Fantasy Fix: Reinhart Rising, Butcher on the Block

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

Alex Killorn – TBL (LW)

Over the past seven days, there hasn’t been a player who’s been added as much as Alex Killorn, largely due to his recent hot streak. In his past nine games, he’s tallied 11 points (six goals, five assists) which certainly justifies his 17 per cent increase in ownership.

Alex Killorn Lightning
Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

His boost in production relates directly to his recent move up to the second line, as well as being back on the top power play unit with the likes Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. It’s important to remember the hot start he had to the season before falling off the map around the quarter-mark, so this could easily be another hot streak. But for now, it’s hard to deny his totals.

Sam Reinhart – BUF (RW/C)

It’s taken him awhile, but Sam Reinhart is starting to turn it on. Over his last nine games, he’s managed nine points (three goals, six assists), leading to an eight per cent increase in ownership over the past week. With Jack Eichel sidelined for at least a month, the Buffalo Sabres will be relying on Reinhart even more offensively. He’s now playing on both the first line and number one power play unit, and won’t likely see that change anytime soon. He’s finally showing signs of what owners hoped for when they drafted him.

Alex Goligoski – ARI (D)

Other than Oliver Ekman-Larsson, it’s hard to believe any other Arizona Coyotes defenseman would draw much fantasy interest. But Alex Goligoski is defying the odds. Over the past week, his ownership has jumped eight per cent, and for good reason. The veteran has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the same amount of games, bringing his season total to 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists) in 58 games. No, he’s not going to maintain this pace, but he’s certainly showing signs of what he’s capable of when the Coyotes are playing well.

Related – Fantasy Fix: Lucic Disappearing, Gallagher Worth an Add

Trending Down

Milan Lucic – EDM (LW)

Yes, this is Milan Lucic’s second week in a row listed here, and that’s not a good thing. Lucic has added to his seven-game point drought that landed him in this section last week, extending the streak to now 11 games.

Milan Lucic, Edmonton Oilers, NHL
Milan Lucic of the Edmonton Oilers. (Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a rough stretch for both Lucic and the Edmonton Oilers, one that likely has his fantasy owners squirming. He now sits with just 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists) in 58 games this season, and is currently not even playing on the power play. It’s not a good time to be a Lucic owner.

Kyle Turris – NSH (C)

After beginning his tenure with the Nashville Predators red-hot, Kyle Turris has slowly started to trend downward, and has now become a fantasy player you can barely trust. Over his last eight games, he’s mustered just a single even-strength assist, and now sits with 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists) in 52 games this season. He continues to see solid ice time in offensive situations, including centring both the second line and second power play unit, so there’s still hope he turns it around soon. But for now, it’s best to temper your expectations.

Will Butcher – NJD (D)

For the majority of the season, Will Butcher had continued to shock the fantasy world with his production as a rookie defenseman. He started the season on waivers in likely all leagues, but is now owned in 72 per cent of them. Unfortunately, his production has come back down to earth over the last couple weeks as he’s managed just a single assist in his last nine games, and was a healthy scratch in the New Jersey Devils most recent game on Feb. 18. The rookie still sits with an impressive 30 points (2 goals, 28 assists) in 58 games and continues to see big minutes, including quarterbacking the top power play unit. Hopefully watching a game from the press box sends a spark through him, and he’s back to form in no time.

Waiver Wire Targets

Jeff Petry – MTL (D – 48% owned)

Slowly but surely, fantasy owners are starting to realize Jeff Petry needs to be owned while Shea Weber is out. He’s now up to a solid 27 points (8 goals, 19 assists) in 58 games, while continuing to eat up heavy minutes and quarterback an efficient Montreal Canadiens top power play unit.

Jeff Petry Canadiens
Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although he’s not the usual big-name fantasy defenseman you’d like to have, he can definitely be relied upon in most formats until Weber returns.

Nick Schmaltz – CHI (C – 45% owned)

Due to a recent bad run for the Chicago Blackhawks, Nick Schmaltz’s ownership has dropped significantly. But it may be a little too premature. The Blackhawks just lit up the Washington Capitals 7-1 on Saturday, which could be a sign of things to come. Schmaltz still sits with an impressive 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 55 games, and continues to be utilized in all key offensive situations. He’s now available in over 50 per cent of leagues, so if you’re lucky enough to have had someone drop him, don’t hesitate to pick him up. It may pay off big.

Adam Henrique – ANA (C – 44% owned)

Despite centring just the third line, Adam Henrique continues to rack up points, and it shouldn’t be ignored any longer. He’s now up to a respectable 37 points (18 goals, 19 assists) in 59 games, and is currently centring the number one power play unit, which only adds to his stock. In the majority of settings, he can make for a reliable add.

