Games Played This Week By Team
4 Games: CGY, CAR, COL, DAL, FLA, MIN, NYI, NYR, STL, VAN, WSH, WPG
3 Games: ANA, BOS, BUF, CHI, CBJ, DET, EDM, LA, NSH, NJ, OTT, PHI, PIT, TB, TOR, VGK
2 Games: ARI, MTL, SJ
Adam Henrique – C – Anaheim Ducks
57% Owned on Fantrax
On November 30, the New Jersey Devils sent Adam Henrique, Joeseph Blandisi, and a 2018 third-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Sami Vatanen and a conditional draft pick. This was seen as a trade in which both teams won. The Devils get another defenseman, not named Will Butcher, to help out on the power-play, while the Ducks get a couple of players that can help out now for an injury-riddled Anaheim squad. Henrique has been really productive since joining the Ducks. He has three goals and three assists in five games with his new team. Meanwhile, Sami Vatanen doesn’t have a single point. Before this season, Henrique had hit the 20-goal mark three times in seven seasons. Henrique currently has seven goals and 20 points in 29 games, which puts him on pace for 20 goals and 57 points. He has 263 points in 455 career games, which isn’t bad, but not at this pace. Whenever a player who has been in the league a while gets this hot, there is a reason to be skeptical. But since the Ducks are missing Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler for some time, Henrique is getting a perfect opportunity to benefit, especially when his linemates are Corey Perry and Rikard Rakell, who are better than his linemates in New Jersey. Add Henrique to your team until Kesler and Getzlaf return. Both are expected back very soon.
NOTE: Getzlaf is returning for the next game. Henrique should still get ice-time but as the second line center now until Kesler returns.
Kevin Fiala – LW/RW – Nashville Predators
53% Owned on Fantrax
Another player who is benefiting from an early trade is Kevin Fiala. Kyle Turris brought added depth to the Predators’ roster when he was sent to Nashville. The Predators are no longer solely dependent on one line anymore. Turris became the second line center to complement Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson. Turris has made his linemates Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith better as a result. Fiala has 12 points since Turris has joined the Predators. He has five goals and 19 points in 28 games this season. Fiala has really gotten going in December with a four-game point streak in which he has three goals and two assists. At 21 years old and in his second full NHL season, Fiala has a lot of potential as a 2014 first-round pick. He has even more upside now that he has a center who can help him out. If Fiala is not available in your league, linemate Craig Smith (29% owned) is probably available and has been doing well himself.
Tom Wilson – LW/RW – Washington Capitals
42% Owned on Fantrax
I was debating putting Tom Wilson here because he is known more for his aggressive style of play than actually contributing in a productive way. Wilson’s highest point total in five seasons is 23 points. However, with three goals and four assists in three games this week, it got harder and harder to ignore him. Wilson has 15 points on the season, which gives him eight more than his career high. Wilson had a four-point night against Chicago on Wednesday and then a two-point night against the Rangers on Friday. Wilson is performing now because, with T.J. Oshie sidelined, he’s been playing on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Very similar to Michael Ferland’s situation in Calgary. As mentioned before, Wilson isn’t exactly known for his scoring ways, but as long as he’s playing with these two elite talents, he should be owned in every league. However, it’s very likely that he is already gone in leagues that counts hits and penalty minutes. Hold him until Oshie returns.
Erik Haula – C/LW – Vegas Golden Knights
39% Owned on Fantrax
I’ve mentioned Erik Haula in this feature before when I highlighted Jonathan Marchessault. However, Haula deserves his own attention now based on his performance last week. In those three games, Haula has three goals and two assists with 14 shots on goal. Now, one of those goals was an empty-netter, but a goal is a goal in fantasy hockey. He has 19 points in 25 games so far with 59 shots on net. He’s on pace for about 60 points. All of Vegas’ players are holding a bit of a grudge. They were either all left exposed and then drafted by Vegas, or they were traded to the Knights in a deal so Vegas wouldn’t take another exposed player. Haula is an example of the latter. He was a third or fourth line player in Minnesota and was getting around 13 minutes per night for the Wild. But in Vegas, Haula is the top line center averaging 18 minutes per night, and he’s certainly making the most of it. He is also on the first power-play. Like every Vegas player, there is always risk involved considering we don’t know how long their hot streak will last. Haula is a good pick-up for now, but as soon as the team struggles, he can be dropped.
Sam Bennett – C/LW – Calgary Flames
43% Owned on Fantrax
To say that Sam Bennett was struggling early in the year is not only accurate, but it’s a bit of an understatement. The 2014 fourth overall pick had not registered a point until November 9. Since then, Bennett has 11 points in 15 games. Five of those points have been scored in December, including the game-winning goal on Saturday against the Canucks. He also has eight points in the last seven games. This shows that Bennett is just getting going. It is encouraging to see that he can give the Flames some added depth, especially as a high draft pick. The Flames’ forwards are more than just Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matt Tkachuk. Of course, with Bennett, Gaudreau, and Tkachuk, the Flames are stacked on the left wing. Because of this, it is very likely that Bennett will remain on the third line. Bennett is also a center, but Monahan and Mikael Backlund are in the way in that position. However, he still has some value in deeper leagues, and who knows, he might work his way onto one of the top two lines if Tkachuk or Backlund struggle.
This is where we take a look at the performances of the players I mentioned in last week’s article. Knowing when to drop your streamers is just as important as knowing when to add them. The following guys should be kept in all keeper and dynasty formats unless stated otherwise.
Tristan Jarry – Jarry had a rough go last week. He allowed 10 goals in three games, never allowing fewer than three goals per contest. So, the theory that Jarry would get more starts if he played well in Murray’s absence is likely not going to happen. Jarry is worth holding onto only if your team is desperate for a goalie.
Radek Faksa – Faksa had one assist in three games last week. However, he did have eight shots, so it wasn’t that bad. Dallas does have four games this week, so you could conceivably hold onto him for now. But as mentioned, it is tough to keep him around with how he’s being deployed.
Alex DeBrincat – DeBrincat had a bit more luck. He had one goal and one assist in three games last week with six shots. He’s also getting an uptick in minutes (around 17 minutes per game). He could be worth something for a little while longer.
Pierre-Luc Dubois – Dubois also had one goal and one assist in three games last week. He also had five shots. What’s even better is that he’s getting around 20 minutes per night. Torts has cycled his lines every now and then, but Dubois remains on the top line.
Loui Eriksson – Eriksson didn’t get any points last week. With the absence of Bo Horvat, who suffered an ankle injury on Wednesday, the entire Vancouver offense has been impacted. Eriksson is still on the Sedin line, but that isn’t as effective as it used to be. Eriksson can be dropped in all leagues at this point. However, put him on your watch list because he does still have sleeper potential.