Fantasy Hockey 2013: 15 hockey pool sleeper picks

 

The goal of any hockey pool junkie is to find a good sleeper pick. Of course, sleeper picks are all relative. One person's secret star is another person's known commodity. Depending on the size of your hockey pool, certain so-called sleepers will be snapped up early while deeper leagues will force you to draft players you've never heard of. That being said, here is a brief guide to NHL fantasy hockey sleepers for the 2013 NHL season.

 
 
 
 
<div id="page1">Mikkel Boedker - Phoenix Coyotes</div>
 

Mikkel Boedker - Phoenix Coyotes

Photograph by: Harry How/Getty Images

 
<div id="page1">Mikkel Boedker - Phoenix Coyotes</div>
The youngster showed promise during the Coyotes 2012 playoff run, scoring eight points in 16 playoff games. He has plenty of strength and skill but may struggle to put up big points in Dave Tippett's defence-oriented style of play.
Sven Baertschi - Calgary Flames
The 20-year-old forward scored three goals in five games last season. Expectations in Calgary are high, but he may be a year or two away from being a hockey pool stalwart.
Cam Atkinson - Columbus Blue Jackets
Someone has to score points in Columbus now that Rick Nash is gone. The undersized Atkinson is as good a guess as anyone.
Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues
The Blues could get a big boost from Russian prospect Vladimir Tarasenko, who has made the trip to North America and is ready for his NHL debut. Tarasenko, the 16th overall pick of the 2010 NHL draft, is coming off an excellent run in the KHL this season, posting 31 points in 31 games for SKA St. Petersburg. Making a seamless jump from the KHL to the NHL could prove difficult for Tarasenko, but the Blues, who do their best work on the defensive end, certainly need any help they can find on offense.
Brandon Dubinsky - Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus picked up some solid pieces from the Rangers in the Nash deal, including Brandon Dubinsky, who will join Vinny Prospal and R.J. Umberger as the only current Blue Jackets with 20-goal seasons on thei resumes. Dubinsky posted a career-high 24 goals two seasons ago before falling to 10 tallies in 77 games with the Rangers last year.
Chris Stewart - St. Louis Blues
Stewart posted consecutive 28-goal seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but he saw his production drop to 15 goals last year in his first full season with the Blues. The former Colorado Avalanche forward has the size and skill to be a menace in front of the net and St. Louis needs him to pick up his production during this shortened season.
Cam Fowler - Anaheim Ducks
The defenceman's offensive production dipped precipitously following a 40-point rookie campaign during the 2010-2011 season. At 21, Fowler has enough skill and ability to bounce back from his sophomore slump.
Slava Voynov - Los Angeles Kings
Fresh off a Stanley Cup win, the defenceman spent the lockout honing his skills in the AHL. The young Russian is expecting to play a bigger role on the Kings blue line.
Jacob Josefson - New Jersey Devils
The Devils centre has struggled with injuries, but could step up to fill the scoring void left behind by the departure of winger Zach Parise.
Braden Holtby - Washington Capitals
Holtby helped the Capitals defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins during their classic opening-round playoff series last season.  The goaltender could finally provide the Caps with some stability between the pipes.
Rene Bourque - Montreal Canadiens
Bourque put up respectable numbers in Calgary prior to last year's injury-plagued season. He hopes to bounce back with the Habs.
Jamie McGinn - Colorado Avalanche
Canucks fans are familiar with McGinn, the bruising forward who gave and received several big hits during the Canucks-Sharks 2011 playoff series. Now in Colorado, McGinn has had good chemistry with linemates Paul Stastny and David Jones.
Roman Josi - Nashville Predators
With Ryan Suter gone, Josi is expected to take on the unenviable  task of replacing him as Shea Weber's defensive partner. Weber and Suter grew into arguably the NHL's best defensive pairing during their time in Nashville, so Josi certainly has his work cut out for him. The Swiss blueliner had five goals and 16 points in 52 games as a rookie last season and it would be huge for the Preds if he can manage to improve upon those numbers during this shortened campaign.
Ryan Ellis - Nashville Predators
Like Josi, Ellis will look to get more minutes after Suter signed a huge deal with the Minnesota Wild.
Anders Lindback - Tampa Bay Lightning
After playing second fiddle to Pekka Rinne in Nashville, the lanky 6'6" goalkeeper has a shot at being the main man for a Lightning team that could provide him with plenty of offensive support.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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