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Fantasy Pool Look: Future star

If a player is drafted in the top 10 because of his offensive skills, serious fantasy owners take notice.

When said player makes the NHL team as an 18-year-old, owners really take notice.

The Sidney Crosbys of the world aside, nobody really expects an 18-year-old to put up the big numbers in his first couple of seasons in the NHL. Simply making it to the dance at such a young age is a strong indicator of great things to come by the third or fourth year.

In the case of Minnesota Wild youngster Pierre-Marc Bouchard, great things are happening in his third year.

The eighth overall draft pick in 2002, Bouchard has watched his point total rise from 22 points in 2003-04 to what could be as high as 65 this year.

By no means has the 21-year-old finished his ascent into the NHL's elite, either. The climb will continue until Bouchard becomes a top three guy on anyone's fantasy team, consistently scoring in the 75- to 85-point range.

These numbers will come within the next two years. The only thing missing from his game right now is consistency.

Bouchard has shown he can put up the numbers for a few games at a time, but he still goes long stretches where he puts up goose eggs. Case in point: he has five points in his last two games after garnering just one in seven before that.

In fact, Bouchard has scored three or more points in a game five times this season. That accounts for an abnormally large chunk of his production. Just imagine what kind of fantasy player he'll be in a couple of years, when all those goose eggs start transforming into ones and twosÂ…

After pick up just one point in his first 10 games as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, Doug Weight has six in his last three. Mark Recchi joined the 'Canes three games ago and added another offensive dimension the opposition had to protect against. This may have freed up Weight, but it sure hasn't helped Recchi anyÂ…

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: It looks like Florida's Gary Roberts (sprained MCL) is targeting a March 29 return against PittsburghÂ…Columbus defenseman Bryan Berard (back) and Islanders blueliner Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) are out for the remainder of the regular seasonÂ…Bill Guerin of the Dallas Stars has a small fracture in his orbital bone and will be out until the end of MarchÂ…

Farm Report: Chicago Blackhawks' prospect Troy Brouwer is currently leading the Western League in scoring. The 20-year-old power forward was a 2004 seventh round draft pick (214th overall) and his stock has been on the rise ever since.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Hockey Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Also, get the top 250 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN's Fantasy section.

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