Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the umpteenth installment of a weekly article I’ve been writing all season long in which I deep dive some hot and cold players and determine if they’re worth trying to acquire or sell off. Before we dive in, be sure to check out the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon for even more content including a weekly waiver wire article detailing all the best streamers and pickups for the upcoming week. I’m in the Discord every day and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Trevor Zegras, Arthur Kaliyev, or any other certified studs. Let’s get it!
Too Hot to Touch
Trevor Zegras, C – ANA
Dare I tread on everyone’s new favourite player? Zegras has been a joy to watch on and off the ice this year and I was on him early in the season and rostered him nearly everywhere. But I’m wondering if this might not be the best time to jump ship. Zegras has seven points in his last five games despite ranking 312th in the league in shots/60, 239th in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60), and 135th in on-ice scoring chances for/60 (SCF/60). He’s been held afloat by a 19% on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) and 88% individual points percentage (IPP), but unless he turns things around on the periphery this hot streak seems destined to come to an end. Combine that with a not-so-hot playoff schedule and Zegras might fetch more than he’s truly worth at your trade deadline.
Boone Jenner, C – CBJ
Jenner has been one of the league’s best streaming option all season long, but despite seven points in his last five games I have concerns. Jenner ranks 421st in SCF/60 with a 19% oiSH% in this span, which has me questioning how long this production will keep up. I think Jenner is certainly still a hold, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to trading him now while Laine is lighting the world on fire and all eyes are on the Blue Jackets. Jenner’s added value this season has come largely through additional ice time (he’s averaging 20:23 a game on the season), and while I don’t see that going away any time soon it does portend that there’s no untapped ceiling here.
Honourable Mentions: Mats Zuccarello, RW – MIN // Patrik Laine, LW – CBJ // Dylan Larkin, C – DET // Oskar Sundqvist, LW – STL // Yegor Sharangovich, LW – NJD // Clayton Keller, LW – ARI
The Right Amount of Hot
Elias Lindholm, C – CGY
Let me say from the start that I am not conveying that Lindholm will score a goal per game for the rest of the season as he has in eight straight games now. But it’s not like Lindholm is just falling into these goals either: he ranks 27th in the league in iSCF/60 over his past five games and he’s on one of the best lines in hockey alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. With Gaudreau taking his game to a new level, I think Lindholm is plenty capable of maintaining his season-long point-per-game pace and continuing to be a valuable contributor across all your categories. I’m comfortable with Lindholm at this spot and I wouldn’t mind acquiring him at cost if I needed that helpful C/RW eligibility that he sports.
Robert Thomas, C – STL
Thomas is baffling to me. Here’s a guy who has had a terrific season but has also by and large shot at the same pace his entire career (including this year). Now in his last few games Thomas has seemingly flipped a switch and become a shot and iSCF-producing monster, ranking 14th in the league in iSCF/60 over his past five games. He has had games against OTT, MTL, and PHI in this stretch which could certainly be contributing factors. But I’m genuinely curious if this is some incredibly random statistical anomaly or if Thomas has finally figured something out midway through what was already a breakout season for him. His cost to acquire is still very low (just 32% rostered on Yahoo) and if I have him I’m holding him to see if he can keep up this newfound shooting mentality.
Honourable Mentions: Vladimir Tarasenko, RW – STL // Kevin Fiala, RW – MIN // Andrei Svechnikov, LW – CAR // Rickard Rakell, RW – ANA // Trevor Moore, LW – LAK // Michael Bunting, LW – TOR
Colder than Ice
Cam Atkinson, RW – PHI
Atkinson has always been a streaky player, but seven straight goalless games after starting the season on a 32-goal pace is a new low. I don’t see much likelihood of things turning around for Atkinson either, with a 284th-best iSCF/60 mark over his past five games. With rumours swirling about the imminent departure of Flyers’ captain and linemate Claude Giroux, Atkinson could be in for even less support in the fantasy wasteland that is the Philadelphia lineup. If you can get out of Atkinson for even another streamer-level player, I’d strongly consider it at this point.
Andre Burakovsky, LW – COL
Burakovsky is another streaky producer, currently getting a look on the Colorado top line sans Nathan Mackinnon as I write. But Burakovsky’s offense has completely dried up of late, running a 16-game goalless streak and just one game among his past nine in which he generated more than two shots. In fact, Burakovsky ranks 414th in the league in shots/60 over his last five games and I could not be less interested in rostering him with Mackinnon not expected to miss much time. The key with these streaky types is to enjoy the ride when they’re hot and to bid them adieu at the first sign of things taking a turn for the worse. Burakovsky has given us 16 games of signs and I’m taking him at his word.
Honourable Mentions: Seth Jones, D – CHI // Miro Heiskanen, D – DAL // Ondrej Palat, LW – TBL // Jacob Trouba, D – NYR // Oliver Kylington, D – CGY // Alex Iafallo, LW – LAK // Tomas Hertl, C – SJS
Frozen but Thawing
Pierre-Luc Dubois, C – WPG
The points haven’t come as frequently of late for PLD as his managers would have liked, but I have reason to remain optimistic. Winnipeg has been hit with the injury bug of late, with forwards Nikolaj Ehlers, Andrew Copp, and Cole Perfetti all currently on the injured list. Despite losing his most common linemates, Dubois has still registered 3 or more iSCF in all but two of his last nine games. Dubois has a measly 14% IPP in his last five games and ranks 27th in SCF/60, making him a pretty clear positive regression candidate in the short term. If there’s a little dip here on Dubois’s value I’m willing to step in and make a purchase, especially considering that the Jets have the most off-night games in the league during the fantasy playoffs.
Arthur Kaliyev, LW – LAK
This is one for the dynasty and deep keeper fanatics, but Arthur Kaliyev has been quietly impressive of late. Kaliyev has dealt with inconsistent deployment and frankly one has to wonder if he would have been best served by getting big minutes in the AHL rather than 10-12 minutes a night in LA, but regardless Kaliyev ranks 4th in the league in shots/60 and 18th in iSCF/60 over his past five games. On the season Kaliyev ranks 18th in the NHL in shots/60, rubbing shoulders with the Kirill Kaprizovs and Vladimir Tarasenkos of the league. I made a bold statement on Kaliyev’s future last week:
This is a guy with a 60%+ CF%, xGF%, and SCF% on the season; I don’t see any way the Kings don’t find a way to get him more minutes in 2022-23 and I think he’ll break out in a major way the second he gets that deployment. Kaliyev is my #1 dynasty buy as of today.
Honourable Mentions: Evgenii Dadonov, RW – VGK // Nils Hoglander, LW – VAN // Jakob Chychrun, D – ARI // Sam Bennett, C – FLA // Mikael Backlund, C – CGY // John Klingberg, D – DAL
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. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or check out Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Soundtrack to my writing: Dear Evan Hansen – Original Broadway Soundtrack
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick