NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 21

NHL Fantasy Preview - Week 21

Table of Contents

NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 21

Episode 103 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 20 of the NHL was filled with more trade speculation – where does Patrick Kane land? A bold move from the Bruins, and more impressive performances from Connor McDavid! 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.

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  • Bold play by the Boston Bruins – Orlov and Hathaway!
  • Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers?
  • Mad McDavid = Unstoppable
  • Dawson Mercer a must-add
  • Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights with big schedule advantages
  • Spencer Knight placed in NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program
  • Alex Tuch on IR
  • Cale Makar in concussion protocol.

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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!

Jack Campbell – After another disastrous outing against Columbus on Saturday (4 goals allowed on 14 shots – 9.25 GAA, .714 SV%), Campbell now owns a 3.48 GAA and .884 SV% on the season… Part of the issue is on the PK, where he is sporting an .827 PKSV%, but his .897 EVSV% is the second-lowest of his career.🤮

ALSO: NHL Schedule Maker! Why does the best player in the world play so many 11 AM games!? Ridiculous.

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (February 20 – 26, 2023) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Connor McDavid, C, 100% Rostered (Yahoo)

Connor McDavid is your fantasy lock of the week, and it’s not particularly close. McDavid was on another planet Saturday in the Oilers embarrassing loss to the last place Columbus Blue Jackets – 4 points, 2 goals, 7 SOG, 5 Hits, in 22:50 TOI. McDavid is on-pace for 154 points and 66 goals this season!🤯

11 Points (6 Goals), 1 GWG, 4 PPP, 23 SOG, +7, 74% PP Share, 22:47 TOI in 3 games played during week 20.

Headlines W/ The Hacks | February 20 -26, 2023

Headlines This Week
Injury News
  • After one game back Cale Makar is back in concussion protocol. He has been ruled out for at least a week.
  • Evander Kane did not travel with the Edmonton Oilers on their recent road trip.
  • Cam Talbot has been activated from IR by the Senators. He started their game vs Carolina and took the loss (4-0)
  • Nashville Predators announced forward Ryan Johannson will be out of the lineup for at least 12 weeks after suffering a cut to his leg from a skate blade.
  • The Anaheim Ducks announce Adam Henrique is week to week with a lower body injury suffered Tuesday in a game vs Tampa Bay
  • Anthony Duclair returned to the Panthers lineup on Friday. He registered an assist in his return.
  • Winnipeg Jets Forward Cole Perfetti will be out of the lineup for about 8 weeks with an upper body injury.
  • Travis Konecney has been placed on IR by the Philadelphia Flyers. Konceney suffered an upper body injury in Monday’s game vs the Calgary Flames
  • Alex Tuch has been placed on IR by the Buffalo Sabres. He is week to week with a lower body injury. He is hopefully to return before the end of the regular season
  • John Klingberg returned the the Ducks lineup on Saturday after missing 2 games with a lower body injury
  • Timo Meir is being held out of the San Jose Sharks lineup for injury/Trade reasons. He has not played since the 18th and most likely will not play again until he has been traded
  • Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj will have surgery on his right shoulder next week. He will be out for the rest of the season
FHH Trade Center:
  • Shea Weber has been traded again. This time to the Arizona Coyotes. The Golden Knights ship Weber’s contract and a 5th round pick to the Yotes for defenseman Dysin Mayo.
  • The Ottawa Senators have traded defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to the Chicago Blackhawks along with a 2023 2nd round pick and 2026 4th round pick for Salary cap space.
  • The Washington Capitals have traded Garnett Hathoway and Dimitry Orlov to the Boston Bruins for Craig Smith, 2023 1st round draft pick, 2024 3rd round pick and a 2025 2nd round pick
  • The Boston Bruins traded Goalie Keith Kinkaid to the Colorado Avalanche for Shane Bowers.
  • Vitali Kravtsov has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks from the New York Rangers. The Rangers received forward William Lockwood and a 2026 7th round pick.
  • The Nashville Predators have traded forward Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2024 2nd round draft pick. In 56 games with the Predators he has 28 points: 18 goals and 10 assists
  • The St Louis Blues traded forward Ivan Barbashev to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Zach Dean
  • The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Evgeny Dadonov to the Dallas Stars for forward Dennis Gurianov
  • The Chicago Blackhawks have traded defenseman Jack Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Andreas Englund. 
  • The San Jose Sharks have traded Timo Meier, Scott Harrington, Timour Ibragimov, Santeri Hatakka, Zachary Emond and a 2024 5th round pick to the New Jersey Devils for a 2023 1st round pick, 2024 conditional 2nd round pick, 2024 7th round pick, Fabian Zetterlund, Andreas Johnson, Nikita Ohotiuk, Shakir Mukhamadullin. The Sharks retain 50% of Meier’s salary.

