Everybody loves Raymond (and ditches Samuelsson)

Canucks LW Mason Raymond scored twice Friday night and is worthy of replacing slumping Canucks RW Mikael Samuelsson on your roster.

The Canucks have won four of their last five. All five games have been in Vancouver.

The Canucks’ next three games are also at home, commencing Sunday when the Blues visit for a 10:00 pm face-off.

In fantasy terms, one of the Canucks’ early season surprises was RW Mikael Samuelsson. A shots machine in recent campaigns — Samuelsson launched more than 240 shots in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 — the 33-year-old seemed on the verge of a breakout in October and November. After his first 25 games, Samuelsson had gaudy totals of 10 goals and eight assists.

No great shakes, but a 30-goal pace from a RW on a good team was nothing to sneeze at, fantasy-wise. Owners took notice, bumping Samuelsson’s ownership rates to 67 percent in Yahoo! and 96 percent in ESPN.

Well, let the Genius be the first to tell you: It’s time to drop Samuelsson.

In his last 10 games, Samuelsson has not scored a goal and has racked up a mere four assists. Worst of all, he has not a single power-play point in his last 10 games.

Here’s the good news: There’s another Canuck you can pick up in Samuelsson’s stead. It’s LW Mason Raymond, 24, who scored twice Friday night in Vancouver’s 3-2 win vs. the Capitals. (Samuelsson was pointless, once again.)

Raymond now has five goals in his last five games. Barring an injury, he will obliterate his paltry career highs by mid-season. Better still, Raymond remains widely available in Yahoo! (29 percent owned) and ESPN formats (13.5 percent owned).

This won’t be the case for long — Raymond has already surpassed Samuelsson in season-long Yahoo! and ESPN rankings. So grab him now, before the rest of your league catches on to the forward who’s caught fire in Vancouver.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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