NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 15

NHL Fantasy Preview - Week 15

Table of Contents

NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 15

Episode 97 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 14 of the NHL was filled with plenty of action, highlighted by several blowouts – including a 7-1 win from the Oilers over the Sharks, a 7-0 win from the Avalanche over the Senators, and an 8-5 win from the Kraken over the Blackhawks… 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!

Subscribe to our podcast on all major directories; and stay up to date with the latest in fantasy hockey news and fantasy hockey advice. Be sure to visit LeftWingLock.com, the best source for fantasy hockey intelligence; and The Hockey Podcast Network for more great hockey-related content.

  • Tristan Jarry placed on IR
  • Frederick Andersen fantastic in return to Canes
  • Connor McDavid running away with the Art Ross and Hart Trophy
  • Jared McCann nets hat trick, continues to produce despite metrics

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John’s List

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!

NHL Officials – Tampa Bay defenceman, Mikhail Sergachev sucker punched Canucks forward Connor Garland, and no call on the play. See clip below. What say you?

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (January 9 – 15, 2023) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Connor McDavid, C, 100% Rostered (Yahoo)

The Oilers captain is running away with the Art Ross and Hart trophies with 82 points and 37 goals at the mid-way mark of the season. McDavid is attempting to become the first player since Mario Lemieux (‘95-96) to lead the league in goals, assists and total points. On-pace for 67 goals and 151 points – Matthews who? 7 Points (4 Goals), 1 GWG, 22 SOG (5.5/GM), +1, 2 PPP, 62% PP Share, 17:34 ATOI in 4 games played during week 14.

Headlines W/ The Hacks | January 9 – 15, 2023

Headlines This Week
  • The NHL 3 stars of the week were announced on Monday. 
      • 1st star is Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak who had 8 points (7 goals and 1 assist) in 4 games. 
      • 2nd star is Jack Hughes the Devil’s center had 7 points (5 goals and 2 assists) in 3 games 
      • 3rd star is Rasmus Dahlin the Buffalo defender had 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) in 2 games. 
  • Tristan Jarry has been placed on IR by the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • The Carolina Hurricanes activated goaltender Frederik Anderson on Wednesday.
  • On Friday Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid became the fastest player to score 80 points in a season (he did it in 44 games) since Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis in 1995-96
  • Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner returned to the lineup on Saturday after being out since mid December with a broken thumb
  • Anthony Duclair has his first non contact team skate with the Panthers since tearing his achilles in the offseason. There is a chance he could return before the all star game. 

  • Alexander Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season Saturday. This is the 17th time in his career he has scored at least 30 goals in a season. He is now tied with Mike Gardner for the most 30 goal seasons in NHL history.
  • Also on Saturday the Seattle Kraken set a NHL record by sweeping a 7 game road trip. No other NHL team has accomplished this task. 
  • To Reach this mark the Kraken scored 6 goals in their 1st 7 shots on goal en route to defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 8-5.
  • Pavel Zacha of the Boston Bruins signed a 4 year contract extension worth 4.75 million a season. He has 25 points in 41 games which puts him on pace to set a career high in points. His current record is 36.
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Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 15

The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues! 

Need To Know: 

Week 15 is going to be a busy one in the NHL with Monday (11), Tuesday (8), Thursday (13), and Saturday (14) being the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 58 games on the schedule; and just 3 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Wednesday (5), Friday (2) and Sunday (5) being the “slow” days. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, the Philadelphia Flyers are the ONLY team to play a rare 5-game week; which includes 3 home games and 2 “light days”. The Pittsburgh Penguins play 4 games, but that includes a weekly-high 3 games on off-nights. Pittsburgh has a slightly favourable schedule with matchups against Anaheim, Ottawa (2x), and New Jersey. All other teams either play 3 or 4 games with the exception of Carolina and New York – who play just a pair of games. 

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Colorado Avalanche have the most favourable schedule at -13; with matchups against Detroit, Calgary, Vancouver and Seattle. The Montreal Canadiens (WPG, FLA, TOR) and Vancouver Canucks (TB, COL, EDM) have the toughest schedules with a +8 strength of schedule rating. 

