Fantasy Fix: Hamilton On Fire, Namestnikov Cooling Off

Each Monday, we’ll take a look at the past week in fantasy hockey. Specifically, we’ll dive into which players are heating up, which players are cooling down, players to target on the waiver wire, and an update on fantasy-relevant injuries. From week to week, a lot can change in a player’s fantasy outlook due to line combinations, injuries, or just a simple tweak in their game and we will have you covered.

Trending Up

Patric Hornqvist – PIT (RW)

After a brief stretch of five games without registering a point, Patric Hornqvist appears to be back on track again, tallying five points (three goals, two assists) in his last six games.

Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
Patric Hornqvist of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As a whole, the Pittsburgh Penguins were struggling during Hornqvist’s drought, which provides some clarity to his struggles.  With the Penguins now back on track and Hornqvist maintaining his role on the top power play unit of the NHL’s best man advantage, he’s set to continue rolling.

Evgenii Dadonov – FLA (LW/RW)

It took him awhile to get going again following his return from injury, but Evgenii Dadonov is back in full swing. After going five straight games without a point, he’s now riding a six-game point streak, tallying a massive eight points (three goals, five assists) in that span. Dadonov is given every opportunity to find success offensively, playing on the top line and first power play unit. He’s now up to 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games this season, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Dougie Hamilton – CGY (D)

It’s seemed like every overtime goal or game-winning goal the Calgary Flames have received lately has been off Dougie Hamilton’s stick. While that may not be 100% true, he’s certainly found a new boost offensively of late. After going five games without a single point, Hamilton has exploded over his last six games, registering six points (four goals, two assists) in that span, including two game-winning goals. While this pace will be tough to maintain, he appears to be back to his offensive form from last season, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

Related: Flames Squeaking Through the Season with a C+

Trending Down

Vladislav Namestnikov – TBL (C/LW)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been doing a fair bit of line shuffling lately, and unfortunately for Vladislav Namestnikov and his fantasy owners, he’s been one of them players bouncing around the lineup.

Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Vladislav Namestnikov of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

His production has clearly suffered. After his hot start to the campaign, he’s gone cold of late, tallying just two assists over his last eight games. He still sits with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 46 games this season, and still plays on the first even strength line. He was recently moved back to the top power play unit again, so perhaps that will provide the spark he needs.

Patrick Marleau – TOR (LW/C)

Considering Patrick Marleau was listed in this same category last week, it’s not good at all that he’s listed here again. He’s now gone eight straight games without a single point, combined with a minus-2 rating. Marleau’s ownership in fantasy leagues is steadily dropping, and for good reason. He’s being given every opportunity to break out of his slump, including playing on the top power play unit, but just can’t seem to get anything going. It’s now only a matter of time before the opportunities slowly start to disappear too, if he doesn’t turn it around quick.

Mattias Ekholm – NSH (D)

It may seem like it’s been awhile since you’ve seen Mattias Ekholm’s name on the scoresheet. Well, that’s because it has been. Ekholm has failed to register a single point in 13 straight games, after getting off to an impressive start to the season. He started out with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 31 games, but still sits with that same total now after 44 games. With Ryan Ellis now back in the Nashville Predators lineup, and Roman Josi and P.K. Subban running the offensive show, it appears Ekholm’s offensive outputs will continue to be scarce going forward.

Waiver Wire Targets

Nick Schmaltz – CHI (C – 48% owned)

Nick Schmaltz was one of the most added players last week, and for good reason. The youngster has been thriving lately in prominent roles with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Nick Schmaltz Chicago Blackhawks
Nick Schmaltz of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He currently finds himself on the second even strength line as well as the top power play unit, and he has not disappointed. The youngster is now up to  an impressive 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 42 games this season. As long as he retains his current roles in the offense, he will have no problem maintaining this pace. Adding him while he’s still available is a no-brainer.

Jordan Staal – CAR (C/LW – 41% owned)

After being listed here last week, it appears fantasy owners are slowly starting to catch on to Jordan Staal. His ownership has risen 4% since last week, but even still it’s too low. The veteran plays in every situation on the ice for the Carolina Hurricanes, including the number one line, and top power play unit. He’s now up to 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 47 games this season, and will maintain this pace, at the very least, for the remainder of the season. He’s worth an add in the majority of leagues.

Tomas Hertl – SJS (C/RW – 39% owned)

Given his continued production, Tomas Hertl will continue to be listed here until he’s owned in more leagues. Despite being on a four-game point streak, Hertl’s ownership has only rose 2% since last week. He’s now up to 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 46 games this season, while playing on a deadly first power play unit of the San Jose Sharks. He’s only going to improve going forward, so don’t miss out on what could be a valuable player down the stretch.

Jeff Petry – MON (D – 30% owned)

Anytime a defenseman is quarterbacking the top power play unit, they immediately become a fantasy asset. Well, until Shea Weber returns, Jeff Petry is that guy in Montreal. He’s been productive in Weber’s absence, currently sitting with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 47 games. Defense can be tough to find scoring in fantasy hockey, so if you’re in a bind, Petry makes for a solid add until Weber returns.

