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Fantasy Spin: Pominville's luck evens out

Slow-starting Wild forward heats up; 29 percent owned

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

Jason Pominville of the Minnesota Wild has the lowest shooting percentage among forwards with at least 400 shots on goal the past two seasons. But his fortunes are finally taking a turn for the better.

The veteran right wing had one goal and two assists Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche, giving him five goals, seven assists, a plus-7 rating and 18 shots on goal in his past eight games. He has at least one point in six of those games and multiple shots on goal in all eight.

Since. Feb. 17 he leads the NHL in scoring with 12 points and his four power-play points are tied for the most in the League in that span. He is 29-percent owned in Yahoo leagues despite being No. 146 in its performance-based rankings.

The amazing part about his turnaround is that it has come following demotions at even strength and on the power play. His frequent linemate, top-tier fantasy forward Zach Parise, has been playing with Mikko Koivu and the emerging Charlie Coyle, while Pominville has found success on a line with Nino Niederreiter and Erik Haula.

Whether you call his new line the Wild's second or third, it has led Pominville to produce first-rate production after an otherwise disappointing season.

In terms of man-advantage ice time, Pominville is averaging 2:19 per game during his surge but no longer is on the top power-play unit. Parise, Koivu, Coyle, Thomas Vanek, Mikael Granlund and Niederreiter have seen more power-play ice time per game in those situations in that span.

At 33, Pominville's prime scoring days likely are behind him, but he's always been a high-volume shooter and stands a chance at keeping up some semblance of this pace down the stretch. With 18 games remaining, the Wild are in the hunt for the Stanley Cup Playoffs while rolling three contributing forward lines and two strong man-advantage units. Pominville has six seasons of at least 60 points in his career and clearly has taken a positive approach to his new role.

So many of the trending, lesser-owned fantasy assets around the League have center-only eligibility, so take a stab at Pominville (RW in Yahoo) if he's available in your league. If Pominville already has been added, Coyle (C/RW, 12 percent owned) is seeing top-line and first power-play minutes alongside Parise and has dual-position eligibility. Coyle has not covered categories as well as Pominville, but does have 11 goals in his past 18 games and 21 for the season.

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