For all of the hockey fans who have a fantasy team, we sometimes feel torn. We want the Bruins to win as much as possible, but sometimes we want to devastate our opponent in the league. In our last installment of Bruins Fantasy Draft: HOT or NOT, we took a look at a few of the defensemen. (In all likelihood, we will be re-visiting the blueline later in the series.) This time around, we’re going to look at the bottom six forwards for the Bruins and figure out which members of the Black and Gold should be in your fantasy team this season.
Shawn Thornton: (conditional) HOT. Some fantasy leagues are all about goals and assists. Others factor in time on the ice as part of the points system. If you’re in one of these leagues then you’ll probably need to let Thornton go by the wayside or pick him up for filler in the end rounds. The more a league factors in hits and penalty minutes, #22 is looking better for you. Thornton will get in fights this season. Thornton’s pugilistic prowess put me over the top one week due to his habit of debating with his mitts. While he certainly won’t be a top grab, he is one of those players that if you are looking at the ‘maybe’ pile, you’ll want to snatch him up before someone else takes points away from you.
Chris Kelly: NOT. Let’s be honest Bruins Nation. We like Kelly. We think his ‘A’ comes from his leadership on and off the ice. However, he is likely our most overpayed player on the team. Kelly didn’t have a great season last year, and it required some injury induced line shuffling to find a group that Kelly could hit his stride with (in that case it was Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille). He did have nine points last season (three goals), and that offsets to a degree the -8 he had on the ice. He’s another one of those players in the ‘maybe’ pile, but I’d pick Thornton over him due to the leagues I play in.
Daniel Paille: HOT. We got awefully used to hearing ‘Daniel Paille on a breakaway’ last season. We can expect to hear more of that this season. He was one of the players that was routinely promoted up the lines this season, and he was able to score in all of them. He had seventeen points in the regular season(ten goals) and the +3 wasn’t a massive boost to his points, but it did help out. He’s also got a Bergy like knack for scoring game winning goals. Like Johnny Boychuk, Daniel Paille plays very clean hockey. So, if PIM is a good part of your league, you may want to grab him later. He’s still a solid grab to get once the first three rounds are done though. He’ll produce for the Bruins, and he’ll give you those desired points in the margins.
Carl Soderberg: (conditional) NOT. We only saw ‘the Yeti’ play six games with the Bruins last season. He seemed to have one of those Seguin moments where he was trying to find himself on NHL ice. This is the one I’m the most unsure of. He could come in, and be sort of lost on the ice and end up on the fourth line if (and should) Daniel Paille gets promoted to help make sense of the perpetually troubled third line. He could also come in and obliterate people on the ice (and rack up serious PIM), and play like Patrice Bergeron or Milan Lucic and just make it rain points for you. While this rating could change, I don’t think he’s figured out the NHL just yet.
Gregory Campbell: (if healthy) HOT. Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron helped define ‘hockey player’ to a lot of people I know who didn’t know the sport. One of my old military buddies called Campbell ‘the Spoked-B Spartan’. Campbell had a slow patch early last season (and if the leg isn’t one hundred percent, we’ll see that again), but came on like gangbusters at the end of the season. His thirteen points and +2 will likely mean he’ll get you the points in all the right places, and his forty one penalty minutes tells you he can get you points by putting his fists in all the right spaces. If he’s good for opening night, we can expect Campbell to go out there (to a standing ovation for starters) and begin to produce that very night.