Welcome to week 3 of Fantasy Hockey Pickups. I hope you were able to use some of my suggestions to help pick up that win last week. The next two weeks are crucial weeks in Fantasy Hockey because most NHL teams must make decisions on their entry level rookies during these weeks. NHL teams have 9 games to decide whether or not to keep these players and have the first year of their entry level contract begin, or send them to the minors/junior team and not have the first year of their contract count. There are a lot of good rookies out there this year, so make sure you keep and eye out to see what happens. If your rookie gets sent down, here are some guys you may want to pick up to replace them in your lineup.
Mike Knuble - RW - (WAS): Mike Knuble had 1G, 5A, and was a +5 last week. Overall he has 7 points and is a +6. As long as Knuble continues to play along side Alex Ovechkin on the first line, you can expect these numbers, especially the assists to continue (as 4 of his 5 assists last week were on Ovechkin's goals). Knuble is only available in 20% of Yahoo Leagues, so if he's sitting on the waiver wire, you should consider grabbing him.
Vaclav Prospal - LW - (NYR): Vaclav Prospal had 2G, 4A, 3PPP, and was a +4 last week. In just 2 weeks, he has 11 points and is a +7. Prospal is playing alongside a healthy Marian Gaborik, and as long as he's healthy, Prospal should continue to produce at this level. Prospal is only available in 23% of Yahoo Leagues.
Brandon Dubinsky - C - (NYR): Brandon Dubinsky had 4 points, 6PIM, and was a +4 last week. Thus far, he has 8 points, 14 PIM, and is a +9. Like Prospal, Dubinsky plays with Gaborik and should continue this production as long as long as Gaborik stays healthy. Dubinsky is available in 45% of Yahoo Leagues.
Dustin Penner - LW - (EDM): Dustin Penner had 3G, 3A, 1PPP, and was a +5 last week. Overall, he has 9 points so far this year. After a disappointing season last year, Penner seems to be on his way to a breakout season with his team leading 5 goals so far. Penner is available in 56% of Yahoo Leagues.
Dustin Byfuglien - RW - (CHI): Dustin Byfuglien had 2G, 1A, and 1PPP last week. Overall he has 4 goals and 3PPP so far this year. Byfuglien's size and playing style can be compared to that of a Jarome Iginla type in which he uses his size to get down low to score. Right now with Marian Hossa out of the lineup, Byfuglien has benefited by seeing more ice time, and has capitalized on those opportunities. He is available in 69% of Yahoo Leagues.
Rich Peverley - C - (ATL): Rich Peverley had 2G, 1A,, 3PPP, and 1 GWG last week. Overall he has 7 points and is a +3 with 2 GWG. Peverley is seeing a lot of time on the PP and is making the best of his opportunities by scoring 3 G and 1A on the PP. Peverley is available in 84% of Yahoo Leagues.
Eric Belanger - C - (MIN): Eric Belanger had 1G & 2A last week. With Sykora, Bouchard, & Havlat all dealing with injuries, look for Belanger to get more opportunities on the ice. Belanger is available in 92% of Yahoo Leagues
Gilbert Brule -C - (EDM): Gilbert Brule had 3G, 2A, 2PIM, 2GWG, and was a +4 last week. He has 7 points overall and 9 PIM. Brule has 7 points in 7 games and is someone to keep an eye on to see if he will continue this production. For those of you in deeper leagues, you may want to pick him up if you have the space. Brule is available in 93% of Yahoo Leagues.
Cody McLeod - LW - (COL): Cody McLeod had 2G, 1A, 11PIM, and was a +5 last week. He has 4 points and 18 PIM overall. McLeod can be counted on for PIM and if he can turn up the offensive aspect of his game will be someone you may want to consider. McLeod is available in 96% of Yahoo Leagues.
Brent Seabrook - D - (CHI): Brent Seabrook had 1G, 2A, and was a +3 last week. So far this season, he has 6A, 3PPP and 1GWG. Seabrook sees plenty of ice time in 5-on-5 & on the PP and has been able to produce in both situations. He is only available in 22% of Yahoo Leagues.
