Focusing on 3 Underrated forwards
by, 08-16-2012 at 11:40 (3273 Views)
These are guys I feel get less attention than they deserve, these guys are either grinders or defensive forwards that contribute a lot to a team that may need solid penalty killers.
Also let me say that these players may or may not be good contributors to a fantasy hockey team. If you have a deep team and want good plus/minus numbers these guys may be able to help you out.
Vladimir Sobotka, C, St. Louis BluesVladimir Sobotka, I am a big fan of Vladimir's he is 5'10" and he plays like he is a 6'6" bone crunching machine. Not only is "little big man" a good hitter he is also a good defensive forward and he could also net you a few points on the score sheet. He is a consistent player and one of those players that can contribute solid 3rd line minutes with a high tempo and a good output.
2012 Stats: 73GP, 5G, 15A, 20Pts, +12, 42 PIM
Colin Fraser, C, Los Angeles KingsColin Fraser before the Stanley Cup playoffs wasn't well known around the league among hockey fans, but I have always liked his rough tumble style. He is also a good defender, but unlike Sobotka don't expect him to put up many points on the score sheet, his career high for any regular season is 7 goals in 2009-2010 with the Blackhawks in which he also notched a career high in assists with 12 and points with 19. Fraser is not a player of which that will win you a fantasy league and I certainly won't recommend a pick up unless he is the best option out there. But I still respect his game.
2012 Stats: 67GP, 2G, 6A, 8pts, -2, 67PIM
Shawn Thornton, W, Boston BruinsShawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins is a really under-rated player in my mind. Everyone views Thornton as just a tough guy, but he can also produce a little offensively and his defense is decent (not good like Fraser or Sobotka). Thornton I feel could be a good guy to pick up if you are in a deep league and need a penalty minute guy but also want a few points. Thornton in 2011 had 10 goals and 10 assists before falling off in 2012. But he has shown flashes of good offensive skill which would make him a better candidate than guys like Zenon Konopka for the role of picking up penalty minutes.
2012 Stats: 81GP, 5G, 8A, 13Pts, -7, 154 PIM
There are several players that could have made this list. But these three really stick out to me. And remember this list pretty much just covers third or fourth line players. Not under-rated top line forwards. There are plenty of opinions on how under or over rated top line or second line players are. So I will leave that open for debate in another blog.