Fantasy Hockey

Bounce Backs from Pastrnak, Skinner, Sharangovich and more – Part 1 – DobberHockey

In this week’s Eastern Edge, we’ll take a look at the skaters who bounced back from a disappointing first half and put together a strong second half. For the purposes of this article, I’ve taken each player’s total number of appearances so far and split those appearances in half. So if someone has played 56 games so far, their “first half” output includes their first 28 appearances, and their “second half” output includes their next 28 appearances.

This will be the first of two games as we cover skaters from Boston to New Jersey this week, and from New York to Washington next week. I’ve avoided the players that have already been talked about in detail on recent episodes of Eastern Edge (i.e. Tage Thompson and the Canadiens).

David Pastrnak – The Czech marksman has had a modest start to the year with 21 points (eight goals) in his first 28 outings. He’s taken his game to a new level since, tallying 36 points (23 goals) in his last 29 outings. Surprisingly, most of Pastrnak’s recent successes haven’t come next to his regular “Perfection” teammates Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron – who have skated with Jake DeBrusk lately. On the contrary, Pasta’s production has taken off since teaming up with two new linemates, who happen to be the next entries on our list.

Taylor Room – After starting the campaign with a disappointing 16 points in his first 28 appearances, Hall has found his game with 25 points in his last 29 outings. His production has improved since teaming up with Pastrnak, as the two players have shown strong chemistry during their time together. While Hall and Pastrnak are listed in most fantasy leagues, there’s a third member of that Bruins bloodline who may be sitting on your waiver wire…

Erik Haula – In his first 27 appearances of the season, Haula only managed six points. The Finnish striker has bounced back strong with 19 points in his last 27 outings. Listed in just 10% of Yahoo leagues, Haula offers sneaky value as long as he centers Hall and Pastrnak. The concern is that his place between the two talented wingers is far from set in stone. The Bruins may be on the hunt for a second-line center as the trade deadline nears and may continue to tweak their lines as the season progresses. Either way, Haula is a good low-cost option if your fantasy roster needs some short-term offense.

Jeff Skinner – The Sabers forward has had a strong start to the season, tallying 17 points (nine goals) in his first 28 appearances. He’s taken it up a notch recently, posting 24 points (14 goals) in his last 28 outings. Skinner’s fantasy value had been decimated by an unfavorable deployment under coach Ralph Krueger. Coach Don Granato has helped the 29-year-old winger get his game back. Not everyone noticed Skinner’s rebounding campaign this year, as he’s only entered in 27% of Yahoo leagues.

Brady Skjei – After scoring five points in his first 28 games of the season, the Hurricanes defenseman has quietly amassed 19 points in his last 28 appearances. His offensive ceiling is limited because he’s not getting any time on the power play, but that makes his recent production all the more impressive – because all of those points have come evenly matched. If your league’s fantasy playoffs start on March 28and, the Hurricanes will play eight league-leading games in the first two weeks of your playoffs. Skjei could provide sneaky value if you’re aiming for the title in a deeper league.

Anton Lundel – The 20-year-old rookie has had a modest start to the campaign, picking up 13 points in his first 26 games. He’s been on a tear since then, posting 25 points in his last 26 games and establishing himself firmly in Calder’s conversation. He enjoys a protected role in Florida, facing weaker opponents while Aleksander Barkov’s line handles the toughest clashes. Although he’s not playing in the top six, Lundell still skates alongside his talented linemates thanks to Florida’s deep roster. He has spent a lot of time alongside Sam Reinhart, who is posting a points-per-game pace in 53 outings. Although they’ve been apart recently, Lundell has also seen plenty of minutes alongside Mason Marchment, who has surprised many with 34 points in 31 appearances this year. Marchment (67%) and Lundell (73%) are still available in most Yahoo leagues.

Damon Severson – The Devils defenseman started with eight points in his first 21 games but bounced back dramatically with 23 points in his next 27 appearances. Much of his recent production has come with Dougie Hamilton injured, but Severson has surprisingly managed four points in six games since Hamilton returned to the lineup. Severson was promoted to the top power play unit when Hamilton got injured and has yet to relinquish that role. Personally, I think Hamilton will find his way back to the top unit, but we’ll see what the future holds.

Egor Charangovich – He opened the campaign with nine points in 25 games but has been on fire recently with 19 points in his last 25 outings. His ice time went from 15 minutes in the first half to around 16:30 in the second half. Sharangovich is enjoying skating alongside budding superstar Jack Hughes at even strength. Hughes was ruled out for 14 games in the first half, which may explain the contrast in Yegor’s production between the two halves.