Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This will be the first installment of a weekly article I’ll be writing all season long in which I’ll try to determine the truth about puzzling players. I pull suggestions for who to write about for these articles from the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon members. Be sure you check out those spots to catch up with me where I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Vladimir Tarasenko, Eeyore, or any other disgruntled superstars I have grown accustomed to watching on weekend nights in the winter. Here we go!
Sam Reinhart, RW – FLA
I was admittedly bullish on Reinhart after the Panthers gave up Devon Levi and their 2022 1st round pick for him in the offseason. I saw him as a natural fit on superstar center Aleksander Barkov’s right wing and as a terrific running mate on the top power play as well. Reinhart started the season there but has already been bumped down to the third line despite putting up a terrific 58% CF% and individual chance generation stats. I’m an Anthony Duclair fan as well, but I do think Reinhart will spend the majority of the season on Barkov’s wing and be that 65-point guy you probably drafted him as.
Verdict: Drop to 3rd line hurts for the short term but seems like a blip in the grand scheme of things
Moritz Seider, D – DET
Seider has generated a ton of buzz, scoring three assists while averaging 21:37 a night in his first two NHL games. Unfortunately I don’t see anything just yet to indicate that Seider is dominating the opposition on his own; he’s getting caved in along with all the other Red Wings at even strength and both his individual points percentage or IPP (100%) and on-ice shooting percentage or oiSH% (15.8%) indicate that he’s been a little lucky in the points department thus far. Having said that, Seider has a ceiling that none of the other Detroit defenders can boast and that makes him intriguing long term. This could be an Adam Fox rookie season type of situation, where Seider takes some time to grow accustomed to the NHL game and then starts to come into his own in the back half of the season.
Verdict: More of a watch list guy for me at the moment, but has a ton of upside
Michael Bunting, LW – TOR
Bunting has been a minor revelation four games into the season, scoring his second goal of the year tonight while I was writing. He’s putting pucks on net and ranked 19th in the league in individual scoring chances for per 60 minutes (iSCF/60) coming into tonight’s game, which is a metric that tracks very closely with scoring production for most players. With Auston Matthews back in the lineup and Bunting now playing with John Tavares and William Nylander at even strength, it’s not hard to imagine Bunting taking a step and having a 50-55 point season. Oh, and he hits, too.
Verdict: Bunting is a priority add in 12 team leagues and above
Eeli Tolvanen, RW – NSH
Tolvanen is another winger who can combine goals and hits, with a goal already in his first two games. More than that, Tolvanen has fired six shots in both games despite averaging less than 15 minutes a game. I’m watching Tolvanen like a hawk as I believe he has 30-goal potential if he’s ever given 18+ minutes. I’m not ready to add Tolvanen yet as the deployment still isn’t there, but I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger if he’s given a spot in the top six and PP1.
Verdict: Top of the watch list
Evgenii Dadonov, RW – VGK
I’m a little bit into Dadonov right now, for a couple of reasons. First, he ranks 33rd in the league in iSCF/60 which is a stat I follow closely. Second, with Max Pacioretty out long term and Mark Stone potentially out as well, Dadonov could be in line for some big minutes in the coming weeks including a prominent power play role. With Vegas having a juicy Wednesday/Friday/Sunday schedule this week I’ll be interested in both Dadonov and teammate Reilly Smith who has also been putting up very solid underlying statistics.
Verdict: Great streaming opportunity for this week with potential for even more
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter, on TikTok, and join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!