With the All-Star festivities behind us, we gear down and head into the home stretch of the fantasy hockey season. Don’t blink, because there are likely only four or five weeks of matchups left for you to make up ground (depending on your league’s settings). Your fantasy trade deadline is quickly approaching as well. This week, we look at a handful of players who could make good pickups, before looking at some potential trade targets in next week’s edition of Fantasy Hockey Weekly.
As Nathan MacKinnon’s status is updated to day-to-day, owners can breathe a sigh of relief. Hopefully, his Art Ross quality season isn’t put on hold for too long, but he will miss the Avs’ next game. Rantanen and Landeskog will likely flank Carl Soderberg or Alex Kerfoot in Mackinnon’s absence. Whether they can continue to produce without their star center will be a big question, but whoever they chose to step in at center could be a worthwhile addition.
Carter Hutton has emerged as St. Louis‘ go-to guy for the past three weeks now, as he has started eight straight games. Jake Allen hasn’t played since a 6-3 loss to Philly on January 6th. His mid-season struggles, coming around the same time as last years’, have led to diminished minutes to the point where he may not even be worth keeping on your fantasy team. The fact that Hutton has only allowed 12 goals in the eight straight games he has played will make it even tougher for Allen to earn his spot back. Hopefully, he can make a good impression in his next start, whenever it comes. The Blues should give Hutton a rest soon, but if Allen struggles for in his next start as well, it may be time to cut him loose.
Vegas has been the story of the year in the NHL, largely due to the emergence of breakthrough players such as William Karlsson and Reilly Smith. You may be able to add Erik Haula to that list soon enough as well. He has points in his last six games and 36 total on the year, as he has found chemistry with his veteran linemates, David Perron and James Neal. He is shooting the lights out right now; his shooting percentage sits at 17.6% in his six-game point streak. It won’t last forever so jump on him while he’s still hot.
Konecny is clicking in a big way on the Flyers’ top line. Playing alongside Sean Coutourier and Claude Giroux has kicked him into high gear as of late, as he has points in seven of his last nine games. He is also seeing time on the Flyers’ second powerplay unit as an added bonus. This is Konecny’s sophomore season, where he is looking to improve on his 28 point debut last year. With 22 so far this season he looks like he should be able to eclipse that total. And with two top 20 point scorers as linemates he could do much better than his rookie totals.
And finally, Sam Reinhart looks like he finally may be waking up this season. A promotion up to the second line, playing with Ryan O’Reilly has him with seven points in the past six games. He has a history of being a streaky scorer over his first two full seasons, but scored over 40 points both times. He only has 20 points so far through 50 games this year, but maybe he can get on a bit of a roll. If you’re in a bind and need a pickup, Buffalo plays four games next week, so maybe take a look at Reinhart.