Fantasy Watch

December 26, 2005

FANS ARE focused on über-rookies Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, but there are other NHL freshmen making names for themselves on the ice and in fantasy leagues.

Dion Phaneuf
Defenseman, Flames The rugged 20-year-old (right) has a big shot, advanced puck-moving skills, a spot on the power play and four game-winning goals (he has seven overall) for the best defensive team in the West. Fifteen goals and 50 points might be a low estimate. Trade for him now before his numbers get too gaudy.

Grant Stevenson
Center, Sharks A late entry in the rookie race is catching up in a hurry. The grandson of Hall of Fame goaltender Glenn Hall is tied for second among first-year players in scoring average, with 11 points in 11 games. (Only Ovechkin's 34 points in 31 games is better.) Stevenson (right) may not keep up this pace, but he has played a major role in the Sharks' recent surge of six wins in seven games. He's highly recommended as a third or fourth center.

Others to Watch
Rangers winger Petr Prucha scores on more than 25% of his shots, and eight of his 15 goals have come on the power play.... Need plus-minus help? Senators blueliner Andrej Meszaros was +24 with 13 assists through the weekend.... After a seven-game scoreless streak, Blackhawks RW Pavel Vorobiev has had a point in four of his last five games.

PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (PHANEUF) PHOTORICK STEWART/GETTY IMAGES (STEVENSON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)