Will Butcher – D – New Jersey Devils
77% owned on Fantrax
The 2016 Hobey Baker winner (the Heisman award for college hockey), Will Butcher has gotten off to a hot start in the NHL. Butcher has eight assists in five games and a plus-five on a suddenly potent New Jersey Devils offense. Butcher was initially drafted by the Colorado Avalanche but after four years of the University of Denver and putting up 103 points in 153 NCAA games in his time, he didn’t end up signing with the Colorado Avalanche. Instead, he went to New Jersey, where he’s been playing on the power play right away.
He kicked things off strong with three assists against his former team, Colorado, in his first game, no less. Of Butcher’s eight points, five of them have been on the power play. With his high percent of leagues owning him, he’s a popular streaming pick for now. But if he continues to be on the power play, he’ll be an interesting long-term option in one-year leagues, especially if he stays on the power play. New Jersey has three games next week. He’s a must grab in keepers and dynasty leagues.
Sven Andrighetto – LW/RW – Colorado Avalanche
45% owned on Fantrax
It’s still early in the season, but it’s already looking like the Avalanche will be better than they were last season, which admittedly, wouldn’t be hard to do. If you want to get in on the Avalanche, a lot of their main players are taken like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, or Tyson Barrie. However, there is one stand out difference-maker early this season: Sven Andrighetto. Andrighetto has six points in six games this season. all of his points have come in three consecutive games.
Since being acquired by the Avalanche from Montreal in early March, he had 16 points in 19 games last season. So, he’s been picking up where left off. Colorado only has two games this week but Andrighetto might be fantasy relevant for a little while longer, considering he is on the top line and top power play. He’s a worthy flier in all leagues. Also, Nail Yakupov (43% owned on Fantrax) has been impressive with three goals and two assists so far. He’d be a fun add if you believe in the 2012 first overall pick, who might be resurrecting his career.
Connor Hellebuyck – G – Winnipeg Jets
74% owned on Fantrax
Like Butcher, there is a strong likelihood that Hellebuyck has already been taken. But Hellebuyck is a goalie and he has been really hot lately. In the three games that Hellebuyck’s started, he has allowed five goals on 100 shots, including 39 saves against Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers. Hellebuyck currently has a .937 SV% and 2.11 GAA. Of course, Hellebuyck’s numbers aren’t sustainable but he has a lot of potential and could realistically be around the .917 – .920 SV% range. Another factor is Steve Mason, who hasn’t been great (.831 SV%, 6.60 GAA) in his first two games. Mason could catch on fire eventually, but for now, Hellebuyck is the starter for Winnipeg. So, if you’re having goalie issues, then pick him up before you can’t anymore in any league format.
Bryan Rust – RW – Pittsburgh Penguins
53% owned on Fantrax
In most drafts, this season, a lot of players drafted Jake Guentzal and Conor Sheary. Mostly because they were destined to line up with Sidney Crosby. But there was one player in the top six that may not have been in too many drafts and that is Bryan Rust. Rust has been on Crosby’s line when Sheary has struggled early on. Rust is certainly making the most of it too. He has one goal and seven assists in six games so far. According to LeftWingLock, even when Rust is not with Crosby, he’s with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, which obviously isn’t a bad consolation prize either. Since he has been getting top-six minutes, I’d add him but keep track of his minutes and his point total because he could slip in no time.
Dustin Brown – LW/RW – Los Angeles Kings
39% owned on Fantrax
In Brown’s 13 season career, he has only had 60 points or more once in 2007-08. He has hit 50 or more points four times in his career. Even with 19 minutes of average ice time, Brown has usually been average in terms of offense. He has been more known for his peripheral stats, most notably hits. However, with the Kings coach Daryl Sutter out, Dustin Brown has kicked it up a notch on the offensive side to start the season. He has seven points overall with three goals and two assists in the three games he has played this week. With the new coach, John Stevens, who will likely get the Kings to be more offensively-focused, it is certainly possible we could see a 50 or more points season from Brown again, especially if he stays on the top line like he has. However, Brown is an NHL veteran at this point, we know what we’re going to get. Add him to your roster but be wary that he won’t be this hot for the entire season.
A part of streaming is knowing when to drop players as well. So, in this section, we’re going to take a look at how the players I mentioned in the last article have done since then.
Jan Rutta – He has not scored a goal in the two games since Wednesday (when the article was posted). But he’s still getting the same amount of ice-time and even some time on the power play. I’d stash him on my bench in deep leagues for another week, but I’d drop him in shallower leagues.
Jesper Bratt – Well, we found out he is not a goal wizard and unfortunately for him, Palmieri returned. He has one assist in the three games he played since the article. However, he’s been put on the second line with Nico Hischier and Marcus Johannson and has continued to have the same amount of ice-time and power play time. I’d be cautious but wouldn’t necessarily drop him.
Sonny Milano – He also has not scored a goal in the two games since Wednesday. However, he has gotten reduced playing time. Even though he is now on the second line, it is safe to drop him in shallow leagues.
Noah Hanifin – Hanifin has one assist in the one game he’s played from where we left off. He’s also getting the same amount of ice-time and on the powerplay. However, his ownership % has gone down a point, He’s still a worth add this week, as Carolina has three games next week.
Devin Shore – Shore had two assists on Saturday, one of which was on the power-play. He even had the most ice-time of his season with 17 minutes and on the second line. It looks like Hitchcock trusts him and he might be a fixture in the Stars offense after all.