HEADS UP... we updated our 2010/11 Fantasy Scouting Report on Sept 21st (and we totally blew it this weekend and didn't get an update out but one is coming today), so its some of the freshest fantasy hockey draft advice, projections & cheatsheets that you can find.
Leading into the season Drew Stafford has been talking about stepping up this year and shooting more... well he backed that up in the pre-season. He had 1+3=4, a plus-3 and 10 shots last night in the Sabres final pre-season game and finished with 2+7=9 & 27 shots in five exhibition games. With play like this, Stafford should be back in the top 6 forwards this year and Buffalo typically has a strong offensive team so he could be looking at a bounce back year.
Mike Comrie seems to be fitting in the Penguins... we had hoped that he would settled into a spot on the top line with Sid but we'll take the consolation prize of playing wingman to Evgeni Malkin. Comrie potted two goals last night and led the team in pre-season goals (4) and shots (19) in four games. We think Comrie's a nice late round under-the-radar pick as we're projecting him for 24+28=52 points.
The Caps Michal Neuvirth finished up a strong pre-season stopping all 13 shots he faced versus Nashville. His numbers in the friendlies were 2-0-0, 2.01 & .920 in four appearances. With Semyon Varlamov still dealing with a mystery injury, it looks as though Neuvirth will be starting the year as the #1 in DC... smoke 'em if you got 'em, peoples!
Since he's in a fight for the Flyers backup goalie job, Johan Backlund probably would have preferred a better pre-season debut last night than getting torched for seven goals on 20 shots in only 30 minutes of action. We're gonna guess he'll be starting the year in the AHL to sort whatever you call that out. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 13 of 15 last night and finished the pre-season with a 1.76 gaa & .939 sv% in five appearances... he looks to be the #2 heading into the season.
Kyle Wellwood is on his way to the KHL to join Atlant after getting cut by the Coyotes... we thought he'd be teaming up with Chris Bourque over there but Bourque's been dispatched to the Swiss league after only one point in eight games with Atlant.
Notable cuts from yesterday:
- The Islanders brought in Manny Legace for a try-out just a week ago but apparently somebody didn't like what they saw as he was let go.
- The Canucks did the same with Brendan Morrison as he was released but the word is that there are a number of team's interested so he should land somewhere. Vancouver also sent Sergei Shirokov down to the AHL and we're not sure how keen he'll be on another year in Manitoba.
- Uber-prospect Jacob Markstrom was sent to the AHL by Florida... he'll likely be back up if Vokoun gets injured or traded.
- The Rangers cut two dmen who were said to be having strong camps, Ryan McDonagh & Pavel Valentenko... but neither looks like great fantasy options anyway.
- Colorado made their final cuts and Colby Cohen & Ryan Stoa were among the final casualties... neither had any points in the pre-season although Cohen must have impressed to stick around this long. We'll be watching how Cohen & Shattenkirk perform in the AHL very closely.
- The Islanders sent Travis Hamonic to the AHL and returned Calvin de Haan to junior... no real surprise but we thought Streit's injured might open up a spot for one of them to stick for a little while.