  • Monday – 11 Games
  • Tuesday – 8 Games
  • Wednesday – 5 Games
  • Thursday – 13 Games
  • Friday – 2 Games
  • Saturday – 14 Games
  • Sunday – 5 Games

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Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 15

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

🎯 Andre Burakovsky (LW/RW), SEA | Rostered: 45% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.TB, @EDM, Vs.NJD, Vs.COL, +5 SOS) | Line: (w/ Beniers & Eberle, PP1) 
  • The former Av is fitting in just fine with the NHL’s newest expansion team. On-pace for a career-best 70 points and 22 goals; Burakovsky is also shooting at a career-high 2.3 SOG/GM while playing on Seattle’s top line and top power play unit. With dual eligibility and 4 games on the upcoming schedule, there is very little downside to picking up the cup winner. 8 points (2 goals) in his last 6 games played. NOTE: 11.8 iSH% is below 3-year (15.1%) and career (14.4%) averages.
🎯 Evan Rodrigues (C/LW/RW), TEAM | Rostered: 18% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.DET, @CGY, @VAN, @SEA, -12 SOS) | Line: (w/ MacKinnon & Lehkonen, PP2) 
  • There are few players in fantasy hockey that receive the coveted tri-eligibility, so based on that alone the former Pen should receive some consideration. When you see that the Avs play 4 times next week, and Rodrigues is lining up next to MacKinnon and Lehkonen at even-strength, the decision becomes pretty clear. Players returning from injury will dampen Rodrigues’ value, however, the 29-year old is on-pace for a career-best 57 points and 28 goals; and has been productive of late with 9 points (3 goals) in his last 8 games played. NOTE: Career-high 3.1 SOG/GM, but converting at a career-high 11.8 iSH%. 19:20 ATOI (career-high), 7 tEVSH% is below league-average – so it’s possible he benefits from some puck luck. 
🎯 Brock Boeser (RW), VAN | Rostered: 44% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.TB, Vs.COL, Vs.EDM, +8 SOS) | Line: (w/ Horvat & Mikheyev, PP1) 
  • Things have not been easy for Boeser in Vancouver, personally or professionally. The Canucks are a mess right now, but Boeser is having a solid season with 25 points (8 goals) in 33 games to date (60-point pace). The Vancouver winger’s shot volume (2.2 SOG/GM) is down, and so too is his time on ice (16:36) and PP Share (49.6%). However, Boeser does have 8 points and 3 goals in his last 9 games; and over his last 3 games, has played over 20 minutes twice, to go along with 76% and 90% PP Share. NOTE: 11.3 iSH% is down from 3-year (13.3%) and career (13.0%) averages. 12.2 tEVSH% is well-above league average. 
🎯 Max Domi (C/LW/RW), CHI | Rostered: 22% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.BUF, @PHI, @STL, Vs.LAK, +1 SOS) | Line: (w/ Reichel & Kurashev, PP1) 
  • Due to a sheer lack of options, Max Domi actually finds himself in a pretty advantageous position in Chicago, at least personally. Domi is having his best offensive season in 4 years with 30 points and 13 goals in 41 games – a 60-point pace. The 27-year old is playing a career-high 18:23 TOI, 66% PP Share, and will flirt with 25+ PPP this season. NOTE: 13.3 iSH% is well-above 3-year (10.9%) and career (10.4%) averages. 7.3 tEVSH% below league average. Domi will play with Kane on the top line when he returns to the lineup.
🎯 Dawson Mercer (C/RW), NJD | Rostered: 22% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@SJS, @SEA, Vs.PIT, -2 SOS) | Line: (w/ McLeod & Wood) 
  • A rising tide lifts all boats, and Dawson Mercer and the New Jersey Devils are on the rise. This one is more of a deep-league streaming option, but Mercer has 8 points and 2 goals in his last 7 games played. Give him a look while he’s hot. NOTE: 10.2 tEVSH% is a bit concerning, 1.9 SOG/GM leaves something to be desired.  
🎯 Marcus Foligno (LW/RW), MIN | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@WSH, @CAR, @FLA, 0 SOS) | Line: (w/ Eriksson Ek & Greenway, PP2) 
  • For those of you playing in bangers leagues (particularly those that also count PIMS), Marcus Foligno makes for an excellent under the radar pickup. The Wild have been deploying Foligno in the top 6 next to Eriksson Ek and Greenway, and the results have been positive. Foligno in his last 9 games has produced 6 points, 1 goal, 4 PIMS, and 35 Hits (3.88/GM) in 16:29 TOI. Minnesota has a tough schedule this week, and the shot volume (1.4 SOG/GM) leaves something to be desired; but if you need to cover off hits, with potential for some offence, Foligno is your guy. NOTE: 9.1 iSH% well-below 3-year (20.9%) and career (13.5%) averages. Playing a shutdown role (37.2 OZ Start%) against opposition’s top players, so points may be tough to come by. 

