Nov 3, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley (15) against the New Jersey Devils at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Devils 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Hockey: Is Dany Heatley Worth A Late-Round Pick?

After three disappointing seasons with the Minnesota Wild, Dany Heatley moved out west and signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

Heatley, a 50-goal scorer in his prime with the Ottawa Senators, comes to Anaheim looking to prove there is still some of that goal-scoring magic left in the tank.

Since the 2009-2010 season in which he scored 82 points (39 G, 43 A) in as many games with the San Jose Sharks, Heatley’s production has been on the decline. It took a sharp nosedive last season as he only mustered 12 goals and 16 assists in 76 games.

Here is a little closer look at Heatley’s offensive production the past five seasons.

2009-2010San Jose Sharks823943821454
2010-2011San Jose Sharks80263864856
2011-2012Minnesota Wild82242953228
Shortened due to lockout
Minnesota Wild36111021-128
2013-2014Minnesota Wild76121628-1818

Will palm trees and Disneyland get Heatley back on track?

From a fantasy hockey perspective, fantasy insider Pete Jensen thinks so.

Jensen lists Heatley as one of the best “buy-low candidates with the highest upside” in his latest article.

“You won’t find many six-time 39-plus goal-scorers available in the final rounds of your draft, especially ones that play for elite teams. If Heatley doesn’t pan out on his one-year contract with the Ducks, Bruce Boudreau won’t dwell on it for a second with so much young forward talent in the organization. But as long as there’s a chance for Heatley to see some time alongside Ryan Getzlaf or Ryan Kesler, fantasy owners can’t ignore the hidden value if he gets his career back on track. Taking a chance on Heatley with a late-round pick could result in 25 or 30 goals for your team if he avoids injury and sticks in a top-six role.” – Jensen on Heatley.

Jensen is spot on with his analysis on two specific points. One, even if Heatley fails to make an impact next season, Boudreau won’t lose sleep over it. Boudreau has a plethora of young forwards looking to secure spots in the NHL. Not to mention, Boudreau isn’t afraid to sit a big-name skater (even that one guy named Selanne sat for a game in the playoffs).

Second, how can anyone not have an uptick in production while playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry? Both are elite players and put up numbers similar to what Heatley did in his heyday. If he does in fact play on the top-line with the two superstars, Heatley should make some noise.

If you’re looking for low-risk, high-reward candidate in the latter part of your fantasy hockey draft, keep tabs on Heatley. I wouldn’t put too much in to his time in Minnesota as the Wild don’t have the same number of playmakers as the Ducks possess in their arsenal.

Need proof? No Wild player scored over 60 points in Heatley’s three seasons in Minnesota. Getzlaf and Perry are coming off seasons in which both players scored over 80 points, 87 for Getzlaf and 82 for Perry. Upgrade much?

Don’t expect 50-goals, but don’t expect another 28 points in 76 games performance either. If Heatley is there in the late-rounds, give him a shot.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Dany Heatley Fantasy Hockey

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