Not predicting, just giving out my thoughts and opinions on who could be a sleeper from each team. I feel as if this is called gambling with the sleepers, and it is in a way. I am not good in making preditions, especially in League Standings, but I must admit…I did well with he Free Agency Market. Anyway, this will be somewhat fun to see other people’s opinions.Anaheim: This team has a couple of sleepers, Sykora and Oates. Paul Kariya would be the first player to choose from this team, so Sykora would most likely be the sleeper in both goals and assists. Though his departure from New Jersey could affect him emotionally, Oates and Kariya should boost his abilities up. The safer pick is Oates, but the big gamble is Sykora.
Atlanta: Kozlov is the gamble. I think this player will form a special line with Kovalchuk and Heatley, especially on the power-play. McEarchen might be overshadowed, so don’t expect him to have a big season. My bets are on Kozlov.
Boston: Rolston could re-peat a 30 goal season. Thornton and Murray would be picked first, Rolston is the sleeper of this team if you are in a fantasy league with a live draft. He is also valuable because of his short-handed goals.
Buffalo: Afinogenov, this youngster has to start scoring. Once this kid scores goals, then Tim Connolly will add up his assists. I’m always waiting for Afinogenov to have a breakout season, and I hope it will be this one.
Calgary: It’s tough to pick the sleeper of this team, but Marc Savard could have a 60 point season if he gives the puck to Iginla and Iginla scores. It’s too big to gamble on Marc Savard though, but if he could be the sleeper of the Flames.
Carolina: Cole is a huge gamble, since it is his sophomore season, and the jinx is always hunting for the top young players. The sleeper here can be Cole, Vasicek, or the “we all forgot” David Tenabe. I’d like to pick Tenabe, the team improved, defense improved, and he is the offensive defenseman of the team.
Chicago: Kyle Calder could be the sleeper. With Amonte gone, and if the Blackhawks fail to sign a forward like Fleury, then Calder could step it up. He could be the sleeper, but don’t gamble on sleepers in Chicago.
Colorado: Definitely Vrbata, especially if Tanguay is traded (highy doubt it). Vrbata is talented and perfect for the Avs, he should be a 2nd liner. I say this guy will almost double his points if he plays with Sakic, Forsberg, Drury, or Hejduk…especially on the PP.
Columbus: No one is a threat here in Columbus. I won’t be happy if this team rushes Rick Nash to make the team, but if he does well…then he is the sleeper. Little scoring from this team.
Dallas: The sleeper has to be Morrow. Modano, Guerin, and Arnott will be the top point scorers, but the sleeper definitely remains Morrow. This kid never brokeout. His sophomore year he totaled 20 goals and 44 points. They are good numbers, but not break out season numbers. Morrow has yet to have a break out season, it could happen this upcoming season.
Detroit: I want to say Datsyuk is the sleeper, which could be, but somehow this player is on the same road as Afinogenov, so talented yet no numbers. I like Justin Williams a lot, he is a perfect player for the Wings. No gambling with the Red Wings, there are no real sleepers.
Edmonton: Mike York was a sleeper, so was Comrie…so the player left out is Jiri Dopita. I would never gamble on him, but there is that small lucky chance that Dopita could be the sleeper of this team. If the fantasy league you’re in has “waivers”, then keep an eye on him.
Florida: Huselius still remains the sleeper. He scored 45 points but a break out season is when a player scores a lot more points than he did the previous season. Huselius could end up topping 60 points the most since he is their current number one offensive gun with Valeri Bure.
Los Angeles: The only sleeper i can think of, the surprise player, is Eloranta. The Kings have the usual players who score points, and Smolinsky COULD have a decent season, but he might only make slight improvements. Eloranta is a good player, in my opinion, he just has to get the chance to work with the top guns. He could be LA’s sleeper, but still not worth picking up.
Minnesota: Dupuis is the sleeper. When I had the chance to watch him, he is a team player and another scorer for the Wild. He seems hungry to score points, so my bets are on him.
Montreal: I can’t pick the sleeper here, there are none. All these players won’t be the “where did this guy come from!” So, I think that their rookies, maybe Marcel Hossa, who make the team are the sleepers. This team isn’t done improving yet, they still need to trade Jeff Hackett
Nashville: Arkhipov has yet to bloom, and he could have a big improvement. He could reach his break out this upcoming season. He is a sleeper to pick.
