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.
Mark Stone – OTT (RW)
After a run of four games without a point, Stone has quietly gotten back on track in a nice way. Over his last six games, he’s tallied six points (zero goals, six assists), bringing his yearly total to 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 34 games.
Given the struggles of the Ottawa Senators of late, this production certainly provides a little comfort to Stone’s owners, given that if he can still be productive while his team struggles, just wait till they pick it up. Be sure to keep him active in all formats.
Ryan Getzlaf – ANA (C)
Although he was never really trending down, other than being injured, Getzlaf needed to be listed here simply because of his performance since returning from injury. In his seven games played since returning, he’s notched nine points (one goal, eight assists); certainly a much-desired level of production for the Anaheim Ducks and his fantasy owners. The Ducks will also welcome back Ryan Kesler soon, which will only help Getzlaf’s fantasy outlook. He appears to be primed to continue lighting up the scoreboard.
Mike Green – DET (D)
It’s been a season of ups and downs for Green so far. He started the season off as one of the highest scoring fantasy defensemen before tapering off to virtually no production. Well, after a recent stretch of seven games without recording a point, he appears to have righted the ship again, tallying three points over his last three games. He remains on the second power-play unit, which certainly plays a part in his streaky season. But if this is the beginning of another upswing, be sure he’s in your lineup.
Jake Guentzel – PIT (LW/C)
After a relatively solid start to the season, Guentzel has cooled off of late, registering just one point in his last eight games. His recent struggles can partly be attributed to the overall struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
A player as talented as him can only remain limited for so long, so this tiny slump likely won’t last long. He remains on the first line with Sidney Crosby, and also the second power-play unit, so the opportunities are certainly there. Just be patient.
Nazem Kadri – TOR (C)
Yes, Kadri was listed here last week, which is not good. Since last week’s Fantasy Fix edition, he’s still failed to record a point, further extending his slump. This frustrating drought for his owners has now reached 10 games, equaling the entire month of December without a single point. Ouch. He remains on the first unit of a normally effective power play, as well as the second even-strength line. There’s no question he will get it going in a big way again soon, but the question is how soon? Temper expectations for him until he breaks out of this funk.
Roman Josi – NSH (D)
Josi was one of the premier fantasy defensemen heading into this season and certainly hasn’t disappointed his owners for the majority of it so far. But there may be some cause for concern as of late, as he’s now gone four straight contests without a point. Yes, it’s only four games, but the bigger concern is his demotion to the second power-play unit. A lot of his production came while being a fixture on that lethal top unit the Nashville Predators possess. He remains on the top defensive pairing, and always receives heavy minutes, so the points will still come there. But until he returns, or if he returns, to the top power-play unit, his production likely won’t be what it was earlier in the season.
Waiver Wire Targets
Teuvo Teravainen – CAR (C/LW/RW – 50% Owned)
Somehow, Teravainen’s ownership has actually dropped to 50 percent. Sure, he had a bit of a dry spell, but what player doesn’t?
He’s still sitting at 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in 35 games this season, which certainly doesn’t justify being dropped in leagues. He remains on the first line and top power-play unit on a Carolina Hurricanes team that’s been getting it going lately. Check your league’s free agent list/waiver wire to see if someone was crazy enough to drop him recently. If he’s there, pick him up now.
Erik Haula – VGK (C/LW – 46% Owned)
Over the last week, Haula’s ownership has shot up 14 percent, and for good reason. He’s now up to 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 30 games on a Vegas Golden Knights squad that’s proven it can score in bunches. Through his exceptional play, he’s solidified his roles on the first line and top power-play unit, providing him with all the opportunity you want to see in the fantasy world. He has the potential to be a real difference-maker for your fantasy team, so check to see if he’s still available, and add him with confidence.
Daniel Sedin – VAN (LW – 46% Owned)
Since being listed here last week, Sedin’s ownership only rose two percent, which is surprising given his three points in three games in that span. The veteran is now up to 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 37 games this season, proving he’s still got it. To add to his intrigue, he remains on the first line, as well as the top unit of a Vancouver Canucks power play that’s one of the best in the league. He’s being used in every situation you’d want as a fantasy owner, so go out and get him if you’re lucky enough to still have him available.
Kevin Fiala – NSH (LW – 45% Owned)
The production of Fiala can no longer be ignored. Despite not seeing heavy minutes or power play time, he just continues to score. He’s now up to 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 34 games this season, and continues to slowly make his way up the Nashville Predators lineup. He’s now being featured on the second even-strength line and second power-play unit, but if he continues this pace, there’s certainly potential for him to reach the first unit. He’s definitely worth adding at this point if he’s still available.
