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Fantasy Puck Preview: New York Islanders

Scott Cullen
9/19/2008 2:51:03 PM
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While there may be some long-term value from some of the younger players, the New York Islanders generally offer low-end fantasy value.

Rookie winger Kyle Okposo probably has the most long-term value and scored five points in nine games with the Isles last season. The Islanders need to increase their skill level, and giving Okposo the opportunity to produce is necessary for the team to emerge from their also-ran status.

If he gets enough playing time, Okposo could contend for the rookie scoring lead.

The Islanders' top returning scorer, Mike Comrie, managed just 49 points last season, making him of value in only the deepest leagues and then it's only questionable when it's a league involving plus-minus.

Pretty much the rest of the Islanders forward crew would qualify as longshots.

Bill Guerin and Doug Weight are well past their primes, but if they could recapture some of their past glory, they might produce enough to be of interest.

Hard-working forwards Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter do chip in a little offensively, but not consistently enough to generate draft-day interest.

Young forwards on the rise, like Sean Bergenheim and Blake Comeau, haven't shown enough to expect that they will be big scorers this season (if ever), so they simply bear watching to see what kind of progress they can make this year.

The defence is supposed to be bolstered by the addition of Mark Streit from Montreal and, at the very least, Streit should help the power play. At the same time, it's foolhardy to expect him to equal his production when moving from the best power play in the league to the Islanders' 29th-ranked power play.

A healthy Chris Campoli also has a chance to put up a few points, though he's still relatively unproven so he has value only in deep leagues.

For those who like to pile up the penalty minutes with their defenders, Brendan Witt and Andy Sutton are possibilities, though neither one played 60 games last year and Witt was a veritable choir boy with 51 penalty minutes.

In goal, Rick DiPietro is certainly poised to get the heavy workload of an elite goaltender, provided he can stay healthy, as backup Joey McDonald isn't going to get much action. Playing behind a poor team hurts DiPietro for fantasy purposes because the wins don't come easily, but he's a decent second or third option.



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