I hope you bet the most in the Habs/Jets game and didn’t have control of either goalie. The two teams combined for just seven first-half goals, in a game that ended with 12 goals in total.
Josh Anderson had a hat trick early in the second period and finished with four PIMs, four shots and a block for good measure. He’s really been activating it lately, scoring six goals and seven points in his last five games. Exposure to Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki plays a big part in that, and the trio looks like the ones who could play a big role in how the second half plays out for their fantasy owners as well.
The big guns did the damage on the other side, with Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele each scoring three points for the Jets, with at least one each on the power play. With Nikolaj Ehlers due to return very soon, it’s especially good for Dubois to consolidate his place in the top unit.
With Dougie Hamilton having played four games since returning from injury, we can now look at the deployment of the defensive core and try to draw some conclusions to extrapolate for the rest of the season. It’s worth looking at because the Devils were the league’s best offense in February. Yes, they dominated the Panthers, Leafs, Lightning, Avalanche, Blues, Flames… you get the idea.
Since Hamilton’s return, he’s trumped Damon Severson, who ran with the best power-play gig of a team where most expected it to be split between Hamilton, Ty Smith and maybe- to be PK Subban. Hamilton still shoots a ton and has three points in four games, but he’s not a threat for more than 60 points unless he’s on the power play. He’s a hold/buy at this point because the Devils could get him back to the top unit at any time and he’s too good to sell low like that.
Meanwhile, consider Severson a great mid-range streamer, racking up a ton of points, adding solid peripherals, and getting the right deployment to look for for a while.
Well, he’s good for your fantasy team anyway… and on that note, let’s get to the fact that it was Patrik Laine’s 14.and goal in their last 13 games. It’s possible that someone reminded him that he was up for a new contract and he realized he would have to play again. I’m going to be a little careful with him for next season with a big wallet, but ride the wave for now.
Speaking of riding the wave, Laine’s most frequent linemates have all had excellent assist numbers in the baker’s last dozen games: Gustav Nyquist (seven assists in the last 13 games ), Boone Jenner (eight for 13), and Jakub Voracek (12 for 13). Columbus is no longer a black hole offensively.
The trade deadline in one of my leagues has already passed, which allowed me to make some moves. Despite having the fourth-highest point total in the league so far, the H2H planning gods haven’t been kind, and I find myself outside of playoff range (top eight of 24 make it there ).
It’s tough when you have a team that you think can compete, yet you can’t win a year either, how do you deal with the delay (and the next offseason)? In this case, I was pretty open to options and let the market dictate my decisions, putting just about everyone on the block and only taking what I thought was good value. I moved a few pieces such as Jack Campbell, Zach Whitecloud (it’s a capped league, so his cap is below the league minimum is huge), Craig Smith and Noah Dobson, while keeping players like Claude Giroux , Patrick Kane and Jakub Voracek. The biggest contract, however, was the departure of Brad Marchand, who is the ninth-highest scoring skater in our setup.
In return, I received Taylor Hall and a first-round pick for the 2022 draft, likely falling in the 12-16 range, but with a change to jump in the draft lottery. The key here was knowing that Taylor Hall was averaging similar numbers to Marchand over the past month or so, as well as having asked around before closing the deal to see who might then be interested in the deal. acquisition of Hall for a first round in 2023 in the off-season (once teams are able to process those picks). Having the option to field a younger, still highly productive player or move him for a package that includes a first in 2023, which would give me a chance to earn another top piece at the top of this draft is great flexibility. Trying to trade a 34-year-old Marchand in the offseason might have yielded a slightly higher return, but it’s also possible that the market for the older winger was much tighter, which would have limited my options. With Hall, it’s also possible Boston will bring in a badly needed second-line center, giving Hall a lift similar to the one he saw when he joined David Krejci and Craig Smith for the second half of the season. last. Without Krejci though, Hall came close to the numbers we saw him post in Arizona and Buffalo. He can still produce at a high level, but it looks like he needs a high-impact center to do it – and that’s just not Erik Haula or Charlie Coyle.
As the owner of Luke Evangelista in a few of my leagues, I’ve been watching his goalscoring pace closely, which is currently at 41 games per game in the OHL season. I’m not a prospect guy, but he’s definitely someone who should be on your radar in any type of league with a prospect system. He’s really upped his stock since being drafted early in the second round in 2020.
A few other notable players who aren’t just your old top 15 picks everyone already knows:
Ryan Winterton (C, Kraken)
Winterton flew under the radar a bit after being drafted 67and overall in last year’s amateur draft by the Seattle Kraken, primarily due to his injury. He worked hard to come back, however, and is now tearing up the OHL, with an excellent mark of 1.56 pts/gp, as well as a PNHLe top five in the league.
Rory Kerins (C, Flames)
Kerins wasn’t drafted until the sixth round, but he’s been one of the fastest risers ever since. He looks like an NHL player at this point and looms with second-line advantage.
Mattias Maccelli (LW, Coyotes)
Maccelli was recently recalled by the Coyotes and is (deservedly) expected to make his NHL debut soon. The former fourth-round pick traveled to North America last summer and has been tearing up the AHL this year, scoring 55 points in 42 games so far. He’s closing in on Tucson Roadrunner’s scoring records, should he be fired for a few more games.
I find it advantageous in fantasy leagues to recruit players from North America, and especially major juniors and the USNTDP, as they get the most media exposure. Greater exposure means their stocks can be built up, and that means when you’re looking to trade a prospect for an NHL player, there’s a higher chance that your teammate has heard good things about said player.
As for the outlook, we’ve seen a few ELC signings in recent days, and that’s partly due to the fact that NHL teams can now sign players into their ELCs without them going into effect until March. ‘next year. A few of those players are highly touted college free agents, and from year to year, those can get pretty mixed up. Typically, though, they’re not very positive players, and the best options end up being in the middle of roster players such as Tyler Bozak and Danny Dekeyser. Nevertheless. Rolling the dice with these guys gives you the advantage of knowing if you have an NHL player, or even a high impact player, much sooner. If the player turns off, you move on to the next one.
Corey Pronman at The Athletic wrote up a few, while there’s also a list in the DobberHockey Mid-Season Guide. Something to watch out for depending on how your league adds players and prospects to your teams.
Mathew Barzal stayed out of the lineup last night, which meant Jean-Gabriel Pageau once again took over at center ice. He’s scored a point in each of the last two games with Barzal out, and could be worth watching in the short term until Barzal returns. Unfortunately, when Barzal is back in the lineup, there just isn’t enough offense to keep Pageau relevant in most leagues.