Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into potential buys and sells after the ninth week of NHL action. First I want to take a second to invite you to join the Apples & Ginos Discord server where you can ask questions and chat with other like-minded fantasy managers on anything fantasy or hockey-related. With that said, let’s get into the buys and sells of the week.
Guys You Should Put on Your Watch List:
Anthony Duclair, RW – FLA (12% owned on Yahoo)
Duclair has been eased back into the Florida lineup, not skating on either power play unit, but has played the last two games on the top line with Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe. While the average ice time in his past five games is just 11:48, he’s averaging a terrific 14.2 shots/60 (6th in the league) during that stretch, and is 17th in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60). Duclair is a streaky player but looks to be ready to heat up and deliver significant results for what would really be the first time this season.
Noah Hanifin, D – CGY (3% owned on Yahoo)
Hanifin has gotten an extended look as PP1 quarterback under new coach Darryl Sutter, and the early results are promising. Hanifin has three points in his last five games and is averaging more than two shots per game in that stretch. He’s skating 21 and a half minutes a night and we all know there are goals to be scored in the North division. Hanifin isn’t stellar in the peripheral departments but is far from a dead loss in hits and blocks, making him very viable for as long as he’s able to maintain his role on the top power play unit.
Honourable Mentions: Adam Boqvist, D – CHI (14% owned), Tim Stuetzle, LW – OTT (25% owned), Ryan Donato, LW – SJS (1% owned), Oliver Wahlstrom, RW – NYI (6% owned), Yegor Sharangovich, LW – NJD (1% owned), Valeri Nichushkin, RW – COL (2% owned), Mikhail Maltsev, LW – NJD (0% owned), Alexandre Carrier, D – NSH (0% owned).
Hot Streaks to Believe In:
Matt Grzelcyk, D – BOS
Grzelcyk has been a man on a mission of late, and that mission is filling opponent’s nets with pucks. He’s got points in five of his last six games and a whopping 17 shots on goal in his last three games. Combine that with 20+ minutes a night and a comfortable hold on the PP1 quarterback role for an explosive Boston power play, and it’s easy to see Grzelcyk producing at a high pace for the rest of season (ROS). And what a pace he’s on: Grzelcyk ranks first among all defensemen in shots/60, seventh in individual chances for/60 (iCF/60), and twelfth in on-ice chances for/60 (CF/60). The Bruins appear to have a COVID problem, but that’s about the only thing that appears capable of slowing Grzelcyk’s roll.
Nazem Kadri, C – COL
Kadri is playing at an absolutely unconscious level right now, dropping an unbelievable 20.7 shots/60 (good for the league lead) over his last five and the scary part is his numbers look pretty sustainable. He’s got a 60% IPP, 11.5% shooting percentage (S%), and 12.3% on-ice shooting percentage over those five games. Compare that with season long marks of 63%, 9.2%, and 10.1%, and it’s hard to see how he doesn’t at least maintain his current 68-point (82-game) pace. He’s generating chances and creating plays at a career-high rate and I don’t have any reason to suggest that he’ll slow down anytime soon.
Honourable Mentions: Kevin Labanc, RW – SJ, Ryan Strome, C – NYR, Kirill Kaprizov, LW – MIN, Zach Hyman, LW – TOR, Dougie Hamilton, D – CAR, Tyson Barrie, D – EDM, Aleksander Barkov, C – FLA.
Hot Streaks to Fade:
Pavel Buchnevich, RW – NYR
Buchnevich is as easy a hot streak to fade as it gets. He’s running a 36% S% over his last five to go with an 80% IPP and a truly incredible 29% on-ice shooting percentage. I’ve heard his increased ice-time pointed to as a sure sign of sustainability, but someone didn’t do their homework: Buchnevich is averaging 2:36 of penalty kill time per game this year, something he’s never done before. That more than eats up the extra two minutes per game he’s playing this year over last. So in fact his opportunity has overall decreased versus last game including being off the top power play unit as of the Rangers’ last game. The season long IPP/S%/on-ice S% all look high (especially the 85% IPP), making Buchnevich the easiest ROS fade I’ve had in this space in a while.
