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.
Derick Brassard – PIT (C)
Since being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Derick Brassard’s ownership has shot up 16 per cent. There’s no doubt the rise in ownership is largely due to the trade, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last seven games either.
It remains to be seen how the Penguins will utilize him, but there’s no doubting the increase in fantasy value simply from being on the Penguins roster. It’s unlikely he sees a top-six role or a role on the number one power play unit, but he will certainly see his fair share of looks.
Jeff Carter – LAK (C/RW)
The long-awaited return of Jeff Carter has finally arrived, and no doubt fantasy owners are taking notice. His ownership has risen nine per cent over the past week, ahead of his return to the Los Angeles Kings lineup Feb. 24. He failed to register a point in his first game back, but slotted right back onto the second line and number one power play unit. In what’s turned into a tight playoff race in the Pacific division, owners can be sure Carter will be utilized heavily down the stretch.
Nate Schmidt – VGK (D)
Yes, it’s yet another Vegas Golden Knights player racking up points. Nate Schmidt has been on a tear of late, which has not gone unnoticed in the fantasy hockey world. He’s registered nine points (two goals, seven assists) over his last 11 games, bringing his season total to 30 points (five goals, 25 assists) in 61 games. His recent run has seen his ownership grow by 12 per cent over the past week, and will likely only continue to grow. He plays heavy minutes in all situations on the ice, including the number one power play unit, while Shea Theodore recovers from a throat infection.
Duncan Keith – CHI (D)
It’s been tough to find positives about the Chicago Blackhawks this season, and Duncan Keith sure isn’t one of them. The veteran is having a disastrous season, both in reality and fantasy hockey.
In his last 12 games, he’s managed just a single goal, adding to his less than average season total of 26 points (1 goal, 25 assists) in 63 games. Although he’s still seeing heavy even strength minutes, he has seen his power play role decrease as the season has gone on. At this point, it’s hard to believe he’s going to find a way to pull it together for the closing stretch.
Mika Zibanejad – NYR (C)
It’s been a bit of an up and down season for Mika Zibanejad, and this recent stretch of games is a part of the down cycle. Over his last eight games, he’s managed just one goal, combined with a minus – 9 rating in the same span, bringing his season total to 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists) in 54 games. He’s going to continue to see heavy minutes, both even strength and with the number one power play unit, so he’s likely to start finding the scoresheet with regularity again soon. Unfortunately, the inconsistency has been the norm for him this season.
TJ Oshie – WAS (RW)
Overall, it’s been a respectable season for TJ Oshie, with the exception of this recent dry spell. Over his last eight games, Oshie has managed just a single even strength assist, bringing his season total to 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 56 games. He remains a key part of the Washington Capitals efficient number one power play unit, as well as his current role on the second line. This is no more than a dry spell. He’ll be back.
Related: Capitals Seek Consistency
Waiver Wire Targets
Brendan Gallagher – MTL (41% owned – RW)
Despite continuing to find the scoresheet consistently, Brendan Gallagher is still only owned in 41 per cent of leagues. He’s tallied another two points in three games since being listed here last week, bringing his season total to a respectable 36 points (21 goals, 15 assists) in 61 games.
He’s locked into a role on the second line, as well as a role on the number one power play unit for a Montreal Canadiens man-advantage ranking 12 in the NHL. He’s a must-add in the majority of settings for the final stretch.
Nick Schmaltz – CHI (41% owned – C)
One of the few bright spots for the Blackhawks this season has been the production of Nick Schmaltz. He’s now up to an impressive 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 59 games this season, but is only owned in roughly 41 per cent of leagues. That needs to change. He’s currently centring the third line while having a role locked down on the number one power play unit. He’s being relied on heavily for offensive production, and his point totals speak for themselves.
Brandon Montour – ANA (41% owned – D)
Understandably, Brandon Montour’s ownership took a dive once Cam Fowler returned from injury. But it may be time to look Montour’s way again if you’re in need of a defenseman. The Anaheim Ducks have recently given their lineup a bit of a remodel, which resulted in Montour playing on the top pairing and number one power play unit. Although his 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) in 62 games may not jump out at you, he’s certainly worth adding if he remains in these lineup slots.
Daniel Sedin – VAN (40% owned – LW)
Although he continues to rack up the points, Daniel Sedin continues to be ignored in fantasy hockey circles. The veteran has a whopping nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last seven games, and a season total of 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) in 61 games. Given his roles on both the second line and number one power play unit, paired with his undeniable production, there’s no reason for him to not be added in the majority of settings. Don’t miss out on him for your final push.
Tomas Hertl – SJS (37% owned – C/RW)
Since missing three games due to injury, it appears Tomas Hertl has been forgotten about. Well, he shouldn’t be. He’s no longer injured and is back in his significant offensive roles on the second line and number one power play unit. He currently sits with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 60 games, but continues to see added ice time with Joe Thornton out. His break out could very well be just around the corner. You won’t want to miss it.
Jeff Carter – LAK (Ankle)
Carter returned to the Los Angeles Kings lineup Feb. 24.
