2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 16 Stock Watch Part 2

by Kyle Vaughan
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Stock Watch Part 2

Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 16 Stock Watch Part 2.

Every week we’ll provide an overview of some players whose stock is trending up or down. For the players whose stock has risen, I’m hoping there is a possibility they are available to you on the waiver wire. Accordingly, I will identify players who are at, or below, 50 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues.

For the players whose stock has fallen, I’ll pay less attention to ownership as it's likely they are rostered and you may be wondering if you should drop or trade them.

Don’t forget to check out Justin's invaluable Unsustainable Players articles or any of the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.

This is an odd few weeks due to the Olympic/All-Star break. Because this article identifies trends in a player's performance, I won't focus on the number of games played for each player outlined below. So if you do intend on adding some players outlined herein, just make sure you check when their team returns to action. Some teams play on February 7th, while others don't play until the 10th or later.

Fantasy Hockey Week 16 Stock Watch Part 2: Son of Stock Watch.

All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. This article does not include Thursday night's games. 

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 16 Stock Watch Part 2

Stock Up

Tim Stutzle, C, Ottawa Senators (45% rostered)

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Tim Stutzle is a speed-demon, who is creative with the puck and has a strong shot. The only knocks on him coming into his draft year were a slight frame and his occasional tendency to pass when he'd be better off shooting. I can't comment on his present size, but it appears he has decided to shoot a little more.

While I agree with World Hockey Report that Koskinen needs to make that save, Stutzle put it in the only place he could. Hell of a shot, and the good news is he's using it more. Stutzle has increased his 2.09 shots per game from last year to 2.30 this year. He's also increased the rates at which he hits, takes penalties, and blocks shots.

Over the last six games, Stutzle only has three points. But he's logged 18 shots, 11 hits, and seven penalty minutes. He's centering the first line with Brady Tkachuk and Tyler Ennis and has played more than 20 minutes in four of his last six games. He's also getting consistent burn on the top unit powerplay. I'd expect the offense the pick up shortly.

Stutzle is the kind of player that you add as a short-term streamer but he catches fire and stays on your team the rest of the season. Take a look at your waiver wire to see if he's available.

Jakub Vrana, LW, Detroit Red Wings (18% rostered)

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Steve Yzerman is maybe the best General Manager in the NHL. I'm not sure how he keeps doing it, but over the last few years, he has fleeced several NHL teams via trades. The Oilers sent two second-round picks for (like 6 seconds of) Andreas Athanasiou. The Carolina Hurricanes inexplicably traded away Alex Nedeljkovic for Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick. The Capitals traded away a small fortune that included two NHL players plus a first and second-round pick for Anthony Mantha.

On the last deal, part of the small fortune was Jakub Vrana. When he arrived in Detroit, Vrana was gangbusters. In the 11 games he played, he put up 11 points and logged over 15 minutes a night consistently (including 19+ minutes in four of those games).

It wasn't all good news. Vrana suffered a shoulder injury in September that has held him out of action for months.

However, he has taken the ice at recent Red Wings practices and it appears he may be slated for a mid-February return to action. When he does return, a role on the second line is likely, along with a shot on the powerplay. I can imagine a world where it may even be on the first unit if Robby Fabbri is punted in favor of Vrana.

The Red Wings aren't a great hockey team by any stretch (not yet, anyway). But given his production last year and an imminent return, Vrana is worth keeping an eye on.

Alexandre Carrier, D, Nashville Predators (2% rostered)

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The Nashville Predators have mixed up their powerplay deployment as of late. Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm have their roles locked up quarterbacking the first and second units respectively. But Alexandre Carrier has snuck into the party when the Predators deploy two defensemen during the man advantage.

At all strengths, the Ekholm - Carrier pairing has led Nashville defenseman in time-on-ice over the last three games. And Carrier is putting up numbers that might capture the attention of some fantasy owners. He has four points in his last six games with 12 hits and six blocks. While he only has two penalty minutes during that span, that's well below his average of 0.7 PIM per game.

If you had to guess which two Nashville defensemen log the most time against elite opposition, I imagine you would say, Josi and Ekholm. According to Puck IQ, it's Ekholm and Carrier. The Predators trust Carrier enough to play the hardest minutes and they have worked him into their powerplay. It's noteworthy.

Unless you are in a deep league where Carrier is likely gone already, he is worth an add right now. But as he keeps seeing powerplay time, and his deployment at all strengths remains promising, it will be just a short time before he shows up in every waiver-add article.

 

Stock Down

Ilya Samsonov, G, Washington Capitals (83% rostered)

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Man, this goalie situation in Washington is a mess. Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov have both had the opportunity to grab the lion's share of the starts in the Capitals crease. Neither has been able to take advantage.

Both goalies have played 24 games and Samsonov has 14 wins to Vanecek's ten. That is about the only metric that comes out in Samsonov's favor.

SamsonovVanecek
SV%.902.915
QS%33.341.7
GSAA-5.683.11

Just when it appeared the Capitals may start playing Vanecek more, he was injured in a February 1st game against the Penguins. Due to a collision with a Penguins forward, Vanecek left early in the first period. Samsonov entered the game and played great on route to a Washington win. He stopped 43 of 45 shots, posting a .956 save percentage and a strong GSAA of 2.01.

Samsonov immediately followed that up by ripping a huge wet fart.  He let in three of the first four shots he faced and was pulled after playing 5:07 against the Oilers. Phoenix Copley entered and played well, giving the Capitals a chance to win.

So now what? Who the hell knows. Copley started the next game on February 8th and was lit up. Samsonov entered in relief and didn't look much better.

It's unclear when Vanecek will return. Any way you slice it, it's hard to imagine a world where Samsonov meets the expectations fantasy owners had when they drafted him. I would guess Vanecek is the horse to own in this race. But it's best if you left your tweed coat and Sunday hat in the closet for this one.

Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins (41% rostered)

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It appears Tuukka Rask's comeback bid is over. He announced his retirement earlier this week.

That brings his fantasy stock down to zero. Check your waiver wire for Jeremy Swayman right now. He is all but guaranteed some starts for the Bruins in the second half of the season. Swayman has the opportunity to cement his status as the future in Boston starting now. We'll see how it plays out.

It's a bummer to see him go. Rask was one of the best goalies in the world over several seasons. He posted a career save percentage of .921, and a quality-start percentage of almost 60 percent. Rask posted a goals-saved-above-average above 20 in 3 different seasons. Twice he did it in 45 or fewer games. That's insane. Imagine having a goalie that spotted you almost a point in every other game he played.

Rask is a Stanley Cup and Vezina trophy winner. He is a Bruins legend and future Hall-of-Famer. The NHL loses one of the good ones. So long, Tuukka, and thanks for all the memories. Congratulations on a spectacular career.


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