New Jersey: I may be too exagerated, but I say Berglund will be the surprise player for the Devils. Friesen could be the popular sleeper, but the player to come out of nowhere is Berglund. Gionta will have a hard time getting by big size players. Though Berglund isn’t big either, he has toughness, probably strength for a guy his size, and is the kind of player who will give his best every game. He scored 9 points in 15 games last season, and that tells me he will have a well projected season, hopefully all 82 games, with 45 points.
New York Islanders: It could be Isbister, but when is this baby face ever going to turn out a true power forward? He has a good shot, he has the size, and strength…yet what is he doing?! He might wake up and be Yashin’s “special winger”. Isle’s need something…they made the playoffs last season because of a wonderful start, and that start gave these players the confidence and positive attitude that the Islanders are not the easy team to play against. They have players who called themselves true Islanders, winning Islanders.
New York Rangers: It all depends on who plays with Lindros and Bure. Barnaby scored those couple of goals (I remember people made fun of a Rangers fan after the deal when he said Barnaby could score a few points) with that line, and to me…any decent player could score points on that line. The name isn’t there, yet, but who knows…it could be Nedved if Sather doesn’t get enough value in return. The player to gamble with here is Bobby Holik. You roll the dice and you just hope they number turns out good. Holik is on a powerful offensive team, and just because he never scored 30 goals, it does not mean he will never score 30 goals. If he does score 30 g’s though, all those comments of “he gets paid that much even if he didn’t score 30 goals!” will be forgotten. I’ll take my chances, Holik might not score 30 g’s, but could total 60 points or so. Forget about Dvorak, two knee injuries that weaken his best skill will not make him score big.
Ottawa: Todd White had a solid season, and I think he will have a better season, improved with more scoring. He scored 50 points, which was very good, and he can score 50 points again…or more. He will be the player people forget about when looking at the Ottawa roster, so if he is available, keep a close eye on this player.
Philadelphia: I like Justin Williams, the Flyers currently have three right wingers. Tocchet (doubt he’ll be on the team), Williams, and Recchi. I am pretty sure that a player could shift as RW, so I’d like some info on that, but Williams could have a break out season, a 50 point season with 25 goals. But, I am eager to see what Hitch does to this team.
Phoenix: Too hard for me to pick any sleepers here, so I would avoid this team. They have the good players, but no real sleeper….maybe Nagy, but I would not look for any sleepers here.
Pittsburgh: The Penguins are lacking depth, especially at LW. Milan Kraft has to have a break out season…he is big, and has the skills. When is this guy ever going to score the biggies? I wouldn’t gamble on Kraft and the Penguins though, they are a risky team.
San Jose: I’ll have a bottle of Marleau. He didn’t have such a great season, but he had a great post-season. This guy is ready to put up the expected numbers in the NHL now, San Jose is a winning team and I have my bets on this youngster, who is still only 22 years old.
St. Louis: No sleeper.
Tampa Bay: I’d like to choose St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Fedotenko as the sleepers. Lecavalier isn’t a bust yet, and no he was never going to be traded, he won’t be traded now, and he never wanted to be traded. Lecavalier is ONLY 22 years old. He has yet to reach a break out season, he has skills, strength, size, and a good hockey mind. My bets are on this player, and he will score 65+ points in my mind. Fedotenko could also participate, as he and Lecavalier could build chemistry.
Toronto: No sleeper.
Vancouver: Jan Hlavac might have a 25 goal season. He is extremely talented and he just has to learn to not do too much and not be too fancy. I’d keep a close eye on Hlavac, he could start scoring for the Canucks.
Washington: Hmmm, let me guess. How about the player who will play on Jagr’s line? We won’t know yet, but maybe Zubrus is the real sleeper. At only age 24, Zubrus could start scoring.
So, these are my sleepers. I am not really predicting that these players will have great seasons, I am just sharing my thoughts and opinions on who could be the sleeper of each team, especially for fantasy leagues involving waivers. If you think there are other sleepers, go ahead and share. This could be quite useful if you joined wowhockey’s fantasy hockey.