Interest in fantasy sports has grown significantly over the years. It started with baseball, found its way into football, and has crept into basketball and hockey. As a fantasy owner, you pick players from the entire league to have on your team. Picking your favorite players doesn’t always work, but sometimes you can turn bias into your favor. Here’s three “sleeper” Bruins to consider during your fantasy draft.
After having a phenominal rookie year, Jake DeBrusk should be well known around the league. He recorded 14 5v5 goals last season, which tied Patrice Bergeron for 4th (Rick Nash was 3rd at 15) among Bruins forwards. He also tallied up 20 assists at 5v5 which tied 3rd among Bruins forwards last season.
DeBrusk doesn’t rake up too many shot attempts, but of returning Bruins forwards, he ranked 4th last year in 5v5 shot attempts per hour. What holds DeBrusk’s fantasy value back, is the lack of powerplay time. He ranked 12th among Bruins forwards in TOI%, which is the percentage of total powerplay time possible that the player played in.
However, when looking at his aggregated time on ice, he received just over 125 minutes on the powerplay, where he recorded 9 points. If DeBrusk can make his way to the first powerplay unit, he can become a very valuable player. Don’t stretch and pick him too early, but you can get good bang for your buck in the middle rounds for DeBrusk.
Donato made his way onto the scene late last season. In the process, he stole Bruins fans’ hearts. He recorded 9 5v5 points, and 4 on the powerplay, in 12 regular season games last season. Granted, we haven’t seen him play much at the NHL level just yet, the future seems bright for the young forward.
We will know more as the season comes closer, but it appears Donato will play a middle-six role with the Bruins to start, and go from there. He’s a utility man, meaning he can play both center and wing. He may center the third line, play the wing there, or perhaps play alongside Krejci or Bergeron. Donato is an extremely risky pick for this reason.
Similar to DeBrusk, there is probably a spot open on the first powerplay unit as it stands currently. Donato fit right in as the net-front presence in his first NHL game, and may find himself there in the future. If Donato is available in the last couple of rounds in your draft, he can turn out to be a terrific risk-reward player.
Chara may not seem to be a “sleeper” pick, but he’s not going early either. Many fantasy experts will probably expect to see a decline in his time on ice this season, especially with the Bruins’ defensive depth, but there is no evidence of that right now.
We know Big Z will give 100% no matter what. He is their best penalty killer, and is still put in a shutdown role at 5v5. He is also good for his shot totals as he ranked just behind Torey Krug last season in shot attempts per hour at 5v5. If you are looking to draft your final defenseman or a bench player, Chara can give you some value.