Filip Hronek, D – DET
Hronek has been on an absolute tear of late, dropping eight points in his last six (despite zero in his last two outings). Unfortunately, this is about where we can expect the run to end. Hronek’s season long rate stats are remarkably consistent with the previous two years, to the point of eeriness. Hronek has registered shots/60 marks of 4.77, 4.83, and now 4.95 shots/60 in his first three seasons, to go with iCF/60 marks of 10.72, 9.93, & 10.14. His on-ice xGF/60 in those three seasons has been 2.37, 2.42, and 2.56, and his on-ice scoring chances for/60 have gone 25.03, 22.79, and now 22.67. Hronek does have a low S% with only a single (empty net at that) goal on the season, but the IPP also looks a little hot at 55% and Hronek has benefited from getting 3x as many secondary assists as primary assists on the season. All this to say, Hronek is still the exact same guy he was before; if that’s valuable to your team then keep him around, but don’t expect him to break out to a new level on this putrid Red Wings squad.
Honourable Mentions: Joonas Donskoi, LW – COL, Calle Jarnkrok, C – NSH, Victor Rask, C – MIN, Robby Fabbri, LW – DET, Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW – CLB, Adam Henrique, LW – ANA, Bo Horvat, C – VAN, Jack Roslovic, C – CLB, Steven Stamkos, C – TBL, Nino Niederreiter, RW – CAR.
Slumps that Won’t Last:
Andrei Svechnikov, RW – CAR
I don’t know if it’s fair to characterize Svechnikov as being in a slump with three points in his last six games, but he certainly hasn’t been filling the stat sheet as often as we’d like. However Svechnikov has taken another step this season in terms of individual chance generation and has been seeing a ton of ice time of late, averaging well over 20 minutes a game in his last three contests. He’s got a 5.9% S% in his last five, and a 7% on-ice S% which are both portending better things in the future for him. He’s maintaining a top-30 range in both individual and on-ice chance generation, but the points seem to be going Sebastian Aho’s way instead of Svechnikov’s. Svechnikov appears to be putting in the work, so I fully expect that in another week we’ll be talking about how crazy hot he is all of a sudden.
Thomas Chabot, D – OTT
Chabot has gone cold of late, with just a single point in his last five games. I don’t know if anyone out there is worried about him, but they shouldn’t be. Chabot has played an unbelievable 28:40 a night through that five game stretch, so I’ll excuse his rate stats being a little on the low side. Realistically Chabot is still the unquestioned linchpin on the Ottawa blueline and despite the memes about Ottawa as a team they still play in the North division and they can still put up goals. Chabot’s on-ice shooting percentage is a little low of late at 7.6% but his on-ice xGF/60 remains solid (40th among defensemen in his last five despite the extreme usage). I fully expect Chabot to get back to his point scoring ways about as soon as this article drops.
Honourable Mentions: Brock Nelson, C – NYI, Keith Yandle, D – FLA, Logan Couture, C – SJ, Miro Heiskanen, D – DAL, John Klingberg, D – DAL, Alex Tuch, LW – VGK.
Slumps that Will Last:
Brayden Schenn, C – STL
This is a wild one. Schenn has taken two shots in his last five games after firing 67 in his first 26. He’s skating 20:31 a night in that span, so it’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunity. I could tell you his individual shots or chance rate league-wide ranks in those five games, but suffice it to say they’re all in the 500s right next to Travis Dermott and Matt Roy. The Blues as a team seem to be in a bit of a funk, too, with Schenn registering a 290th best 2.31 xGF/60 over those five games. Would I bet on Schenn continuing to be unable to shoot the puck for the rest of the season? Of course not. But he’s got to take matters into his own hands or the pain will continue.
Johnny Gaudreau, LW – CGY
Gaudreau is in a bad way right now with just one point in his last six games. That seems unlikely to change, too: he’s 348th in the league in shots/60 over that span and has seen his ice time reduced significantly under new coach Darryl Sutter (16:41/game in those six). On the season Gaudreau’s 20% S% sticks out like a sore thumb amidst an otherwise sustainable profile. In fact, Gaudreau’s individual shot and chance for rates are significantly reduced this season, a wildly concerning stat that has now persisted and gotten worse 32 games into the season. I don’t see a happy ending here right now.
Honourable Mentions: Sean Couturier, C – PHI, Taylor Hall, LW – BUF, Maxime Comtois, LW – ANA, Rasmus Dahlin, D – BUF, Nick Foligno, C – CLB, Sam Reinhart, RW – BUF, Torey Krug, D – STL.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick
Title photo credit: Joshua Sarner – Getty Images