With hockey talk surrounding key injuries to Joffrey Lupul and Scott Hartnell, fantasy owners finally received some relieving news: Forward Jamie Benn agreed to a five-year deal with the Dallas Stars.
Drafted on average with the 79th overall pick in Yahoo! Leagues, Benn will be a welcome sight for his owners after he had an extremely productive and well-rounded 2011-12 season -- 26 goals, 63 points, plus-15, 55 penalty minutes, 10 power-play points and 203 shots on goal in 71 games.
Benn, center and left wing eligible in Yahoo! Leagues, is not expected to make his season debut until Monday, where he'll likely center the team's top line with Jaromir Jagr and Loui Eriksson as his wings. That's an extremely talented group of forwards and it could turn Benn into an elite fantasy player for the remainder of this condensed season.
The 23-year-old forward has all the tools to become one of fantasy hockey's most dominant players -- he has size and grit and plays a physical game, which will result in solid penalty minutes; he will see more power play time this season after averaging 2:17 last year; he has a quality team around him which will result in a good plus/minus; he has unbelievable hands which should result in plenty of points (just check out this goal from last season, and how about this pass?); and he has improved his stats every year he's been in the NHL (22 G, 41 points as a rookie in 2009-10, 22 G, 56 points in 2010-11, 26 G, 63 points last season). There's literally no flaw in his game from a fantasy standpoint.
Due to his brief holdout, Benn's Yahoo! Fantasy ownership has actually dipped down to 83 percent -- if for some reason he's available in your league, be sure to pick him up immediately. The Stars have 44 games remaining on their schedule and we believe Benn could be good for around 18 goals, 40 points (equivalent to 35 goals and 75 points over the course of an 82-game season) and really strong peripheral stats to go along with that.