After a 30 goal, 57 point season in 2010-11, Nikolai Kulemin posted just 7 goals and 28 points last year. Kulemin was obviously a huge fantasy disappointment last season which means he’s a draft day steal for many fantasy owners this year.
Analysis: It appears that Kulemin’s game is back on track. He has 38 points in 36 KHL games this year which is seventh best in the league ahead of guys like Datsyuk, Zherdev and Frolov. The most important takeaway here is that next to nothing is expected from Kulemin this year and his ADP will be incredibly low for a twenty-six year old who is only one year removed from a 30 goal season. Some sites are only projecting Kulemin to score 13-15 goals this year in a full 82 game season… big mistake. He may score 13-15 goals in the 48 game shortened season with his talent and the way he has been playing in Russia recently.
Keep in mind that Kulemin’s shooting percentage(6.5%) had a huge impact on his disappointing 2011-12 campaign. His career shooting percentage is north of 12% and has been at least 11% in three of his four NHL seasons. The twenty-six year old winger is entering his prime and he makes one hell of a fantasy sleeper this year(and he may even go undrafted).