Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, this time looking into potential buys and sells after the eleventh 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:
Jared McCann, C – PIT (17% owned on Yahoo)
McCann has been a revelation on the Penguins’ PP1, dropping four goals and six points in his last five games. Of course the regression stats are all insane here: 17.8% on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%), 75% individual points percentage (IPP), and 25% shooting percentage (S%). The ice time isn’t great either, averaging just 14:42 in those five games. But McCann is 10th in the league in that span in shots/60, 21st in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60), and 32nd in on-ice expected goals for/60 (xGF/60). As long as he’s on the Penguins’ lethal top power play unit I’m interested in McCann as a streamer option for power play points and the occasional hit.
Rudolfs Balcers, LW – SJS (0% owned on Yahoo)
Balcers has been a trivia question answer as the final member of the Sharks’ top six for most of the season. But of late he’s suddenly become relevant for fantasy, with a 3-point game against Los Angeles on Friday night that most people didn’t see. Balcers is pacing at 15 minutes a game currently (and trending upwards) to go with an iSCF/60 of 10.4 that ranks 38th in the league over the past five games, but what really grabbed my attention was the xGF/60 mark: 4th in the league in that span. With linemates Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl firing of late Balcers has real fantasy appeal as a streamer with point, shot, hit, and block potential. He’s only got three games on tap for this week but an appealing Friday/Saturday stack versus the same LA team he just torched this past week.
Honourable Mentions: Kaapo Kakko, RW – NYR (8% owned), Andreas Athanasiou, LW – LAK (2% owned), Denis Gurianov, RW – DAL (19% owned), Filip Zadina, RW – DET (3% owned), Alex Galchenyuk, LW – TOR (5% owned), Dylan Strome, C – CHI (12% owned), Frank Vatrano, LW – FLA (18% owned), Owen Tippett, RW – FLA (2% owned), Luke Kunin, RW – NSH (2% owned), K’Andre Miller, D – NYR (3% owned).
Hot Streaks to Believe In:
Joonas Donskoi, RW – COL
Can’t say this is where I expected to be, but I believe in Joonas Donskoi. Over his last five games: 1st in xGF/60. 6th in on-ice SCF/60. 13th in shots/60. 2nd in iSCF/60. He’s skating about 17 minutes a game including that coveted fifth spot on the Colorado PP1, and the IPP is more than reasonable at 60% in this stretch. The S% and oiSH% are definitely hot at 22% and 15.6%, respectively, but I’m not asking him to score at a 100-point pace; I just want the 60-70 point pace that these numbers should settle to. Donskoi going pointless in his last two games could scare off some people, but as long as the chance generation profile and PP1 deployment remain intact I’m continuing to roll with him.
Dougie Hamilton, D – CAR
I’ve heard a surprising amount of disdain for Dougie this year among fantasy hockey circles as just a good but not great option. Well, that’s out the window now:
His numbers of late are even more ridiculous: he’s sixth in the league in shots/60 and tenth in individual chances for/60 (iCF/60) over his past five games. That’s leaguewide, not just among defensemen, and those are rate stats meaning they’re coming on 22 and a half minutes a night. He’s first in on-ice chances for/60 (CF/60) and tenth in xGF/60. Hamilton is THE premier play driving defenseman in the league right now and it’s not particularly close. I had Hamilton as my D3 coming into the year behind only John Carlson and Roman Josi and I’m beginning to wonder if I had him too low.
Honourable Mentions: Zach Hyman, LW – TOR, Carter Verhaeghe, LW – FLA, Mathew Barzal, C – NYI, Shea Theodore, D – VGK, Ivan Provorov, D – PHI, Kevin Fiala, RW – MIN.