  • On Tuesday with a goal vs the Flyers, Connor McDavid recorded his 800th career point. On the same scoring play Leon Drisaitl recorded his 700th career point with an assist. 
  • Spencer Knight has been assigned to the AHL by the Panthers. They have recalled Alex Lyon to handle the backup duties. UPDATE: Spencer has entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program. He is out indefinitely 
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward Kasperi Kapanen on waivers Friday: He was picked up off of waivers on Saturday by the St Louis Blues.  Kapanen had 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists) in 43 games with the Penguins.
  • On Sunday David Polie, GM of the Nashville Predators will be retiring at the end of June. Barry Trotz, will be joining the Predators as their new GM. 
  • Mark Giordano is now the NHL Leader in blocked shots with 2045. He passed former teammate Kris Russell’s mark of 2044 on Sunday night.
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Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 21

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

Need To Know: 

The NHL schedule rolls on in typical fashion during week 21, with Tuesday (10), Thursday (10), and Saturday (12) being the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 53 games on the schedule; and 4 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (5), Wednesday (6), Friday (5), and Sunday (5) being slower days. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, the Detroit Red Wings are the ONLY team to play the rare 5-game schedule; two of those games fall on “light days”. Also, the Vegas Golden Knights are the only team next week to play all 4 of their games on “light days”, so definitely look at available players from that roster. 6 other teams happen to play 3 games on “light days” – Anaheim, Arizona, Carolina, Colorado, Edmonton, and New Jersey. 

On the flip side, there are 3 teams next week that play just twice, and should be avoided, if possible – New York (Islanders), Philadelphia, and Washington.  

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Nashville Predators (Vs.PIT, @FLA, @CHI), have the most favourable schedule at -21;. The Colorado Avalanche (Vs.VGK, Vs.NJD, @DAL, Vs.SEA) have the toughest schedule with a +14 strength of schedule rating. 

  • Monday – 5 Games
  • Tuesday – 10 Games
  • Wednesday – 6 Games
  • Thursday – 10 Games
  • Friday – 5 Games
  • Saturday – 12 Games
  • Sunday – 5 Games

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Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 21

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

🎯 Dominik Kubalik (LW/RW), DET | Rostered: 25% (Yahoo) | GP: 5 (@OTT, @OTT, Vs.SEA, @NYI, @PHI, +2 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Larkin & Bertuzzi, PP2) 
  • Kubalik has been the beneficiary of Raymond’s injury troubles, playing on the top line with Larkin and Bertuzzi, as well as PP2. Kubalik was a popular waiver wire pickup early in the year, posting 25 points (10 goals) in the first 25 games of the season; so the offensive potential is there. For mixer week though, any available Red Wing in the top 6 should be considered. ALSO: Tyler Bertuzzi (24%, LW/RW), Andrew Copp (C/RW, 12%), David Perron (RW, 45%), Jakub Vrana (LW, 18%)
🎯 Reilly Smith (LW/RW), VGK | Rostered: 44% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@COL, Vs.CAR, Vs.NJD, Vs.MTL, +4 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Karlsson & Amadio, PP1) 
  • On-pace to set a new career-high in goals (28), Smith has been solid of late with 8 points and 1 goal in his last 10 games. Vegas has a real advantage in terms of the schedule next week, and the 31-year old winger is the only top 6, PP1 player readily available on the wire. ALSO: William Karlsson (27%, C/LW)
🎯 Anthony Beauvillier (LW/RW), VAN | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@DAL, Vs.MIN, Vs.TOR, +7 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Pettersson & Kuzmenko, PP1) 
  • Beauvillier has been fantastic with the Canucks through his first 9 games played, posting 8 points and 4 goals. Riding shotgun with Elias Pettersson certainly doesn’t hurt and neither does the PP1 assignment. Dual eligibility on the wings makes the former Islander a pretty easy waiver wire target for next week. 
🎯 Viktor Arvidsson (LW/RW), LAK | Rostered: 26% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@WPG, Vs.MTL, Vs.STL, +4 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Danault & Fiala, PP2) 
  • Arvidsson has 6 points and 4 goals in his last 6 games, playing with two very capable linemates in Fiala and Danault. After consecutive seasons shooting below 9%, the former Pred is converting at 12.2%, slightly above his career average, but closer to what we had seen in previous productive seasons. 
🎯 Seth Jarvis (LW/RW), CAR | Rostered: 33% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@VGK, @ARI, Vs.TB, -8 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Aho & Svechnikov, PP2) 
  • Jarvis has 7 points in his last 4 games played, including a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens on February 16th. The shot volume has been great lately as well, with 3+ shots in his last 7 contests. 

