It's never too early to start preparing for your hockey pool draft, so let's do it.
I rarely if ever will pick a rookie in a draft mainly due to the high unpredictability factor. A draft is usally won by getting good return on lower selections in the draft. The main reason I finished one point out of first in last year's draft was the fact I got Steve Stamkos in one of the later rounds.
So, which of last year's rookies are primed to have a breakout year in 2010/11. One way of trying to figure it out is to look at which rookies finished strongest last year. Below are the rookie Points per game leaders after the Olympic break last season.
What can we surmise from this list? The name Tyler was an extremely popular baby name twenty odd years ago, yes.
There are a lot of up and coming point producing defenseman on the horizon. From the familiar names Del Zotto and Myers to lesser knowns like Erik Karlsson and Jamie McBain, we may be entering a golden age of offensive d-men.
John Tavares really picked it up after the break. He had a nice start to the season with 21 points in 27 games but really tailed off into the Olympics with a stretch of 35 games in which he notched a mere 13 points. Does his point per game after the break mean he has turned the corner for good?
Buffalo's Tyler Ennis and Carolina's McBain may be sleepers for the upcoming season although the sample size is pretty small.
Toronto's Tyler Bozak will be leaned on for production this season, and he may be up to the challenge.
Of course we can't forget about Flyer Ville Leino who had a very mediocre regular season only to blossom in the playoffs. His 21 points in 19 games show that he should be far more productive than he showed with 11 points in 55 games.