NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

Week 14 Rookie Report

The 2013 season is winding up, which means this year’s crop of freshmen have only a few games remaining in which to make their case for a Calder Trophy nomination.  There have been a few movers and shakers in these final weeks, and it starts right up at the top with our new number-one.  Here’s our updated Rookie Rankings for April 18th.

To download our latest Rookie Rankings Cheat Sheet, click here.

Now for a rundown of the biggest changes from our rookie rankings update.

1. Nail Yakupov (EDM) The biggest development is the late season push from Nail Yakupov.  While Huberdeau and Conacher have gone cold down the stretch, it’s just the opposite for the Oilers’ premier rookie.  Yakupov is currently riding a streak of ten points in his last ten games, and he’s suddenly just two points back of the rookie scoring lead.  With his current momentum, he could easily take over the top spot in the coming week and then be at the top of the leaderboard when the season abruptly comes to a halt on April 27th.  It makes for some interesting drama down the home stretch and, for now, Yakupov takes over our number-one ranking.

2. Brandon Saad (CHI) We’ve been highlighting Saad in various articles this year (Rookie Report, Pick ‘Em Up) and he just keeps producing.  He’s been a bit quieter over the past week, but all told the last month and a half has been something to behold: 20 points in 22 games.  To put his performance into perspective, over the same timespan Cory Conacher has 8 points and Huberdeau 14.  Saad’s stature has everything to do with the talent he’s surrounded by in Chicago, but he also deserves a lot of credit for being able to take advantage of it.  He’s our new number two and he should be one of the three finalists for the Calder.

3. Alex Chiasson (DAL) Chiasson has come out of nowhere in the past two weeks, bulging the twine constantly with six goals and seven points in the first seven games of his career.  Unfortunately he’s suffered a recent shoulder sprain and is currently out of the Stars lineup.  This is a player to remember for next year, as Chiasson will once again qualify as a rookie in 2013-2014.

4. Mika Zibanejad (OTT) Speaking of having a great showing over the past month and a half, Zibanejad has arrived.  He put up 9 points in March, another six so far in April, and has two scoring streaks of three games or better.  He won’t win the Calder, but he’s making a mark on the NHL.

5. Beau Bennett (PIT) With all the injuries in Pittsburgh, Bennett has been playing regularly and producing.  If he’d played the whole season he’d be amongst the top ten rookie scorers.  If the Pens get all their studs back, his status for the playoffs is questionable, but Bennett is making a case for himself to be kept around.

6. Mikael Granlund (MIN) Look who’s back and suddenly playing with some swagger.  Granlund was demoted to the AHL at the beginning of March, but the Wild recalled him and he has a couple points over the past week and a half.  FYI, Granlund has passed the 25-game threshold, and will not qualify for rookie status in 2013-2014.

7. Sven Baertschi (CGY) Trade away Jarome Iginla, recall Sven Baertschi, and watch the rookie put up four points over a three game span.  Unlike Granlund, Baertschi will finish the season under the 25-game cut off and will be a rookie next year.

8. Dougie Hamilton (BOS) Our last note has to do with the Bruins top rookie Dougie Hamilton.  Unfortunately he’s gone cold over the past month plus, posting just three points since March 7th.  He was even scratched for a span in early April, although he returned to the lineup April 17th and we suspect he’ll be part of the Bruins playoff roster.

There you have our Week 14 Rookie Report.  In our upcoming report, we’ll weigh in with our final rankings and present our pick for the Fantasy Hockey Rookie of the Year.

Looking ahead to your playoff pool draft, don’t forget about the freshman producers when drawing up your rankings.  There have been more than a few great rookies over the years (Roy, Gelinas, Marchand) who’ve come into their own byway of a Stanley Cup run.  The Fantasy Hockey Standard 2013 Playoff Pool Draft Guide has everything you need to know about the top rookie picks in this year’s postseason.  Click here to get your copy today.


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