March 8, 2013 | 2:18pm ET
In Kane we trust
By Tab Bamford, TheFourthPeriod.com
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Speaking of undefeated, the Chicago Blackhawks have now rolled
through half of the season without a regulation loss. In 2007,
the Hawks had the first overall pick for the first time in the
history of the Original Six franchise. With that selection,
they made Patrick Kane one of the most marketed players in the
league and he repaid their faith with an overtime,
Cup-clinching goal in Philadelphia in 2010.
However, for the first time this season, the currently
regulation loss-free Hawks have a soft schedule; between March
10-24, Chicago only has five games on the schedule.
If you've jumped on the Blackhawks' bandwagon, you might be
looking for some help over the next two weeks.
A couple weeks ago, our fantasy focus examined players that
shared a common NHL Draft class (2009). This week, we'll look
at some of the players that followed Kane in that great 2007
Draft. As we did a couple weeks ago, each player's name is
followed by the number of the pick used to select them six
The Superstar: James van Riemsdyk, Toronto (2nd overall
JVR has been incredible for the Leafs this year, and is among
the league's leaders with 13 goals. There's little reason to
think his roll will slow down any time soon.
The Big Score: Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia (7th overall
Acquired from the Jackets in the Jeff Carter trade, Voracek
has been dominant for the Flyers this year with 29 points (12
goals, 17 assists) through 25 games.
The Sleeper: Carl Hagelin, NY Rangers (168th overall)
Hagelin has scored seven goals already for the Rangers this
season, and could see more open ice if/when the Rangers are
able to put their full roster on the ice together. A depleted
blueline could lead to higher scoring games from the
The Darkhorse: Brandon Sutter, Pittsburgh (11th
Carolina used a high pick on Sutter that year, and played well
enough over four seasons that the Pens viewed him as an
adequate centerpiece in the trade for Jordan Staal last
summer. He's been great in his role with Pittsburgh so far,
scoring six goals in the first 24 games of the season.
Some other forwards to consider that were part of the 2007
Class are first rounders Kyle Turris (3rd overall), Logan
Couture (9th), Max Pacioretty (22nd) and David Perron (26th).
How deep was the 2007 Draft? If we leave the first round, you
can also find great fantasy value from that year with second
rounder picks TJ Galiardi (55th) and Wayne Simmonds (61st),
and fifth rounder Jamie Benn (129th).
The Superstar: PK Subban, Montreal (43rd)
Montreal keeps rolling, and Subban has been worth the wait
after returning to the ice after his hold-out. With 15 points
in 18 games, he's been an offensive force for the Habs.
The Big Score: Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis (14th by
While Alex Pietrangelo has received the most league-wide
acclaim for his play in St. Louis, Shattenkirk might have been
the best player moved in the big Erik Johnson trade between
the Blues and Avs a couple years ago. He has 17 points already
The Sleeper: Brendan Smith, Detroit (27th)
Even with the Red Wings blue line (finally) getting healthy,
Smith will continue to play a prominent role in Motown.
The Darkhorse: Alec Martinez, LA (95th)
Like Shattenkirk, Martinez plays in the shadow of a Norris
candidate every night but he is developing into a solid player
for a Kings team that desperately needs to stay healthy.
Dan Ellis, Carolina
Since Allen York was the most notable netminder to date from
the 2007 Draft, we'll leave that year's class for this pick to
look at a guy that needs to continue playing well for his team
to succeed this week. Ellis, who is stepping in for the
injured Cam Ward, has a .923 save percentage in seven
appearances this year.
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Bamford is a Columnist for The
Fourth Period Magazine. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.