GAMES PLAYED THIS WEEK BY TEAM
4 Games: ANA, ARI, BUF, CGY, EDM, MIN, NSH, NJ, SJ, TOR, VAN, WSH, WPG
3 Games: BOS, CAR, COL, CBJ, DAL, DET, LA, MTL, NYR, NYI, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TB, VGK
2 Games: CHI, FLA
Because of Thanksgiving this Thursday, there are a lot more NHL games this week. There are 15 games on Wednesday and 14 games on Friday. Unless your team has a lot of injuries or a lot of struggling players, there is likely not room for streaming this week, considering every team will be playing on the same day. This also is usually the time where teams start to assess their seasons and decide whether they should make moves to go all in for a playoff run or admit that this just isn’t their year and make trades to build for the future. This could be a good practice for fantasy teams, as well. What moves or players should you make to prepare for the rest of the season? In the meantime, here are players to look at now, and who knows? Maybe they’ll help you in the long run, too.
TEUVO TERAVAINEN – C/LW/RW – CAROLINA HURRICANES
63% Owned on Fantrax
The hottest player in the league this week is Teuvo Teravainen. He has 19 points in 19 games this season with 39 shots on goal. Last week, Teravainen had 10 points in four games, including a four-point night with a hat trick and an assist against the Stars last Monday. He added on to his multi-point streak with two assists on Wednesday. He then had two goals and an assist on Sunday against the Islanders. Hurricanes players usually fall under the radar, mostly due to the market they play in. However, they’ve been putting up points lately, especially the top line. The top line consists of Teravainen, Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal, and they are also on the top power-play together. That line combined for 25 points in four games last week. All three of them clearly have great chemistry together. Aho (81% owned) is likely taken in leagues, but there is a chance that Jordan Staal (53% owned) is available. It’s unclear how long this line will stay hot, but it is worth taking a flier on any three of these players in case they are for real. Teravainen is bound to slip a bit, but he does have extra value with triple-position eligibility.
MATTIAS EKHOLM – D – NASHVILLE PREDATORS
63% Owned on Fantrax
Since the Nashville Predators have been in existence, they always seem to have a plethora of good defensemen. This is one of the main reasons they made the Stanley Cup finals last season. Roman Josi, P.K Subban, and Ryan Ellis all had 30 or more points last year. Ekholm had a decent season with 23 points, but he certainly slipped from the year before, when he posted 35 points. The reason for the decrease last season mostly had to do with the emergence of Ryan Ellis and the arrival of P.K Subban. However, Ryan Ellis is injured and set to return in January. This means Ekholm has become the guy to replace Ellis’ production. Subban is still doing well, but it’s on the top defensive pair. With 12 points in 19 games, he hasn’t been doing too poorly. Ekholm has been really hot lately with three goals and three assists in the last five games. He is certainly capable of putting up points and is worth an add in all league formats, for now. However, it will be interesting to see if his production suffers when Ryan Ellis returns in two months.
MICHAEL FERLAND – LW/RW – CALGARY FLAMES
36% Owned on Fantrax
In case you missed out on Jason Zucker last week, Michael Ferland had a bit of a goal streak of his own. Ferland had scored a goal in five consecutive games before failing to find the net on Saturday. He did, however, manage to get an assist to increase his point streak to six games. Ferland isn’t known for his scoring with just 43 points in 147 NHL games before this season. Ferland now has 12 points in 18 games. This explains why he isn’t widely owned. Ferland usually has a fourth-line role and doesn’t get a ton of ice-time. However, a lot of this offensive shift can be attributed to being on Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau’s line. Those two can make any player better, and it appears to be working for Ferland right now. I’d add him, but be aware of his ice-time and who he’s lined up with. Once he’s off the top line, his value plummets.
ARTEM ANISIMOV – C – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
52% Owned on Fantrax
The Chicago Blackhawks were one of the most interesting teams coming into this season. That said, the Blackhawks have been just average of late, with a 5-5-0 record in their last 10 games. However, Artem Anisimov has been pretty good lately. He had a hat trick against the Rangers on Wednesday. He also had a goal on Monday against the Devils and the game-winning goal on Saturday against the Penguins. Last season’s 22 goals and 45 points were a career high for Anisimov in his nine-year NHL career, but he currently has 10 goals and 12 points in 20 games with 48 shots. With his career shooting percentage at 13.3, Anisimov’s 20.8 shooting percentage this season is likely to regress. It’s just a matter of when that will be, though, so ride the wave for now.
DANTON HEINEN – C/LW/RW – BOSTON BRUINS
26% Owned on Fantrax
The Bruins’ forward group have had many injuries to start the year. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci had their IR stints but have since returned. However, Torey Krug, David Backes, Brad Marchand and, more recently, Anders Bjork, are out and won’t return for a while. The good news is that the Bruins have a lot of young players, particularly on the wing, that are ready to step up. Danton Heinen is now on the top line and power-play with Bergeron and Pastrnak. He has 10 points in 15 games this year. What’s impressive is that Heinen is doing this with about 15 minutes of average ice time. He is usually on the fourth line when everybody is healthy. However, with the injury bug and the Bruins’ new attention to their young players, Heinen is being given his chance to shine. I’m sure if Anders Bjork or Jake DeBrusk struggle, Heinen will get even more attention. Heinen had 54 points in 70 AHL games over two seasons in Providence. Both DeBrusk and Bjork have been satisfactory in terms of top-six roles early in the season. Heinen is a good add until the Bruins are fully healthy, but pay attention to his ice-time and deployment if you own him.
This is where we take a look at how the players I mentioned last week performed. 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.
Jason Zucker – Although Zucker did have two goals last week, his goal streak ended on Saturday. Zucker will certainly cool off, but it’s hard to drop him after one bad performance. Wait it out one more week.
Charlie Lindgren – Lindgren showed his inexperience this week. He went 0-2-1, allowing 12 goals in three games. He gave up five goals in his last two games. His save percentage is still at .920 and his GAA is pretty good at 2.49. He’ll likely still get starts, as both Montoya and Price seem to still be out, but he’s not an automatic start.
Alexander Kerfoot – Kerfoot has two assists in three games last week. This isn’t bad, but the fact that he had just one shot on goal is a concern. However, he’s still being given a lot of ice-time as the second-line center and is getting power-play time, as well. I wouldn’t give up on him just yet.
Esa Lindell – Lindell is still getting opportunities with eight shots on goal in four games. However, he has only one assist to show for it this week. Drop him if you have to.
Christian Dvorak – The Coyotes have won two straight games. No big deal. Dvorak helped them win their first game with one goal and one assist against Montreal. Drop him if you have to.
Players to Drop: Jacob Markstrom, Ondrej Kase, Tim Heed, Devin Shore
Players to Hold on in Shallow Leagues: Conor Hellebuyck, Kyle Connor, Mathew Barzal, Yanni Gourde
Stash in Deep Leagues: Noah Hanifin, Sven Baertschi, Pavel Buchnevich, Josh Anderson
See Who’s Interested: Will Butcher, Jesper Bratt, Mikhail Sergachev, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Marchessault