NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 14
Episode 96 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 13 of the NHL was filled with plenty of action, including a stellar 5-point performance from Rasmus Dahlin, an 11-shot performance from Jack Hughes… As we do each week, we’ll check in on John’s list, “hack” our way through the NHL’s Headlines, go through the week’s schedule, make recommendations for waiver wire adds, and discuss our weekly Rankings Risers & Fallers (Top 200 Rankings) – Powered By Left Wing Lock. Thank you again to Mike McLaughlin for joining us, fantastic insight as always!
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- Enter to win a Hacks Holiday in Vegas!
- O’Reilly & Tarasenko out weeks
- Letang loses father, dealing with lower-body injury
- Stars extend Pavelski
- Vrana on waivers!?
- Oshie, Backstrom, Wilson all return for the capitals
- Eichel back for the Golden Knights
- Pacioretty posts two goals in return from Achilles injury
- UPDATED RANKINGS!
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If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about “John’s List”; which is basically John’s $h!t list of players past and present. If you have any suggestions for players/subjects we should add to the list, let us know!
Goaltenders – For being so wildly inconsistent.😒
Fantasy Lock Of The Week (January 2 – 8, 2023) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Jack Hughes, C/LW, 95% Rostered (Yahoo)
The arrival of Jack Hughes has been exciting to watch! Through 40 games to date this season, Hughes is on-pace for 100 points and 53 goals! The shot volume has been absolutely absurd, highlighted by the 11 shots he posted against the Rangers on Saturday; and 62 shots over his last 10 games (6.2/GM). 7 Points (5 Goals), 26 SOG (8.67/GM), +3, 2 PPP, 81% PP Share, 21:56 ATOI in 3 games played during week 13.
Headlines W/ The Hacks | January 2 – 8, 2023
Headlines This Week
- The NHL announced their 3 stars of the week. 1st star is Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg. In 3 games he scored 7 points. 5 goals and 2 assists. And rocks a Skinner-esque moustache. 2nd star is San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, continuing his outstanding season with 7 points, all assists in 4 games. The 3rd star and teammate of the NHL’s rookie of the month. Anti Raanta went 3-0-0 with a 1.3 GAA and a .944 SV% including 2 shutouts in 3 games.
- The St Louis Blues did not get a happy start to their new year. The year starts off with them placing Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko on IR. O’Reilly has a broken foot, will be out about 6 weeks. Tarasenko has a hand injury, will be out approximately 4 weeks
- Kris Letang has taken a leave of absence from the Penguins, his father has passed away and his going home to be with his family. Our condolences go out to Kris and his family
- Joe Pavelski signed a one year 3.5 million dollar contract extension with the Dallas Stars. Pavelski who is 38 years old. has 37 points (12 goals and 25 assists) in 38 games this season
- Semyon Varlamov has been active from IR by the New York Islanders
- The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Jacob Vrana on waiver Tuesday. The Red Wings forward had just completed a stint in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Varna cleared waivers and was assigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins
- TJ Oshie returned to the Capital’s lineup on Tuesday vs the Sabres. He has been out since before the Christmas break with a lower body injury
- Jack Eichel was activated from IR by the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. He has been on IR since Dec 12th with a lower body injury
- The Carolina Hurricanes activate Max Pacioretty from IR on Wednesday. He has not yet played a game this season after tearing his Achilles tendon during the off season
- The Boston Bruins will be without Jake DeBrusk for about 4 weeks after suffering a fractured fibula. He had a career season going with 30 points in 36 games
- Carter Hart has been activated off of IR by the Philadelphia Flyers. He has been out since Christmas Eve with a concussion
- Ondrej Palat has been activated from IR by the Devils he will play Thursday vs the Blues
- Jusse Saros set a Nashville Predators record for most saves in a non overtime game with 64 in a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes
- The Seattle Kraken have assigned forward Shane Wright to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs
- Blake Wheeler returned to the Jets lineup on Friday after being out of the lineup since December 15th with a ruptured testicle…
- Nikolaj Ehlers returned to the Jets lineup after missing all but 2 games this season after having sports hernia surgery
- Jonathan Marchessault returned to the Golden Night’s lineup on Saturday after missing 6 games with a lower body injury
- Tom Wilson made his season debut for the Capitals on Sunday after having off season ACL surgery.
- Nicklas Backstrom will make his season debut for Capitals on Sunday after having offseason hip surgery
- Daniel Sprong scored his 12th goal of the season on Saturday. This puts him on roughly a 32 goal pace for the season. Not bad for a player that averages 11 minutes of ice time a night. He seems to have found his niche with the Kraken
Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 14
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues!
Need To Know:
Week 14 is business as usual in the NHL with Tuesday (10), Thursday (12), and Saturday (14) being the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 50 games on the schedule; and 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (4), Wednesday (4), Friday (3) and Sunday (3) being the “slow” days.
