Matt Cubeta of NHL.com examines 10 potential NHL fantasy hockey sleepers for the 2012-13 season (hopefully), mainly focusing on rookies or sophomores.
Cubeta lists Chris Kreider fifth on his list:
“…The 21-year old has yet to appear in a regular season NHL game, but already has high expectations entering his rookie season with the Rangers. Kreider flew onto the scene during New York’s first-round playoff series against Ottawa and ended up with five goals and two assists in 18 playoff games for the Rangers. While those stats aren’t eye-popping, Kreider’s maturity, confidence and build (6’3″, 230 pounds) already have everyone believing he can perform immediately.
The other thing to notice is that Kreider is expected to start among the team’s top-six forwards, and that can be a major factor for fantasy owners. When three-time 40-plus goal-scorer Marian Gaborik returns to the lineup, you could see Kreider on a line with Gaborik and Derek Stepan in the middle, and that could mean big things for Kreider. Don’t draft him too high, but if you can select him as a depth bench player, Kreider could turn out to be the most valuable fantasy sleeper on this list.
Projection: 22 G, 26 A, plus-5, 38 PIMs, 7 PPP, 167 SOG…”
- The expectations continue to grow for Kreider. Hope he can live up to the hype full-time.
- I do agree with Cubeta’s stance that playing in the top-six gives Kreider an edge in production: who wouldn’t want Brad Richards or Derek Stepan constantly feeding you the puck?
- Personally, I’d go a bit more conservatively and say Kreider’s stats (assuming a full season) would be 18 G, 22 A.