NHL Network Radio’s Fantasy Hockey Forecast: Early Season Panic

Sidney Crosby

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 18, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Penguins defeated the Maple Leafs 3-0.(

Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

We’re two weeks into the Fantasy Hockey season and as is the case every year, some managers have started the season on a high and some, well, they have a 0 in the win column. The early season panic has settled in for some and now is the time to take advantage.

That is why you should look into acquiring players that aren’t off to the best of starts with managers who are struggling to put up points. At the same time, you might want to take a look at players who have done well to start the season and see if they are going to keep this up long term.

Realistically, players like Sidney Crosby (no goals and five points overall) are going to be hard to pry away from managers. That, and Sid will get his goals/points. However, there are still some big names you could swing a deal for without giving up the farm.

Early Season Struggles

Erik Karlsson: I thought we were done with the Erik Karlsson news… apparently not. The skilled defenseman isn’t off to the best of starts with four points and no goals this season. That being said, the struggles will not stay this way. With all the hoopla surrounding Karlsson, some managers might not want to see his name on their lineup card on a nightly basis

Anze Kopitar: Talk about up-and-down with Anze. After scoring in back-to-back games to start the season the Kings Captain, along with the rest of the team, has gone deathly quiet with no points on eight shots in his last five games. A coaching change, trade or new line assignment could skyrocket the Slovenian into scoring orbit.

Patric Hornqvist: The player with one of the best nicknames in hockey is not off to his best start this season. The wily veteran has a lone assist in his opening game to start the campaign but is still playing his scrappy style. If you have hits and blocks in your league, you might want to take a shot at acquiring a guy who’s scored 20-goals each of the last five seasons.

Early Season Successes

Alex DeBrincat: Hands up if you had Alex DeBrincat on the top of your draft board… thought so. The talented Blackhawks winger is as streaky as they come. Despite burying seven times already this season, the 20-year old is operating with a 28% shooting percentage. Those numbers won’t likely hold up. The Hawks winger is also a dual, Left-Wing Right-Wing position adding extra value in a potential trade

Micheal Ferland: Like DeBrincat, Ferland is a dual-wing position and is thriving early in the season. His five goals currently lead the Canes who are buzzing under new Head Coach Rod Bind’Amour. Ferland alone won’t land you any big name, but if you packaged him with an intriguing player or a decent draft pick in a keeper league you could fetch a position of need in return.

Maxime Lajoie: This story has been great. The optimist in me wants Lajoie to have a Norris-calibre campaign for the remainder of the season, but I don’t think that’s the case. Lajoie went from 1% to 66% ownership in one week. Those are crazy numbers, people. A mid-level player and Lajoie might net you a bigger fish with a struggling owner
Schedule Solvers

The coaching soundbites have already been entertaining when it comes to the schedule. The Buffalo Sabres have played nine games in 17 days while the Panthers have had six in as many. Every team plays 82 so plan accordingly. He’s your schedule solver for this week.

Teams playing four games: Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg

After signing a 5-year $23.75 million deal with the Avalanche, Colorado Centre Carl Soderberg (6% Ownership) has been widely criticized. With five points and 16 shots so far this season,  the big Swede is looking to quell the criticisms of years past. He’s also getting 2nd PowerPlay looks so a week-long addition won’t hurt your squad

Other players to look for: Nick Schmaltz (CHI – 22% Owned), Darnell Nurse (EDM – 41% Owned) Alex Kerfoot (COL – 8% Owned), Adam Lowry (WPG – 12% Owned), Alex Edler (VAN – 29% Owned)

Teams playing two games this week: Buffalo, Minnesota, New Jersey, Toronto,

The Nylander Saga

We’re just over a month before the deadline for William Nylander to sign a contract to be eligible to play this season. A deal will get done, but by which team? If you have a healthy squad, trading for Nylander and stashing him in an IR+ spot isn’t a bad idea.

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Look for the Fantasy Forecast every Monday right here on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio so you will (hopefully) get into the playoffs and become a Fantasy Hockey Champion!

NOTE: The stats are used from Yahoo! fantasy leagues

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