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.
Seth Jones – CBJ (D)
Although he was never really trending down, Seth Jones had gone six straight games without recording a point recently. But he’s rebounded nicely over the past week and a half, tallying five points in his last five games, bringing his season total to 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 66 games.
He remains the most effective offensive defenseman for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and continues to play heavy minutes on the top pairing and number one power play unit. Jones is a safe bet to roll with for the remainder of the season.
Rick Nash – BOS (LW/RW)
Throughout most of this season, Rick Nash wasn’t garnering much fantasy hockey attention. But since his trade to the Boston Bruins, his ownership has rose a massive 17 per cent over the past week, which has been decently supported by his three points (two goals, one assists) in his first four games with the Bruins. He’s now playing on the second line and the number one power play unit, so he’s seeing plenty of opportunities to produce offense on a team that does plenty of it. Nash just may have found a last-minute boost into fantasy relevance again.
David Krejci – BOS (C)
Another Bruins player on the upward trend, and for good reason. After going six games without registering a point, David Krejci has shook off his mini slump to notch six points (four goals, two assists) in his last six games, including a hat trick. He sits with a solid 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in just 45 games on the season. The only draw back to Krejci is he plays on the number two power play unit, which has far less production than the number one unit. However, that hasn’t seemed to hold him back yet this season.
Ondrej Kase – ANA (RW)
After being one of the most popular adds just two weeks ago, Ondrej Kase was one of the most dropped players over the past week, seeing an eight per cent drop in ownership. He has now gone six straight games without a single point, which surely is the main cause for his downward trend.
He still sits with a respectable 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists) in 50 games this season but has dropped back down to the third line. With the importance of this final month in most leagues, Kase is likely not someone you want to put your trust in.
Will Butcher – NJD (D)
It’s hard to find a colder defenseman than Will Butcher right now. After starting the season red hot, he has failed to register a point in his last 11 games, and has just one assist in his last 16 games. His lack of production has caused him to be dropped down to the third pairing and the number two power play unit. He still sits with 30 points (two goals, 28 assists) in 65 games on the season, but almost all that production was in the first half of the season. At this point, Butcher has become impossible to trust in most fantasy settings.
Danton Heinen – BOS (C/LW/RW)
At one point, Danton Heinen was one of the most added players in fantasy hockey. He was playing a top-six role on a high-powered Bruins offense, and even had a role on the number one power play unit. Well, a recent run of just one assist in his past 10 games has resulted in his ice time being reduced immensely, being dropped to the third line, and being dropped off the power play completely. While he still has an impressive 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 58 games, he’s not worth owning until he resumes his earlier form.
Waiver Wire Targets
Adam Henrique – ANA (C – 46% owned)
While he is owned in nearly 50 per cent of fantasy leagues, there’s still a chance Adam Henrique is available in your league, and he may make for a quality add for the stretch run.
He currently sits with a solid 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists) in 65 games this season, and may be in position to increase his current scoring pace. His main highlight at this time is his role on the Anaheim Ducks number one power play unit, which has been effective of late. If you have the space, he’s worth an add to see if he takes advantage of this role.
Brendan Gallagher – MTL (41% owned – RW)
After being listed here last week, Brendan Gallagher’s ownership remained the same, despite his four points (two goals, two assists) this past week. With Max Pacioretty currently listed as day-t0-day, Brendan Gallagher as been bumped up to the top line, along with his role on the number one power play unit. He currently sits with 40 points (23 goals, 17 assists) in 65 games this season, and should continue to be effective down the stretch, given his high usage. He’s a must-add in all but the most shallow leagues.
Brandon Montour – ANA (39% owned – D)
Since being listed here last week as well, Brandon Montour’s ownership has actually dropped over the past week, which is absurd considering his lineup placement. He’s currently playing on the top pairing and number one power play unit, consistently seeing over 20 minutes per game. While his 24 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 64 games aren’t staggering, he’s in prime position to have a strong finish to the campaign if he remains in his current roles in the lineup. If you’re in need of a defenseman, look no further than Montour.