In terms of optimizing the schedule, there are 9 teams (EDM, MTL, NSH, WPG, ARI, BUF, CAR, SEA, VAN) this week that play 4 games; the majority of the remaining teams play 3 times, with the exception of Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Vegas, and Washington – who play just a pair of games. The Edmonton Oilers are the only team next week to play 3 games on light days; and the Oil have a reasonably favorable schedule with a rating of -5 and matchups against Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and Vegas.
According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Washington Capitals have the most favourable schedule at -23; although they play just two games against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Los Angeles Kings (EDM, SJS, NJD) have the toughest schedule with a +15 strength of schedule rating.
- Monday – 4 Games
- Tuesday – 10 Games
- Wednesday – 4 Games
- Thursday – 12 Games
- Friday – 3 Games
- Saturday – 14 Games
- Sunday – 3 Games
Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 14
Waiver wire targets will be focused on players with ownership ~50% or less. SOS = Strength of Schedule, according to Left Wing Lock. Lower number = Easier Schedule, Higher Number = Harder Schedule.
Top Waiver Wire Targets
🎯 Dylan Strome (C/RW), WSH | Rostered: 30% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@PHI, Vs.PHI, -23 SOS) | Line: (w/ Oshie & Milano, PP1)
- With 31 points (8 goals), Strome is on-pace for a career-best 61 points. 7 points (2 goals) have come in the last 7 games and Strome is getting (or close to) 100% PP Share right now. Backstrom’s return obviously put a damper on things, but maybe the former Blackhawk maintains a top 6 role on the wing? Tom Wilson’s return also creates a bit of a log jam, but certainly makes the offense better overall. NOTE: 7.7 tEVSH% slightly below league average. 10.7 iSH% is a career low for Strome. OZ Start% at nearly 70%!
🎯 Barrett Hayton (C), ARI | Rostered: 1% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.SJS, Vs.OTT, @MIN, @WPG, -13 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Ritchie & Fischer, PP2)
- The Yotes play 4 games next week and Barrett Hayton has produced 6 points and 1 goal in his last 6 games played. Suggesting as a short-term acquisition. NOTE: 3.0 iSH% well below 3-year (8.9%) and career (8.1%) averages. 7.4 tEVSH% suggests we may see production improve based on puck luck. 35.5 IPP considerably lower than expected from Hayton, but also from a top 6 player in general.
🎯 Brandon Saad (LW), STL | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: GP: 3 (Vs.CGY, Vs.CGY, Vs.TB, +8 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Schenn & Barbashev, PP2)
- The St.Louis Blues are dealing with some significant injuries, and Saad has shown the ability to step up in the past when opportunity knocks. Saad, Schenn and Barbashev were rolled out as the team’s top line in their most recent game, and Saad individually has 8 points (6 goals) in his last 10 games. Shot volume (1.7/GM) leaves something to be desired, and not much PP time to speak of; however, the even-strength deployment is hard to ignore. NOTE: 18.8 iSH% is above 3-year (17.6) average and well above his career (12.4) average.
🎯 Phillip Danault (C), LAK | Rostered: 32% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.EDM, Vs.SJS, Vs.NJD, +14 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Iafallo & Arvidsson, PP2)
- The former Hab really seems to be enjoying his time on the west coast! Seeing more offensive opportunities with a role in the top 6 and second power play unit, Danault is on-pace to post a new career-high in points with 59! 10 points, 6 goals, 24 SOG, 89 FOW, and 40% PP Share in his last 9 games played! 15th in FOW (370). NOTE: 6.7 tEVSH% suggests some puck luck may be in the way; but we may need to temper expectations based on his 15.9 iSH%, which is abi e 3-year (12.9%) and career (10.4%) averages.
🎯 Ryan Hartman (C/RW), MIN | Rostered: 35% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYR, @NYI, Vs.ARI, +1 SOS) | Line: X (w/ Gaudreau & Boldy, PP1)
- Coming off a career-best 34-goal, 65-point season, expectations were high for Hartman this season. However, the 28-year old started slowly this year with just 1 goal in 9 games during October, before suffering an injury that kept him out of the lineup until December 18th. Hartman was back on the top power play unit at practice on Friday, and is starting to heat up with 7 points (4 goals) in his last 7 games played. Dual eligibility makes him an easier choice to roster, keep an eye on him this week. NOTE: 44 OZ Start% is down considerably from 57% last season, ZERO secondary assists to date this season. 10.8 iSH% down from 3-year (12.9%) average.
