Week 8 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, hope you had a great holiday weekend.

I've been traveling and catching up on non-hockey things, so this week's post will be a little different -- fewer FA names with more trade targets.  Players who are 100% owned, especially, are noted for being solid "Buy Low" candidates.

Let's check out some options that may help bolster your lineup...

Right Wings

Commonly owned RWs worth adding or targeting via trade (buy low): 
Joe, Pavelski, Sharks
(100%), Dustin Brown, Kings (100%), TJ Oshie, Blues (94%).


Pittsburgh Penguins Tyler Kennedy, Penguins

Kennedy missed a month of action with a concussion (what is it with Penguins and concussions?), and since his return 7 games ago he has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and 23 SOGs.  Although he typically plays on the 3rd line, he has quality linemates in Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke.

Availability: Owned in 1% of leagues.
Forecast:
  Look for TK to score in the low 20s and fire a lot of rubber at the net (200+).

Star-divide

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding or targeting via trade: 
Eric Staal, Hurricanes (100%), Logan Couture, Sharks (100%), Tim Connolly, Maple Leafs (69%).


Winnipeg Jets Bryan Little, Jets

Little, like his team, had an unimpressive start to the season, but is hot as of late.  In his last 9 games, he has 8 points (6 goals, 2 assists), and is a +2 with 29 SOGs.  He's Winnipeg's 1C, so Little receives ample opportunities and plays with quality linemates (EKane, Ladd, Wheeler).

Availability: Owned in 12% of leagues.
Forecast: 
You can safely assume he won't continue his current 60-goal pace, but don't be surprised if he posts 25.  Consider him if you are looking for secondary scoring at the C position.

 

Left Wings

Commonly owned LWs worth adding or targeting via trade (buy low): 
Bobby Ryan, Ducks
(100%), Milan Lucic, Bruins (100%), Jussi Jokinen, Hurricanes (84%).


Chicago Blackhawks Viktor Stalberg, Blackhawks

Stalberg continues to receive playing time with Jonathan Toews on the Blackhawks #1 line.  As I wrote after week 3, "Stalberg has typically been playing 4LW, (but) I don't see a ton of talent at LW above him on Chicago's roster (Brunette, Carcillo, and Bickell)."  It was relatively easy to see that he would get his shot in a scoring role, and nothing over the past 5 weeks indicates that that won't continue.

Availability: Owned in 3% of leagues.
Forecast:  He has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) over his last 9 games, and he is a +6. 
By contrast, Brunette, his primary competition, is a -6 this year.

 

Defencemen

Commonly owned Defencemen worth adding or targeting via trade (buy low):
Brent Burns, Sharks (100%), Drew Doughty, Kings (100%), Dmitry Kulikov, Panthers (100%), Ryan Whitney, Oilers (63%).

Colorado AvalancheStefan Elliott, Avalanche
Elliott made his NHL debut last night, and received 19:36 of playing time with 2:51 on the PP (3rd highest on the team), cashing in on his 1st goal.  He also played well defensively, and was awarded the #1 Star of the game.

Availability: Owned in 0.5% of leagues.
Forecast:  With Erik Johnson on IR with a groin injury, Elliott was called up and accomplished something EJ has failed to do all season -- find the back of the net.  He scored 81 points in the WHL last year, so the potential is there.

 

Goaltenders

Commonly owned Gs worth adding or targeting via trade (buy low):
Cam Ward, Hurricanes (100%), Tomas Vokoun, Capitals (100%), and Brian Elliott, Blues (89%).

Vancouver Canucks Cory Schneider, Canucks
Wow, what a week for Schneider!  3 GS, 2 Shutouts, a 0.67 GAA, and an unconscious .978 Save%. 
For the season, his #s compare quite favorably to Luongo's. 
Schneider:  12 GP, 2.01 GAA, and .931 Save%. 
Luongo:      13 GP, 2.97 GAA, and .896 Save%.

Availability: Owned in 38% of leagues.
Forecast:
Schneider should be owned in all daily leagues, and makes a quality Wally Pipp speculative play in weekly leagues.  Given Luongo's gargantuan contract, it is unlikely that he takes over the #1 role entirely; however, he has clearly earned more starts and might also garner a fat return from a panicky Luongo owner if you beat him to the wire.

 

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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