Shea Weber – MON (Foot)
Weber has been ruled out for the rest of the season to undergo surgery to repair a torn tendon.
Corey Crawford – CHI (Upper Body)
Crawford was placed on IR Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury. He remains out indefinitely, and recent reports are saying he may be shut down for the season, given the Blackhawks’ disappearing playoff hopes.
Chris Kreider – NYR (Rib)
Kreider returned to the New York Rangers lineup Feb. 23.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Ribs)
Nugent-Hopkins suffered a bruised sternum and cracked ribs Jan. 13 and is expected to miss five-six weeks. He skated for the first time on Feb. 20.
Kevin Shattenkirk – NYR (Knee)
Shattenkirk underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear and will be out indefinitely. As of Feb. 7, he’s no longer using crutches, but there’s still no timeline for a return.
Ondrej Palat – TBL (Lower Body)
Palat suffered a lower body injury Jan. 20 and will miss six-eight weeks. As of Feb. 24, a mid-March return date is being projected.
Marcus Johansson – NJD (Concussion)
Johansson suffered a concussion Jan. 23 and is out indefinitely. As of Feb. 15, he has yet to resume skating.
Cory Schneider – NJD (Groin)
Schneider suffered a groin injury Jan. 23 and was forced to leave the game. He’s still considered day-to-day, but participated in an optional skate Feb. 21. There’s a chance he returns this week.
Brian Elliott – PHI (Lower Body)
Elliott underwent core muscle surgery on Feb. 13 and is expected to miss five-six weeks.
Joe Thornton – SJS (Knee)
Thornton suffered a knee injury Jan. 23 and left the game. He has underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee and is expected to miss several weeks. Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he believes Thornton will return before the end of the season.
Jacob Trouba – WPG (Ankle)
Trouba suffered an ankle injury Jan. 25 and is expected to miss six-eight weeks.
Bobby Ryan – OTT (Finger)
Ryan returned to the Ottawa Senators lineup Feb. 22.
Patric Hornqvist – PIT (Lower Body)
Hornqvist returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup Feb. 23.
Jack Eichel – BUF (Ankle)
Eichel suffered a high ankle sprain Feb. 10 and is expected to miss four-six weeks.
Ryan McDonagh – NYR (Upper Body)
McDonagh has missed the past six games due to a lingering upper body injury. As of Feb. 22, he has yet to resume skating, but appears to be close.
Ryan Kesler – ANA (Lower Body)
Kesler returned to the Anaheim Ducks lineup Feb. 19.
Mike Smith – CGY (Groin)
Smith suffered a groin injury Feb. 11 and remains day-to-day as a result. He was placed on IR Feb. 24, as a way to free up a roster spot. He remains day-to-day.
Jonathan Bernier – COL (Concussion)
Bernier suffered a concussion Feb. 16 and is considered day-to-day. He’s now missed the past four games.
Mike Green – DET (Upper Body)
Green has missed the past six games due to an upper body injury. He’s still considered day-to-day, but did skate Feb. 25 prior to the game.
Thomas Greiss – NYI (Undisclosed)
Greiss missed practice on Feb. 18 after “tweaking” something. He’s considered day-to-day and was placed on IR Feb. 19. Head coach Doug Weight said he doesn’t expect a long absence.
Michal Neuvirth – PHI (Lower Body)
Neuvirth suffered a lower body injury Feb. 18 and will miss four-six weeks.
Justin Schultz – PIT (Illness)
Schultz returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup Feb. 23.
Tomas Hertl – SJS (Undisclosed)
Hertl returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup Feb. 22.
Shea Theodore – VGK (Illness)
Theodore has missed the past four games due to a throat infection. He’s considered day-to-day.
John Gibson – ANA (Lower Body)
Gibson suffered a lower body injury Feb. 19 and has been placed on IR. He’s still considered day-to-day.
Michael Ferland – CGY (Undisclosed)
Ferland suffered an undisclosed injury Feb. 22 and missed Saturday’s game as a result. It’s unknown when he may return, so he’s considered day-to-day for now.
Jordan Staal – CAR (Personal)
Staal has missed the past two games due to the unfortunate passing of his infant daughter. His return to the lineup is unknown at this point.
Nick Foligno – CBJ (Lower Body)
Foligno suffered a lower body injury Feb. 18 and is expected to miss one-two weeks.
Erik Johnson – COL (Upper Body)
Johnson suffered an upper body injury Feb. 18 and is out indefinitely.
Carey Price – MTL (Concussion)
Price suffered a concussion Feb. 20 and is out indefinitely.
Wayne Simmonds – PHI (Upper Body)
Simmonds suffered an upper body injury Feb. 18 and is expected to miss two-three weeks.
Auston Matthews – TOR (Shoulder)
Matthews suffered a shoulder injury Feb. 22 and is expected to miss at least one week.
James Neal – VGK (Illness)
Neal has missed the past three games due to illness. He’s still considered day-to-day.
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.