Fantasy Hockey Scouts: Blogger's Breakouts - Northeast

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How are we going to keep bringing you the best fantasy coverage this summer but still continue our lazy, beer drinking ways?  Easy...ask some of our favourite bloggers to help us out. 

Over the next several weeks we'll be asking the experts from each NHL team who they think their teams two biggest fantasy breakout's will be for the upcoming season.  The only problem is these bloggers are much more talented than us, so hopefully they don't raise the bar too high.  Make sure you pay a visit to their sites (click the banners)...they are all FHS approved.

This week we'll be looking at the five teams in the Northeast Division...come back next week for the Central....

NORTHEAST  |  CENTRAL  |  ATLANTIC  |  NORTHWEST  |  SOUTHEAST  |  PACIFIC

SCOC-Bruins

Written by Stanley Cup of Chowder

Two players that could potentially have "breakout" years for the Bruins in 2009-10 are not unknown young prospects, but rather a couple of guys that are looking to return to form after returning from major injuries: Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm.
 
Patrice Bergeron
Bergeron Patrice Bergeron missed most of the 2007-08 season after suffering a
serious concussion early in the season in a game against the Flyers. Bergeron returned to the ice for the B's last season, but sustained a second concussion and was forced to miss 18 games.

Bergeron showed signs late in the season (13 points in last 18 games) that he could return to the form that he showed in 2005-06 and 2006-07 when he put up back-to-back 70+ point seasons. If Bergeron can stay healthy, he is more than capable of registering 20+ goals and 40+ helpers.

Interesting Fact: Patrice Bergeron lived with Martin LaPointe and his family when he first joined the Boston Bruins. Unlike that mooch Sidney Crosby, Bergy moved out.
 
Last Year: 64 games with 8+31=39
Fearless Forecast: 82 games with 22+44=66...an increase of 27 points
 
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Marco Sturm

Sturm Marco Sturm only appeared in 19 games last season due to a knee injury. Sturm had 7+6=13 in 19 games before undergoing surgery in January to repair his ACL and meniscus. He is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go for the start of the season.
 
With Phil Kessel's future in the Hub of Hockey still uncertain, the Bruins may need to rely on Sturm for more production. If the knee holds up, don't be surprised to see Marco Sturm net 25+ goals.

Interesting Facts: Sturm is the only player who was acquired in the Joe Thornton trade that is still in the Bruins organization.  Interestingly, Sturm was the last player to wear #19 for the Sharks before Joe Thornton. He is also rumored to be able to consume over 30 knackwursts in a single sitting....OK, that's a lie, but don't you think Joey Chestnut needs a new rival?
 
Statistics:
Last Year: 19 games with 7+6=13
Fearless Forecast: 82 games with 27+28=55...an increase of 42 points
 


DBTB-Sabres

 

Written by Die by the Blade

 

Drew Stafford
StaffordDrew Stafford made an immediate impact on the Sabres roster when he received an opportunity to play for the Sabres as a rookie in 2006.  In his rookie season he scored 13 goals and had 27 points in only 41 games. 

 

In 2008-09 he started to show his true talent by scoring 20 goals for the first time in his career.  He is expeced to receive a hefty raise this year after playing out his entry-level contract.  Stafford is known for being an offensive player but at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds he adds a physical presence as well.

 

Stafford had an opportunity to play last season with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek.  This will be his second consecutive season playing on the top two lines.

Interesting Fact:  In addition to being a great hockey player, Stafford has a side gig playing with the band Invisible Children.  While in college he played in band called Red Seal Punch along with goalie Jordan Parise.

Statistics:
Last Year:  79 games with 20+25=45
Fearless Forecast:  82 games with 27+35= 62...an increase of 17 points

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Clarke MacArthur

CmacarthurMacArthur was drafted by the Sabres in the third round of the 2003 entry draft.  He put up good numbers in the AHL from 2004-2008 and finally had an opportunity to crack the Sabres lineup last season.  In his first full season with the Sabres he scored 17 goals and had 31 points.  MacArthur is not a great skater but he has great hands and is a pure goal scorer.  He bounced around the Sabres lineup last season but will have an opportunity to play permanately on one of the top two lines this season.

Interesting Fact:  MacArthur is one of only three players from the 2003 draft to remain with the Buffalo Sabres.  Thomas Vanek and Nathan Paetsch are the other two players.  The Sabres also drafted Jan Hejda in the in the 4th round that season but later traded him away.

 

Statistics:

Last Year: 71 games 17+14=31
Fearless Forecast: 80 games, 24+28=52...an increase of 21 points

 

 

 

Habit Habs

 

Written by The Daily Hab-it

 

Andrei Kostitsyn

A_kostitsyn_400 The Montreal Canadiens have been waiting six years for the 10th overall pick from the mythic 2003 entry draft to find his wings, and this could be the year he does it. Kostitsyn has the burden of constantly being compared to players drafted after him like Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards and Corey Perry, which isn’t entirely fair because none of those players had to adjust to a new language, a new culture or a new style of hockey. 

Kostitsyn appeared to have his breakout in 2007-08 when he finished with 26 goals and 27 assists in his first full NHL season, closing with 20 goals in his final 46 games. Last year he took a step backward – along with all his teammates – and was embroiled in a controversial link to an alleged member of the Montreal mafia.

Kostitsyn skating at full stride is like a blur on the ice and his shot is one of the heaviest in the NHL.  With skills like this, it is only a matter of time before Kostitsyn finds his way into the NHL elite.  Now given a chance to step out from the large shadow cast by Alex Kovalev, it could Kostitsyn's turn to shine.

