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Fantasy Spin: Oilers' Arcobello could be of assistance

by Pete Jensen /

When one of Wayne Gretzky's records is broken, it's only natural for fantasy owners to take notice of everyone involved.

Edmonton Oilers wing Taylor Hall scored two goals in eight seconds on Thursday against the New York Islanders, besting Gretzky's team mark of two in nine seconds from 1981. Oilers center Mark Arcobello was lucky enough to be a part of Hall's milestone by association.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially from a fantasy standpoint. And it turns out Arcobello's performance sheds some light on a diamond-in-the-rough fantasy asset worth an investment.

Oilers rookie Mark Arcobello, owned in eight percent of Yahoo leagues, is tied for second in the NHL with eight helpers. (Photo: Getty Images)

Arcobello, an undrafted 25-year-old rookie who played college hockey at Yale University, is currently tied with Sidney Crosby, P.K. Subban, Daniel Alfredsson and Joe Thornton for second in the NHL in assists (8) behind Henrik Sedin (9). Many factors, including a preseason injury to Sam Gagner, have contributed to Arcobello's rise up the Oilers depth chart and into so many box scores early on this season.

Edmonton's top-six forward group has bounced around, especially with the offseason addition of David Perron and the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from injury, but Arcobello is beginning to settle in on the team's top line with Hall and Jordan Eberle.

Only seven point pairs League-wide have proven to be more productive than Arcobello and Eberle (five team goals where each has recorded a point). And after Thursday's quick work with Hall, the Arcobello-Hall duo has also combined on four of their team's goals.

Luckily for fantasy owners who are only now discovering how productive Arcobello has been, he can still be found on the waiver wire in 92 percent of leagues. And the best part is that his success has not been limited to one category.

In eight games this season, Arcobello sports a plus-5 rating, 18 shots on goal and 17 hits. He's seeing 2:04 per game with the man advantage (one power-play point), and seems to be staying productive despite Edmonton being at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings.

With Nugent-Hopkins playing alongside Perron for now, Arcobello should be picked up in all deep leagues to fill a roster spot made free by any forward placed on IR. Also, as we approach the 10-game mark of the fantasy season, Arcobello (RW-eligible in Yahoo leagues) should be added at the expense of any slumping late-round forward pick that is not panning out (i.e. Valeri Nichushkin, Mark Scheifele, Martin Erat, Matt Frattin, etc.). There's always a chance Arcobello could gain center eligibility in the coming weeks.

Everything could change if Arcobello cools off once Gagner returns from injury, but for now fantasy owners should enjoy the ride as he continues to gain fantasy relevance with each passing day.


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