WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Mathieu Perreault #85 of the Washington Capitals cleans up after getting shaving creamed during an interview with Al Koken after a 5-3 victory against the Boston Bruins at the Verizon Center on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Perreault had a hat trick in the game. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Just a note, I'm merging both 'Pick-ups of the Week' and 'Super Sleepers' into one jam-packed fantasy write up. Enjoy.
After a junior career that saw him eclipse the 110 points plateau twice and averaging a point per game in the AHL, Mathieu Perreault hopes to make the best of the opportunity the Washington Capitals have presented to him. He's receiving first line minutes for the first time in his NHL career and even receiving minutes on the first power-play unit. Time will tell what kind of player Perreault is, if his last two games are any indication (3 goals 2 assists) than he could just be one of the more valuable pick-ups you'll come across this season.
For the most part when it comes to rookies, most of the hype has been surrounding Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Matt Read, and Adam Henrique but Carl Hagelin and Cody Hodgson are still relatively unowned in most ESPN leagues. Hagelin has essentially come out of nowhere, nonetheless he's gone all the way to the NHL All-Star game representing the rookies and even won the fastest skater at the skills competition. He finds himself playing on a line with Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik, not bad for the Rangers 6th round pick in 2007. Meanwhile Hodgson is fourth in rookie scoring, although the only knock on him is thanks to the abundance of offensive talent on the Canucks roster, he finds himself centering the third line - albeit a talented one with Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen. Look for both to have excellent second halves of the season.
One more rookie to mention, it's Jake Gardiner. Many agreed that his first stint with the Leafs was a great success, it was but he wasn't much of a factor in the fantasy terms. However after sitting out 4 games, culminating with one game down in the AHL, Jake has come back an even better player and even adding some offence (4 points in last 4 games). Keep a close eye on him, his hockey IQ is through the roof and is very poised for a rookie, fantasy relevance shouldn't be too far away.
All he does is score goals, that's what Rene Bourque does. For most of his career his goals have exceeded his yearly assist totals - we don't see that much these days. Rene potted 13 in 38 games in Calgary, not bad - but the problem was his 3 assists. A change of scenery to Montreal will help Rene regain at least some of his game, with back-to-back 27 goal seasons it shows that the potential is there. He's worth the flier pick-up.
I try to get at least one goalie on this list per week, I've mentioned Mathieu Garon before as he makes the list again. He's super streaky. Before winning his last three games that he started he had lost the previous four. Now he's helping Tampa on their current 4-game winning streak. They are 9 points out of a play-off spot and GM Steve Yzerman seems to believe in his current goalies that they will get the job done. Otherwise he would have acquired someone by now to tend the crease.
One final note, Colin Wilson, how this player is only owned in 0.7% of ESPN leagues is beyond me but he's one of the better emerging top six forwards in the league and that number seems ridiculously low for a player on the rise with 27 points already this season.