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Week 9 Fantasy Hockey Pickups

December 9, 2014 – Heading into week 9 of the fantasy hockey season, these are the players you should be looking to add to your roster.

Nick Bjugstad, Florida Panthers (C) – The 22-year-old center and Minneapolis native is finally coming into his own, having accumulated six points in his last three games (four goals, two assists). He’s currently on the first line between Tomas Fleischmann and Jonathan Huberdeau, and is also on the first power play unit.

Bjugstad and the Panthers plethora of younger talent are ambitious to turn the franchise around and land long-term contracts in the process. I might consider giving Bjugstad a chance. He’s tied for first on the team in scoring.

Seasonal stats: 26 games played, 18 points (12 goals, six assists), +3, three PPP, three GWG’s, and a 16.90 shooting %.

Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers (D) – The 6’4, 216lb first overall pick in the 2014 draft from Windsor, Ontario is tied for first on the Panthers in scoring with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists). He has seven points in his last five games (three goals, four assists), and is 11th in scoring amongst all NHL defenseman – 10 points out of first place.

Another notable fact which might influence your decision to add a player from the Panthers is the team’s 64 goals against is eighth best in the league; so, you don’t constantly have to worry about your plus/minus, as you might in previous seasons with Florida.

Ekblad is +7, on the top defensive pair and first power play. I would take a chance and pick him up.

Mika Zibanejad, Ottawa Senators (C, RW) – The 21-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden has six points in his last three games (four goals, two assists), and 13 overall with (seven goals, six assists). He’s currently centering the second line between Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan. This could be a breakout season for #93, I would definitely keep an eye on him – or pick him up and see how far his hot streak could go.

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs (LW, RW) – Lupul has been playing good hockey since he returned from his hand injury, as he has eight points in his last five game (four goals, four assists). He plays between Nazem Kadri and Mike Santorelli on the team’s second line, and is also seeing power play time as well.

If he can stay healthy, then this is a guy who could pay big dividends.

Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (LW) – Tatar has seven points in his last five games (three goals, four assists), and is playing on the second line between Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm. In 28 games, Tatar has 20 points (12 goals, eight assists).

I would look for his point streak to continue and for him to get power play time being that he’s on a line with Pavel Datsyuk, which is a land of opportunity.

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