points on 157 shots. In addition, he has 40 PIMs and six power play goals.

With the way the Flame is burning up the League, he could be a fantasy player to watch down the stretch.

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.03.2012 / 1:43 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Gagner Opens eyes With record night

Oh, what a night!

That's what fantasy owners must be thinking after the show Sam Gagner put on Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Edmonton Oilers forward scored four goals - yes, four - and added four assists - yes, four - to book-end an eight-point outing against one of the Western Conference's more elite clubs.

To go along with the offensive explosion, Gagner skated away with a plus-6 rating and threw another six shots on the cage.

Sam Gagner
Center - EDM
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 30
SOG: 86 | +/-: 2
Not many outings will top this record-tying game for the crafty forward, but he is in the midst of a productive stretch. In the past four games, the 22-year-old has 10 points and 10 shots. This small segment of production came after a drought to forget for the former first-round pick of the Oilers.

Coming into the game againt the Blackhawks, Gagner hadn't scored a goal in 11 games and prior to the stretch of points in three of four games, he hadn't collected a point in six games.

Whether or not the 5-foot-11 forward's monster performance will prove to be a springboard to bigger and better things in the second half of the season remains to be seen. But regardless of the totals during the season, any player capable of putting up an eight-point effort is worthy of fantasy consideration.

Currently owned in 7 percent of standard Yahoo! leagues, Gagner - a dual-eligibility player - could be had and could be a sleeper as the season progresses.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.21.2012 / 1:25 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Purcell proving to be consistent contributor for Bolts

Teddy Purcell won't soon be confused with Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis or Vincent Lecavalier, but he's certainly making a name for himself of late.

The 26-yaer-old Tampa Bay Lightning winger is coming off a two-goal night against the Dallas Stars Friday night, a game which also saw Purcell skate away with seven shots and a plus-1 rating.

Teddy Purcell
Right Wing - TBL
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 26
SOG: 74 | +/-: 1
While that kind of evening might not become the norm for the 6-foot-2, 201-pound forward, it has been representative of his recent play.

In the past five games, Purcell has combined for five points, including two multi-point outings. During that same span, he has managed to tickle the twine on three occasions. For someone who sees roughly 15 minutes per night, those stats look that much more impressive.

On the season, the former Los Angeles King has himself 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points to go along with 74 shots and 16 PIMs. Last year, albeit on a seemingly more dangerous Bolts squad, Purcell finished with 17 goals, 51 points and just under 200 shots. Again, numbers that certainly are nothing to sneeze at.

Owned in 16 percent of standard Yahoo! leagues, the crafty winger may be in play in deep leagues. If you need a steady-as-he-goes performer on your fantasy squad, Purcell could fill that role nicely and, if you're lucky, exceed expectations.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 3:12 PM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Hawks' Shaw, Hayes making impact

Move over Jonathan Toews, and take Patrick Kane with you.

There's a new tandem in town.

They go by the name of Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes, two Chicago Blackhawks rookies who have done nothing but impress since being penciled in on the NHL roster.

The surprisingly dynamic duo has combined for nine goals, four assists and 13 points in 18 games, and both have shown a propensity to participate in the more physical elements of the game, as Shaw dropped the gloves in his first game, while Hayes has amassed six PIMs in his brief stint. Couple those hard-to-find attributes with an obvious scoring touch and knack for creativity and you've got yourself a complete NHL package.

Success at the highest level wasn't written in stone for the two youngsters, as both were selected outside the first round (Hayes, 60th overall; Shaw, 139th overall). Nowadays, both players are riding their dark horses to a photo finish of marvelous play.

In the case of Shaw (5 goals, 6 points, 7 PIMs, plus-1, 19 shots), it doesn't hurt to be playing alongside Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger in place of the injured Patrick Sharp. Shaw is currently riding a four-game goal and point-scoring streak and is recently coming off a multi-point night against Buffalo. His numbers so far are staggering, especially when compared with modest AHL outputs. In 33 games with the Rockford IceHogs, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound 20-year-old scored 12 goals and collected 21 points.

With the way he's dazzling night in, night out, it shouldn't be a surprise to see Shaw's ownership in standard Yahoo! Leagues to go up from his current three percent.

Hayes (4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, 6 PIMs, 16 shots), meanwhile, has points in three of his past four games, including two multi-point nights. He's getting no fewer than 16 shifts a night in his past seven games and is making the most of his opportunities.

Owned in one percent of standard Yahoo! Leagues, Hayes could be a nice addition to any roster, especially as the Blackhawks continue a strong 2011-12 campaign.

Continue to follow the unlikely story, but don't be left behind by other more active fantasy owners, as the chance to jump at both could no longer be available in short order.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.19.2012 / 1:51 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Blake's offense gives Ducks boost

Jason Blake is no stranger to a productive NHL season.

After all, he has been part of five 20-plus goal campaigns, including a 40-goal outing in 2006-07.

Despite all the success, the past few seasons have seen a drop in production.

Jason Blake
Left Wing - ANA
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 8
SOG: 30 | +/-: 4
Nowadays, things are looking pretty, pretty, pretty...pretty good. Not only for the Ducks, who are doing nothing but torching opponents night in, night out, but for Blake, too.

In the 11 games he's appeared in this season, the 38-year-old has 4 goals and 4 assists, including a power play goal and 30 shots.

What's more, his solid play has come of late, as Blake is riding a three-game point streak, in which he's compiled six points on two multi-point nights. 

