It’s almost time for those annual fantasy hockey drafts. While most drafts feature the same players going in the first two rounds, it’s those players that you take in the mid to late rounds that will win you your league. Here’s the fifth of the thirty players that could be great sleeper picks in your draft this year.
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Carolina Hurricanes
Position - Left Wing
Height - 6'4"
Weight - 226
Drafted - 4th Round, 87th Overall, 1998 NHL Entry Draft
2010/2011 Stats - 61GP, 5G, 10A, 15P, +1, 36PIM
To say that last season was a disaster for Alexei Ponikarovsky is a bit of an understatement. After signing with the LA Kings at the end of the 09/10 season, Ponikarovsky ended up breaking his finger about three weeks into the season. Upon his return he ended up having scoring only 15 points in 61 games. This ended up being his lowest point total since his rookie season in 2000-2001. Keep in mind that he had scored a career high 61 points in the 2008-2009 season while playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hurricanes signed him as a free agent on July 1 to a one year deal worth $1.5million in hopes that he can once again find his scoring touch. With Jussi Jokinen playing left wing on the top line we could see Ponikarovsky play along side last year's rookie of the year Jeff Skinner on the second line. Carolina has a very young team this season so they'll look to Ponikarovsky for leadership and points.
Previous Sleeper Picks: