Offensive contributions from defensemen have often been considered a bonus for NHL and fantasy hockey teams alike.
There is an increasing need in the NHL for defensemen to not only prevent scoring chances but also play a larger role in creating them and because of that, dependable fantasy options have emerged.
FANTASY HOCKEY ANALYSIS
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With so few high-scoring defensemen out there, the scramble to find that diamond in the rough usually starts within the first few weeks of the fantasy season. Any player that shows the slightest spark early on gets watched closely and quickly snatched up. If there is room on your roster, then strong consideration should be made for New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Damon Severson (Yahoo ownership: 19 percent).
Severson has three goals and one assist with a plus-5 rating and 15 shots on goal in four games played this season, all on the road. Add an average of three-plus minutes on the power play and Severson is off to a better start to the season than elite defensemen like the Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban and Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson, both of whom were taken, on average, in the second round of Yahoo fantasy hockey drafts.
If prospective owners have access to watch the Devils play host to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, then tune in to see what Severson is all about. He’s a player with a big shot similar to Subban along with a strong sense of defensive responsibility that is uncommon for a 20-year-old. While his statistics last season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League should not be expected to be duplicated in the NHL; Severson did total 61 points (15 goals, 46 assists) and a plus-47 rating in 64 games.
In fantasy hockey, there is no time like the present. Owners who take a flyer on Severson now may be soaring towards a championship by April.