Talkers


Underrated players to target
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With 30-something games remaining for all NHL teams, fantasy owners should be augmenting their rosters for the stretch run.

That means identifying which areas you have covered and where you need help, and it probably means making a trade or two.

Instead of targeting stars, looking to acquire assets who are underappreciated for their contributions could be a more cost-effective move.

The following six players can likely be had for less than they're worth.

Kevin Shattenkirk, D, St. Louis Blues - That Shattenkirk is St. Louis' third defenseman after Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester is indicative of the talent the Blues have on the blue line. But the 24-year-old Shattenkirk is actually St. Louis' best fantasy defenseman due in large part to his stellar work on the power play. He ranks second in the NHL with 19 power-play points (PPP) and has seven goals, 27 assists, 16 penalty minutes (PIM), a +10 and 109 shots on goal (SOG).

Kyle Turris, C, Ottawa Senators - Ottawa's second line of Turris, Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur has been one of the most productive trios in the NHL this season, accounting for 22 goals (eighth in the NHL) when playing together. Turris and Ryan are tied for first on the Senators among forwards with 38 points apiece, and MacArthur is one behind with 37. Turris, the 2007 third overall pick, produced a point total in the 20s in each of the previous four seasons but already has set career highs with 15 goals, 23 assists and 141 SOG. He has spent 21 minutes in the penalty box, accumulated 10 points on the power play and produced a +18 differential.

Brandon Dubinsky, C/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets - The 27-year-old Dubinsky is an agitator who has piled up 611 penalty minutes in 465 career games, but he also has some offensive talent and is having his best season in that regard. Dubinsky has scored 10 goals and added 22 helpers, 78 PIM, 109 SOG and a +7 in 43 games this season.

Nick Bonino, C, Anaheim Ducks - The center of Anaheim's second line has been on a torrid pace with 13 points (six goals) in his past 11 games and already has exceeded his previous career high by 20 points with 38 on the season. Getting to play with star forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf on the top power-play unit has been a great boon to his fantasy value, as it has led to Bonino picking up 18 points with the man advantage. That number is tied for 11th in the NHL.

Martin Hanzal, C, Phoenix Coyotes - Including this season, Hanzal has five 30- point campaigns on his resume but never has gone over 35. However, he should easily climb into the 40s and 50s this season for the first time, as he already has 34 points (14 goals) in 45 games. The center has an even plus/minus but has contributed 10 PPP, 59 PIM and 122 SOG.

Marek Zidlicky, D, New Jersey Devils - Zidlicky had five seasons with at least 42 points from 2004 to 2010 while playing with Nashville and Minnesota, but his first two seasons with the Devils yielded just 27 points in 70 games. He's returned to form in 2013-14 with eight goals, his most since 2008-09, 19 assists, 46 PIM, 78 SOG and 11 PPP. The 36-year-old has generated 12 points in his last 15 games.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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