NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 18

NHL Fantasy Preview - Week 18

Table of Contents

NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 18

Episode 100 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 17 of the NHL was relatively quiet with the All-Star break; however, we did have a fairly significant trade announced as Bo Horvat made his way to the Islanders. 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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  • Horvat traded to the Islanders
  • Strome signs a 5-year extension
  • Mark Stone out indefinitely after back surgery
  • Valeri Nichushkin & Bowen Byram return for the Avalanche

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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!

The NHL’s “Loser Point” (i.e. Points System – I hate that there are so many cases where a team with more wins is further down the standings due to other teams having more points from overtime losses. Case in point – Pittsburgh has NINE (9) overtime losses, which has them 1 point ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for the final wild card spot, despite having 2 less overall wins… Look at the Pacific Division as well – looking at you Calgary and LA.👎

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (January 30 – February 5, 2023) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Tim Stutzle, C/LW, 93% Rostered (Yahoo)

The young German posted 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. With that one game, Stutzle led all skaters in scoring this week. 49 points and 22 goals in 46 games to date puts Stutzle on an 82-game pace of 87 points and 39 goals! 

4 Points (2 Goals), 2 PPP, 3 SOG, +1, 83% PP Share, 19:46 TOI in 1 game played during week 17.

Headlines W/ The Hacks | January 23 – 29, 2023

Headlines This Week
  • We have a trade to announce to start the week! Bo Harvat has been traded to the New York Islanders for Anthony Bouvilier, Aatu Raty and top 12 protected First round pick in 2023.
  • Cover your ears if you’re a Golden Knights fan. Mark Stone has had surgery on his back again and is out indefinitely. This is Stone’s 2nd back surgery in as many years. 

  • The Washington Capitals have signed Dylan Strome to a 5 year contract extension worth $5 million per season. Strome in his first year with the Capitals Strome has 36 points in 52 games.
  • The Capitals also signed Sonny Milano to a 3 year contract extension worth $1.9 million per season. Milano has 22 points in 40 games this season with the Capitals.
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Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 18

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

Need To Know: 

Week 18 is going to be interesting coming out of the all-star break. In typical fashion, Tuesday (6), Thursday (7), and Saturday (14) are the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 43 games on the schedule; and 6 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with everyday technically being a “light day”, except for Saturday. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, the Anaheim Ducks and Seattle Kraken are the ONLY teams to play all 4 of their games on “light days”. There are 7 other teams (EDM, MIN, NYI, NYR, PHI, TB, VAN) that play 4 games this week though, all of which play 3 games on “light days”. Conversely, nearly 40% of teams next week will play 2 games or less, including 7 teams (BOS, BUF, CAR, LAK, OTT, STL, WPG) that play just a single contest.  

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Winnipeg Jets, have the most favourable schedule at -41; though just one contest against the bottom-feeding Blackhawks. The Los Angeles Kings (PIT) have the toughest schedule with a +20 strength of schedule rating. 

  • Monday – 6 Games
  • Tuesday – 6 Games
  • Wednesday – 2 Games
  • Thursday – 7 Games
  • Friday – 4 Games
  • Saturday – 14 Games
  • Sunday – 4 Games

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Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 18

