Zdeno Chara (BOS – D)
6 foot 9, 255 pounds of pure intimidation. No, this is not an intro for a heavyweight boxing match, though at times it seems like it should be. Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins is the tallest player to ever lace up skates in the NHL and is one of the elite defensemen currently in the league.
Chara's size serves him well as he protects his net while it also lends itself to his offensive prowess and his slapshot which can reach speeds well over 100 miles per hour. Chara serves as a solid defensemen for the Bruins, but also gives the fantasy owner production from a difficult position to draft. He accumulated 19 goals and 31 assists in 2009 and was amongst the league leaders with an overall plus 23.
He loves to shoot the puck, collecting 216 shots on net, which ranked in the top 60 in all of the NHL. Chara spent his fair share of time in the sin bin, thanks in part to his physical play and occasional heavyweight fighting, spending 95 minutes in the penalty box. He plays with a bruising style of play, punishing opponents who wander in his path. Chara is also a very intelligent player, and knows how to play a solid defense which includes intercepting passes, blocking shots, and taking away space.
From a fantasy perspective, he may not lead the league's defense men in scoring, but he will put up solid numbers that anyone would be happy to have from the blue line. Production from the blue line is itself hard to find in fantasy hockey, let alone a multiple category threat such as Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.