Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 in 30: Top NHL Fantasy Sleeper Picks - New Jersey Devils

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 seventeenth of the thirty players that could be great sleeper picks in your draft this year.

Mattias Tedenby – New Jersey Devils
Position – Right Wing
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 175
Drafted – 1st Round, 24th Overall, 2008 NHL Entry Draft
2010/2011 Stats – 58GP, 8G, 14A, 22P, +3, 14PIM 

Last season was a bit of a gong show for the New Jersey Devils. After signing free agent Ilya Kovalchuk to a $100million contract last summer the Devils started the season by looking like they were going to lock up the first overall draft pick by going 10-25-2 during the first three months. They ended up having a great second half and were actually in the playoff hunt for most of March. It was the first time the Devils had missed the playoffs since 1996. Some of their struggles could be tied to the injuries of Zach Parise and Martin Brodeur but the silver lining was that the Devils realized that they have to move forward with some younger players in order to succeed.

One of those younger players that you might not know of is forward Mattias Tedenby. Tedenby did spend some time in the AHL last season but he did spend the majority of the year playing with the Devils. He had a decent first season in North America by scoring 22 points in 58 games. He had a limited role with the team by playing on average just over 12 minutes per night. Looking at the Devils depth chart it’s easy to see Tedenby playing more of an offensive role this year on the team’s second line with Zach Parise and Patrik Elias. If he can hold onto a spot on the second line and receive some additional power-play minutes he could be one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season.

Previous Sleeper Picks:
Day 1 - Anaheim Ducks
Day 2 - Boston Bruins
Day 3 - Buffalo Sabres
Day 4 - Calgary Flames
Day 5 - Carolina Hurricanes
Day 6 - Chicago Blackhawks
Day 7 - Colorado Avalanche
Day 8 - Columbus Blue Jackets
Day 9 - Dallas Stars
Day 10 - Detroit Red-Wings
Day 11 - Edmonton Oilers
Day 12 - Florida Panthers
Day 13 - Los Angeles Kings
Day 14 - Minnesota WIld
Day 15 - Montreal Canadiens
Day 16 - Nashville Predators

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