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

🎯 Pavel Zacha  (C/LW/RW), BOS | Rostered: 27% (Yahoo) | GP: 1 (Vs.WSH, +12 SOS) | Line: (w/ Hall & Krejci, PP2) 
  • The former Devil is settling in nicely with his new team, and has been hot of late with 10 points (6 goals) in his last 9 games. Zacha could set new career highs this season in points (58), goals (18) and +/- (+16 currently); which should be achievable playing top 6 minutes on one of the league’s elite teams. A couple things worth mentioning, the Bruins have just 1 game this week, so this may be an acquisition to delay. Also, the shot volume (1.6 SOG/GM) and lack of PPTOI (28.9% PP Share) is a concern. NOTE: 13.3 iSH% is slightly above 3-year (12.9%) and career (11%) averages. 12.2 tEVSH% is not sustainable. 
🎯 Tyler Bertuzzi (LW/RW), DET | Rostered: 18% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.EDM, Vs.CGY, Vs.VAN, -5 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Larkin & Raymond, PP1) 
  • Expectations were high for Bertuzzi coming into this season after posting a career-best 62 points and 30 goals in 68 games last season. This year has been a train wreck though as the Detroit winger has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play. Through 17 games, Bertuzzi is on-pace for a career-low 24 points. The silver lining here: There has been trade rumors surrounding the 27-year old as he is a UFA at the end of this season. With a cap-hit of $4.75M, Bertuzzi could fairly easily be moved at the deadline, and that could be the spark he needs to get rolling. If he is not moved, Bertuzzi is still getting optimal deployment in Detroit, playing on the top line and top PP unit. NOTE: 2.8 iSH% is well below 3-year (15.3%) and career (14.6%) averages. 46.6% PP Share is down significantly from last year, as is his ATOI at 16:00. 5.4 tEVSH% suggests Bertuzzi may have been a bit unlucky 5v5. 
🎯 Jared McCann (C/LW), SEA | Rostered: 29% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@NYI, @NJD, @NYR, @PHI, +6 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Wennberg & Eberle, PP1) 
  • The former Penguin is on-pace to shatter his career-high in goals (27), set just last year. With 23 goals in 46 games this year, McCann MAY approach 40 goals this season. Now the unfortunate news, none of this is sustainable. The 26-year old is seeing less TOI (15:23 ATOI), his shot volume is down (2.1 SOG/GM), and his shooting percentage is nearly 24%. With that in mind, McCann makes for a nice short-term solution with 4 games on the schedule; and he has managed to post 8 points (4 goals) in his last 8 games played. NOTE: 23.7 iSH% is incredibly high; 12.4 tEVSH% shows he has benefited from some puck luck as well. 
🎯 Frank Vatrano (LW/RW), ANA | Rostered: 6% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@DAL, @CHI, Vs.PIT, @VGK, -2 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ McTavish & Jones, PP2) 
  • There is going to be a bit of a Ducks theme this week, and Vatrano is the first of a few. What makes Vatrano intriguing is obviously the 4-game schedule, but this season he has been firing the puck more (2.9 SOG/GM is a career-high), and that was on full-display the past 3 games with 19 shots on goal (6.33 SOG/GM)! 7 points (5 goals) in his last 10 games played. As an added bonus, Vatrano throws 1.32 hits/GM. NOTE: 7.5 iSH% is below 3-year (10.1%) and career averages (10%). 5.5 tEVSH% suggests Vatrano’s performance is not boosted by luck. 
🎯 Adam Henrique (C/LW), ANA | Rostered: 16% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@DAL, @CHI, Vs.PIT, @VGK, -2 SOS) | Line: (w/ Zegras & Terry, PP1) 
  • Adam Henrique scored 30 goals in 2015-2016 as a member of the New Jersey Devils, and he has a chance to due so again this season with the Ducks. Henrique’s shooting percentage will be a concern moving forward at 18%, but the production is hard to ignore, particularly with 4 games on light days next week. 9 points (6 goals) in his last 8 games played. 
🎯 Filip Chytil (C/RW), NYR | Rostered: 27% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.CGY, Vs.VAN, Vs.SEA, @CAR, +7 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Lafreniere & Kakko, PP2) 
  • The Rangers forward is on-pace for a career-high 58 points and 32 goals! 10 points and 7 goals in his last 10 games played. NOTE: 18 iSH% is well-above 3-year (10.7%) and career (10.2%) averages. 2.2 SOG/GM is a career-high for Chytil. 11 tEVSH% is a bit elevated, we may see a pullback in production. 

🎯Samuel Girard (D), COL | Rostered: 11% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@PIT, @TB, @FLA, +7 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Johnson, PP2) 
  • The Avs have a tougher schedule next week, but if you’re in need of a Dman, Samuel Girard has been productive of late with 9 points (2 goals) in his last 12 games played. NOTE: 5.5 tEVSH% is below league average, and Girard personally has been over 8% every year of his career. 48.8% OZ Start% is a career-low.
🎯John Klingberg (D), ANA | Rostered: 37% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@DAL, @CHI, Vs.PIT, @VGK, -2 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Vaakanainen, PP2) 
  • Sticking with the Ducks theme, take advantage of Klingberg and his schedule for next week. The former Star is having a down season, but does happen to have 4 points (1 goal) in his last 6 games played. Additionally, trade talks are starting to heat up, so now may be a good time to scoop up Klingberg. NOTE: 7.4 tEVSH% below league average, some puck luck could be on the way.
🎯Jake Sanderson (D), OTT | Rostered: 30% (Yahoo) | GP: 1 (Vs.EDM, -8 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Hamonic, PP2) 
  • The Sens have just one game next week, so maybe consider picking up Sanderson later in the week. The Ottawa rookie has 4 points in his last 4 games, while averaging roughly 23 minutes a night and playing on the second power play unit. If your league counts blocks, Sanderson contributes 1.72 blocks/GM. 
🎯 Semyon Varlamov (G), NYI | Rostered: 37% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@PHI, Vs.SEA, Vs.VAN, @MTL, -11 SOS) | Role: Backup (31% Net Share)
  • The Islanders have a great schedule for next week, which includes a back to back, so Varlamov may even get a couple starts. Starting 2 of the Isles last 3 contests, Varlamov has posted a 1.46 GAA and .964 SV%. NOTE: .853 PKSV% suggests performance has not been inflated by luck. 
🎯 Phillip Grubauer (G), SEA | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@NYI, @NJD, @NYR, @PHI, +6 SOS) | Role: Backup (35% Net Share)
  • Since January 16th, Grubauer has started 1 in 3 games while posting a 1-1-1 record with a 1.30 GAA and .951 SV%. Despite a poor season overall, Grubauer is starting to look more like the net minder the Kraken thought they were getting. NOTE: Grubauer is sporting a .920 SV%, but just an .807 PKSV%; meaning we could continue to see a bump in Grubauer’s performance moving forward. 
🎯 John Gibson (G), ANA | Rostered: 37% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@DAL, @CHI, Vs.PIT, @VGK, -2 SOS) | Role: Starter (68% Net Share)
  • In his last 4 starts, John Gibson has posted a 3-1-0 record with a 2.68 GAA and .926 SV%. Looking at the schedule, Gibson likely will see starts on Monday, Friday, and Sunday this week – all against teams that will put plenty of pucks on net. NOTE: With an .826 PKSV% we should expect to see some sort of positive regression with Gibson’s numbers.

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