Finishing in the season near the top of your league can be gratifying, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably in it to win. And in order to win, you sometimes have to roll the dice on a gamble or two and hope you cash in. You certainly don’t want to load up too much on these guys, as the chances of them all panning out is small. Here are a handful of guys that could either make or break your season, depending on which way the coin lands. OffenseTim Connolly BUFOnce again, Connolly was limited in play due to injury. It wasn’t as bad this time around, as he “only” missed 9 games with a foot injury. He managed to put up 65 points in 73 games, both career highs. No one denies his talent, but you can’t ignore the history here. Worth a late round look ufabet.
With Gagne, the hope never dies that you’ll land one of the top goal scorers in the game late in the draft. Injuries seem to follow this guy at every turn. Hopefully he can escape those monsters with his move to Tampa. With either Lecavalier or Stamkos dishing him the puck, he’ll score at his customary rate (which is quite often). The question, as always, is durability. Worth the risk as your 5th or 6th forward option.
After peaking at 100 points a few years back, Hossa has been regularly ranked near the top of fantasy forwards; however, a couple of injury shortened seasons with unexciting totals, his value has gone down a notch. While he contributes a lot to the Hawks with his defensive game, the offensive side has been steadily sliding, as witnessed in his dismal playoff numbers last spring. The potential is still there for getting back to the 80 point territory, but drafting Hossa too early is a risky move these days. Until he gets under contract, consider him a gamble. There’s always a chance he’ll play in the KHL, and you don’t want to waste your first or second pick on a non-player.
To this point, Nash has been a one man show in Columbus. He’s never had a top notch center to dish him the puck. Some of the young forwards are starting to emerge, so help may be on the way; however, in 2010, he’ll be pulling the load once more. While he has the talent to score 40 goals a season, he has yet to play a full 82-game slate in his 7-year career. He missed 6 games last season, and is a bit injury prone. If all the stars line up, he may yet be a 50 goal scorer some day. The safe bet says he hits 35 this year.
It’s probably best to write off last season when evaluating Savard’s draft value. He was plagued by various injuries and was healthy for very few of the 41 games he did play. Looking back, he has been an assist glutton for half a decade and should return to that role next season. On the other hand, concussions don’t just go away, so there’s a chance his games played won’t climb into the 70’s. Potential for a big time steal, or disappointing bust.