Hard to Pass on Harding

Corey Abbott
Corey Abbott highlights some players who could be in store for larger roles because of training camp injuries and/or contract holdouts.

Training Camp Opportunities

Corey Abbott highlights some players who could be in store for larger roles because of training camp injuries and/or contract holdouts.

There's a good chance San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl has been snatched up in your league by now.  Hertl has gotten off to a great start and he's worth gambling on.  Just remember first-year players tend to trend up and down as the season wears on and his pace will likely slow.  He's definitely a special talent, which his four-goal night emphasized, but there are still plenty of players out there who can add substance to your squad.

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Jakob Silfverberg (ANA) - LW, RW - Owned in 33% of Yahoo! leagues

The Ducks have to be pleased with the start of Silfverberg, who was a key part of the Bobby Ryan-to -Ottawa deal during the off-season.  He recorded four goals and one assist in his first five games with Anaheim.  Silfverberg has been utilized on the team's second line with Teemu Selanne and newcomer Mathieu Perreault.  Perreault suffered a lower-body injury this past Thursday, but he might be fine to play when the Ducks host Ottawa on Sunday.  That would be good news for Silfverberg because the two of them have had good chemistry since Perreault's arrival from Washington.  Look for Silfverberg to post about 55-60 points and rack up around 200 shots this campaign.

Brendan Gallagher (MON) - RW - Owned in 47% of Yahoo! leagues

Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk probably aren't available in most leagues right now, but there's a chance Gallagher still is.  The third member of Montreal's "EGG" or "Kid" line has gotten off to a strong start in his sophomore campaign as well.  Gallagher produced three goals, two assists and a plus-3 rating in four games.  The 5-foot-9, 180-pound forward goes hard to the net, which has made him the recipient of plenty of prime scoring chances in the early going.  Gallagher has already been credited with 16 shots and he's averaging nearly three minutes per game on the power play, which has helped him net two of his goals.

Sean Monahan (CAL) - C - Owned in 12% of Yahoo! leagues

Monahan has been overshadowed in the rookie spotlight by Hertl, but he's also begun his NHL career in impressive fashion.  He tallied four goals and two assists in five games for the Flames.  Monahan is already arguably the team's top offensive center and he should get plenty of opportunities to skate between capable linemates this season.  He's starting to make himself a better option in standard leagues and could be a decent pickup right now due to his hot start.

Alex Chiasson (DAL) - RW - Owned in 10% of Yahoo! leagues

All Chiasson seems to do is score goals.  He has appeared in 10 NHL games in his career and has found the back of the net nine times, which includes three markers in three matches this year.  Obviously, he shouldn't be expected to score a goal every time he takes to the ice, but he's showing he has natural goal-scoring ability that more fantasy owners should be made aware of.  Playing alongside a superb playmaker like Ray Whitney and seeing some shifts with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have helped him out, as well.  Chiasson was viewed as a popular late sleeper coming out of training camp and so far he hasn't disappointed.  He's worth taking a chance on. 

Justin Faulk (CAR) - D - Owned in 24% of Yahoo! leagues

Faulk has established himself as a top-pairing defenseman with the Hurricanes.  He is averaging a team-leading 24:40 of ice time per contest and is getting plenty of power-play action as well.  Faulk missed some time last season because of a sprained MCL, which may have contributed to fantasy owners forgetting about him on draft day.  Grab him if you are looking for more production from your defensemen.  Faulk has four assists and 10 shots in five games.  He has amassed 11 hits and 10 blocked shots, as well, to prove he's well-rounded and not just an offensive blueliner.  Faulk should be able to approach 40 points this year. 

Jiri Hudler (CAL) - RW - Owned in 19% of Yahoo! leagues

Hulder has picked up at least one point in each of his first five games for the Flames this season, while averaging a career-high 20:59 of ice time per contest.  He has accounted for two goals and five assists during his eye-opening point streak.  Hudler produced 23 goals and 57 points in 82 games with the Red Wings during the 2008-09 campaign and that might be close to what he ends up with at the end of this year. 

Josh Harding (MIN) - G - Owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues

Niklas Backstrom's strained knee allowed Harding to pick up Minnesota's first win of the season on Thursday night against Winnipeg.  Harding has turned aside 33 of the 35 shots he's faced in two appearances this season.  It isn't clear how long Backstrom will be sidelined for, but until he's back to full health the Wild will go with Harding, which makes him a decent short-term pickup for your crease situation.

Anton Khudobin (CAR) - G - Owned in 8% of Yahoo! leagues

Khudobin has played very well for Carolina in two outings this season.  He has won both games while stopping 47 of 50 shots for a .940 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average.  Cam Ward hasn't been as dazzling so far this year, but it's too early to be talking about a goaltender controversy in Carolina.  Ward should still be regarded at the team's number one netminder, but if Khudobin keeps playing well then he will see a slight bump in his workload.  If nothing else, he might be worth stashing away on your bench as a depth option, especially if goaltenders are a rare commodity in your league. 

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