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  • Fantasy Hockey Super Sleepers: Long Term Investments

    Yesterday I released the first installment of Fantasy Super Sleepers featuring players who are ready to contribute. If you missed it, you can read it HERE.
    Today I will look at ten players who will not be contributing to your team this year, but if you have a deep prospect roster, these guys are worth stashing away. In a year or two you can sit back and smile as they reward your investment in them with a significant increase in their value. Maybe even be ready to contribute delivering points.

    1. Max Friberg: Left Wing, Anaheim Ducks, 20 years old
    Friberg is a high energy player with enough offensive upside to play in the top six, a Swedish Brad Marchand. Friberg loves to hit, muck it up along the boards, has great speed and can pass and score.

    2. Rasmus Rissanen: Defence, Carolina Hurricanes, 22 years old
    The big Fin has played four seasons in North America, two seasons in the WHL and two in the AHL. In 265 games in those four years he has piled up 333 PIMs. Unfortunately he has only 42 points in those four seasons as well so his fantasy value is limited to leagues with PIMs, hits, and blocked shots categories.

    3. Andrew Aggozino: Centre, Colorado Avalanche, 22 years old
    A point a game player in the OHL, Aggozino went undrafted, perhaps because his size, at 5’9”, 185LBS he is small. He signed an AHL contract in 2012 with Lake Erie and scored 52 points in 76 games to lead the team in scoring. As a result, he has signed a contract with Colorado but still needs to prove he can produce consistently and survive physically. A late bloomer who is still getting better, who knows how good he will be?

    4. Andreas Athanasiou: Left Wing, Detroit Red Wings, 19 years
    You may not notice Athanasiou on any of the Red Wings prospect depth charts, but if you watch a Barrie Colts game, he is a stand out. He has blazing speed and dazzling stick work. What’s more impressive is his rare ability to combine the two. The wings drafted him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft and his best year in the OHL was last year scoring 67 points in 66 games. His PPG totals have been steadily rising from 0.39 to 0.59, to 1.02 last year and I expect it will rise again this year. The problem with Athanasiou is he is a Red Wing prospect and they are stacked. The Wings are also notorious for not rushing young players, and making them pay their dues in the AHL for several years. He is a long, long way away, but his upside is huge.

    5. Tyler Graovac: Centre, Minnesota Wild, 20 years old
    Graovac had a breakout fourth season in the OHL scoring 73 points in 63 games splitting time with the Ottawa 67’s and finishing the season with Belleville. Now he will try to continue his success in the AHL. He has good size and skill and may be a keeper.

    6. Reid Boucher: Left/Right Wing, New Jersey Devils, 20 years old
    Boucher is another small scoring forward at 5’10” 192LBS who will need time in the AHL to refine his pro game. Boucher scored a whopping 62 goals for the Sarnia Sting in his final OHL season, and scored five points in 11 AHL games. His 62 goals were best in the entire CHL and makes him must have fantasy long term investment.

    7. Buddy Robinson: Right Wing, Ottawa Senators, 22 years old
    Ottawa signed the undrafted College power forward to a three year deal and he has been impressive in training camp. He has two preseason goals in as many games and stands at an imposing 6’5” 236LBS. At 22 years old he may be ready sooner than later but expect at least on season under Luke Richardson in the AHL. Has potential to be an imposing power forward in the NHL.

    8. Eric Hartzell: Goal, Pittsburgh Penguins, 24 years old
    Another undrafted College star, Hartzell was a finalist for the Hobey Baker award, and helped his team reach the frozen four. He will need a year with Wilkes-Barrie to adjust to the pro game, and has some competition in Tristan Jarry, but the big 6’4” goalie has starting potential. He is worth an investment.

    9. Andre Burakovsky: Left/Right Wing, Washington Capitals, 18
    He had a poor draft year for political reasons, but he is highly skilled and has good size. Perhaps he slid down the NHL draft as a result of playing so little in his draft year, but he has considerable fantasy upside and is worth tucking away on your prospect roster.

    10. J.C. Lipon: Right Wing, Winnipeg Jets, 20 years old
    A late bloomer who was undrafted in two previous drafts, Lipon was finally selected in 2013 by the Jets with the 91st pick. His breakout fourth WHL season had him produce an impressive stat line of 36 goals, 53 assists for 89 points in 61 games. He also posted 115 PIMs and was a plus-34. Lipon earned himself a role on Canada’s World JR roster as well. He has size, skill and already plays a physical game so his pro transition may be quick as he is already 20. Expect one year in the AHL before he contends seriously for a NHL job.
    The next list of ten super sleepers will focus on roto league or multi cat league sleepers.
    Follow me on Twitter: @pharling
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