Alexander Kerfoot – COL (C/RW – 21% owned)

It’s time to jump all over Alexander Kerfoot while you can. Already having a solid season, Kerfoot was just promoted to the top power play unit with Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. There’s not much more that should need to be said to convince fantasy owners to add him now. His already impressive 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 42 games is only going to get better in a hurry.

Related: Colorado Avalanche Top 4 Prospects

Injury Updates

Jeff Carter – LAK (Ankle)

After being cut by a skate in the LA Kings’ game on Oct. 18, Carter was expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Recent reports say he could be out until February, but he has recently began skating on his own.

Roberto Luongo – FLA (Lower Body)

Luongo is expected to miss multiple weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 4. No definitive timeline for his return has been set, but he did practice in full gear this past week for the first time since the injury, and a return in early February is now considered a possibility.

Robert Luongo Panthers
Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jaden Schwartz – STL (Ankle)

Schwartz suffered a serious ankle injury on Dec. 9 and is expected to miss at least six weeks. Schwartz participated in practice on Sunday, including taking some contact, so a return could be near.

Bo Horvat – VAN (Ankle)

Horvat returned to the Vancouver Canucks lineup Jan. 21.

Tyson Barrie – COL (Hand)

Barrie suffered a fractured right hand Dec. 23 and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. He took part in morning skate on Jan. 19, so his return is drawing closer.

Nino Niederreiter – MIN (Lower Body)

Niederreiter suffered a lower body injury Jan. 6 and was originally expected to return following the Minnesota Wild bye week. But it’s now been determined he will be out until after the all-star break.

Shea Weber – MON (Foot)

Weber has been given some time to let his foot injury heal. He’s still considered day-to-day, but remains in a walking boot and is doubtful to return before the all-star break.

Shea Weber Montreal Canadiens
Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Frolik – CGY (Face)

Frolik suffered a fractured jaw Dec. 28 and is considered week-t0-week.

Artem Anisimov – CHI (Upper Body)

Anisimov suffered an upper-body injury Dec. 28 and was recently placed on IR. He’s now expected to return to the lineup Jan. 22.

Corey Crawford – CHI (Upper Body)

Crawford was placed on IR Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury. He remains out indefinitely and has yet to resume skating. Recent reports say he could miss the remainder of the season.

Cam Atkinson – CBJ (Foot)

Atkinson suffered a fractured foot Dec. 23 and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. He skated in full gear Jan. 20, so his return is on the horizon.

Filip Forsberg – NSH (Hand)

Forsberg suffered a broken hand Dec. 29 and is expected to miss four-six weeks.

Filip Forsberg Predators
Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Chris Kreider – NYR (Rib)

Kreider underwent successful surgery Jan. 9 and will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

Mark Scheifele – WPG (Upper Body)

Scheifele suffered an upper-body injury Dec. 27 and is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks.

Sebastian Aho – CAR (Concussion)

Aho suffered a concussion Jan. 14, and there’s no timetable for his return.

Semyon Varlamov – COL (Groin)

Varlamov suffered a minor muscular injury Jan. 2, and still has no firm timeline for a return. He skated on Wednesday, and there’s hope he will return following the all-star break.

Jake Muzzin – LAK (Undisclosed)

Muzzin returned to the Los Angeles Kings lineup Jan. 18.

Josh Bailey – NYI (Lower Body)

Bailey returned to the New York Islanders lineup Jan. 18.

Josh Bailey Islanders
Josh Bailey of the New York Islanders. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Justin Abdelkader – DET (Lower Body)

Abdelkader suffered a lower body injury Jan. 13 and is considered day-to-day. As of Jan. 19, he’s expected to miss at least the next three games.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Ribs)

Nugent-Hopkins suffered a bruised sternum and cracked ribs Jan. 13 and is expected to miss five-six weeks.

Ryan McDonagh – NYR (Undisclosed)

McDonagh returned to the New York Rangers lineup Jan. 16.

Bobby Ryan – OTT (Hand)

Ryan returned to the Ottawa Senators lineup Jan. 18.

Shayne Gostisbehere – PHI (Illness)

Gostisbehere returned to the Philadelphia Flyers lineup Jan. 16.

Victor Hedman – TBL (Lower Body)

Hedman suffered a lower body injury Jan. 11 and is expected to miss three-six weeks.

Victor Hedman Lightning
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Daniel Sedin – VAN (Back)

Sedin returned to the Canucks lineup Jan. 20.

Kevin Shattenkirk – NYR (Knee)

Shattenkirk will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus tear and will be out indefinitely.

Matt Murray – PIT (Personal)

Murray will miss an undetermined amount of time due to the passing of his father.

Martin Jones – SJS (Lower Body)

Jones is dealing with a lower body injury, but is not expected to miss much time.

Ondrej Palat – TBL (Lower Body)

Palat suffered a lower body injury Jan. 20 and will miss six-eight weeks.

Morgan Rielly – TOR (Upper Body)

Rielly is dealing with an upper body injury, and missed Saturday’s game as a result. He’s still considered day-to-day.