Reilly Smith – VGK (RW/LW 44% Owned)
Despite continuing to do nothing but produce offensively, over half the fantasy world appears to not notice. Smith is now up to 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 34 games this season and shows no signs of stopping. Much like Haula listed above, he’s being utilized heavily in a Golden Knights offense that’s proved it can score. With his production, he will continue to be listed here until he’s owned in more leagues. If he’s available in your league, there’s no reason not to pick him up.
NHL Injury Updates
Jeff Carter – LAK (Ankle)
After being cut by a skate in the LA Kings’ game on Oct. 18, Carter is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Recent reports say he could be out until February, and reportedly isn’t even close to resuming skating.
Ryan Kesler – ANA (Hip)
Despite originally being expected to return around Christmas, it appears Kesler’s return will be early in the new year.
Zach Parise – MIN (Back)
Parise underwent successful back surgery on Oct. 24 but is expected to be sidelined at least two months. He’s been skating with the Minnesota Wild the past week, but still has no return date set. Sometime in January is expected.
Artturi Lehkonen – MON (Lower Body)
Lehkonen returned to the Montreal Canadiens’ lineup Dec. 22.
Mika Zibanejad – NYR (Concussion)
Zibanejad returned to the New York Rangers’ lineup Dec. 19.
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.
Justin Schultz – PIT (Lower Body)
Schultz suffered a lower-body injury on Dec. 6 and was originally expected to miss just two weeks, but has yet to even resume skating. No definitive return date has been set.
Jaden Schwartz – STL (Ankle)
Schwartz suffered a serious ankle injury on Dec. 9 and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Auston Matthews – TOR (Head)
Matthews returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup Dec. 23.
Sven Baertschi – VAN (Jaw)
Baertschi suffered a fractured jaw on Dec. 9 and will miss four-to-six weeks.
Bo Horvat – VAN (Ankle)
Horvat suffered a fractured ankle on Dec. 5. He’s considered week-to-week, without any specific timetable for a return.
T.J. Oshie – WSH (Upper Body)
Oshie returned to the Washington Capitals’ lineup Dec. 19.
Corey Perry – ANA (Lower Body)
Perry suffered a lower-body injury on Dec. 11 and is considered week-to-week. On the positive side, he was still seen working out at the Honda Center over the past couple of weeks, but has yet to resume skating.
Devan Dubnyk – MIN (Lower Body)
Dubnyk suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 12 and is considered week-to-week. He did participate in practice on Thursday, and Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau said he’s progressing quicker than expected. A return date early in the new year is likely.
Marcus Johansson – NJD (Ankle)
Johansson returned to the New Jersey Devils’ lineup Dec. 21.
Logan Couture – SJS (Concussion)
Couture suffered a concussion on Dec. 15 and is considered day-to-day. Despite his designation, there’s no definitive timetable for his return.
Brock Boeser – VAN (Foot)
Boeser did not miss any games after taking a shot off the foot.
Dustin Byfuglien – WIN (Lower Body)
Byfuglien suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 9 and has been placed on IR. He’s considered week-to-week.
David Krejci – BOS (Upper Body)
Krejci has missed the last four Boston Bruins games due to an upper-body injury and still has no return date set. He’s considered day-to-day.
Alexander Wennberg – CBJ (Undisclosed)
Wennberg suffered an undisclosed injury Dec. 22 and is considered week-to-week.
Zach Werenski – CBJ (Undisclosed)
Werenski has missed the past three games because of an undisclosed injury. It’s not known if he’ll be ready to go for the first Columbus Blue Jackets game following the Christmas break.
Tyson Barrie – COL (Hand)
Barrie suffered a fractured right hand Dec. 23 and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.
Oscar Klefbom – EDM (Upper Body)
Klefbom has been dealing with a nagging upper-body injury for much of the season, and was placed on IR Dec. 19 to heal up. He should be back shortly after the Christmas break.
Nino Niederreiter – MIN (Ankle)
Niederreiter took a shot off the ankle Dec. 22 and is considered day-to-day as a result.
Shea Weber – MON (Foot)
Weber has been given some time to let his foot injury heal. He’s still considered day-to-day but has missed the Montreal Canadiens’ last three games.
Kyle Palmieri – NJD (Undisclosed)
Palmieri took a big hit Dec. 23 and did not return to the game. He’s considered day-t0-day until a further evaluation is made.
Bobby Ryan – OTT (Finger)
Ryan suffered a finger injury Dec. 21, but is hopeful to return the first game following the Christmas break.
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.