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March 8, 2013 | 2:18pm ET

In Kane we trust
By Tab Bamford,

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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 years ago.


The Superstar: James van Riemsdyk, Toronto (2nd overall by Philadelphia)

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 by Columbus)

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 Blueshirts.

The Darkhorse: Brandon Sutter, Pittsburgh (11th overall)

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 Colorado)

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 this year.

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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 Tab Bamford is a Columnist for The Fourth Period Magazine. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.



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