Michael Del Zotto - D - (NYR): Michael Del Zotto had 1G, 2A, 2PPP, and was a +2 last week. It surprises me that Del Zotto is still available in some leagues when he is the leading rookie scorer, 2nd among all defensemen in scoring, and just an absolute powerhouse on the PP. The only thing in question is whether or not he will stay or be sent back to the OHL after playing his 9th game on Monday. If he stays, he is a must pickup. Del Zotto is available in 20% of Yahoo Leagues.
Kyle Quincey - D - (COL): Kyle Quincey had 1A, 1PPP, and 8 PIM last week. Overall he has 6 points, 4PPP, and 10 PIM. Quincey is a good source for both PPP and PIM and should be considered for your blue-line. He is available in 38% of Yahoo Leagues.
Dennis Grebeshkov -D - (EDM): Grebeshkov had 2G & 1PPP last week. So far this season he has 7 points, 2PPP, & 6PIM. With Sheldon Souray out, Grebeshkov has benefited from his absence. He is available in 68% of Yahoo Leagues.
Adrian Aucoin - D - (PHO): Adrian Aucoin had 2 pts, 1GWG, and was a +2 last week. Aucoin has 4 points, 3PPP, 8PIM, and is a +4 so far this season. Aucoin gets plenty of opportunities on the PP and so far has provided decent numbers on all scoring categories. He is available in 72% of Yahoo Leagues.
Ladislav Smid - D - (EDM): Ladislav Smid had 4 PIM and was a +6 last week. Smid is currently 4th in the league with a +/- rating of +9 with 3A. Smid thus far is providing great +/- numbers and should be someone to consider if you need help in that category. Smid is available in 99% of Yahoo Leagues.
Ilya Bryzgalov - G - (PHO): Bryzgalov had 3W, 0.95 GAA, .959 SV%, & 1 SO last week. Bryzgalov is on a hot streak as of late and you should pick him up if available while both he and the Coyotes are on fire. Bryzgalov is only available in 12% of Yahoo Leagues.
Ondrej Pavelec - G - (ATL): Ondrej Pavelec has won 2 of 3 starts this year and has played well for the Thrashers. Pavelec will start most of the games while Kari Lehtonen is out and can be considered if you are in need of a goalie. Pavelec is available in 68% of Yahoo Leagues
Joey MacDonald - G - (TOR): It's hard to recommend anyone on the Leafs but with Vesa Toskala hurt and Gustuvsson still on IR until at least the end of this week, MacDonald is poised to start for the Leafs. MacDonald is available in 98% of Yahoo Leagues.
Jason Arnott - C - (NSH): Left Arm - IR as of 10/19. Impact: Arnott will be out for atleast 2 weeks. Place him on your IR.
Pavel Datsyuk - C - (DET): Upper Body Injury - DTD as of 10/15. Impact: It looks like he may return to action at the end of the week, so you will have to sit him out until then.
Martin Havlat - RW - (MIN): Groin - DTD as of 10/15. Impact: It is unclear how long he will be out for.
John-Michael Liles - D - (COL): Shoulder - DTD as of 10/14. Impact: He looks to be out for at least 2 weeks.
Milan Lucic -LW - (BOS): Broken Finger - IR as of 10/17. Impact: Place him on your IR
Petr Sykora - RW - (MIN): Groin - IR as of 10/13. Impact: Sykora looks to be out for a while, if you have a spot, place him on your IR, otherwise look for other options.
Jose Theodore - G - (WAS): Back Spasms - DTD as of 10/15. Impact: Looks to be back this week.
Vesa Toskala - G - (TOR): Knee - IR as of 10/13. Impact: It is uncertain on long he will be out, place him on your IR.
Thomas Vanek - LW (BUF): Upper Body - DTD as of 10/14. Impact: Vanek could be back as early as Wednesday but may not be ready until the end of the week. You may want to to sit him out unless you have an extra spot in your lineup.
Good Luck with your match-ups this week and remember to watch your rookies. If you need to pick anyone up, keep these guys in mind.