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Posted On Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 1:15 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Preds' Wilson flying under radar

If you're a fantasy owner who would gladly welcome a dual-eligible forward who is putting up nearly a point per game, then look no further than Colin Wilson.

Colin Wilson
Center - NSH
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 14
SOG: 21 | +/-: 0
Wilson (owned in only 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues) leads the Predators in scoring with 14 points in 17 games this season despite a widespread perception that he's a fantasy afterthought. The C/LW eligibile forward had a pair of assists in the Nashville Predators' 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, extending his point streak to five games (2 G, 5 A) -- the most balanced scoring stretch of his career.

The 23-year-old had his share of critics after failing to emerge as a top-tier point producter after being selected with the seventh pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, but he is finally finding his rhythm in the Music City. Wilson did produce 30-plus points in each of the past two seasons, but -- outside of deep leagues -- has never been considered a viable fantasy option until now.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 10:59 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Loss of Karlsson tough to overcome

Erik Karlsson altered the perception surrounding fantasy defensemen last season. That's one of many reasons why his injury will be so tough for fantasy owners to endure.

Karlsson had 78 points, the most by a defenseman since Nicklas Lidstrom had 80 in 2005-06. He also led all players at his position in shots on goal (261).

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 11:45 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Voynov outperforming Doughty early on

Slava Voynov
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 6
SOG: 22 | +/-: 7
After a brief Stanley Cup hangover, the Los Angeles Kings are back on their feet. Much of that improvement can be credited to an emerging young defenseman.

And to everyone's surprise, that player is not named Drew Doughty.

While Doughty, taken on average in the seventh round of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey drafts, has stumbled out of the gate with no goals, four assists and a minus-10 rating through 11 games, Slava Voynov has emerged as the team's most productive player on the blue line.

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Posted On Monday, 02.11.2013 / 3:20 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Chicago's Kane re-discovers elite form

Leading up to the 2012-13 season, Patrick Kane was simply an enigma from a fantasy standpoint.

Patrick Kane
Right Wing - CHI
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 19
SOG: 33 | +/-: 7
In four of his first five NHL seasons, Kane has played in 80-plus games. In all but one of those five seasons, he's mustered 200-plus shots on goal. He's never had fewer than 66 points in a season and is regarded as one of the most talented forwards League-wide. In only his third NHL season, he fueled a Stanley Cup championship run for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10 with 28 points in 22 postseason games.

At that time, Kane was on the fast track to stardom. So why was he selected on average in the third round of fantasy drafts entering this season with an average position of 32.8 in Yahoo leagues?

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Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 10:57 AM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Worth taking chance on Visnovsky

Lubomir Visnovsky
Defense - NYI
If your fantasy blue line could use a spark, this may be your lucky day.

Lubomir Visnovsky, the high-scoring defenseman who was traded by the Anaheim Ducks to the New York Islanders on the night of the 2012 NHL Draft, has finally arrived on Long Island. The Isles had suspended Visnovsky after he failed to report to the team, but they lifted the ban on Thursday to activate the defenseman.

Reports are even indicating that the 36-year-old, who practiced Friday, could make his debut for New York as early as Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres, raising questions about his potential fantasy value.

Owned in only 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues entering the day, Visnovsky is far from a sure thing. But for fantasy owners to ignore what he was capable of only two seasons ago is just foolish.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 5:00 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Five candidates for 10-point game

Thirty-seven years ago, Darryl Sittler's earth-shattering 10-point night for the Toronto Maple Leafs set a single-game NHL record that still stands.

The dynamic of the sport has changed significantly since Feb. 7, 1976, but that doesn't mean fantasy owners around the world aren't imagining the potential impact of a double-digit point effort. Considering how far a single multi-point game goes in determining head-to-head league results, a 10-point effort from a single fantasy player would almost certainly lead to a matchup victory during a particular week -- especially if it came in such balanced fashion as Sittler's (6 G, 4 A).

This brings us into the discussion of which players, based on both single-game and career point-production, would be most likely to challenge Sittler's seemingly untouchable mark. While one can make a case for many players around the League as candidates to reach that plateau in one game, here are five active players who could treat their fantasy owners to such a performance for the ages.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.06.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Clarkson now offensive juggernaut

The days of David Clarkson being regarded as a PIMs-only fantasy asset are long gone.

