With one month of the season complete, many young players are showing steady production and are worth picking up in fantasy leagues. Especially due to key injuries or a lack of production from other players, many rookies are getting increased minutes and opportunities on the ice.
This article will focus on five rookies that have low ownership in fantasy leagues and are likely still available for pick up.
1. Artemi Panarin – Chicago Blackhawks– Owned in 56% of Yahoo leagues
The 24 year-old winger has 11 points in 12 games for the Blackhawks. Panarin has seen regular ice time on a line with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa (who is now listed as day to day). Earlier this week, it was announced that he would be playing on a line with Jonathan Toews. Panarin, who showed skill in the KHL, is bound to continue producing solid numbers – especially since he is playing with the likes of Toews and Kane. Panarin also has three powerplay points and is averaging nearly 19:00 minutes of ice time a game. While he may not maintain point-per-game numbers, he is only owned in 56% of yahoo leagues and is definitely worth a spot on your fantasy roster.
2. Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets – Owned in 56% of Yahoo leagues
The Jets winger has been hot ever since the start of the season. He has nine points in 12 games. He has goals in his last three games and has gotten a point in his last four. He is playing on the second line and second powerplay unit. Ehlers is a very attractive pick up in pools with extended point categories like plus/minus or shots on goal as he is a plus four and is also among the top 12 players in the league for total shots with 43. Finally, Ehlers is listed as both a LW and RW, which is an added bonus.
3. Vincent Trocheck – Florida Panthers – Owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues
The 22 year-old winger has been a pleasant surprise for the Panthers this season scoring nine points in 11 games this season. With the early injury to Aleksander Barkov, Trocheck, along with teammate Nick Bjugstad, have seen increased even strength and powerplay ice time. Barkov is still expected to be out for a few more weeks with a broken bone in his hand, meaning that Trocheck will continue to see top six minutes. If Bjugstad, who is owned in 46% of Yahoo leagues, is taken in your league, look to Trocheck. While he may not continue to score at the pace he currently is, he is a great young player with tremendous upside. Trocheck is also listed as both a C and RW meaning you can play him at either position.
4. Dylan Larkin – Detroit Red Wings – Owned in 47% of Yahoo leagues
Larkin is the real deal. The speedy 19 year-old has eight points in 11 games with the Red Wings. Although he is listed as a C he is playing RW on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg (who is also off to a hot start). Larkin is also getting time on the powerplay. With Pavel Datsyuk listed to return in the next 2 weeks, Larkin will be playing with either Datsyuk or Zetterberg and will thrive next to whoever he plays with.
5. Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues – Owned in 69% of Yahoo leagues
The 22 year-old defenceman towers over opponents at a height of 6’5. He is off to a fantastic start with seven points in 11 games played for the Blues this season. Parayko is averaging 20:00 minutes of ice time a game and is seeing time on the top powerplay unit. He is a plus seven with 30 shots on goal. Many people are starting to see his potential, but if he still available in your league I would highly recommend picking him up as he is likely to continue to produce solid numbers playing with the talented Blues.
While many owners may find it hard to part with veteran names known for scoring, many players are not producing so far this year like they have in the past. Perhaps it is time for owners to pick up a young gun to get that much needed offensive charge on their fantasy team.
I am a recent Carleton Journalism graduate with experience working as a sports reporter for The Charlatan, Carleton’s campus newspaper and as an editor for Journalists for Human Rights.