Week 3 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

We had a few recs "graduate" to 100%, or near 100% ownership.  They will be noted, along with any who were heavily added but may still be available--depending on the size and intensity of your league.  And, of course, there will be NEW recommendations for your consideration, too.  Let's check 'em out.

 

Left Wings


"Graduates":  Steve Ott, Stars (98%), Vaclav Prospal, Blue Jackets (98%).

Commonly owned LWs worth adding:  Alexander Steen, Maple Leafs (77%)

David Booth, Canucks - Off to a dismal start this year -- just one point in 6 games and a -6, Booth was traded to the Canucks in a 4-player deal this weekend, and figures to be the biggest winner as he will line up next to Ryan Kesler.  As Jay pointed out, this should do wonders for his +/-, and you have to think he will find the score sheet with more regularity, too.  Look for about 25 goals and 250 SOGs from here on out.

Availability: Owned in 52% of leagues
Forecast: Worth adding in nearly all formats if for no other reason than to see how well he responds to such a substantial upgrade in linemates.

Max Pacioretty, Canadiens -  Max's ownership is up dramatically from when he was first recommended in week 1, but is still available in nearly half the leagues out there.  He has 5 points in 7 games (2 + 3), and he's firing plenty of pucks on net -- 34 SOG so far.

Availability: Owned in 52%  of leagues.
Forecast:  Max could end up as one of the top 2 or 3 scorers on the Canadiens this season.

Evander Kane, Jets - Another LW off to a slow start.  Kane picked up his first point in 6 games yesterday, a goal.  He's perplexingly averaging under 13 minutes TOI per game.  Kane is a Top 6 player who will see significant PP time and has the skills to register strong numbers.  He had 19 goals and 43 points last season, and he should improve on those numbers this season.

Availability: Owned in 41% of leagues.
Forecast:  Be patient.  The former 4th overall pick will get -- and cash in on -- his opportunities.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Ryan Malone, Lightning
(5%) - His style of play makes him an injury risk, but he's healthy now and playing on a high octane offense.  Malone is a fixture in TB's Top 6 and on their #1 PP unit.  Provided he can stay reasonably healthy, he's a lock for 50+ points, with 20+ on the PP, and a PIM per game.  That kind of multi-cat production should not be available in 95% of leagues.

 

Centres


"Graduates":  Tyler Seguin, Bruins (100%), Jordan Staal, Penguins (100%).

Commonly owned Cs worth adding:  Dave Bolland, Blackhawks (73%).


Mikhail Grabovski, Maple Leafs - I will keep recommending him until his ownership is where it ought to be.  Grabovski started off a little slow, but he had an excellent game on Saturday with 2 points (1 + 1), including a highlight reel GWG.  On the game winner, he spun around to face the net and went top shelf on Carey Price just before he was demolished by the defence.

Availability: Owned in 48% of leagues.
Forecast:  Grabovski should be owned in all formats.  Look for him to equal or better last year's output.

Valtteri Filppula, Red Wings - Filpulla may finally fulfill his promise as he is off to a fast start this season (7 points in 6 games:  2 + 5).  He's demonstrating good chemistry with Johan Franzen and a greater propensity to shoot the puck this season.

Availability:  Owned in 34% of leagues.
Forecast:  Filpulla is worth a flier in shallow leagues and makes a strong addition in deeper leagues. He's burned us too many times before to get overly excited, but don't fall into the trap of backward thinking.  If you have room, give him a chance.  So far, so good.

Matt Read, Flyers - FHS favorite Matt Read has graduated from a Week 1 "Deep League Special" (when he was owned in just 1.2% of leagues).  With 6 points (2 + 4) in 7 games, his production is being rewarded with increased ice time.  He typically plays on the Flyers' 2nd line, and on the PP.

Availability: Owned in 21% of leagues.
Forecast:  Read is no longer a secret.  If you want him, add him soon.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Alexander Burmistrov (5%) - 6 points (2 + 4) in 7 games, he frequently looks like the Jets best forward on the ice. 

Mike Fisher (0.5%) - Currently on IR, sounds like he will be back soon.  A spot in the Top 6 and on the PP awaits him.

Update:  Last week's Deep League Special, Martin Hanzal was the #1 star of tonite's game with 2 goals, 5 SOGs, and 4 PIMs.  His ownership is up considerably.


Right Wings


"Graduates":  Jason Pominville, Sabres (100%), Joffrey Lupul, Maple Leafs (100%).

Commonly owned RWs worth adding:  Kris Versteeg, Panthers (93%); T.J. Oshie, Blues (83%).

