Games Played This Week By Team
4 Games: ARI, MTL, PHI, TOR, VGK
3 Games: ANA, BOS, CHI, COL, CBJ, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, NSH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, PIT, SJ, STL, TB, VAN, WPG
2 Games: BUF, CGY, CAR, WSH
There have been a lot of surprises in the first month. All of the players I’ve discussed are on teams that are surprisingly decent. I’m sure eventually everything will even out once more games are played. Then again, all of these teams could remain this way throughout the season. It’s still early.
Adrian Kempe – C/LW – Los Angeles Kings
55% Owned On Fantrax
The Kings used to be defensive-minded. This season, under coach John Stevens, the Kings have quietly become an offensive juggernaut. Los Angeles averages 3.4 goals per game, which ranks ninth in the league. This is impressive considering the Kings are without Jeff Carter due to injury. However, Adrian Kempe is doing a pretty good job replacing Carter’s production as the second line center. Kempe has nine points in his first 11 games and five points in four games this week. According to Dobber, Kempe is the second-best prospect in the Kings system, so Los Angeles is clearly happy with what they have so far. However, it’s unlikely that Kempe’s production is sustainable. He has 17 shots in 11 games, with 11 minutes of average ice-time. He is still is a good streamer during this hot streak.
Sven Baertschi – LW – Vancouver Canucks
35% Owned on Fantrax
Baertschi has been fairly underrated since he joined the Canucks. For the most part, it’s because he was a bit of a disappointment in Calgary. Plus, Vancouver hasn’t exactly been the greatest team in the past few years. Baertschi was heralded as a big-time prospect for the Flames until he got traded to Vancouver in 2015 for a second-round pick (which became Rasmus Andersson). Baertschi has 73 points in 150 games in four seasons with Vancouver. This season, he’s off to a hot start. Baertschi has eight points in 10 games, including four goals and one assist in the last three contests (which included this move). It appears Baertschi has found his home. The Canucks are rebuilding this season, but Baertschi, along with his linemates Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, are still producing points. All three should be a big part of Vancouver’s future. If you’re worried about the plus-minus, Baertschi has a plus-minus of +4. Bottom line: Baertschi should be owned in more leagues, especially now that he is getting hot.
Jonathan Marchessault – C/LW – Vegas Golden Knights
68% Owned on Fantrax
The Vegas Golden Knights are somehow 8-1-0 in their first month of existence. No one thought Vegas would be this good this fast, including me. Every Vegas Golden Knight player was a risk. As a result, Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal may have been the only Vegas players drafted in some leagues. Plus, Vadim Shipachyov and Shea Theodore, who were likely the next Vegas players drafted, have played more games in the AHL than in the NHL. However, there are likely some gems here. Jonathan Marchessault was injured last week, but he had two goals and one assist in the two games since he returned. One year removed from getting 30 goals in Florida, Marchessault already has three goals and one assist in six games.
With four games this week, Vegas is a hot commodity in terms of player adds. The goaltending may not remain this good, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fantasy value elsewhere. Nate Schmidt (39%), Colin Miller (32%), Erik Haula (13%) and Alex Tuch (38%) will be good streamers in deep leagues. Marchessault is a good add in all league formats if he’s still available.
Mathew Barzal – C – New York Islanders
54% Owned on Fantrax
It looks like the Islanders have found their second line center, and they got him through their farm. Mathew Barzal has six points in 11 games this season, and he’s just getting started. Barzal had one goal and two assists in three games last week. Barzal has recently been given a lot of ice-time and time on the power play. He started the season with around 14 to 15 minutes of ice-time. In the last four games, however, his lowest ice-time was 14:45, and his most was 18:03. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll be a permanent fixture on the second line and on the power play. Speaking of Islanders, Josh Bailey (47% owned) would be a good add if your team is in need of assists, as he’s on the top line temporarily.
Pavel Buchvenich – LW/RW – New York Rangers
52% owned on Fantrax
The Rangers haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, but Pavel Buchvenich is one of the few bright spots. Buchvenich had three goals and one assist in three games last week with 11 shots. He has eight points in 12 games. What’s amazing is that Buchvenich is pulling this off while getting decreased ice-time. Buchvenich was averaging 19 minutes while playing on the top two lines earlier this season, but he was recently demoted to the bottom two lines. Coach Alain Vigneault likes to cycle his lines a lot, and if Buchvenich is playing this well, it’s only a matter of time before he gets more ice-time. Buchvenich is a good sleeper pick right now. Being on the bottom two lines is not great, but what he is doing can’t be ignored. Put him on your Watch List in shallow leagues and pay attention to his ice-time. He’s worth grabbing now in deeper formats.
We take a look at how the players I previously mentioned did this week. Knowing when to drop your streamers is just as important as adding them. It goes without saying, but the following guys should be kept in all keeper and dynasty formats.
Mikhail Sergachev – Sergachev had one goal and one assist in three games last week. He’s also been getting more ice-time, which is nice to see. Sergachev is still a good play for one-year leagues.
Brandon Montour – Despite Hampus Lindholm returning, Montour has been really good with two goals and one assist in four games last week. He also has around 20 minutes of ice-time. With Fowler’s injury looking more serious, Montour might still be a sneaky add.
Kyle Connor – Although Connor did nothing in his first two games last week, he had two assists on Sunday. He is also still getting around 19 minutes of ice time on the top line. Connor should be kept.
Anders Bjork – The Bruins played only two games last week, but Bjork did have an assist and five shots on goal. Bjork is still on a line with Bergeron. Bjork is a drop if you absolutely need to.
Kailer Yamamoto – Maybe the Oilers don’t want to decide Yamamoto’s fate just yet by giving him his nine-game limit, considering they have healthy scratched him the past two games. However, they haven’t sent him to his WHL team, the Spokane Chiefs, either. Or maybe they want to see what the other wingers can do with McDavid. Yamamoto may not have a ton of fantasy relevance anyway with Draisaitl returning. Yamamoto can be dropped, but keep an eye on him.
Players to Drop: Bryan Rust and Jan Rutta
Players to Hold on in Shallow Leagues: Conor Hellebuyck, Will Butcher, Dustin Brown
Stash in Deep Leagues: Sven Andrighetto, Noah Hanifin, Devin Shore
Maybe Pick Up Again: Jesper Bratt