He’s baaackk! Deep in the heart of winter, the fantasy hockey community was given a much needed boost this past week by the triumphant return of Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid. Coming off a 37 game absence due to a broken clavicle, the 19-year-old phenom wasted no time getting reacclimated with the NHL. One word – zero explanation needed – WOW!
Connor McDavid – C – Edmonton Oilers
To the surprise of absolutely no one, McDavid is back and he’s once again producing at a dynamic and prolific rate. In four games since his return, he’s notched two goals (One of which was the filthiest thing you’ll ever see) and four assists for six points. Let’s face it – Edmonton’s lack of success doesn’t matter for fantasy owners. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
ANSWERING THE BELL
It seems like every year there’s numerous players who don’t live up to the fantasy hype or expectations. As Montreal Canadiens supporters know all too well, it’s a long season and you can be left behind.
The following players are once again doing their thing.
Sidney Crosby – C – Pittsburgh Penguins
Clearly – the obvious here – but, Crosby has been playing like he’s from Pluto or something. He’s been so incredible lately and that’s probably an understatement. Don’t look now but the Pens captain has snuck into the fantasy hockey top-20 rankings.
How good has he been you ask? Well, for starters, he’s failed to register at least a point in just three of his past 20 games. The numbers over that stretch are downright ridiculous – 16 goals, 20 assists for 36 points. That’s almost two points per game and once again very Crosby-like! It’s hard to believe he was a huge buy-low option on the fantasy hockey trade market about two months ago. Now, he’s back to his old self – dominating the opposition on a nightly basis.
Mark Stone – RW – Ottawa Senators
Simply put, Stone owners are hoping for more consistency – similar to what we saw post All-Star break from him last year. If this past week is any indication, the production is starting to come. After an eight game pointless drought, Stone is riding a moderate three-game point streak. (3 goals and 2 assists)
What’s changed? Well, Stone’s teammate and roommate Curtis Lazar shared a fantastic story on Saturday night. In the past week, they supposedly turned around their offensive struggles by buying some goal karma. They gave $50 each to a homeless person in hopes of a turnaround and it’s happened thus far.
Sean Monahan – C – Calgary Flames
Similar to Stone, Monahan has struggled to find the same consistency he demonstrated a year ago. It’s a contract year and the production is likely to pick up over the remainder of the season. After a super slow start to 2016, the 21-year-old is coming off a monster week where he tallied two goals and four assists (which included a four point night against Carolina) for six points in three games. Just by watching him, you can tell he’s really dialed in right now which should lead to a strong finish to his campaign.
Wayne Simmonds – RW – Philadelphia Flyers.
When Simmonds is playing his game and using his frame, he’s a fantasy hockey stud. And lately, he’s been tremendous. The lanky power forward has catapulted himself into the top-20 with his uncanny ability to produce all over the fantasy hockey score sheet. From goals and assists to hits and penalty minutes – Simmonds has been a force as of late.
WE TALKIN’ WAIVERS
As I stated week(s) ago, you can achieve an abundance of success through strategic waiver wire pickups during the season. For example, I struck gold last season picking up Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman.
Here are some players to keep a very keen eye on.
Andre Burakovsky – LW – Washington Capitals
After a sluggish start to his sophomore season, Burakovsky is starting to reap the dividends of playing on a terrific team. Additionally, he’s had an electrifying start to 2016. Since January 10th, he’s had four multi-point efforts. The 20-year-old Austrian is currently on a 7-game point streak where he’s amassed six goals and three assists. In fact, he’s registered at least a point in nine of his last ten games.
Artem Anisimov – C, LW – Chicago Blackhawks
By now, it’s no secret – Anisimov is having an effective and steady first season in Chicago. Undoubtedly, it helps when you’re playing with the likes of Patrick Kane and super-rookie Artemi Panarin but to his credit, Anisimov has certainly pulled his weight. Furthermore, he’s coming off an impressive four point performance on Saturday night in a 5-1 beat down of the Dallas Stars.
Shayne Gostisbehere – D – Philadelphia Flyers
It’s hard to believe Gostisbehere is just 22. If he keeps this up, it won’t be long before he’s in the Calder conversation. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, his current seven-game point streak is the longest ever in the Flyers’ history by a rookie defenseman. It’s crazy – Gostisbehere’s rapid ascension has all but killed Mark Streit’s fantasy value.
Jakob Silvferberg – LW, RW – Anaheim Ducks
Many were prognosticating a break out season for this speedy Swede. While I’m sure he’d be the first to admit his disappointing first half, his play has certainly picked up drastically in 2016. It all goes hand-in-hand – the Ducks are red-hot – and the point-producers are starting to get the job done. In the past 30 days, Silvferberg has notched six goals and 11 assists. The 25-year-old is a sneaky waiver pick up right now.
Joseph Blandisi – C – New Jersey Devils
Vincent Trocheck – LW, RW – Florida Panthers
Jiri Hudler – C, LW, RW – Calgary Flames
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – C – Ottawa Senators
Andrej Nestrasil – C – Carolina Hurricanes
Three weeks until the NHL Trade Deadline. Have another fantastic week!
For inquiries and thoughts, you can find me on twitter: @thegoldenmuzzy