Hot Streaks to Fade:
Anthony Beauvillier, LW – NYI
I’d put Eeli Tolvanen here again, but he’d probably just throw me another middle finger and keep scoring. Instead we’ll go with a similar profile in Anthony Beauvillier, a sharpshooting winger for the Islanders who was a favourite sleeper of mine heading into the season. I’ve been watching him all season looking for a breakout and now it’s here: six points in his last five games and six goals in his past seven goals up on the Islanders’ top PP unit with Mathew Barzal and company. Perhaps Barzal can sustain some of Beauvillier’s production, but Beauvillier’s 5v5 linemates are much less impressive (Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson) and his chance generation has fallen off a cliff even as he’s gone on this streak. He’s 316th in the league in shots/60 with a mind-boggling 57% S% in his last five games, which coincides with a ridiculous 21.4% oiSH%. Beauvillier is just as likely to go ice-cold in his next five as he is to score another three or four points.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D – ARI
OEL has had a minor resurgence of late with four points in his last four games. But as you might expect I’m here to throw some cold water on all that with some ugly stats. OEL is 154th among defensemen in his last five games in xGF/60 (in the middle of a five man group of Marc Staal, Andy Welinski, Ryan McDonagh, and Artem Zub), is rocking a 15.8% oiSH%, and generally high IPP (67%) and S% (10%) marks. He’s flipping on and off the top PP unit, but frankly neither PP unit in Arizona is worth writing home about. OEL is no longer a solid fantasy defenseman and he will almost certainly disappoint his managers in the coming weeks.
Honourable Mentions: Eeli Tolvanen, RW – NSH, Josh Bailey, RW – NYI, Kyle Okposo, RW – BUF, Tom Wilson, RW – WSH, Roman Josi, D – NSH.
Cold Streaks that Won’t Last:
Jonathan Drouin, LW – MTL
I’m far from a Drouin truther, but he’s going to get some points in the very near future and I want to be in on it. Despite registering only a single assist in his last five games, Drouin is 41st in shots/60 with a horrific 33% IPP and 4.4% oiSH%. He’s on what looks to now be a clear cut top PP unit and he’s averaging 18 and a half minutes a game. I don’t see how Drouin can stay off the scoresheet much longer. Bonus points: he hits a bit, too.
Johnny Gaudreau, LW – CGY
A lot has been made of the Flames’ struggles of late and they are largely fair. But Gaudreau has been heating up under the surface. He’s seeing 17:13 average time on ice the last five games, during which time he’s 11th in the league in xGF/60 and 37th in iCF/60. Combine that with an unfortunate 40% IPP and 0% S%, and you have a player who probably should be operating at a point-per-game level right now. I’d have a hard time expecting Gaudreau to hold that kind of pace ROS, but I don’t think it’s crazy to imagine him getting back to the 70-point type of player we all hoped we were getting when we drafted him back in January.
Honourable Mentions: Timo Meier, RW – SJS, Morgan Rielly, D – TOR, William Karlsson, C – VGK, Nazem Kadri, C – COL, Alex Pietrangelo, D – VGK, Reilly Smith, RW – VGK, Mikhail Sergachev, D – TB.
Cold Streaks that Will Last:
Alex Killorn, LW – TB
Killorn has been a fairly reliable streamer this season given his attachment to Steven Stamkos and the Tampa PP1 unit. But he’s gone ice cold of late with zero points in five games and I don’t see the upside. He’s 335th in shots/60 in those five games and an unbelievable 412th in xGF/60. I’ve never found Killorn to be much of a play driver in his own right so with Tampa Bay’s offense drying up of late I am fully out on Killorn until the goals start coming again.
Adam Boqvist, D – CHI
Boqvist is a once-ballyhooed prospect in a prime position to put up valuable power play points as the entrenched PP1 QB for Chicago alongside snipers Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, but he has failed to truly cash in on that potential and has a single assist in his last five games. He’s likely to get some power play assists over the rest of the season, but he seems horribly averse to shooting the puck (160th among defensemen in shots/60 over the last five, 126th on the season) which severely caps the upside of a guy who doesn’t provide much in the way of hits or blocks from the D position. For me, Boqvist is little more than a PPP streamer ROS.
Honourable Mentions: Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW – CLB, Seth Jones, D – CLB, Neal Pionk, D – WPG, Justin Faulk, D – STL.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick
Title photo credit: James Guillory – USA TODAY Sports