Wayne Simmonds, Flyers - See last week's post.

Availability: Owned in 60% of leagues.
Forecast:  Look for a career year:  40+ points and >100 PIMs.

Kyle Okposo, Islanders - The Isles second line is off to a bit of a slow start, Okposo included.  He projects as a 50+ point player with about 250 SOG.

Availability: Owned in 32% of leagues.
Forecast:
Okposo should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues.  At a minimum, put him on your watch list.  He's too talented to stay quiet for much longer.

Chris Neil, Senators - Neil is a PIM beast.  He has 46 so far in just 8 games, and he's averaged about 200 PIMs per year over the last 7 years including 210 last year.   It isn't a lot, but he will also chip in a bit on the score sheet.  Look for about 8-10 goals and 20 points.  He has 3 points (1 + 2) so far.

Availability: Owned in 13% of leagues.
Forecast:
  Neil provides more scoring than most PIM guys and could bolster the toughness of any lineup.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

David Clarkson (6%) - Similar to Neil, Clarkson will provide a mix of scoring and PIMs.  He's a favorite of HC DeBoer's, and he's getting more scoring opportunities this year, including on the PP.  He has 3 points (2 + 1) in just 6 games, and 28 PIMs.

Matt D'Agostini (4%) - D'Ags is leading the Blues in scoring with 4 goals and 1 assist, and most recently found himself on a line with Berglund and Oshie.  He has 2 goals and 9 SOGs in his last 2 games and appears to be heating up.  Get 'em while they're hot!



Defencemen


"Graduates":  Ian White, Red Wings (100%), Dennis Wideman, Capitals (99%).

Commonly owned Defencemen worth adding:  Ryan Whitney, Oilers (94%); Marek Zidlicky (92%).

Sami Salo, Canucks - Wow, since being recommended last week when his ownership was at a mere 7%, Salo has been claimed in more than 4 out of 5 leagues.  This weekend's trade sent Mikael Samuelsson to FLA and opened up even more PP opportunities for Salo on the point.  Salo had the GWG in OT this weekend, and has 3 goals and 3 assists, is a +5, and has 26 SOG in 8 games.

Availability: Owned in 82% of leagues.
Forecast:  His ice time is on the rise.  If he can stay healthy, a big if with Salo, look for him to push 40 points this season.  As such, he should be owned in nearly all formats.

Victor Hedman, Lightning - Look for Hedman to take another step forward in his third year in the league.  As a rookie he produced 20 points, last year he posted 26 points, and this year...?  Well, his ice time is up considerably -- from 21 to over 23 minutes/game.  And he has 2 goals in his last 3 games.  He's not likely to put up monster #s this year, but 30+ seems all but guaranteed and he could approach 40 if things go right.

Availability: Owned in 66% of leagues.
Forecast:
Should be owned in all deep formats and is worth an add in shallow ones too given his high ceiling and recent hot streak.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Andrew Ference
(2%) - Has 4 points in 8 games and has been given increased ice time, including on the PP with Chara.

Nick Leddy (2%) - Yep, he's on the list again.  He's still paired w/ Duncan Keith at ES and on the PP.  Leddy has 4 points (1 + 3) in 7 games and he's a +3 so far this season.

 

Goaltenders


"Graduates":  Semyon Varlamov, Avalanche (100%).

Commonly owned Gs worth adding: Dwayne Roloson, Lightning (74%); Cory Schneider, Canucks (30%).

Mathieu Garon, Lightning - Roloson is a notoriously slow starter, and Garon is taking advantage of the increased opportunity to play.  Tampa Bay has called his number the last two games and he's delivered two W's including a shutout last night.  He's sporting sparkling ratios too:  1.51 GAA and a .948 Save%.

Availability: Owned in 14% of leagues.
Forecast:  Roloson is still expected to be the starter and he likely has one more playoff run in him, but he's only signed for 1-year, and Garon inked a 2-year deal, so it is possible, even if it's not likely, that TB will turn the crease over to him at some point this season.  In the meantime, ride him while he's hot.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Brian Elliott, Blues (8%) - Much like Garon, Elliott is making the most of the chance he's been given because the ostensible #1 has faltered out of the gate.  He's won 3 of his 4 starts while posting a 2.06 GAA and .935 Save%.

 



Now check your wire, good luck, and enjoy the games!

 

NOTES:
*Availability data from ESPN leagues.
**
Player analyses are based on their projected value in standard scoring categories:  Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, and Average Time on Ice.

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