🎯 K’Andre Miller (D), NYR | Rostered: 45% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@CBJ, Vs.BOS, +3 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Trouba) 
  • Not an ideal week to grab K’Andre Miller with just 2 games on the schedule, but he very well may not be available in your league the week after. Miller is on-pace for a career-best 44 points with 23 points and 5 goals through 43 games to date this season. 8 points and 3 goals in his last 9 games. 2.07 Hits/GM and 1.21 BLKs/GM helps cover some additional categories as well. NOTE: 1.6 SOG/GM and 22:16 TOI are both career-highs. 
🎯 Brady Skjei (D), CAR | Rostered: 35% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.MIN, @NYI, -5 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Pesce) 
  • The former Ranger is flirting with the 40-point mark for the second straight season after posting 20 points and 9 goals in 42 games to date. Playing a career-best 21:27 ATOI and 2.3 SOG/GM. 5 points, 3 goals in his last 5 games played. NOTE: 8.5 iSH% is well-above 3-year (5.2%) and career (4.8%) averages. 47.5 IPP is high.
🎯 Damon Severson (D), NJD | Rostered: 16% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@SJS, @SEA, Vs.PIT, -2 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Graves, PP2) 
  • This is more the deployment most of us expected with Dougie Hamilton in New Jersey – 19:47 TOI, 31% PP Share. After a career-high 46 points and 11 goals last season, Severson is on pace for just 26 points this year. Part of the problem is that Severson has essentially stopped shooting the puck, just 1.1 SOG/GM this season. All of that being said, the Devil’s Dman has been good in the month of January with 7 points, 1 goal, and 23:13 ATOI in 6 games. NOTE: 87.7 IPP (January), 7.1 tEVSH%.
🎯 Jake Walman (D), DET | Rostered: 2% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.WPG, Vs.TOR, Vs.CBJ, +6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Seider) 
  • There has been plenty of chatter on Twitter around the 26-year old defenceman, who has 6 points (4 goals) in his last 9 games played. Walman has developed some real chemistry with the reigning Calder Trophy winner (Moritz Seider), and has been rewarded with excellent deployment. In his last 3 games, Walman has averaged 22:00 TOI and 2:00 PPTOI! NOTE: 7.5 iSH% is above career average (4.3%), and 10.8 tEVSH% is not ideal.    
🎯 Samuel Ersson (G), PHI | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 5 (@BOS, Vs.ANA, Vs.CHI, @DET, Vs.WPG, -2 SOS) | Role: Backup (12% Net Share)
  • The 23-year old Swede has started 5 of the last 8 contests for the Philadelphia Flyers, managing to win 4 of them while sporting a 2.30 GAA, .924 SV%, 4.34 GSAx, and 1 shutout! Looking at the schedule, it’s possible that Ersson gets 2+ games next week, AND against lottery teams in Anaheim and Chicago. Detroit has also struggled this season, so Ersson makes for an intriguing gamble this week. NOTE: .931 EVSV% likely not sustainable, .864 PKSV% right at league average. 
🎯 Jaroslav Halak (G), NYR | Rostered: 3% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@CBJ, Vs.BOS, +3 SOS) | Role: Backup (25% Net Share)
  • The journeyman net minder doesn’t play a ton for the Rangers, but lately he has been steady, posting a 4-1-0 record with a 2.42 GAA and .914 SV%. Look for Halak in matchup-dependent situations, as a spot start, and you should be happy with the results. NOTE: .878 PKSV% suggests performance has been boosted partially by luck. 
🎯 Joonas Korpisalo (G), CBJ | Rostered: 10% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.NYR, @NSH, Vs.ANA, Vs.SJS,  -3 SOS) | Role: Tandem (44% Net Share)
  • Suggesting fantasy managers stream a goalie from a team that’s given up almost four goals a night is not the best fantasy advice. Daily netminding options often prove difficult (just ask Bruce), but they can ultimately make a difference in weekly matchups and playoff standings. Korpisalo posted a 2.15 GAA and .936 SV% in 5 games heading into Thursday night, highlighted by stopping 39 of 42 Saturday against Carolina (disregard Thursday’s 6 goals on 41 SA performance against those same Hurricanes). Elvis Merzlikins has struggled all year and is now battling an illness. With Columbus taking on a few weak defensive Western Conference clubs later this month, Korpisalo is at least worth a look in deeper formats. NOTE: .918 EVSV% is Korpisalo’s best since 2019-2020. .858 PKSV% suggests performance is not boosted by luck.