🎯 Dawson Mercer (C/RW), NJD | Rostered: 24% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@COL, @VGK, @ARI , -5 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Hischier & Tatar, PP2) 
  • The Devils 18th overall pick from the 2020 draft is on an absolute HEATER right now with 9 points and 7 goals over his 5-game goal-scoring streak! The shot volume has been impressive as well, averaging 4 SOG/GM over that goal streak. On-pace for a career-best 25 goals and 54 points. NOTE: 16.7 iSH% obviously a bit high. 

🎯 Jordan Eberle (RW), SEA | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@STL, @DET, @CBJ, @COL, +4 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Beniers & McCann, PP1) 
The former Isle and Oiler is on-pace for 65 points this season – his best offensive output since 2013-2014! 9 points and 3 goals in his last 10 games played. Seattle has 4 games coming up this week, Eberle has great linemates, and a role on the top power play unit. NOTE: 12.1 tEVSH% is a bit of a red flag…

🎯Sean Durzi (D), LAK | Rostered: 33% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (, +4 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Roy, PP2) 
  • Don’t look now, but Sean Durzi is on-pace for 46 points and 10 goals this season! What’s more impressive is the fact that Durzi has managed to be this productive with Doughty in the lineup. 6 points and 1 goal in his last 6 games played; and has received 53%+ PP Share in 3 of those 6 games. NOTE: 7.6 iSH% is significantly higher than the 2.5% Durzi shot last season. 49% IPP is higher than expected. 
🎯Sam Girard (D), COL | Rostered: 32% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.VGK, Vs.NJD, @DAL, Vs.SEA, +14 SOS) | Line: X (w/ Toews, PP2) 
  • We’ve mentioned Girard recently, and Makar will be back in the lineup soon enough; but Girard has been productive enough lately that fantasy managers should consider rostering him for the rest of the season. 10 points and 1 goal over his last 10 games, while averaging nearly 24 minutes per game. 
🎯 Antti Raanta (G), CAR | Rostered: 44% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@VGK, @ARI, Vs.TB, -8 SOS) | Role: Backup (37% Net Share)
  • The journeyman net minder is 11-0-1 going back to December 1st! Over that stretch he has posted a tidy 2.23 GAA and a .913 SV%. Raanta had been overshadowed by Kochetkov earlier in the season, and generally takes a backseat to #1 Freddie Andersen. However, this guy is about as automatic as it gets when healthy and called upon. Friday’s 4-0 victory over the Senators marked the 33-year old’s 3rd shutout of the season. NOTE: .922 EVSV% best in 4 seasons; .860 PKSV% indicates performance not boosted by luck. 

🎯 Laurent Brossoit (G), VGK | Rostered: 19% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@COL, Vs.CAR, Vs.NJD, Vs.MTL, +4 SOS) | Role: Backup (3% Net Share)
  • Vegas can’t seem to stay healthy in goal this season, enter Laurent Brossoit. The 29-year old posted solid numbers with Winnipeg in 2020-2021 (2.42 GAA, .918 SV%) before falling off last season (2.90 GAA, .895 SV%). Through just two games this season, Brossoit has a 1-0-1 record with a 2.39 GAA and .925 SV%. NOTE: .941 EVSV%, .857 PKSV% – GREAT numbers in a VERY limited sample size.

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