🎯 Eeli Tolvanen (LW/RW), SEA | Rostered: 4% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.CGY, Vs.CGY, Vs.TB, +8 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Gourde & Bjorkstrand, PP2)
- The former Predator is seeing success in Seattle! In his first 3 games with the club, he has posted 3 points (2 goals), 6 SOG, 5 Hits, 2 PPP, 3 BLKs and 40% PP Share in just over 12 minutes ATOI. The shot volume at 1.6 SOG/GM leaves something to be desired, and there are some red flags, but enjoy the production while it lasts. NOTE: 16 iSH% is well above 3-year (10.8%) and career (11%) averages; 10.6 tEVSH% suggests production to date is boosted by luck.
🎯 Michael Amadio (C/RW), VGK | Rostered: 10% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.FLA, Vs.EDM, -1 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Stephenson & Stone)
- It may be too late to seriously consider the Golden Knights winger, as Eichel and Marchessault are now back in the lineup. However, Amadio has posted 9 points and 5 goals in his last 9 games played; and has managed to maintain his position on the top line next to Stephenson and Stone. Just two games in the schedule for Vegas next week, so may be more applicable in deep leagues. Watch his deployment closely. NOTE: 73.3 IPP career-high
🎯 Vince Dunn (D), SEA | Rostered: 54% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@MTL, @BUF, @BOS, @CHI, -2 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Larsson, PP2)
- With 5 points (2 goals) against the Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators over his last two games, the former Blue is up to 10 points (2 goals) in his last 10 games played; and on-pace for a career-high 56 points. Over his last 10 games, Dunn has averaged 2+ Hits/GM, played over 50% PP Share, and saw nearly 24 minutes TOI per night. Seattle has a great 4-game schedule as well, including matchups against the Habs and Hawks. NOTE: 8.2 iSH% slightly above 3-year (7.1%) and career (6.5%) averages. 10.9 tEVSH%.
🎯 Ty Smith (D), PIT | Rostered: 1% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VAN, Vs.WPG, @CAR, +6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Dumoulin, PP1)
- Kris Letang and Jeff Petry are both dealing with injuries, which opens the door for Ty Smith to make his mark. The Penguins are giving him plenty of opportunity, with a top-pairing role alongside Brian Dumoulin and a spot on the first power play unit. In 3 games this season, Smith has 1 goal, 9 SOG and 6 Hits, while playing 61% PP Share and averaging nearly 19 minutes TOI (23:36 in the most recent game, 22:14 in his first game). Letang’s injury doesn’t sound long-term, but Smith is a nice short-term streamer.
🎯 Brett Pesce (D), CAR | Rostered: 4% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.NJD, @CBJ, Vs.PIT, Vs.VAN, -11 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Skjei, PP2)
- The Canes 28-year old Dman has been productive of late with 6 points in his last 6 games; highlighted by a 2-point, 7 shot performance against the Predators on Thursday night. Pesce is technically playing on the second pairing, but the Canes are essentially rolling out the top two pairs equally. Pesce is also seeing more time on the second power play unit (34.6% PP share, 2:13 PPTOI), and averaging 22:18 TOI over his last 6 contests. Carolina has a nice 4-game schedule, so this is an ideal week to test out Pesce, who also contributes close to 2 BLKs/GM. NOTE: 54.7 OZ Start% is a career-high, 8.5 tEVSH% right at league average, 3.0 iSH% down from 3-year (4.3%) and career (4.2%) averages. 58.4 CF% a career-high
🎯 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G), BUF | Rostered: 21% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.PHI, Vs.SEA, Vs.WPG, @NSH, +3 SOS) | Role: Starter (33% Net Share)
- The 23-year old net minder has started 6 of the Sabres last 9 contests and is 5-1-0 in those starts with a 2.80 GAA, .922 SV%, and a 5.93 GSAx! Buffalo plays 4 games next week, with just one back-to-back, so UPL could see 3 starts against reasonably favorable competition. NOTE: UPL’s .817 PKSV% suggests we could see stronger numbers from him moving forward.
🎯 Casey DeSmith (G), PIT | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.VAN, Vs.WPG, @CAR, +6 SOS) | Role: Starter (38% Net Share)
- Tristan Jarry did not go on the road with the Penguins this week, missing games on Wednesday and Sunday. Beyond that, there has been no update on Jarry’s status moving forward after leaving the Winter Classic with a groin injury. With that said, DeSmith looks to get a number of starts short-term, for those of you currently stashing Jarry on IR. It should be stated that DeSmith is 0-2-1 in his last 3 starts, sporting a 4.38 GAA, .878 SV% and -3.14 GSAx… NOTE: .904 EVSV% a career-low, .899 PKSV% suggests further regression could be coming…
🎯 Alex Stalock (G), CHI | Rostered: 6% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.COL, Vs.SEA, +2 SOS) | Role: Starter (32% Net Share)
- On a bottom-dwelling Blackhawks team, 35-year old Alex Stalock has somehow managed to post a 5-5-1 record with a 2.51 GAA, .921 SV% and 4.57 GSAx! Stalock also happened to post a shutout on Friday night against the Arizona Coyotes; his first since the 2019-2020 season, when he posted 4 shutouts as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Chicago has just two games next week, but he may be a worthy streamer under the right circumstances. NOTE: .900 PKSV% suggests some regression is coming (not a surprise).
