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Past Fantasy Outlooks
McDonald enters the final year of a contract extension he signed with St. Louis, but injuries have limited him to one full season in his time with the Blues. Most alarmingly, he's missed significant time each of the past two seasons because of concussions. When healthy, McDonald has been a proficient point producer (209 points in 257 games) on the low-scoring Blues. He's established a good rapport with first-line center David Backes, and we see those two lining up again to start the season, though his health remains the biggest concern.
McDonald is still cranking in his mid-thirties, posting 50 points in 58 games last season while ranking third on the team at 20 minutes per game. A mid-season concussion forced him to miss significant time, but he finished strong, averaging a point per game over the final 33 games. If healthy, he’ll continue to be featured offensive threat on St. Louis’ top line and on the first power play.
Coming off an ankle injury that forced him to miss 36 games in 2008-09, McDonald led the Blues in scoring last season and was the team's most consistent point-tallier from October to April. While leading a team that had trouble scoring isn't saying much, his return from injury was certainly a boost for the Blues, who disappointed in so many facets of the game. He is set to return as the team's top center, likely working with David Perron and David Backes, and a fixture on the No. 1 power-play line.
McDonald enters the first year of a four-year extension he signed earlier this year. He had nearly a point per game in a season that was cut in half by an ankle injury. He was as good as any of the Blues from February through the end of the playoffs. He is set to open the season on one of the top two lines, playing left wing with David Backes and David Perron.
McDonald is one of the few establish point producers on a low-scoring Blues team. He will see a lot of competition from talented young forwards but is likely to keep top 6 forward status through the season.
There is going to be some stiff competition between McDonald and Ryan Getzlaf for first-line center job. McDonald ranked second on the team in points (78) and third in goals (27) last season, while flying under the radar as a lesser-touted top-line center. Even if he's dropped to the second line, McDonald is a steady contributor who can chip in across the board without hurting fantasy owners in any major category.
McDonald may have benefited more from the new NHL than anyone, as he went from 30 points before the lockout to 85 points last season. With Teemu Selanne still by his side, McDonald looks poised for another fantastic season. McDonald should be high on most fantasy boards.
Now in his fifth season, it's time McDonald takes his game to the next level. He has the talent to be a consistent 45-point producer, but he's got to take advantage of his lightning speed and puck-handling skills. The 2003-04 season was a major disappointment (9/21/30 in 79 games), but some of that could be attributed to a lingering post-concussion syndrome that McDonald battled the entire second half of the 2002-03 campaign. This past year, McDonald tallied 30 points in 36 games while with ERC Ingolstadt of the German league. If McDonald can mesh with his linemates, and he can get more physical in front of the net, there's no reason he can't finish the season with 40-50 points -- if he can stay away from the concussions.