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.
Nick Schmaltz – CHI (C)
It seems almost every Chicago Blackhawks player is starting to find the scoresheet with regularity, and Nick Schmaltz is no different.
Thanks to a recent run of 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 10 games, Schmaltz now sits with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 41 games. He’s currently playing on the second line with Patrick Kane, as well as the top power play unit. As long as he remains in both these situations, expect his offensive production to continue.
Michael Ferland – CGY (LW/RW)
For the majority of the season, Michael Ferland has been playing on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. But it appears the majority of the fantasy world is only just starting to take notice. Ferland’s now up to 29 points (19 goals, 10 assists) in 44 games, and appears to have solidified his spot on the first line. Over the past week, his ownership has rose by over 20 per cent. He appears to have found a nice home on this line, and should continue to produce at a solid rate going forward.
Ivan Provorov – PHI (D)
Normally, when a Philadelphia Flyers defenseman is putting up fantasy points, it’s Shayne Gostisbehere. But Ivan Provorov wants to join the party in a big way, especially lately. In his last four games, Provorov has amassed a stellar seven points (three goals, four assists), bringing his season total to 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in 43 games. He’s proving to be a future star in the making, and although his pace over the last four games won’t be maintained, it’s certainly cause for excitement.
Zach Parise – MIN (LW)
There was a lot of excitement in Minnesota when Zach Parise finally made his season debut Jan. 2, but the excitement has yet to be felt in the fantasy hockey world.
In his seven games-played, Parise has just one assist and a minus four rating. He’s currently playing on the second line and second power play unit, so he’s certainly seeing plenty of opportunities. Perhaps he still needs a little more time to get settled in again, but his fantasy owners would like to see that happen immediately.
Patrick Marleau – TOR (LW/C)
Following a hot start to his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Patrick Marleau has cooled off since then. But maybe a little too cool for his fantasy owners. He’s now gone five straight contests without registering a point, despite still playing on the second line and first power play unit. Marleau currently sits with 24 points (15 goals, 9 assists) in 45 games this season, which is likely where most of owners anticipated he would be. Expect these type of streaks from the veteran for the remainder of the season.
Kevin Shattenkirk – NYR (D)
Prior to a recent dry spell, Kevin Shattenkirk was doing everything his owners were hoping for and more. But that’s all vanished in recent weeks. In his last 11 games, he’s recorded just a single assist. A good chunk of his points typically come on the power play, which has been a struggle for the New York Rangers in recent weeks. Shattenkirk remains an absolute minute hog, and remains the undisputed power play quarterback for the first unit. Give him time — he’ll be back.
Waiver Wire Targets
Colin Miller – VGK (D – 49% owned)
Although he hasn’t recorded a point in his last five games, Colin Miller should easily be owned in way more leagues.
He currently sits with 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in 42 games this season, which are great numbers for a defenseman. He continues to play on a deadly Vegas Golden Knights first power play unit, which should be enough to give him a look in itself. Defense is a tough position to fill on a fantasy roster, so if you’re in need of a defenseman, look no further.
Danton Heinen – BOS (C – 43% owned)
Somehow Danton Heinen’s ownership went up just three per cent since being listed here last week. He needs to be owned in far more leagues, plain and simple. The rookie currently sits with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 37 games on a Boston Bruins team that’s finding the back of the net at will in recent weeks. Heinen’s now playing on a lethal first power play unit, and could easily remain there for the rest of the season. There’s simply no reason not to add Heinen. He needs to be owned.
Mikael Backlund – CGY (C – 42% owned)
It’s unclear as to how Mikael Backlund is owned in just 42 per cent of leagues. Since also being listed here last week, Backlund has tallied four points in the four games he’s played in that span. He’s now up to a solid 29 points (9 goals, 20 assists) in 45 games this season and should be expected to continue to produce at this rate for the rest of the season. With his recent bump up to the top power play unit with Gaudreau and Monahan, Backlund is a must add.
Jordan Staal – CAR (C/LW – 37% owned)
The Carolina Hurricanes are proving to be legit in the real world, and Jordan Staal the same in the fantasy world. The veteran is now up to 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 45 games with a Hurricanes squad that’s starting to find their stride. He plays heavy minutes in every scenario on the ice, including the top power play unit. He’s proving to be a consistent addition to a fantasy roster in all but the most shallow leagues.
