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Northwest NHL stars fantasy prognostications

prog·nos·ti·cate

1. To predict according to present indications or signs; foretell.

After missing nearly four months of on ice action, the NHL owners and the NHLPA finally figured out how to fairly divide their annual financial intake.

Fans on the other hand were not only left to find something to replace their nightly on puck action, but almost as importantly, their fantasy fix.

As of Saturday, the absence comes to a halt as the league kicks off their compressed 48 game schedule and poolies scramble to fill out their fantasy drafts and rosters. Whether you fancy a simple “box” league, a seasonal draft or run a keeper league, the next seven days are going to be a flurry of action for fantasy hockey fans.

For well over a decade, a group of friends and myself have run our fantasy league, primarily dominated by one GM.

While we have decided to take this season off for numerous reasons relating to the lockout and abreviated schedule, chances are many of us will still check the newspapers, highlights, sportstalk radio etc for updates on our favorite teams and players.

Although only Shawn Horcoff and Brendan Morrison have been the only two BC natives in recent history (since 2000) to tally over 70 points, this “season” could be the breakout year for a number of the young local talent.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

(2011-12 stats = 62gms, 18g, 34a, 52pts) Nearly a point per game status in his rookie year RNH was on pace for a 70 point season before falling to a shoulder injury.

Nugent-Hopkins is a season or two from reaching elite status, but chances are he will reach point per game territory for the Edmonton Oilers. 2013 PREDICTION: 50pts

Jamie Benn

(2011-12 stats = 71gms, 26g, 37a, 63pts) In each of his three years in the league, Benn has increased his stats. While the Dallas Stars fell short of the playoffs last season, Benn is going to be a big key for the team this year.

With a number of new teammates, chemistry is going to be key for Benn to get off to a good start. 2013 PREDICTION: 42pts

Milan Lucic Stanley Cup Photo

The Vancouver product can quite easily play on either the Bruins first or second line

Milan Lucic

(2011-12 stats = 81gms, 26g, 35a, 61pts) Lucic is a do it all forward that has been a thorn in the side for 29 of the 30 teams in the NHL for five years.

Whether he is setting up teammates, finding the back of the net or laying out a bone crunching hit, the Vancouver product can quite easily play on either the Bruins first or second line. 2013 PREDICTION: 35pts

Evander Kane

(2011-12 stats = 74gms, 30g, 27a, 57pts) Other than Nugent-Hopkins, who was skating with the National Jr team, Kane was the only other player on this list who hooked up with another club during the lockout.

Kane has the ability to lead the Winnipeg Jets in scoring, as he was 16 points short in his rookie season and only 7 points short last year while playing six fewer games. 2013 PREDICTION: 35pts

Shae Weber

(2011-12 stats = 78gms, 19g, 30a, 49pts) The Sicamous native has been a rock on defense for the Nashville Predators over the last seven years and last summer was rewarded handsomely.

Once again Weber will be given all the minutes that he can handle. If the Preds ever decide to add a couple of players who can score more than 60pts a season, Weber could easily hit Ray Bourque type digits. 2013 PREDICTION: 30pts

Ryan Johansen

(2011-12 stats = 67gms, 9g, 12a, 21pts) He may only be a second year player, but with Rick Nash now in NYC, Johansen has the opportunity to move up to the top line for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A little bit of Lucic, a little bit of Nugent-Hopkins, Johansen is a dark horse pick for poolies to consider towards the end of their draft. 2013 PREDICTION: 30pts

While the numbers aren’t exactly Crosby/Malkin/Stamkos exciting, BC natives will certainly have something to be proud about when these hometown boys hit the ice.

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About Steve Lee

Steve is a 12 year writing vet, and writes for a number of sports sites, offering a unique and abstract look at the games we love. He still hopes the Grizz + Sonics return to the Northwest, and has been a Lakers fan since "Showtime".
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