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Fantasy Spin: Trade to Pens makes Perron must-own

by Pete Jensen /

The first major Edmonton Oilers trade domino has fallen, and fantasy owners of David Perron are jumping for joy.

Perron, a polished point producer, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, leaving behind a team tied for last place in the NHL standings in favor of a perennial Stanley Cup Playoff contender.

The fantasy implications are so obvious that owners shouldn't waste another second to add Perron off the waiver wire. In only a few hours following the trade, Perron's ownership in Yahoo leagues has skyrocketed from 34 to 47 percent -- and with good reason.

The 26-year-old was one of five players (Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Blake Wheeler, James van Riemsdyk) with 28-plus goals, 115-plus hits and 220-plus shots on goal last season. Despite a dip in production and a minus-17 through 38 games this season, he joins a team with serious offensive firepower, but one in desperate need of reinforcement on the wing.

With forwards Patric Hornqvist, Blake Comeau and Pascal Dupuis on injured reserve, the Penguins are expected to slide Perron (dual eligible at LW/RW in Yahoo) on the wing next to either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, each of whom is a top-five overall fantasy asset. Steve Downie (mumps) is slotted to return Friday, but Perron will still have a chance to earn top-six and power-play time for as long as Hornqvist is sidelined.

While Perron will not play Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoop him up as soon as possible regardless of your league format because there's a chance he could play as early as Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. The two-time 50-point producer has a chance to contribute in each of the six standard-league fantasy categories and is a must-own player in leagues that count hits.

Stay tuned for Perron's updated rank in my top 100 fantasy forward rankings on Tuesday, Jan. 6.


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