As we continue Fantasy Week here at RLD, we take a look at five comeback candidates that will make a fantasy impact this season. 1. Zach Parise
Parise has plenty of motivation this season – the Devils chose to commit money and term to Ilya Kovalchuk instead of him, and he is a free agent as of July 1, 2012. He’s coming off of an ACL injury, but with his work ethic don’t expect him to start slowly out of the gate. Parise is one of the rare players that will out-skill and out-work you at the same time. He had 82 points in 2009-10 and 94 the year before.
2. Jaromir Jagr
He may have lost a step or two since leaving the NHL a few years ago, but Jagr still has great hands. With the Flyers, he’ll get to play with some special offensive talents, most notably the blossoming Claude Giroux. Jagr will see plenty of ice-time on the power play, and he should be among the league leaders in power play production.
3. Mike Green
Green looked uncomfortable for much of last season as he tried to adjust to Washington’s new system. With a full offseason of training under his belt, 2011-12 will mark the return to offensive dominance for the most talented blue-liner in the game. He has some competition for power play ice-time from John Carlson and Dennis Wideman (all three players are right-handed shots), but Green will ultimately be the guy the Capitals rely on to create in offensive situations.
4. Peter Mueller
If you are feeling like taking a risk at your draft this year, Mueller is a player you should be eyeing. Mueller missed the entire 2010-11 season with issues related to a concussion, but he had 20 points in only 15 games to finish off 2009-10 in Colorado after coming over from Phoenix. He has been skating this summer and is expected to be 100% healthy for training camp.
5. Mikael Samuelsson
Samuelsson isn’t getting any younger, but last season was a struggle as he dealt with a sports hernia for much of it. The injury eventually forced him to the sidelines during Vancouver’s postseason run. He is notorious for his fitness and offseason training, and with Christian Ehrhoff now out of Vancouver, he’s the best bet to fill the gap on the league’s most dangerous power play. When Alex Edler went down with an injury last year, Samuelsson filled in. The Canucks power play was actually better with him on it than it was with Edler and Ehrhoff on the points.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.