Tomas Hertl – SJS (C/RW – 37% owned)
Just because Tomas Hertl has only two goals in his past seven games doesn’t mean he should be dropped. Every player goes through droughts. What’s important to remember is his role on a lethal first power play unit of the San Jose Sharks, as well as his solidified top-six role. He currently sits with 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 41 games, and will be given every opportunity to pile up the points down the stretch. Add him now so you don’t miss out.
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 been able to resume walking unaided.
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.
Jaden Schwartz – STL (Ankle)
Schwartz suffered a serious ankle injury on Dec. 9 and is expected to miss at least six weeks. Recent reports say he may be able to return at the end of January.
Sven Baertschi – VAN (Jaw)
Baertschi returned to the Vancouver Canucks lineup Jan. 7.
Bo Horvat – VAN (Ankle)
Horvat suffered a fractured ankle on Dec. 5. He’s considered week-to-week, but is expected to return by the end of January.
Alexander Wennberg – CBJ (Back)
Wennberg returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup Jan. 11, which was way ahead of schedule.
Tyson Barrie – COL (Hand)
Barrie suffered a fractured right hand Dec. 23 and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Nino Niederreiter – MIN (Lower Body)
Niederreiter suffered a lower body injury Jan. 6, but is expected to return following the Minnesota Wild bye week.
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.
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. No timetable has been set for a return, but he’s considered day-to-day. He’s not expected back before the Chicago Blackhawks bye week that starts Jan. 15.
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.
Cam Atkinson – CBJ (Foot)
Atkinson suffered a fractured foot Dec. 23 and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Radim Vrbata – FLA (Illness)
Vrbata returned to the Florida Panthers lineup Jan. 9.
Filip Forsberg – NSH (Hand)
Forsberg suffered a broken hand Dec. 29 and is expected to miss four-six weeks.
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 (Undisclosed)
Aho returned from his original leg injury, but took a hit to the head in the Carolina Hurricanes game Jan. 14 and was forced to leave the game. He’s considered day-to-day until more information is known.
Semyon Varlamov – COL (Groin)
Varlamov suffered a minor muscular injury Jan. 2, but could return following the Colorado Avalanche’s upcoming bye week. As of Jan. 12, he’s still expected to miss another two weeks.
Jimmy Howard – DET (Lower Body)
Howard returned to the Detroit Red Wings lineup Jan. 13.
Jake Muzzin – LAK (Undisclosed)
Muzzin is dealing with an undisclosed injury and was placed on IR Jan. 6. He’s now close to returning to action, and is considered a game-time decision for Monday night’s game.
Josh Bailey – NYI (Lower Body)
Bailey suffered a lower body injury Jan. 5 and a timetable for his return is unknown. He’s expected to make a return at some point this week.
Justin Abdelkader – DET (Lower Body)
Abdelkader suffered a lower body injury Jan. 13 and is considered day-to-day.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Undisclosed)
Nugent-Hopkins took a hard hit against the Vegas Golden Knights Jan. 13 and did not return to the game. A concussion was ruled out the following day, and he’s expected to be dealing with a minor bruise.
Ryan McDonagh – NYR (Undisclosed)
McDonagh suffered an undisclosed injury Jan. 13 and didn’t play the following day. However, he was considered a game-time decision for that missed game, so the ailment isn’t serious.
Bobby Ryan – OTT (Hand)
Ryan suffered a hand injury Jan. 9 and is considered day-to-day after missed the Ottawa Senators game Jan. 10.
Shayne Gostisbehere – PHI (Illness)
Gostisbehere is considered day-to-day with an illness.
Victor Hedman – TBL (Lower Body)
Hedman suffered a lower body injury Jan. 11 and is expected to miss three-six weeks.
Daniel Sedin – VAN (Back)
Sedin missed the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 14 game due to back spasms. It’s unknown if he will miss any more time.
I’ve been writing for over three years and have work published by the Calgary Herald, National Lacrosse League, Hard Knocks Fighting and The Weal at SAIT. Although I’ve covered many different topics as a journalist, sports writing remains my main passion and strength.