Brendan Gallagher – MTL (RW – 40% owned)

After being listed here last week, Brendan Gallagher’s ownership rose four per cent, and is likely to continue climbing. With another two points this week, he’s now up to 34 points (21 goals, 13 assists) in 58 games, and continues to see more and more ice time. He’s currently playing on number one power play unit, which is a boost in itself to his value. He may be in for a strong finish to the campaign, so he’s worth an add if he’s available.

Alex DeBrincat – CHI (RW/LW – 40% owned)

It doesn’t seem right that a player with 22 goals is owned in just 40 per cent of leagues. But that’s the case with Alex DeBrincat. The rookie owns an impressive 39 points (22 goals, 17 assists) in 59 games this season, and has proven to be a natural scorer. He’s been a little inconsistent throughout the season, but that can largely be attributed to the constant shuffling of lines by the Chicago Blackhawks. Given his current lineup placement and ability to find the back of the net, DeBricant should at least be rostered in the majority of leagues.

Injury Updates

Jeff Carter – LAK (Ankle)

After being cut by a skate in the LA Kings’ game on Oct. 18, Carter was originally expected to miss 6-8 weeks, but has yet to return. He’s expected to practice with the team when they return home from their road trip Feb. 20.

Roberto Luongo – FLA (Lower Body)

Luongo returned to the Florida Panthers lineup Feb. 17.

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

Shea Weber – MON (Foot)

Weber has been given some time to let his foot injury heal. He’s still considered out indefinitely, but has recently gotten rid of his walking boot.

Corey Crawford – CHI (Upper Body)

Crawford was placed on IR Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury. He remains out indefinitely but appears to be closing in on a return as he traveled with the team for their current road trip.

Chris Kreider – NYR (Rib)

Kreider underwent successful surgery Jan. 9 and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. He practiced Feb. 14 with a non-contact jersey, which is certainly a good sign.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – EDM (Ribs)

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

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.

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Ondrej Palat – TBL (Lower Body)

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

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 was recently placed on IR. He’s expected to resume skating 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. He’s considered week-to-week for now.

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jacob Trouba – WPG (Ankle)

Trouba suffered an ankle injury Jan. 25 and is expected to miss six-eight weeks.

Nathan MacKinnon – COL (Upper Body)

MacKinnon returned to the Colorado Avalanche lineup Feb. 18.

Pavel Buchnevich – NYR (Concussion)

Buchnevich returned to the New York Rangers lineup Feb. 17.

Bobby Ryan – OTT (Finger)

Ryan suffered a finger injury Feb. 1, including ligament damage, and is expected to miss at least three weeks. Recent reports say he could be back before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Patric Hornqvist – PIT (Lower Body)

Hornqvist suffered a lower body injury Feb. 2 and is considered week-to-week. He was placed on IR Feb. 8. He resumed skating Feb. 15, but still has no timetable for a return.

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

Jack Eichel – BUF (Ankle)

Eichel suffered a high ankle sprain Feb. 10 and is expected to miss four-six weeks.

Dustin Brown – LAK (Suspension)

Brown returned to the Los Angeles Kings lineup Feb. 15.

Ryan McDonagh – NYR (Upper Body)

McDonagh has missed the past six games due to a lingering upper body injury. There’s no word on when me may return.

Ryan Kesler – ANA (Lower Body)

Kesler is dealing with a lower body injury and missed Saturday’s game as a result. There’s no word on when he may return.

Mike Smith – CGY (Groin)

Smith suffered a groin injury Feb. 11 and remains day-to-day as a result. He skated before practice on Saturday, which is a step in the right direction for a return.

Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith
Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Jonathan Bernier – COL (Concussion)

Bernier suffered a concussion Feb. 16 and is considered day-to-day.

Mike Green – DET (Upper Body)

Green has missed the past two games due to an upper body injury. He’s considered day-to-day.

Thomas Greiss – NYI (Undisclosed)

Greiss missed practice on Feb. 18 after “tweaking” something. He’s considered day-to-day until more is known.

Michal Neuvirth – PHI (Lower Body)

Neuvirth suffered a lower body injury Feb. 18 and was forced to leave the game. He should be considered day-to-day until more information is made available.

Justin Schultz – PIT (Illness)

Schultz has missed the past two games due to illness. He’s considered day-to-day.

Tomas Hertl – SJS (Undisclosed)

Hertl suffered an undisclosed injury Feb. 13, and is currently day-to-day.

Shea Theodore – VGK (Illness)

Theodore missed the Feb. 17 games due to a throat infection. He’s considered day-to-day.