David Clarkson
Right Wing - NJD
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 12
SOG: 38 | +/-: 2
Clarkson still has accumulated 11 PIMs through his first nine games, but his ability to produce at least a point in eight of those games has taken the fantasy world by storm. The 28-year-old right wing came into his own offensively last season for the New Jersey Devils, and Tuesday night was another example of the fantasy difference-maker he has become.

Operating alongside veteran Patrik Elias and sophomore Adam Henrique, who returned to the lineup last week after being sidelined due to injury, Clarkson reeled off two goals and an assist in the Devils' 3-1 victory over the rival New York Rangers. Clarkson and Elias (10 points in nine games), a duo that has vastly outperformed New Jersey's top line tandem of Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac this season, fueled the Devils' offense again by having a hand in all three of the team's goals.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:18 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Fasth can steal time from Hiller

Viktor Fasth may be a newcomer to North America, but he's quickly found his niche with the Anaheim Ducks.

Viktor Fasth
Goalie - ANA
RECORD: 3-0-0
GAA: 1.30 | SVP: 0.946
The Swedish Elite League standout signed with the Ducks in May and has made an immediate impact through his first three games at the NHL level. The 30-year-old improved to 3-0-0 on the young season after handing the San Jose Sharks their first regulation loss of the season on Monday.

Fasth's 25-save performance in that victory, coupled with strong showings in his debut vs. Nashville on Jan. 26 and his encore against the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 1, gives him a combined 70 saves on 74 shots faced to kick off this new chapter of his career in style. His stingy goals-against average (1.30) and save percentage (.946) trail only Craig Anderson for the League lead in both categories.

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Posted On Monday, 02.04.2013 / 2:46 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Luongo excels; time to sell high?

Roberto Luongo may have returned to the forefront of the fantasy goalie landscape, but predicting the next twist or turn of the Vancouver Canucks' goalie conundrum is still anybody's guess.

Set to make his fourth consecutive start Monday for the Canucks, Luongo has temporarily re-affirmed his status as the team's No. 1 goaltender after stopping a combined 51 of 52 shots in consecutive victories over the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks.

Roberto Luongo
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 2-0-2
GAA: 1.46 | SVP: 0.944
The 33-year-old netminder has already registered a shutout this season and is second in the NHL in both goals-against average (1.46) and save percentage (.944). He's appeared in five games thus far, allowing two goals or less in each of those outings.

But as promising as his play has been over the past few days, fantasy owners must take it with a grain of salt because of how dicey the Canucks' goalie situation has proved to be in recent memory.

Cory Schneider appeared in 25 games (compared to Luongo's 60 appearances) during the 2010-11 season before seeing action in 33 games (compared to Luongo's 55) in 2011-12. Last postseason, the top-seeded Canucks flamed out in the first round against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, and the team's goaltending situation officially became a dilemma. Luongo surrendered seven goals in the first two games of the series before Schneider found more success in the three games in which he appeared with only four goals allowed in that span.

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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 4:00 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Gagner, Hodgson among trending waiver wire targets

The waiver wire is an ever-changing medium that gives fantasy owners a chance to bolster their rosters at any time. Last Friday, Michael Grabner led the list of key names for owners to consider, but as we close in on the two-week mark since the season began, there an entirely new batch of trending players to take note of.

Sam Gagner
Center - EDM
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 8
SOG: 19 | +/-: -3
More injuries have piled up over the past few days (Jason Spezza, Ryan Callahan, etc.), so here's an updated list of 10 fantasy assets floating around in both deep and shallow leagues that can pay dividends moving forward.

Sam Gagner (C/RW, Edmonton Oilers)

-Often overlooked because he's situated amongst an array of emerging young forwards in Edmonton, Gagner has made an early statement from a fantasy standpoint with eight points, 10 PIMs and 19 SOG in seven games. The 23-year-old has also logged nearly four minutes per game with the man advantage, displaying proficiency in those situations (5 PPP) for a power-play unit that sports the NHL's third-best conversion percentage (31.4). The dual-eligible forward has been the trendiest fantasy player in the League over the past two days in Yahoo! leagues (over 5,000 adds during that span), so be sure to snatch him while you still can.

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