On Sunday night against a formidable Vancouver squad, the 5-foot-10 left wing had himself a pair of goals, three points and threw 10 shots toward the cage.

As the Ducks aim to build on their three-game winning streak, Blake can be a beneficiary of solid offensive production. Keep an eye on him as a  healthy option to boost your fantasy squads.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:54 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy spin: Selanne continues to excel

Age is just a number, right?

If you ask Teemu Selanne, he'd likely answer in the affirmative.

The 41-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks marvels night in, night out, proving that if you've got game, the date of birth that follows you is rendered useless.

Teemu Selanne
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 43
SOG: 124 | +/-: 5
Just dig into the stats. Through 43 games, The Finnish Flash has collected 43 points, an unthinkable pace for an NHL elder statesman. Those points haven't been of the fluke variety, either, where Selanne has been the beneficiary merely of secondary assists. He's been a goal-scoring force too, evidenced by his goal-per-every-three game pace (15 total).

To complement his point production, Selanne brings 124 shots, 7 power play goals and 40 PIMs to his fantasy resume, too.

What's as impressive as his ability to be a factor, generally, has been his play on the ice of late, specifically. In his past five games, the right wing has seven points, including four goals and three multi-point nights.

As the Ducks and their core of offensive powerhouses continue to contribute, Selanne figures to be the man leading the charge.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 12:10 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kovy lighting the lamp for Devils

Whether he's on your fantasy team or not, it's likely that you've run into the dominant play of New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

That's because he's done nothing but dazzle of late.

Kovalchuk is riding a four-game point and goal scoring streak.

What's more, he has collected two points in each of his past four outings. In that same span, the Russian star has thrown at least six shots toward the cage.

In short: he's been brilliant.

But his stellar play has been there for much of the season. Through 38 games, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger has 17 goals to go along with 21 assists and ranks eighth in the NHL with 159 shots.

With players like Zach Parise and youngster Adam Henrique around to complement his dynamic play--not to mention other more than capable players like Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora--Kovalchuk could see his game elevate to even a higher level for most of the second half of the season.

As the Devils continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings, keep an eye out for No.-17 and his impact in your fantasy leagues.
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POSTED ON Friday, 01.06.2012 / 2:07 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: League's top rookie on the shelf

All has been well for Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011-12.

Now, things are put on hold, as the NHL's top scoring rookie is expected to be out of the lineup three to four weeks with a separated left shoulder.

He could miss at least 11 games.

Nugent-Hopkins' absense spells bad news bears for fantasy owners, who have benefited from his surprising stellar first season.

Through 38 games, the 18-year-old has collected 13 goals, 22 assists, 35 points and 80 shots on goal. He has also managed to be an even player on a struggling Oilers squad.

Despite the great show Nugent-Hopkins has put on most nights, he has struggled of late, at least in the goal-scoring category. Prior to the injury, he went 10 games without a goal and collected only five points in that span.

While his injury is a setback for fantasy owners, it could be a blessing in disguise of sorts. Obviously, the advice is to keep the talented youngster, but set yourselves up with a solid across-the-board performer in his absense and hope that he recovers fully from his injury and returns with a vengeance as the second half of the season approaches.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 2:34 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Stewart back on track in St. Louis

The Chris Stewart of the previous two seasons and the one from this year have been two entirely different players.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected 28 goals. This year? He was on pace for 12.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected at least 53 point. This year? He was on pace for 29.

Then Monday night happened and the 6-foot-2, 232-pound right wing collected a pair of goals en route to an impressive 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Included in those two goals was a power play tally. He also ended the night with seven shots thrown on the cage.

In short, the 24-year-old showed flashes of the 25-plus goal-scoring threat he's been in prior campaigns. In fact, the flash started two games ago when Stewart scored a goal and threw another seven shots on net. It's that kind of night in, night out effort that's been missing from Stewart for the better part of the season. For players who've shown they can score consistently at the NHL level, often times it takes just the slightest hot streak before consistent productivity occurs.

Still, even with his strong play of late, on the whole, Stewart has been a disappointment for fantasy owners, so caution should be taken when thinking about adding him to your squads. However, it's equally as important to consider taking a risk on a player who has proven to be successful in consecutive seasons and has show that he may be on his way for number three.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 2:19 AM

By Sergei J. Feldman -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Stewart showing scoring touch

The Chris Stewart of the previous two seasons and the one from this year have been two entirely different players.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected 28 goals. This year? He was on pace for 12.

In each of the past two seasons, Stewart has collected at least 53 point. This year? He was on pace for 29.

Then Monday night happened and the 6-foot-2, 232-pound right wing collected a pair of goals en route to an impressive 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Included in those two goals was a power play tally. He also ended the night with seven shots thrown on the cage.

In short, the 24-year-old showed flashes of the 25-plus goal-scoring threat he's been in prior campaigns. In fact, the flash started two games ago when Stewart scored a goal and threw another seven shots on net. It's that kind of night in, night out effort that's been missing from Stewart for the better part of the season. For players who've shown they can score consistently at the NHL level, often times it takes just the slightest hot streak before consistent productivity occurs.

Still, even with his strong play of late, on the whole, Stewart has been a disappointment for fantasy owners, so caution should be taken when thinking about adding him to your squads.

However, it's equally as important to consider taking a risk on a player who has proven to be successful in consecutive seasons and has show that he may be on his way for number three. 
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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery