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Slappers and Bangers: Mid-Season Multi-cat All-Star Team

Hey folks, welcome back to another installment of Slappers and Bangers; where we look at fantasy hockey through a multi-cat lens; specifically for limited keeper and dynasty leagues.

It’s All-Star Weekend in the NHL, which makes this the perfect time to select our own multi-cat All-Star Team.

And your Multi-cat All-Stars are…

Fantasy Hockey Multi-cat All-Stars

Eastern Conference 

Brady Tkachuk, LW/RW, Ottawa Senators. 

You can’t discuss multi-cat players without discussing Brady. The numbers speak for themselves. In 47 games, he has 22 goals, and 19 assists, for 41 points,203 shots, 124 hits, and 102 penalty minutes. He is set to blow by his career highs in shots (347) and penalty minutes (126).  On pace for half his power-play point total from last year, 29, his power-play scoring is way down from last year.

Still, multi-cat-wise, Tkachuk finds himself in a class of his own.

Matthew Tkachuk, LW/RW, Florida Panthers

His peripherals don’t stand out to the same degree as his little brother. What he lacks, in comparison, in peripherals he makes up for with scoring.

In 49 games, Tkachuk is up to 16 goals, and 35 assists, for 51 points. His 181 shots rank 10th in the NHL. Matthew Tkachuk is no slouch in the peripheral department himself. He sits with 60 hits and 48 penalty minutes, which is over a hit per game and a minor penalty every second game. His two power-play goals are off last year’s pace (14). This shouldn’t be a big surprise as his teammate, Sam Reinhart is a power-play goal hog.

Tkachuk is primed for a huge second half. His multi-cat value is only going up.

Vincent Trocheck, C, New York Rangers

With 46 points in 49 games (15 goals, 31 assists, 77-point pace), Trocheck is on pace to challenge his career-high in points, 78. His shot totals have ramped up after a slow start, averaging just under three per game through December and January. He’s up to 114 on the year and on pace for just over 200. Admittedly, his hits are down, but he’s still on pace for 109. As the playoffs approach and intensities ramp up, we may see his hit totals rise as well. Trocheck also weighs in a respectable, 41 penalty minutes. You can’t ignore someone pushing a point-per-game pace, who fills all your peripherals to this degree.

Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buffalo Sabres

Dahlin provides the rare combination of high-level scoring to go along with high-end peripherals. It is rare to find a defenceman who can produce 60-plus points and stuff your peripheral stats. In 48 games, he has 13 goals, and 25 assists, for 38 points. in 48 games. He also has 91 hits, 90 blocks, and 140 shots. He’s also chipped in 30 penalty minutes, just to ensure he contributes everywhere.  This combination of stats is unmatched across the league.

Michael Matheson, D, Montreal Canadiens

He should be representing Montreal at this year’s All-Star game. Matheson is having a career year. His 34 points in 49 games leaves him on pace for 57 points. His 19 power-play points rank him 9th for defenceman. His 127 shots put him on pace for his first 200-shot season (212 over 82 games). Where he’s lacking is hits. With 27 hits so far, he’s only on pace for 45. Considering the size of his breakout, and the cost to acquire him, at the beginning of the year, it is a concession I’m willing to make.

Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Florida Panthers

He’s been solid and extremely consistent all year. His 36 starts and 23 wins are both tied for third in the league. His 893 saves rank 10th in the league. Only in October has he posted a goals-against average below .907 (it was .904).

He probably won’t get consideration for the Vezina, but when you start him on your fantasy team you can do so with confidence.

Western Conference

J.T. Miller, LW/C, Vancouver Canucks

My only hesitation with Miller is his shots, he only has 100 through 49 games. That is barely two per game or 166 over 82 games. I couldn’t ignore the production. I mean, Miller is tied with Connor McDavid for 4th in league scoring, with 67 points, and fourth in the league with 29 power-play points.

Once you take into consideration his 103 hits and 35 penalty minutes, you can see why my stance on his weak shot totals softened. His offense is elite and he stuffs your peripheral categories.

Frank Vatrano, LW/RW, Anaheim Ducks

If you’ve read my columns this year, Vatrano shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s been a personal favorite all season. Let’s just stop and admire a player you likely picked up for free or acquired for a mid-round pick (or an equivalent low price).

He’s playing a career-high, 18:16 a game, and 2:36 on the power play. In 50 games he has 22 goals, and 14 assists, for 36 points. They aren’t earth-shattering totals, but they do set him up for potential career highs in goals and points (on pace for 36 goals and 59 points). It’s the peripherals that pushed Vatrano onto my all-star team. His combination of 78 hits, 159 shots, and 55 penalty minutes pushed him up my list.

He’s contributed five game-winning goals and three short-handed points to go along with his 11 power-play points. He just ticks all the boxes

Filip Forsberg, LW, Nashville Predators 

Forsberg is cruising along at a point-per-game pace (51 in 51). The only surprise is that he has played in every game. His last full season was 2016-17. The production is what we have come to expect of Forsberg, having played at, or close to, a point-a-game pace over the last four seasons.

This year he has ramped up his shot totals. His career high is 247. Already with 203 this year, he is set to smash past that mark and should hit 300 for the first time. He’s also been a solid hits contributor, and on pace for 135.

Health is the only thing that will stop Forsberg from setting career highs in most statistical categories. It is something to pay attention to as he is often hurt.

MacKenzie Weegar, D, Calgary Flames

In his second year with the Flames, Weegar has returned to the multi-cat, top-four pairing we all fell in love with a couple of years ago. On pace for 48 points, he has an outside shot at hitting 50 for the first time in his career. His 12 goals also give him a shot at 20, which no one expected. He also sits 7th in the league for shots by a defenceman, with 121.

Weegar’s consistent power-play exposure could provide a surprise double-digit power-play point total. His 84 hits and 118 blocks ensure wide cat coverage.

Brock Faber, D, Minnesota Wild

This is why he is in consideration for the Calder, the kid does it all. As a rookie, he has a shot at 50 points. With 77 shots and 99 blocks, Faber finds himself on pace for 130 shots and 165 blocks. He has taken over first-unit powerplay duties and with a little hot streak, could hit 20 powerplay points (currently has 11).

Faber has top pairing, multi-cat stud written all over him.

Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver Canucks

It was close with Connor Hellebyuck, but in fantasy hockey, it is all about the fantasy hockey stats. Demko has more wins, more saves, and more shutouts than Hellebyuck. That gives him an edge. Outside of deep category pools or SIM leagues, this is what owners build titles on.

Demko sees a lot of rubber and is stopping a lot of rubber. His 26 wins is second in the league, his five shutouts are tied for the league lead, and his 976 saves are fourth. The .920 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average push him into the Vezina talk.

Demko’s a stud you can win a championship on.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading.

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