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Fantasy Spin: Selanne's return boosts draft day value

by Matt Cubeta
The Finnish Flash is back -- well, for one more year anyway.

Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne announced on Thursday that he would return to the Ducks for at least one more season. Despite an aching left knee, the 41-year-old will be back for his 19th NHL season.

How does this affect you from a fantasy viewpoint?

Selanne was listed in our Top 175 fantasy rankings at 89th overall, as depicted by our panel of experts. In our positional rankings, Selanne came in at 15th among right wings, right behind Vancouver's Alex Burrows and ahead of San Jose's Joe Pavelski. Obviously these projections were done prior to the knowledge that Selanne would definitely be back this season.

Now, things change.

Selanne appeared in 73 games last season and finished with 31 goals, 80 points, a plus-6 rating, 49 penalty minutes, 34 power-play points and 213 shots on goal. Not bad for a 40-year-old, right? His 80 points ranked eighth in the NHL, his 49 assists were 10th and his 16 power-play goals were third, behind only Daniel Sedin and Steven Stamkos. Selanne finished the fantasy season as the 14th-ranked overall player in standard Yahoo! Leagues and proved to be one of the biggest bargains on draft day last season.

That likely won't be the case this time around. Selanne proved to all of us that he's still got it, regardless of his age. If we were to redo our fantasy rankings, Teemu would certainly crack our top 50 overall and probably be among the top seven or eight right wings.

Selanne received 17:56 of ice time per game last season while skating primarily with Saku Koivu and Jason Blake. But more important is that he thrived on the power play, where he received 3:27 of ice time per game while skating on a forward line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. You can expect that to continue as Selanne has proved throughout his career that he is a power play machine (he's tied with Mario Lemieux for fifth all-time with 236 power-play goals).

Selanne might not reach the 80 points he had last season, and he might not play in 73 games again, but he's been a point-per-game player since his unbelievable rookie season in 1992-93, and we should expect nothing else from one of the better right wings in NHL history.

Contact Matt Cubeta at | Follow us on twitter @NHLcomFantasy

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