Fantasy Mailbag: Dylan Larkin or Leon Draisaitl?

Wings GM Ken Holland discusses the emergence of rookie Dylan Larkin, who's the real deal on both ends of the ice and was an easy choice to make the team this season.

Another Friday is here and the questions are piling up. So many stars are still trying to find their way and impatient poolies are in full panic mode. The following is a selection of questions that you tweeted @Sportsnet after we put the call out. Follow me on Twitter @DobberHockey for more fantasy hockey insight.

About 14 hours after this was tweeted, Johnson put up a pair of points in the game against Calgary. That had to make you feel a little better, Ashish. I think the Lightning will figure it out soon and Johnson will still get 65 points. Yes, that’s about 10 points down from my pre-season thinking, but still bodes well for his numbers going forward. Right now, the entire team is snakebitten.

Because you’re a nice guy?

Kyle Palmieri is your guy. He’s holding a hot stick, but he’s also going to lead the Devils in points-per-game average. And there’s the catch – he’s injury prone. So I would take him, and worry about replacing him when he goes on IR. Jason Zucker is also hot right now (and also injury prone), but not as likely to produce at the clip Palmieri is.

This one isn’t close. Derick Brassard for sure. He’s proven, has higher upside, is on a better line and is producing more right now. Clean sweep of all categories. Oscar Lindberg is not the offensive dynamo he’s shown so far – playing a bit over his head.

This would depend on what you mean by “legit.” Yes, in a keeper league, Leon Draisaitl is a legit future star. In a one-year league I’m not so sure he can sustain his pace. Certainly not the current torrid pace, but even a moderate pace is going to be tough. What you’re seeing from Larkin is what you’ll see from Draisaitl – a big splash to kick things off, but then a cooling off period. Larkin has just four points in his past 10 games. In a keeper I would probably prefer Larkin, but it’s extremely close.

I have a feeling he will be. If Pavel Datsyuk plays 62 games this year I can see 57 or 58 points. Dangerously close to that point-per-game mark. There will be some line juggling and Datsyuk could certainly slide onto the line with Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist (replacing Riley Sheahan). Or Henrik Zetterberg will slip onto that line and Datsyuk starts off on the wing with Larkin. Datsyuk’s arrival should benefit Nyquist and Tatar either directly or indirectly.

I ask myself this same question every day as I watch my goalies struggle with injury or consistency. I could ring off several goalies who look like really bad ideas right now and could either continue being horrible options or they’ll get the chance we hope for. Lots of luck involved and what would help their fortunes the most is an injury to the other goalie on their team.

Cam Talbot – Needs his team to learn to win and needs Anders Nilsson to start losing. The latter actually happened Thursday against Arizona.

Alex Stalock – Needs Martin Jones to continue slumping.

Linus Ullmark – Needs Robin Lehner to stay injured for as long as possible.

Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus figured out how to win, Bobrovsky’s already turning his numbers around. Perhaps he could still be had for cheap.

Another long shot is Reto Berra, who is having twice the year that Semyon Varlamov is having.

Move on to someone else. Nothing to see here. Fisher will have his moments, but he’s approaching the twilight of his career and has probably seen the last of 50-point seasons.

Yes. Stop. Until you see the headline “Darryl Sutter Fired” you won’t see a 75-point player for Los Angeles again. Or I suppose if the NHL widens the nets or makes new goalie equipment rules that actually have some bite. But in today’s world no, you won’t get your wish.

I’m all aboard the Linus Ullmark train. Short-term he’ll be great, long-term he’ll be great. There will be a rocky patch when Robin Lehner gets back and for a few weeks or months Ullmark may be on the outside looking in. But in the end I think he gets that net for himself. Ullmark owners can only hope it happens two months after Lehner returns rather than two years after he returns.

This is a great move. You upgrade your immediate production as well as your proven production. And it’s not like you’re getting a bunch of 40-year-olds back – Nyquist and Tatar haven’t hit their prime yet and Keith is only 32. There will be lots of time in future seasons to move Keith if he shows signs of decline. What you’re really giving up is potential (admittedly great potential) and high draft picks. With this deal though, you help make that first round pick a little worse.

For the latest line combinations and line production – even live, in-game – visit DobberHockey’s Frozen Pool area.

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