Hockey season begins this week, and with it, many hockey pools.
But usually, the top picks all finish within a few points of each other (unless there are injuries). Pool are won in the later rounds, when you’re trying to figure out who could be that pick that breaks through with 60 points. A couple of those, and some luck with injuries, could win you your pool.
In no particular order, below are 10 sleeper picks to keep an eye on during your hockey pools:
Patrik Elias- While everyone was having a brutal season with the Devils last year, Elias had 62 points. His worst season since the lockout has been 45 points. Should be good for 50 points.
Kevin Bieksa- Three seasons ago, he had 43 points. Since then, he’s battled injuries. But with Christian Erhoff now off to Buffalo, he should see more powerplay time. That, combined with at least 75 games, should have him finishing with about 45 points.
Ryan Callahan- The new captain of the Rangers, he set career highs in goals and points last year, despite missing a quarter of the season to an injury. A full healthy year should see him get 55 points.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard- Had a good finish to the season last year. After missing a whole season a couple of years back, he should be ready to be the Pierre-Marc Bouchard of old, and finish with about 60 points.
Ryane Clowe- Maybe the quietest 60-plus point guy in the league last year. He has seen an increase the last few seasons, going from 52 points to 57 to 62. Should see that number continue to rise this season.
Marc Staal- It’s about time he break through (points wise). Forty points is attainable.
Gui Latendresse- Has been dynamite in his time in Minnesota, but he can’t stay healthy. He had 37 points in 55 games two years ago after being traded to the Wild, and six points in 11 games last year before being injured for the rest of the season. I expect him to finish with about 50 points, especially with the team trying to be more offensive.
Vaclav Prospal- Still a capable player, despite his age. Had 23 points in 29 games last year before missing the rest of the season due to injury. May be playing on a line with Rick Nash and Jeff Carter.
Marcus Johansson- The Capitals sophomore will see more ice time this season, and may see time with Semin on his wing. Could be a 50-point threat.
Evander Kane- It looks like the 2009 draft may turn out to have one of the best first rounds in quite a while. Kane was the fourth overall pick that year, and has seen his numbers increase each season he’s played. I’m expecting Kane to crack the 55-point barrier this year.