Interesting Fact: Kostitsyn was only 16 years old in 2002 when he suited up for his native Belarus in boIth the world under-18 and under-20 championships. Kostitsyn finished 15th in scoring at the under-18 championships with 10 points in six games, and he managed three goals in six games at the world juniors

Statistics:

Last year: 74 games: 23+18=41

Fearless Forecast: 82 games, 34+30=64 points...an increase of 23 points

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Guillaume LatendresseLatendresse
The hulking winger with the soft hands has failed to live up to expectations through three seasons of playing for his hometown team, but that may be largely because those expectations have always been too high.

Latendresse will likely never be a 40-goal scorer, and he is not the fastest skater on earth, but he has two qualities that still make him a very valuable NHL player: he is extremely strong along the boards and he can get his hands on pucks in tight and put them in the net.

He was having a nice season last year until a shoulder injury changed all that. But Latendresse is only 22 years old and at 230 pounds fits the mold of the type of power forward the Canadiens desperately need with all the small, speedy forwards brought in this offseason.

 

With added responsibilities and the continued chemistry developing between him and fellow local Maxim Lapierre at centre, this might be the year Latendresse shows what he’s truly capable of.

 

Interesting Fact: Latendresse was the second player chosen in the 2003 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft...right behind some kid from the Martiimes named Crosby.

 

Statistics:

Last year: 56 games: 14+12=26

Fearless Forecast: 76 games, 26+22=48, an increase of 22 points

 

 

Chirp-Sens

 

Written by SensChirp

 

Nick Foligno
Fantasy_g_foligno1_300 Son of the leaping Mike Foligno, is beginning to make a name for himself at the NHL level.  The 28th overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Foligno is coming off a season in which he tallied 17 goals and was at times among the Senators best forwards. Foligno figures to get some top 6 minutes this coming campaign and should be given every opportunity to best his totals from last season.

Interesting Fact: When Nick scored his first career goal against the Montreal Canadiens on October 18, 2007 he honoured his Dad Mike by leaping into the air with awkward resultsto say the least. Nick has assured us it was a one time thing. Here’s hoping he can churn the butter at some point this season.

Statistics:
Last year: 81 games: 17+15=32
Fearless Forecast: 78 games, 25+22=47, an increase of 15 points

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Alex Kovalev
Kovalev As you can probably guess, I haven’t put a whole lot of thought into this one. Kovalev just signed a 2 year/$10 million with the Senators and could be poised to have a huge season in the Nation’s Capital.  Its pretty likely Kovalev will be paired with Centre Jason Spezza and the two should put up big numbers together.  Kovalev will be lethal on the PP and gives the Senators some much needed seocndary scoring.

Interesting Fact: If you haven’t seen it before, this Kovalev video kicking around YouTube is amazing. The guy can pick corners from the other end of the ice and place the puck on the back of the net from the other end of the rink. Definitely worth a watch…(FHS Note: Is it just us or does SensChirp sound a little giddy to have a player that actually wants to be part of the team?)

Statistics:
Last year: 78 games: 26+39=65
Fearless Forecast: 79 games, 40+45=85, an increase of 20 points

 

DGB Leafs

 

Written by Down Goes Brown

 

Jiri Tlusty
Tlusy Tlusty is a former first-round pick who entered last year as an important piece of the Leafs rebuilding puzzle. But after a 10-goal rookie season in 2007-08, he struggled at the NHL level and played only 14 games before being sent down.

 

He caught fire in the AHL, winning Player of the Month honors during a February that included a five-goal game.  In an interesting move, the Leafs chose not to recall Tlusty and let him finish the season in the AHL. While that may indicate that Burke and Wilson don’t think highly of him, it could also mean that the Leafs still project him as a front-line player and wanted him to play first-line minutes down the stretch. It remains to be seen whether Tlusty can crack the Leafs forward ranks next year, but he won’t exactly be facing all-world competition for playing time. As per the Brian Burke model, if Tlusty makes the team expect him to play on the top two lines.

Interesting Fact: Tlusty has currently gone a career-best 20 months without posting nude pictures of himself on the internet (FHS Note: We had to do a google image search for "tlusty" to find the above picture...once it's seen, it can't be unseen!)

Statistics:
Last Year: 57 games 0+14=14 
Fearless Forecast: 80 games, 18+36=54... an increase of 40 points

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Ian White
Ian White White had about the worst start possible to his 2009-09 season, as he couldn’t crack the Leafs lineup in the early weeks. When he did finally emerge from Ron Wilson’s doghouse, he played out of position at forward. However, White never sulked or complained and eventually earned a regular spot in the Leafs top two pairings.

White is a high-risk, high-reward pick heading into 2009-10. With a packed Leafs blueline, he’s not assured of a regular shift. On the other hand, if the Leafs do end up trading Tomas Kaberle then White may be the best puck-mover they have left (FHS Note: DGB wrote this before the addition of Francois Beauchemin). He also figures to see some shifts at forward, which depending on your league setup could allow you to get a forward’s production from a defensive roster spot on some nights.

Interesting Fact: White dropped the gloves with Markus Naslund last year, Naslund’s first fight in over 15 years. White also fought future Leafs free agent signing Ilya Kovalchuk.

Statistics:
Last Year: 71 games, 10+16=26
Fearless Forecast: 80 games, 13+30=43...an increase of 17 points

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