Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 in 30: Top NHL Fantasy Sleeper Picks - Los Angeles Kings

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-late rounds that will win you your league. Here’s the thirteenth of the thirty players that could be great sleeper picks in your draft this year.
Dustin Penner - Los Angeles Kings
Position – Left Wing
Height – 6’4”
Weight – 245
2010/2011 Stats – 81GP, 23G, 22A, 45P, -12, 47PIM
It's hard to name a sleeper pick on a virtual all-star team. The Kings are loaded with great players this year and it's easy to see why they're Stanley Cup contenders. They've acquired Mike Richards and getting a healthy Anze Kopitar back will only improve their odds. One player who's hoping to have a big season with the Kings is Dustin Penner
Penner was traded from the Oilers to the Kings at the trade deadline last year. The Edmonton/Los Angeles deal was one of the bigger trades that day as Penner was seen as a piece that could make the Kings serious Stanley Cup contenders. Unfortunately that wasn't the case as Penner disappeared down the stretch when the Kings needed him the most after Anze Kopitar broke his ankle and had to miss the playoffs. Penner suited up for the last 19 games of the season for the Kings and scored a disappointing 6 points. He was also virtually invisible for them in the Kings six game playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Due to his disappointing end to the season it's quite easy to write off Penner but one of the most important things to remember is that he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He's playing in the last year of the huge five year deal that the Edmonton Oilers signed him to during the summer of 2007. It was also two season's ago that he had a career best 63 points playing for a brutal Edmonton Oilers team. Looking at Penner's career stats he seems to have a good season and follows it up with a bad season. Well, he's due for a good season this year and it's quite easy to think he'll have that big year playing on the Kings top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.
Previous Sleeper Picks:

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