Edge Work | Weekly Rankings (Powered By Left Wing Lock)
New to Edge Work this season, the Hacks will provide weekly player rankings, powered by our partner, Left Wing Lock! The full weekly rankings list can be accessed here; and each episode we’ll work our way through the risers and fallers in fantasy.
📈Stuart Skinner (G), EDM | +24 | #52
- Although he was pulled in an ugly outing early in the week, Skinner came out of the Christmas break on fire — in three of his four starts, he’s posted a SV% of 0.935 or greater (vs. CGY, SEA, and COL). With Evander Kane inching toward a return (he’s skating and taking shots) and the Oilers in the market for a defenseman, Skinner should have solid value down the stretch.
📈Charlie McAvoy (D), BOS | +11 | #61
- McAvoy had four points in three games this week including two power play assists. He’s playing at 73-point pace, sees over 2.5 minutes of power play time per game, and is good for 130+ hits and blocks. His pace may cool slightly (given his 52% IPP), but he offers great category coverage and exposure to some of the best forwards in the game.
📈Claude Giroux (C/RW), OTT | +12 | #84
- Ottawa’s veteran leader has seven points in five games since the Christmas break, putting him on pace for 76 points. He gets generous offensive zone starts (59%), has a role on the top power play unit, and generates face-offs from the wing. Keep an eye on that shooting percentage (16.7%), but everything else looks great.
📉Jonathan Huberdeau (LW), CGY | -12 | #80
- The 2022 Huberdeau draft story will be told for ages. After posting 115 points in 80 games in the 2021-2022 season (with Florida), managers overreacted and paid a steep price for Huberdeau in the 2022 Summer drafts — his average draft position was 12.0 making him a first round pick in most leagues. Huberdeau was among a list of players most likely to regress in the coming season (found in the LWL draft kit) but the message was not heard. With just two points since Christmas, Huberdeau is on pace for just 58 points. The biggest problem with Huberdeau? It’s his shot production; his shot rate has dropped 43% since last season. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. There is still some upside here as Huberdeau’s SH% (11.7%) and tEVSH% (7.5%) remain low.
📉Jeff Skinner (LW), BUF | -7 | #94
- The Buffalo Sabres have scored 16 goals over the past four games, but one of their top line forwards went goalless: Jeff Skinner. These four games mark the longest such streak for Skinner since he started the season without scoring in his first six. Should managers be worried? While his shot production remains healthy at 3.2 shots/game, his individual shooting percentage of 15.5% and tEVSH% of 12.1% suggest that the cold spell could be here to stay. It was our recommendation just prior to Christmas that managers seek out potential trade partners to avoid Skinner’s coming cold spell.
📉Brock Nelson (C), NYI | -24 | #105
- As the Islander continue to fight for a playoff spot in the East (by points percentage they are two spots out of the wildcard), Brock Nelson has gone cold. He has not scored a goal in his most recent nine games and has just one point in his last four. Nelson, who has 38 points in 41 games, is sitting on a high tEVSH% of 11.6% which is boosting his secondary assist rate to unsustainable levels (about 50% higher than his career average). Expect a continued slowdown in overall points for the second half.
New To The List (NTL)
📈Max Pacioretty (LW), CAR | NTL | #66
- After August surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, Pacioretty returned to the lineup this week (about a full month early from the initial prognosis). He promptly scored two goals in two games and has averaged four shots per game. In Carolina’s most recent game, Pacioretty played on the top line alongside Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis; he also played on the Hurricanes’ top power play unit.
Contest Announcement | Hacks Holiday!
Help the Hacks celebrate 100 episodes of fantasy fun! We truly appreciate all the support we’ve received from listeners, partners, and guests, making this first 100 episodes a genuinely enjoyable experience. All of us on the podcast enjoy creating fantasy hockey content, and will do so for as long as people will listen. To show our appreciation, we are sending one listener and a guest on a “Hacks Holiday” to Las Vegas next February! Thank you to our partners – Lucky Bastard Distillers & Left Wing Lock – for their support in making this contest possible. Winner will receive:
- 2 tickets to a Vegas Golden Knights home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning – Saturday, February 18, 2023
- 2 round-trip tickets to Las Vegas
- 3-night accommodations at a hotel near T-Mobile Arena
- 1 year FREE subscription to the Left Wing Lock iPhone app!
Go to the contest page – FantasyHockeyHacks.com/HacksHoliday – and follow the directions to enter the contest.
“HACK THE CODE” Number For Episode 96: 1
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