Fantasy Hockey Values: How long will Kyle Connor’s hot streak last?
Special to Yahoo Sports
In this space, we’ll look at which NHL players are seeing their fantasy hockey values rise or fall on a week-to-week basis.
This week’s article includes Drouin heating up, a depth winger in Edmonton on a roll, a ‘Cane blueliner cruising while their No. 1 netminder returns to action and a big-name defenseman slumping.
First Liners (Risers)
Jonathan Drouin, C, MTL
Drouin has yet to light the lamp this season and is being propelled by his power-play time, but he’s found a way to be productive anyway. Moved up and down the lineup from fourth-line center to first-line winger, Drouin has seven assists in his last nine games, three of which have come on the man-advantage.
Tread lightly with Drouin though, as he looks to be a moment away from being a healthy scratch at times from coach Martin St. Louis.
Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT
Malkin’s last several seasons have been injury-shortened. Last year, his campaign started three months late due to a knee issue, but he posted 20 goals and 22 assists in 42 games. Malkin played well in Pittsburgh’s seven-game loss to the Rangers and signed a new four-year, $24.4 million contract to remain a Penguin. He’s continued that fine play through the first 43 games of this season, tallying 15 goals and 26 assists while once again skating as the team’s second-line center.
Kyle Connor, LW, WPG
We’re running out of superlatives for Connor, who just continues to rack up points. Connor registered an assist Friday, stretching his point streak to nine games, during which he has posted six goals, nine helpers and a plus-7 rating. On the year, Connor has collected 21 goals and 32 assists through 43 games, building off the career-best season he posted last year when he notched 47 goals and 46 assists. The seven-year, $50 million contract he signed with the Jets in September 2019 is looking like a bargain right now.
Klim Kostin, RW, EDM
If you asked me a month ago where in the column Kostin would be if he made an appearance, the answer would have been easy: On the Fallers side. Placed on waivers by St. Louis in October, Kostin was dealt to the Oilers and called up a month later. A first-round pick (31st overall in 2017) Kostin was a major disappointment as a Blue, but he’s received a new lease on life north of the border, netting seven of his nine goals this season since Dec. 30 while skating in a middle-six role.
Jordan Eberle, LW, SEA
Eberle is having a big season in his second year with the Kraken. One of the team’s most prominent expansion picks, Eberle posted 21 goals — the seventh time in his career he hit the 20-goal plateau — and 23 assists in the franchise’s first season, though that production was offset by a career-worst minus-28 rating. This season, the Kraken and Eberle have seen an uptick in production both in the standings and on the scoresheet, respectively. Eberle is skating on the team’s first line, posting 10 goals and 25 assists in 43 games, with eight of those points coming in the last seven games, along with a plus-11 rating.
Damon Severson, D, NJ
New Jersey, after a bit of a rough patch, has gotten hot again. The same can be said for Severson, as he has suddenly turned his offense back on with a goal and six helpers over his last seven games. Prior to this burst of production, he was limited to one helper over 17 contests.
Last year, Severson tied his career high with 11 goals and added 35 assists, so regression was expected, though not to the level we saw when the season started. Be careful not to overrate Severson based on his current hot streak, though the Devils do have a solid offense.
Brett Pesce, D, CAR
Pesce has 18 points in 43 games on the season, but that doesn’t even remotely come close to telling the story of his year. More than half his production has been posted since December 23, as Pesce has three goals and seven assists in 10 games since that date. Pesce has tallied between 16 and 29 points in his seven seasons in the league, and he already sits in that range midway through the season, but his recent hot streak makes it a strong likelihood that he will set a new career-high in production by the end of the campaign.
Filip Gustavsson, G, MIN
Gustavsson came over to the Wild this past offseason in exchange for Cam Talbot and has gained a new lease on his career with that move. He saw action in 18 games for the rebuilding Senators a season ago, managing a 5-12-1 record, 3.55 goals-against average (GAA) and .892 save percentage. As a member of the Wild, he posted a 5-1-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and a .929 save percentage (SV%) in December and is 10-6-1 with a 2.17 GAA and .925 SV% for the season. Marc-Andre Fleury is the No. 1 netminder in Minny, but Gustavsson has been a solid backup.
Frederik Andersen, G, CAR
Andersen, injured Nov. 6 versus the Maple Leafs, missed 29 games while on injured reserve. Prior to getting hurt, the 33-year-old Dane went 5-3-0 with a .891 save percentage in eight contests. During his absence, Antti Raanta, and especially Pyotr Kochetkov, held down the fort between the pipes, allowing Carolina to take over first place in the Metro Division. Kochetkov has seen his play level off a bit, getting beat more frequently in the five-hole. Andersen was activated last week, starting and notching wins both Thursday and Saturday, evidencing that he’s likely back as the team’s top goalie.
Others include Sam Steel, Matty Beniers, Mark Scheifele, Scott Laughton, Jared McCann, Tomas Tatar, Lucas Raymond, Pavel Buchnevich, Dillon Dube, Victor Olofsson, Eeli Tolvanen, K’Andre Miller, Matt Benning, Sean Durzi, Seth Jones, Moritz Seider, Ryan Graves, Carter Hart, Martin Jones, Pheonix Copley and Juuse Saros.
Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)
Jack Quinn, C, BUF
Quinn, selected eighth overall in 2020, posted 26 goals and 61 points in 45 games for AHL Rochester last season. He broke camp with the Sabres this year and has notched six goals and 17 points in 33 games. Quinn is pointless in his last nine games and spent two in a row watching from the press box before getting back in the lineup Saturday, where he scored and added an assist. Prior to this stretch, he had five goals and 12 points in his previous 12 games, making him a possible buy-low candidate.
Andrew Mangiapane, LW, CGY
Mangiapane took his game to an entirely new level last year, racking up 35 goals and 55 points while playing in all 82 regular season games for Calgary. That overall output nearly matched what he posted the prior two seasons combined. This season has been more of a struggle and more in line with his 2019-20 and 20202-21 campaigns, as he has 21 points in 45 games, though seven have come in the last 10 contests. He recently went 11 games without lighting the lamp and is back to his spot as a third-line left winger. However, given his recent production, ride the wave and hope he has found his previous form.
Thomas Chabot, D, OTT
Chabot has a good — not great — season to date, notching 22 points in 38 games. His output must be viewed as a mild disappointment after he tallied seven goals and 31 assists in 59 games before getting injured last season. Chabot, off a 55-point campaign in 2018-19, signed an eight-year, $64 million contract extension with the Senators in September of 2019. Since then, injuries and stretches of ineffectiveness have been prevalent each season, making Chabot more of a second or third-fantasy defenseman.
Others include Dylan Strome, Cole Sillinger, Sam Bennett, Josh Bailey, MacKenzie Weegar, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (healthy scratch Thursday), Pyotr Kochetkov, Logan Thompson and Alexandar Georgiev.
Source: Yahoo Sports