Hockey News: Mike Cammalleri

Updated: February 5, 2007, 12:50 PM ET
By Darryl Dobbs | Special to ESPN.com

Michael Cammalleri has had to prove himself time and again to Los Angeles team management. His diminutive stature was a problem, of course. Players who are 5-foot-9 generally need to work that much harder for their spot. He has also had to battle the 'injury-prone' label.

The same goes for the fantasy world, where easily sidelined players tend to be undervalued and unproven smaller players tend be taken with some hesitancy given the inner workings of the NHL.

That is all behind the 24-year-old now. Cammalleri has been injury-free for two and a half seasons and has stuck in the NHL as a regular for good. If the 55 points he picked up last year didn't make that statement, then his 51 points in 55 games this year will.

Prior to this season, I would have pegged Cammalleri as potentially a 65-70 point player with an upside of 75 points. His current pace puts him at 76 points, 21 of them in the past 16 games, so it is time to re-evaluate. I now believe he is getting these points on pure talent. Granted, Anze Kopitar and Alexander Frolov have given him some points, but Cammalleri has given them just as many. He is the real deal and on a Los Angeles team with a great rebuilding plan, he should one day clear the 85-point mark.

A second-round pick (49th overall) in 2001, Cammalleri went from tearing up the NCAA for Michigan to tearing up the American League for Manchester. He has finished every level of hockey in his career with more points than games played. There is no reason to believe he won't do it again at this level. ...

Montreal's Christopher Higgins has now gone nine straight games without a point. He has the ability to be a 70-point player and looked to be well on his way to hitting that this year before being derailed by a broken ankle. He would make a solid pick for your playoff pool given that most people look at the regular season standings and will overlook his lower-than-they-should-be point totals. ...

The line of Travis Zajac, Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner have combined for 15 points in their past three games for New Jersey. Prior to that, the three had just five points between them in nine contests. ...

Now that Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are scoring for Detroit, Jason Williams and Robert Lang are not. Williams has gone eight games without a point, while it has been seven games for the 36-year-old Lang.

Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Pool Look appears every Monday and Wednesday only on The Hockey News.com. Want to speak with Darryl about fantasy hockey? E-mail him at dobber@dobberhockey.com.

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