Thursday, September 01, 2011

2012 Projections: San Jose

The San Jose Sharks have been a consistent source of hockey pool points over the past few years, be it all through their annual line-ups.  Their forwards have been excellent, they get great support from their blueline and when both sets are scoring, the goalies are winning and usually winning by good margins.  Yes, the Sharks are a team that are usually good to draw from, sometimes with numerous picks in the first round of your pool draft.

I don't think that should necessarily change for the 2012 season, since they have made a few good changes in this off-season, which may just boost up some of the numbers of their returning players.  A swap of forwards with the Wild and signing one of the top free agent defensemen to a big deal were the highlights of the Sharks' off-season.

The Sharks are poised and ready to win some games in the Pacific Division and it will really only be a matter of where you would want to take these Sharks in your pool.  Come and get them... while they're hot!

Joe Thornton85Dan Boyle55Antti Niemi90
Patrick Marleau75Brent Burns50Antero Niittymaki20
Joe Pavelski75Jason Demers30
Ryane Clowe70Marc-Edouard Vlasic25
Martin Havlat70Jim Vandermeer15
Logan Couture65Doug Murray10
Michal Handzus35Colin White5
Torrey Mitchell35
Jamie McGinn15
Benn Ferriero30Justin Braun25
Andrew Murray10

Pool Worthy Forwards (Inside the top 160, 40 points)
As you can see, there are great options among the top six Sharks forwards, which should leave you some ample time to at least pick up one of these players in the first few rounds of the draft.

I think we should see a bounce back year for Joe Thornton, as he struggled to pick up as many points as we'd normally see from him.  Until we figure out which sniper he'll have to play with this season, I don't think I would push his assists numbers up too high.

Martin Havlat, acquired from the Wild for Dany Heatley in the Summer, should be a great swing man for the Sharks, likely lining up as the second line playmaker, as the team shuffles the deck a little to draw out some more goal scoring power.  The trade to San Jose really did good things for his fantasy pool stock prices.

A lot of eyes will be on Logan Couture, who impressed many people with his talents in the 2011 season and I think he won't fall victim to the same fate of other young goal scorers that have risen and fallen in San Jose, before being traded away under a cloud of shame.  Couture has been one to watch for a while, having been groomed for better success in the past couple of years.

Pool Worthy Defensemen (Inside the top 80, 25 points)
With the offense from the forwards seeing a projected increase, I think that would suggest that the offensive defensemen in San Jose will also feel the benefits of a good season.  Dan Boyle, a perrenial top scoring defenseman in the league, is expected to get a small boost in his numbers, while the addition of Brent Burns should also add some extra pop from the blueline.  This duo has the potential to be one of the top scoring pairs in the league in 2012, it would be a great move to even get one of them.

Jason Demers and Marc-Edouard Vlasic will get to see some time in offensive situations, but with the two top defenders taking up, what should be, a lot of minutes, the support staff might see their numbers taper off to a point.  Both Demers and Vlasic should be good enough to pick up pool worthy points, but they likely won't get the chance to dominate, while the top two are healthy.

Pool Worthy Goalies (Inside the top 40, 25 points)
There were plenty of reservations about what Antti Niemi would bring to the table for the Sharks in the 2011 season, but he proved that he could win the games that were laid out before him.  For the 2012 season, the reservations are gone and his confidence should be really high.  If the Sharks are going to score some goals, Niemi will just have to play the way we all know he can and he'll be a fantasy gem this year.

Pool Worthy Rookies
The Sharks seemingly have enough space to pop a rookie in their line-up this season, but I think the pool would be hard-pressed to find someone worthy to be picked out of San Jose this year.  The forecast sees some young players jumping in full-time with the Sharks, but none are technically rookies.

Key Injuries

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