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Fantasy Hockey: Streaming Options

Due to small sample sizes and teams just getting accustomed to each other, it’s tough to judge how players do early on in the season. This is generally why you should usually be patient with players. However, sometimes, there are players who were put in good situations and just take off for the rest of the season. A prime example is Zach Werenski, who went on to post 47 points as a rookie defenseman last year or Viktor Arvidsson, who started off hot and then kept on going to finish the year with 61 points in 80 games. I like to leave a spot open on my roster for players on hot streaks and then drop them if/when they stop performing. Here are some players to at least keep an eye on and maybe add if you have an open spot available.

Streaming Options


Jan Rutta – D – Chicago Blackhawks (8% Owned on Fantrax)

For the last couple of years, the Blackhawks have had three well-known defensemen: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Now, Hjalmarsson is in Arizona, and it was unclear how the Blackhawks would fill that shot-blocking hole that Hjalmarsson specialized in. That mystery will remain unsolved for now, but there is a defenseman who has some offense to his game who can help fill the void. In the first four games, Jan Rutta has two goals and two assists. If you’re in a league that counts +/-, he has a positive of seven in that category. Rutta also has an average of 20 minutes of ice time, which shows that Chicago coach Joel Quenneville trusts him. Since it’s still early, it’s unclear if Rutta will maintain his offensive production. However, the 27-year-old defensemen had 32 points in 46 games last year in the Czech league, which shows he has some potential. Rutta is a good add in deep leagues.

Jesper Bratt – LW/RW – New Jersey Devils (8% Owned on Fantrax)

The Devils may have found a diamond in the rough in Jesper Bratt. In the Swedish league, Bratt did not impress a ton, considering he had just 39 points in 95 games over two seasons. He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2016. Now, in Bratt’s first two games, he has three goals and two assists, setting a franchise record for points for a rookie in his first two games. Bratt has overshadowed 2017 first overall pick Nico Hischier’s performance. It remains to be seen whether Bratt can stay consistent, considering his first two games were against the Avalanche and the Sabres, two teams that don’t have a great defense. He also has three goals on only three shots. Unless he is a goal wizard, expect his shooting percentage to go down. On the plus side, the Devils don’t have a ton of forward depth, so Bratt will be given a lot of ice time and opportunity. He is currently on New Jersey’s top line and second power-play unit, although that could change when Kyle Palmieri returns from injury. I would add Bratt in keeper and dynasty leagues if you have an open reserves spot. I’d wait a little longer in redraft leagues.

Sonny Milano – LW – Columbus Blue Jackets (27% Owned on Fantrax)

Milano has really excelled in the AHL for the last two seasons, with 83 points in 123 AHL games. This made Milano one of Columbus’ top prospects. Now, he gets to fully experience the NHL and has looked pretty good to start. In Milano’s first three games, he has four goals. Because John Tortorella, the Blue Jackets coach, tends to cycle their line, it’s hard to tell how much ice time Milano will have going forward. According to Left Wing Lock, he plays on Nick Foligno’s line most of the time. Apparently, he was playing on the fourth line, but Tortorella thought Milano was playing so well that he gave him more playing time. I would ride the hot hand if you have a streaming spot available. He may actually be the real deal.

Noah Hanifin – D – Carolina Hurricanes (70% Owned on Fantrax)

Considering 30% of Fantrax leagues don’t have Hanifin on a roster, he is a fringe sleeper. However, he has been a bit under the radar, so he counts in this instance. Hanifin had 13 points in his last 23 games last year, and he finished last season with 29 points in 81 games, which means that 45% of his point total happened toward the end of the year. He started this season off with a goal in his first game and has been getting some time on the top pair with Justin Faulk and the second power-play unit. which means he is averaging 20 minutes a game. There are a couple of knocks on Hanifin, one being that Justin Faulk, his defenseman partner, is usually the offensive threat, where Hanifin will usually have to be that shutdown guy. Also, Carolina has underrated defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who posted 34 points last season and could usurp Hanifin’s playing time. That said, Hanifin was the 2015 No. 5 overall pick and the first defenseman taken that year, which shows how much the Hurricanes believe in him. Now that Hanifin is in his third season, this will be the time for the Boston College alumni to show what he can do. He could get more than 30 points this season if he continues to get a lot of playing time. He is a good stash in redraft leagues based on his potential, and he’s a must-have in dynasty and keeper leagues.

Devin Shore – C/LW – Dallas Stars (20% Owned on Fantrax)

We’ll start off with the negative. The main knock on Shore is that he doesn’t get a ton of ice time, with an average ice time of 15 minutes per game as a third line center. That’s been changing recently, however. Plus, he is more of play-maker than a goal-scoring sniper. However, he has two assists in three games and is currently on the first power play on the potent Stars offense. Last season, he had 13 goals and 20 assists in 82 games with an average ice-time of 15 minutes, which isn’t bad. He could regress, but he could also be more productive with more ice-time. With new coach Ken Hitchcock, Shore might be trusted more than he was with former coach, Lindy Ruff. I would put Shore on my watch list for now.

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