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.

Rankings Risers

📈Ilya Sorokin (G), NYI | +35 | #21
  • Although he has just 15 wins in 31 starts this season, Sorokin has been solid all season and very good as of late. Over the past 30 days, Sorokin has posted a save percentage of 0.939 including six starts with save percentages above 0.950. His PKSV% is higher than I like to see (0.908), but he’s been outstanding at even-strength. If Sorokin’s been so great, why are the Islanders struggling to hold onto a playoff spot? They rank 28th in the league on the power play with just 23 goals.
📈Jack Eichel (C), VGK | +11 | #51
  • Continues to maintain a point-per-game pace (33 in 31) as he posted four points in the four games since returning from injury. His high shot volume of 3.7 shots per game makes him a solid candidate for maintaining this level of play in the second half of the season. He took 10 shots on goal in Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers.
📈Jack Hughes (C), NJD | +17 | #52
  • Not wanting to be the only Jack who failed to reach 10 shots on goal in a single game, Hughes put up a 10-spot of his own against the New York Rangers last weekend. He now ranks 4th in the league in shot generation at 4.47 shots per game. Hughes has six goals in his past five games and leads all players with 13 points since the New Year. In addition to his shot production, Hughes’ 54 points in 43 games (103 point pace) have been a huge boost for managers who snagged him in advance of his ADP (94.8 – late 8th round).

Rankings Fallers

📉Andre Svechnikov (LW), CAR | -18 | #77
  • Carolina’s physical left wing has gone cold as of late with no goals in his last seven games and just two points over that same stretch. Making matters worse is that he has just three power play points over his last 21 games. While he drops in our weekly rankings due to the recent cold spell, managers who don’t own Svechnikov might want to test the waters to see if Svechnikov owners are growing impatient. His 3.4 shots/game, 2.1 hits/game, and 3+ minutes of power play time per game make him a strong acquisition target in category leagues.
📉Matt Boldy (LW/RW), MIN | -19 | #109
  • Even colder than Svechnikov, Matt Boldy finds himself goalless over his last 10 games. While he has four assists over that stretch, he’s been held pointless in the last five games. The good news is that Boldy is still shooting the puck; he took 3.6 shots/game in that recent five-game drought and has been good for 3 shots/game on the season. All is not lost; Boldy has been a victim of bad luck. Minnesota has scored on just 6.9% of the shots they’ve taken with Boldly on the ice and his IPP sits at just 61%. Boldy owners (especially in keeper leagues) need to hang in there; 21-year-old players who generate 3+ shots per game do not grow on trees.
📉Anders Lee (LW), NYI | -12 | #167
  • With just one point in his last five games and two of his most recent games, Lee owners are pulling their hair out. Is it time to panic? Probably not — an important stat that is not easily found is that since December 29th (the onset of this cold spell for Lee), the Islanders have scored on just 1.8% of their shots on goal. That’s incredibly low for any player, but particularly low for a guy who spends all of his time in the top-six. While we don’t know for sure how long he’ll remain cold, we do know that Lee’s luck will change direction in a meaningful way.

New To The List (NTL)

📈Tom Wilson (RW), WSH | NTL | #182
  • This past week saw the return of both Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson to the Washington lineup. The Capitals shutout Columbus in a 1-0 victory early in the week only to drop two straight to the Philadelphia Flyers. Wilson was held pointless as Washington managed just five goals in the three games. He averaged 14.6 minutes of ice time per game (about four minutes less than usual) and managers should be patient as he’s eased back into action.


WINNER – Matthew Hart, Denver, CO

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 Answer: “Hacks Holiday In Vegas”

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