Anaheim Ducks right winger Bobby Ryan is finally playing in the bigs for good, and he’s making it count. Through 20 games he’s accumulated 18 points and, at this rate, should finish the season in the 55-60 point range, which may even be good enough for the Calder. The loss of Teemu Selanne, who’s out 4-6 weeks with a sliced thigh, could mean huge gains for Ryan who will likely get time with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry either on the top line or on the powerplay. Ryan’s still available in most pools, as poolies are forgetting about him because he started the season in the AHL, and the Ducks hadn’t cleared enough cap room to fit him into their opening day roster. Drafted 2nd overall in 2005, he’s a super talent, with huge upside and will surely be owned in all pools by season’s end; just make sure he’s with you and not against you.
Another emerging talent who is drawing rookie of the year attention is Boston Bruins’ right winger Blake Wheeler. Now, I feel like every second blog post I’m discussing a new Bruins’ player. Am I a fan of the yellow and black? Absolutely not, but any team averaging 3.7 goals a game, which is tops in the league, is going to be sure to have a lot of fantasy gems. I’ve watched Wheeler play, and sometimes he looks downright awkward propelling his lanky 6’5″ frame around the ice, but his truly gifted hands and puck sense more than make up for his unorthodox skating style. He has 13 goals through 37 games to go along with 10 assists. His jaw-dropping plus minus of +22 is currently 3rd in the NHL.
On the John Tavares watch, the kid has already set the World Junior Championship record for goals, surpassing Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter last night against team USA with a hat trick. If Wayne Gretzky’s office was behind the net, then Tavares’ office is most definitely at the right side of the crease. The goal he scored in the exhibition match against the Slovaks shows that he is truly blessed with some unbelievable motor skills.