Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the seventh 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 which players 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 and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Vincent Trocheck, the Coalition for Gun Control, or any other people that simply will not shoot. Let’s get it!
Vincent Trocheck, C – CAR
Trocheck has suddenly gone ice cold after a solid start to his season, scoring zero points in his last six games. More concerningly, Trocheck has mustered just five shots on goal in those six games and it’s not like he’s just been missing the net, either: Trocheck ranks 434th in the league in individual Corsi For/60 (iCF/60) over these games. Usually I would suspect an underlying injury but Trocheck has continued to throw a hit or two every game, making it seem unlikely that he’s operating with physical limitations. I’m holding him if I can afford to for at least one more week, but if there’s an Evan Rodrigues out there who portends to have 60-point-pace-potential for the next couple of weeks while Bryan Rust is out, I’m not going to tell you to hold Trocheck hoping for something to click when 90% of his potential production is available to you right now on the waiver wire.
Verdict: It’s a hold unless you’re desperate or there’s a very good player available on the wire
Ryan Hartman, RW – MIN
Hartman has been a revelation for the Wild this season, scoring 12 goals and 16 points in 21 games to open the season. But while the shooting percentage (S%) is almost double his career average at 17.4% and his on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) is also inflated at 13.9%, Hartman has taken a legitimate step thus far this season. He’s pacing for what would be by far the highest shots/60 and iCF/60 marks of his career and his on-ice scoring chances for/60 (SCF/60) have jumped as well. Combine that with a two-minute jump in average time on ice (ATOI) and you have a recipe for some sustained success. Hartman feels a lot like Troy Terry to me in some ways; the regression factors are there but his floor has risen so much with the increased shot volume and ice time that I think Hartman is a legitimate 55-point player ROS with even a little upside if he’s able to get onto the Minnesota PP1 and/or stick on the Kaprizov line for the majority of the season.
Verdict: Sure he’s unsustainably hot right now, but there’s also a sustainable level of production here that should be fantasy relevant all season long
Jordan Kyrou, LW – STL
I have a little built-in wariness with Kyrou from last season, where he exploded out of the gate and fell off the face of the planet midseason, never recovering his form. I’m cautiously optimistic that Kyrou has taken another step and he can sustain fantasy-relevant production all season this year however. The first reason is that he seems to have solidified a role in the Blues’ top-six and is currently on the PP1 unit alongside sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. There’s almost no chance in my mind that Kyrou maintains his currently point-per-game pace, and that has a lot to do with his unreal 96% IPP and 17% S%. But Kyrou’s shot rates and individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60) have taken a significant step forward this year to go with the increased deployment, meaning he can definitely put up points and benefit from the talent around him in St. Louis as well. Kyrou ranks 23rd in the NHL in SCF/60 on the season, meaning the Blues are generating a LOT of chances to score when he’s on the ice. I’m still not “all in” on Kyrou, but signs are there that Kyrou is a 60-65 point guy now.
Verdict: Still waiting for that midseason swan dive but looks like a legitimately useful player
Adam Boqvist, D – CBJ
Adam Boqvist is suddenly a hot name after parlaying a PP1 audition alongside Zach Werenski into a two-goal, one-assist performance against St. Louis on Saturday. I don’t see anything under the hood to suggest that Boqvist has taken a major step of yet, but that one performance and news that he’s been skating on an even-strength pair with Werenski in practice has piqued my interest. Boqvist is still a speculative add, but this is a kid who was an 8th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and is still just 21 years old. Defensemen often take some time to grow into themselves and perhaps all Boqvist needs to take his next step is an extended look on PP1 and top pair. I can’t in good conscience project that Boqvist will hold these roles for the full season, but the opportunity is certainly available in Columbus – now it’s up to him.
Verdict: Very much worth a speculative add if you need a scoring D-man; just don’t be afraid to move on if he loses his current deployment
Jake Oettinger, G – DAL
I usually avoid talking about goalie performance as much as I can because, you know, #ZeroG and #goaliesarestupid and all that. They are unknowable and I’ve made my peace with the fact that I am unlikely to ever find a way to predict goalie performance. That being said, I am all about talent and opportunity with goalies. Oettinger has a first-round pedigree from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and all he’s done since his Nov. 13th call-up is drop a .959 save percentage and 1.26 GAA in four starts. Oettinger leads the NHL in 5v5 goals saved above expected since his call-up and has an incredible 100% 5v5 high danger save percentage. I wouldn’t go out and sell a workhorse start for Oettinger, but there’s little debate that Oettinger is playing extremely well right now for a team that desperately needs some stability in goal. It still wouldn’t shock me to see Oettinger sent down to the AHL again at some point, but I’m all about riding the Oettinger wave while it’s here.
Verdict: Hang ten
Before you go, I want you to know I recently launched the Apples and Ginos Fantasy Hockey Podcast and I would be much obliged if you were to give it the time of day. I’ll be providing weekly shows focused on the strategy elements of fantasy hockey and I’m very excited about providing more value to the fantasy hockey community in this way. I’ve already had terrific guests like TJ Branson from Five Hole Fantasy Hockey and Elan Dubrofsky from Keeping Karlsson on the show and I believe the content is top notch.
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 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!