Special for Yahoo Sports
This week’s Fantasy Trade chronicle dives a little deeper into shooting percentages, which will be the main incentive to trade for two players who start scoring in clusters after muted starts. On the other hand, the “trade away” duo have been hampered by their inconsistent play and recent falls suffered by their respective teams.
Patrik Laine, LW/RW, Blue Jackets (81% registered)
If you need scoring for a cheap price, look no further than Laine. The Blue Jackets have always been an underdog for fantasy options, but note that Laine has scored five goals in his last six games, including a hat trick against Detroit and goals in back-to-back games against the Sharks and Flames. This run brings his tally to 14 goals in 32 games this year and 40 goals in 88 games over the past two seasons. woolen and Johnny Gaudreau remain tied at the hip and generated a 51.56 CF percent at 5-for-5, according to naturalstattrick.com, even though the team ranks 29th in the league at 45.28 percent in that metric.
With a shooting percentage of 12.1%, it should be noted that Laine is below his career average of 14.8%. He can be very streaky, but the recent influx of goals signals that Laine’s production may be on the rise. He’s currently scoring at a 35-goal pace over an 82-game schedule, and if he can just get closer to his career shooting average, he’ll hit a 40-goal pace.
Last season, only 17 players scored 40 goals, making those goalscorers a rare commodity. Given Laine’s recent history and the Jackets’ low profile, he should be easily accessible via trade compared to more high-profile scorers on the 40-goal pace such as Timo Meier or even Zach Hyman.
Owen Power, D, Sabers (47% registered)
(Editor’s Note: With Power listed in less than 50% of fantasy leagues, he might be available in some shallow leagues – go remove him from the waiver thread if he is)
Here are Power’s shot totals by month: eight shots in three games in October, 22 in 14 games in November, 14 in eight games in December and now 28 in 13 games in January. Power’s talent was evident early on, but he seemed content to play an additional role for Rasmus Dahlin, who is set to earn her first Norris nomination. Power played a safe game, and his consistency is one of the reasons he averages almost 24 minutes per game. Now that he’s shooting the puck a lot more, Power’s game has reached another level, and we get a glimpse of what he can do offensively. He scored his first goal of the season on Monday against the Stars, winning in overtime, then scored again in his second straight game Tuesday against the Blues. His attacking talent is in the spotlight and it was time too.
According to naturalstattrick.com, Power ranks 15th among all defensemen in 5-on-5 shot attempts, and actually sits slightly ahead of Dahlin in shot attempts per 60 minutes, 61.05 to 60.89. With more frequent shots, it was only a matter of time before Power found the back of the net. In his two seasons with the University of Michigan, Power scored six goals on 95 shots (6.3%) and last season had a bit of luck scoring two goals on 10 shots (20%) with the Sabers.
The league’s elite defenders, such as Romain Josi and Erik Karlsson, have career shooting percentages between six and seven percent, and currently Power ranks 99th out of 123 defensemen with at least 50 shots on goal at 2.8 percent. In other words, we could start to see the puck come in a lot more for Power. He’s an ideal late-season target for fantasy managers looking for potential goalkeepers or a solid second half.
Jack Eichel, C, Golden Knights (97% registered)
When Eichel is at the top of his game, he’s a dynamic attacking player who can score plenty of goals with an underrated passing game. At worst, he is an inactive center who does not play in defense and is content with peripheral shots. Right now, Eichel is closer to being at his worst than his best, and he’s not even shooting the puck. He went six games without a goal, failing to register a single shot in two of them and only managing two shots on three occasions. Eichel’s game faded; after scoring 26 points in his first 24 games, he has scored eight points in 11 games since. It’s bad enough that Bruce Cassidy had to call him out publicly, even though he’s known to be a very demanding coach and one of the reasons the Bruins felt they needed a new voice. in the room.
The best players can move in and out of slumps, and Eichel quickly drops down the list of top fantasy centers. Among forwards with at least 25 games played, Eichel’s 0.94 points per game ranks 48th in the league. It’s passable, but not the kind of fantastic production managers were looking for in a No.1 cross on a potential Cup contender. (Eichel’s ADP on Yahoo this season was 42.1.) Eichel could be fine, but with the exception of the start of the season, the Knights have struggled to find the rhythm. Eichel’s game has surely been impacted by Vegas’ injury troubles; mark the stoneit is expected that the inconvenient back of the will prevent it from entering a little longer, Shea Theodore has already missed about six weeks of the season and they’ve relied on a rookie starter all season.
Stone’s absence will be felt mostly on the power play, and it’s worth noting that Eichel has only scored one power-play goal all season. If Stone continues to miss time — and his injury history is certainly concerning at this point — there’s a good chance Eichel will underperform for the rest of the season.
Drake Batherson, RW, Senators (82% registered)
The Senses are a bit of a mess right now. They have lost six of their last eight games and have averaged just 1.38 goals per game in those losses. Batherson was particularly streaky, alternating between elite production and very poor performances every couple of months. He fired out of the gate in October with 11 points in eight games but followed that up with a meager six points in 14 games in November. He ignited the burners again in December, scoring 18 points in 14 games, but so far in January he’s produced just five points and a minus-8 rating in 10 games. His rating of minus-32 exceeded Ryan O’Reillywho is currently injured, for the worst plus-minus in the league.
The only saving grace for Batherson’s fantastic value right now is that he’s putting up a fair amount of shots (138, 57th in the league) and setting up a fair amount of hits. But that’s not enough to hide its flaws, and it’s bad enough that it was taken down. Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stutzle‘s line. With Josh Norris officially out for the rest of the season, if Batherson isn’t on the front row there simply isn’t another high-caliber center to put him in place, with all due respect to Shane Pinto and Ridly Greigis bright future.
Batherson’s fantasy value is much higher in leagues that emphasize shooting and hitting, but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t do much else either. With the Sens’ bleak prospects for the rest of the season, it’s time to swap Batherson for another more reliable winger.