Nick Schmaltz – CHI (38% owned- C)
Yet another player listed here last week whose ownership has dropped this past week. Nick Schmaltz has scored three goals in three games this past week, yet has still seen his ownership drop. With his 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) in 62 games, Schmaltz remains one of the few bright spots for the Chicago Blackhawks this season. While his even-strength usage continues to differ game-to-game, he remains firmly on the number one power play unit. There’s no question Schmaltz needs to be owned in more leagues, especially with the possibility of a strong finish to the season.
Alex Galchenyuk – MTL (33% owned – C/LW/RW)
The fact that Alex Galchenyuk is owned in just 33 per cent of leagues is crazy. Yes, he had a slow start to the season, but he has picked it up over the last month. He currently sits with 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 65 games this season, and is now being relied upon heavily by the Montreal Canadiens to produce offense. He’s used in all the major roles on the ice, and is in prime shape for a strong finish to the season. Remember what he’s capable of, as seen in his past seasons. Don’t miss out.
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.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Ribs)
Nugent-Hopkins returned to the Edmonton Oilers lineup March 3.
Kevin Shattenkirk – NYR (Knee)
Shattenkirk underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear and will be out indefinitely. As of Feb. 26, he has skated, but still has no timetable 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 returned to the New Jersey Devils lineup March 1.
Brian Elliott – PHI (Lower Body)
Elliott underwent core muscle surgery on Feb. 13 and is expected to miss five-six weeks. A recent update says he should resume skating this week.
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. He skated for the first time since the injury on Feb. 26.
Jack Eichel – BUF (Ankle)
Eichel suffered a high ankle sprain Feb. 10 and is expected to miss four-six weeks. Eichel skated for the first time since Feb. 10 on Saturday.
Ryan McDonagh – TBL (Upper Body)
McDonagh has missed the past 12 games due to a lingering upper body injury. He’s hoping to return March 6, making his Tampa Bay Lightning debut.
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. He practiced lightly on March 1, but still won’t travel with the Calgary Flames for their upcoming three-game road trip.
Jonathan Bernier – COL (Concussion)
Bernier suffered a concussion Feb. 16 and is considered day-to-day. He’s now missed the past eight games. He practiced in full on Saturday, so it appears a return is close.
Mike Green – DET (Upper Body)
Green returned to the Detroit Red Wings lineup March 2.
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.
Shea Theodore – VGK (Illness)
Theodore returned to the Vegas Golden Knights lineup March 2.
John Gibson – ANA (Lower Body)
Gibson returned to the Anaheim Ducks lineup March 2.
Michael Ferland – CGY (Undisclosed)
Ferland suffered an undisclosed injury Feb. 22 and missed Saturday’s game as a result. He practiced without a non-contact jersey on Saturday, so his return is nearing.
Jordan Staal – CAR (Personal)
Staal returned to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup March 1.
Nick Foligno – CBJ (Lower Body)
Foligno returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup March 1.
Erik Johnson – COL (Upper Body)
Johnson suffered an upper body injury Feb. 18 and is out indefinitely. As of March 2, he’s still potentially “weeks away” from a return.
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. He’s been skating every day since the injury, but remains without a firm return date.
James Neal – VGK (Hand)
After returning from illness, Neal suffered a hand injury in his return on Feb. 26 and has missed the past three games. He’s considered day-t0-day.
Alex Goligoski – ARI (Personal)
Goligoski will miss Monday’s game against to be with his wife for the birth of their child.
Charlie McAvoy – BOS (Lower Body)
McAvoy suffered a lower body injury March 3 and is considered day-to-day until an evaluation has been made.
Patrice Bergeron – BOS (Foot)
Bergeron is dealing with a fractured foot and is expected to miss two weeks, putting his likely return at the middle of March.
Max Pacioretty – MTL (Lower Body)
Pacioretty suffered a lower body injury on March 2, and has returned to Montreal to be evaluated further. He’s considered day-to-day until more is known.
Roman Josi – NSH (Upper Body)
Josi has missed the past two games with an upper body injury and is considered day-to-day.
Matt Murray – PIT (Concussion)
Murray suffered a concussion in practice Feb. 26 and has missed the past three games. He skated on his own Friday morning.
Nate Schmidt – VGK (Undisclosed)
Schmidt is dealing with an undisclosed injury and has missed the past two games as a result.
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.