CBCís Hockey Night in Canada and the NHLPA conducted a poll of NHL players about coaches, players, arenas, teams and the game itself. You are probably wondering how this poll affects your hockey pool. Well if the players think a certain team or player is underrated or overrated then you can bet that your fellow poolies likely agree. Players on an underrated team or underrated players can be acquired for less than their actual value, while players on an overrated team can see their cost be higher than their actual value.
The players voted that the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks were the most overrated teams. All you have to do is make a trade for a player from either teams and you will end up over paying. Even with their current struggles Capital players wonít come cheap as the potential is there for them to get on a huge offensive streak and score a ton of goals. The Canucks are showing they are the most dominating team in the NHL right now. My advice is if you arenít in a position to win your pool this year start fielding offers for your Capitals and Canucks. If youíre in a keeper league donít be trading away the superstars but certainly try to get a higher value for the secondary offensive players.
Nashville Predators were voted the most underrated team, which is really no surprise. The Predators core is changing with players like Martin Erat, Steve Sullivan and JP Dumont no longer the teamís top offensive players. Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn and Colin Wilson are the teams top forwards but the teamís top scorer is Shea Weber. Weber is on pace for his third straight 12+ goals and 40+ points season. Most poolies know about Weber but his value would be a lot higher on a more prolific team.
Hornqvist is only 24 and has the ability to be a consistent 30+ goal scorer in the NHL. Hornqvist is not afraid to shoot the puck either which is what you want in a sniper. Wilson is 21 years old and should score 20 goals this season and 40+ points. Wilson is a solid playmaker with a scoring touch and will develop into a 75-80 point scorer, who goals and assists total will be fairly similar. I use fantrax for all of my hockey pools and currently Hornqvist is owned in 53% of the pools, Wilson is only in 22% of the pools so if you are looking for some immediate forward/wing help look at trading or signing either of these players.
Kostitsyn is a little more of a sleeper or dark horse player. Kostitsyn has a ton of offensive skill but brings a fair amount of baggage with a poor attitude. He seems to have found his way in Nashville as it looks like he will play his first full season in the NHL. Kostitsyn has already scored career high 12 goals and 28 points. Kostitsyn is a streaky player so keep an eye on him if he scores points in back-to-back games he could be entering one of his streaks and could be a decent gamble for an upcoming scoring period. Kostitsyn is not a protectable player in keeper leagues but if you have a farm system you could sit on him for a couple seasons.
The NHLPA voted Loui Eriksson as the most underrated player currently in the NHL. Eriksson was only drafted into 74% of the pools on fantrax. Eriksson is on pace for his third straight season of scoring 28 or more goals and has increased his point production every season he has been in the NHL. I bet you didnít know he was currently ranked as the tenth highest scorer in the NHL as of February fourth. Eriksson is only 25 and just starting entering his prime, so now is the time to acquire him. Most poolies still donít see him as a top winger yet so you should be able to trade for him at a value lower than what a point a game winger would cost. Eriksson will be a consistent 90 point player who can score 35-40 goals a season.