The NHL lockout presents an interesting challenge when trying to evaluate NHLers. Some played competitively in the AHL, ECHL, or over in Europe. Others were busy working out and staying in shape. Some were busy bargaining across the table from Gary Bettman and the NHL owners. And some players didn’t do a whole lot, and now have only a few short weeks to get into game shape.

That is where the 2013 DobberHockey Guide comes in handy. Because of the lockout, all of the hockey pool magazines that were published last summer are outdated. There has been a lot of interesting developments to arise during the lockout – injuries, for one, and impressive performances, like Justin Schultz in the AHL, Tyler Seguin in Switzerland, and Roberto Luongo on Twitter.

The DobberHockey Guide has been completely updated over the course of the past few days. We believe that it will give you the best opportunity to win your hockey pool, and here is why:

The DobberHockey Guide is comprehensive.

In addition to pages of analysis on all 30 NHL clubs, we have a number of columns breaking down the important trends, sleepers to watch for, impact rookies, and players to avoid in 2013. Dobber offers his thoughts on what the shortened season means for fantasy hockey, and this is also the first year we incorporated advanced statistics into our analysis (and we believe that the surface is only being scratched with regards to using advanced stats in fantasy sports).

Here is a snippet from our section on advanced statistics (the statistic being used here is PDO, which you can read more about here):

The DobberHockey Guide is relevant.

It would be safe to assume that most projections for Justin Schultz from last summer would be viewed as being on the “low end” right now. We have adjusted Schultz’s numbers up after watching him dominate the AHL as a rookie.

How will the Anze Kopitar injury affect the Los Angeles lineup? Who stands to benefit? (Hint: Andrei Loktionov.) How will the Canucks replace Ryan Kesler in the short term? Does Jordan Schroeder step up? Do they trade for a center? Does Nino Niederreiter’s strong play in the AHL this season change his short term fantasy value? (Yes.)

Injury information is so important in fantasy hockey, as Dobber alludes to here:

The DobberHockey Guide contains differing opinions.

We have a very strong team of writers, and they don’t always agree on everything. Our readers benefit from this, as they get to see multiple perspectives on the same player/situation. One should never follow these fantasy guides unequivocally – the best way to use them is to extract as much information as you can, combine that with your own thought process, and make an informed decision from there.

We also have writers that specialize in certain areas. Justin Goldman wrote about several goaltenders to watch for, and Goldman is the Director of Goaltending Scouting for McKeen’s Hockey, and the Founder of the Goalie Guild. He knows his ‘tender stuff, to say the least.

You can pick up the 2013 DobberHockey Fantasy Guide here. And you can thank us in a few months when you are getting your name engraved on your fantasy hockey trophy.

Here is an example team breakdown (this is the Colorado Avalanche):

Click here to read Jeff’s other work at Overtime.