Fantasy Puck Preview: Anaheim Ducks

Scott Cullen
9/16/2010 11:20:19 AM
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While the Anaheim Ducks may be among those teams in a battle for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they have the high-end talent that will be in great demand for fantasy owners.

Right winger Corey Perry is an elite performer, particularly in fantasy, where his combination of points and penalty minutes is rare. Over the last two years, Perry has 148 points and 220 penalty minutes and has been a double-digit plus performer in three of the last four seasons. He's a Top Three right winger.

Ryan Getzlaf has outrageous raw talent and, like Perry, plays with an edge to his game. He's scored better than a point-per-game (with at least 1.20 PIM per game) for three years running, but only played 66 games last year due to a sprained ankle. When healthy, Getzlaf is also a premier fantasy option.

Newly-signed Bobby Ryan is cut from similar cloth, blessed with a rare combination of size and skill, and he bumped up his penalty minute totals last year as well, further enhancing his value. With back-to-back 30-goal seasons, Ryan is already among the top half dozen or so left wingers, with potential to possibly reach 50 goals at some point if he's playing with Getzlaf and Perry.

He's had trouble staying healthy, playing in 145 games of 246 games over the last three seasons, but 40-year-old Teemu Selanne can still get the job done. He scored 27 goals in 54 games last season, so it's worth taking a shot at the Finnish Flash at some point, but do so with the expectation that he won't play the full season.

Saku Koivu has put up at least 50 points for seven straight seasons, but needed a fast finish last year (19 points in the last 18 games, most of which came with Getzlaf sidelined) to reach 52 points. Closing in on 36-years-old, Koivu may be better suited as a fill-in when he gets on a hot streak.

The Ducks have a variety of other forwards that may hold some appeal, but are probably waiver-wire material. Jason Blake's 41 points last season represented his lowest total since 2001-2002; since he's now 37, it seems unlikely that trend will reverse dramatically.

Joffrey Lupul is a three-time 20-goal scorer who buried 10 goals in 23 games last year, but he's been plagued by back problems and isn't expected to be ready for the start of this season.

Second-year winger Dan Sexton started quickly as a rookie, scoring 11 points in his first 13 games, then managed eight points in his last 28 games; too inconsistent to get excited about at this point in his development.

Anaheim has a thin defense corps, which leaves Lubomir Visnovsky as the one strong fantasy candidate. He could be a plus-minus risk, but 15 goals and 45 points last year represented Visnovsky's third-best single-season totals and as quarterback of the Ducks' power play, there will be opportunities for him to put up points.

Jonas Hiller is an above average goaltender, with a .920 career save percentage, who is going to get a starter's workload, but will be doing so with a mediocre team that will be challenging for a playoff spot. Until his defense corps improves, Hiller is a good No. 2 goaltender for fantasy owners.

Ducks celebrate (Photo: Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
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