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Ten Sleepers To Target On Draft Day

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As fantasy hockey drafts begin, so does the fun of trying to figure out which players you can grab late that can make a difference on your team.

We all know about the Crosby’s and the Stamkos’ of the hockey world. Those players certainly help, but grabbing a few guys late that produce big numbers are what makes the difference between a good team, and a championship fantasy team.

So, with a little help from DSE fantasy hockey contributor Donny Fox (@NHLHITS), I’ve compiled a list of 10 players – five forwards, three defensemen, and two goalies – that you might be able to grab late, but have a chance at having them put up numbers better than their Average Draft Position suggests.

Sven Baertschi: Forward – Calgary Flames

File Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

File Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! 177 – ESPN 192
The 20 year old Baertschi will be counted on to provide some scoring for the Flames. If he can stay on one of the top two lines for most of the season, he could put up solid fantasy stats. If your league uses plus/minus as a category and you can take the hit, Baertschi is a good, late target.

Ryan Strome: Forward – NY Islanders

File Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

File Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! NR – ESPN 230 (NR)
The Islanders need scoring, and there’s no reason to think they won’t give Strome every chance to provide that for them. His 62 points in 32 games in the OHL during the lockout show that he is certainly capable of being a late round steal.

Cam Atkinson: Forward – Columbus Blue Jackets

File Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

File Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! NR – ESPN 189
Had seven goals and 14 points in 27 games with the Blue Jackets last season, including five goals in the last two games. With Rick Nash gone, he should take on a top-six role for Columbus and should be able to remain there for the whole season. Scored 17 goals and 38 points in 33 games in the AHL during the lockout.

Jiri Tlusty: Forward – Carolina Hurricanes

File Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

File Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! NR – ESPN 230 (NR)
Broke through in the second half last season when he was put on the top line. He will likely remain there, at least to start the season, and playing on a line with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin will only create more opportunities. Given his ADP, he could be a real steal as a late round pick. Had 23 points in 24 games in the Czech League during the lockout.

Roman Josi: Defenseman – Nashville Predators

File Photo:  Breedon/Getty Images

File Photo: Breedon/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! NR – ESPN 230 (NR)
With Ryan Suter gone, Josi is expected to be one of the Predators d-men that take on a bigger role. This includes the power play, where he could rack up some numbers with his big shot. He scored 16 points (5g – 11a) in 52 games with the Preds last season. Josi played in Switzerland during the lockout and scored 17 points in 26 games.

Justin Schultz: Defenseman – Edmonton Oilers

File Photo: Steve Bosch , PNG

File Photo: Steve Bosch , PNG

ADP: Yahoo! 135 – ESPN 135
Schultz seems to appear on everyone’s sleeper list, but he is still going pretty late in drafts. While his ADP is probably where he should be slotted, his 18 goals and 48 points in 34 games played in the AHL show he has huge scoring potential, and the Oilers will certainly give him plenty of ice time. Don’t be afraid to grab him as one of your top three D-men.

Slava Voynov: Defenseman – Los Angeles Kings

File Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

File Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! 155 – ESPN 195
Had a decent rookie season with 20 points in 52 games, but he took on a bigger offensive role when Jack Johnson was traded away. Look for a slight uptick in production – 24 points or so – in the shortened season. He scored seven goals and 16 points in 35 AHL games.

Anders Lindback: Goalie – Tampa Bay Lightning

File Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images

File Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! 174 – ESPN 190
Played in 38 games the last two seasons in Nashville as Pekka Rinne’s backup, posting a 16-13-2 record, 2.53 GAA and a .914 save percentage. Still only 24 years old and now has a starting job in Tampa. Could be a solid #2 fantasy goalie that can be had late.

Devan Dubnyk: Goalie – Edmonton Oilers

File Photo:  Rich Lam/Getty Images

File Photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images

ADP: Yahoo! 96 – ESPN 141
Another Edmonton player that seems to be on most fantasy sleeper lists, and for good reason. Dubnyk managed to put up 20 wins in 47 games last season, and the Oilers should be a better team this year. His save percentage and GAA might be slightly higher than the top-tier goalies, but he has a real chance at being a top 15 goalie this season. A solid #2.

Carlos Figueiredo
NHL Rankings & Content Editor
Dynasty Sports Empire
@SpeakoftheDevs

About The Author:   Carlos is the NHL Rankings and Content Editor for Dynasty Sports Empire. He has been a hockey fan for as long as he can remember, and has been writing about hockey for over five years. He is the owner / writer / editor for SpeakingoftheDevils.com and has also contributed work for various other hockey websites. He has been playing fantasy sports since the days when you had to pull stats from USA Today the morning after games were played.

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