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Posted - 01/14/2008 :  13:13:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
By Darryl Dobbs

Every season there are a couple of players who make the team out of training camp that make pundits do a double take. This season, St. Louis winger David Perron brought on that very reaction.

In a training and development camp that featured the likes of Erik Johnson, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and even Steve Wagner, one guy that flew in under the radar was Perron, a first-round pick this past summer (26th overall). His camp was so impressive that he forced the team to give him a longer look – at least nine regular season games before his entry-level contract activates.

It took awhile for the 19-year-old QMJHL scoring star to get in those nine games – he was scratched for seven of the first eight, even though the one game he did play he earned an assist and was plus-1. After nine games, the Blues decided to hang onto him for the entire year. It helps that he tallied three goals and four points combined in Game 7 and 8.

The way he has surprised reminds of Patrice Bergeron over in Boston. Drafted 45th overall, Bergeron forced his way onto the roster right away and picked up 39 points in 71 games. Perron has been scratched a little more than that, but expect similar production.

With Mike Johnson and Martin Rucinsky now out of the lineup with injuries, Perron is a permanent fixture in the lineup now and has only been scratched once in the last 21 contests. Over the last few games, in an effort to distribute the scoring, coach Andy Murray has placed Perron on a line with Brad Boyes and Andy McDonald. He is seeing some time on the second power-play unit and four of his 18 points have come with the man advantage.

He has seven points in his last 10 contests and is a plus-9 in that span. As a left winger, he has value even in one-year leagues. Down the road, he should be a 70- to 75-point player…

Meanwhile…

You should always have a handful of streaky players on your peripherals ready to pick up when the start up again – Michel Ouellet, Alexander Frolov, Ladislav Nagy, Wojtek Wolski all come to mind. Eric Belanger is another one. I’m warning you a little too late, but he has 10 points in his last eight games and the return to the lineup of Mikko Koivu Friday didn’t hurt him any…

Here’s an under-the-radar defenseman for you: Daniel Girardi of the Rangers. He is a one-dimensional rearguard, a power-play specialist who is logging tons of ice time right now. After just one point in 13 games to start the year, he has 17 in his last 31 and eight in his last eight. Lately he has been seeing almost as much PP time as Michal Rozsival…

Pick up the midseason fantasy guide – turn your fantasy league around! Just $8.95, with second-half projections, prospects, fantasy tips – fully updated to January 5! Only at http://www.dobberhockey.com


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