The Edmonton Oilers shook up their goaltending situation this week by acquiring Ben Scrivens from Los Angeles for a 2014 third-round draft pick and sending Devan Dubnyk to Nashville for Matt Hendricks. The fantasy value of Hendricks will probably remain marginal at best, but the goaltenders involved in the moves have all had their fortunes altered.
Dubnyk emerges as the big winner of the bunch because Nashville is a better defensive team than the Oilers. The Predators were in need of an upgrade in the crease because they are still dealing with the loss of Pekka Rinne, who hasn't played since October 22nd due to a hip infection. Dubnyk's arrival has resulted in the re-assignment of Marek Mazanec to Milwaukee of the AHL, making Carter Hutton Dubnyk’s backup. Scrivens made his Edmonton debut in a 4-1 loss to Minnesota Thursday night. The play of Martin Jones made him expendable in Los Angeles, and leaving a great defensive squad like the Kings to go to the Oilers makes him a riskier investment than Dubnyk. He will also have to split time with Ilya Bryzgalov. I think Dubnyk is worth gambling on, so consider picking him up if you are in need of a depth goaltender.
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Now, on to this week's other picks:
Alex Burrows (VAN) - LW/RW - Owned in 11% of Yahoo! leagues
Burrows is slated to return to the lineup on Saturday night against Calgary. He wasn't playing well prior to suffering a broken jaw, with just three assists and a minus-7 rating in 17 appearances, but he's had a long break to reflect and to heal, which should help. The Canucks have used a revolving door of wingers alongside Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin this season and it probably won't take very long for Burrows to get another shot alongside the twins. He should be able to bounce back from his difficult start as a top-six forward because he has enjoyed plenty of success in that role in the past. He's worth taking a flier on at the very least, but it may take him a few games to get back into a groove.
Tyler Johnson (TBL) - C - Owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues
Johnson has stepped up for the Lightning since Steve Stamkos went down to injury. He is currently playing with Martin St. Louis and fellow rookie Ondrej Palat on the team's top line. He has picked up four goals and added five assists in his last 12 games. Johnson's consistent play has launched him into Calder Trophy consideration. He will enter Saturday's action in a second-place tie with New York's Chris Kreider for the most points among first-year players, with 27. Johnson's 46.8 percent success rate on faceoffs is the third best among rookie centers and he's taken the most draws (747). He should be targeted in deep standard leagues at this time and he's worth looking at in keeper formats as well.
Nick Bonino (ANA) - C - Owned in 38% of Yahoo! leagues
Bonino has seen his fantasy value rise significantly of late and for good reason. He has provided plenty of secondary scoring for the Ducks in 2013-14 behind "the twins", Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Bonino has already surpassed his goal and point totals from his previous four seasons combined. He entered the year with 11 goals and 33 points in 112 games and he's posted 15 markers and 35 points in 50 contests this campaign. The 25-year-old center averages 16:28 of ice time per contest, which ranks him third on the team among its forwards. Bonino has picked up five goals and five helpers in his past nine matches and he hasn't had many lulls in his play so his fantasy stock will probably continue to climb.
Andrew Shaw (CHI) - C - Owned in 25% of Yahoo! leagues
Shaw has been playing between Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad on Chicago's second line recently, which has given him a boost offensively. He has provided the team with the same manner of success that former Hawk Dave Bolland has in the past. He has contributed two goals, one assist and a plus-5 rating in his last three contests. Coach Joel Quenneville has liked the chemistry that the combination has displayed thus far. Shaw brings some grittiness to the unit and he'll go into the high traffic areas to create room for his talented wingers. He leads Chicago's forward group with 115 hits in 48 games. Shaw has contributed 13 goals and 24 points this season and if he can remain on the second line then he'll have plenty of opportunity to add more production to what has already been his best offensive season.
Ryan O'Reilly (COL) - C/LW - Owned in 54% of Yahoo! leagues
O'Reilly's upcoming contract situation with the Avalanche will lead to plenty of trade speculation going into the deadline on March 5th, but for now he has been playing great in Colorado. He has played alongside Matt Duchene for most of the season and he's notched 18 goals and 32 points in 45 games. O'Reilly has already tied his personal best for goals in a single season and he's on pace to surpass 50 points for the second time in his career. The 22-year-old forward has played primarily as a winger this campaign, but he has value as a center as well. O'Reilly has also been hot of late, with eight goals and 12 points in his last 12 outings.
Cam Atkinson (CBJ) - RW - Owned in 12% of Yahoo! leagues
Atkinson likes to tease prospective fantasy owners with his scoring potential, but consistency remains an issue with him. That's probably the reason why he gets overlooked in most standard leagues. He has amassed 130 shots and netted 15 goals in 47 games this season. Atkinson has been clicking with Matt Calvert and Brandon Dubinsky, which has helped him generate five markers and one assist in his past five contests. The 24-year-old winger should be considered at this time based on his current hot streak, but if he goes cold for a week or two then you shouldn't feel guilty about cutting him loose.
Ryane Clowe (NJD) - LW/RW - Owned in 11% of Yahoo! leagues
Clowe missed 32 games with a concussion this season and he battled concussion issues last year as well. Understandably, that has hurt his production and his fantasy value, but he appears to be getting back on track. He has contributed a goal--his first of the 2013-14 campaign--and six assists in his last six games. Clowe has also been seeing more ice time and shooting the puck with more regularity. He has the potential to rack up penalty minutes and pick up hits, so he's worth monitoring and taking a chance on if he can continue to chip in offensively.
Darcy Kuemper (MIN) - G - Owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues
Kuemper will make his fourth straight start for the Wild on Saturday night. He has posted a 3-2-0 record with a .917 save percentage and a 2.17 goals-against average in the NHL this season. He has relegated Niklas Backstrom to the bench, while Josh Harding remains sidelined with an illness. Kuemper should be considered as a short-term fix, though, because Harding has resumed skating and could be back in the near future.
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- Devan Dubnyk
- Matt Hendricks