2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Stock Watch.

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.

Smoke if you got'em.

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

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Alex Tuch, RW, Buffalo Sabres (43% rostered)

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I mentioned Alex Tuch as a potential stock riser in my Week 8 article. At the time he was set to return from injury and was likely to assume a role in Buffalo's top six and maybe even get some powerplay time.

I wanted to mention him again and prove to you all I am clairvoyant. Not a useful form of clairvoyance, mind you. More like taking a really obvious thing that is clearly about to happen, mention to a few people, and then rubbing it in when I'm right. I also like to conveniently remain silent when I am wrong. So I guess more like an annoying and not helpful form of clairvoyance. But clairvoyant nonetheless.

What I (and anyone with sentience) predicted came true! Tuch is playing on the top line and getting time on the first powerplay unit. He has 16 points in 16 games along with 54 shots, 16 hits, and 14 blocks. He is averaging 19:41 a lovely 3:02 on the powerplay.

Tuch's per-game stats in points, powerplay points, shots, and blocks are all at career highs. His line with Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson is producing a shots-for percentage of 62.5 % and a corsi-for percentage of 55% over their last three games.

There's a lot to like with Tuch's game. In the stock riser section of these articles, I generally try to discuss players to keep an eye on due to some positive trends. Not all are necessarily worthy of an immediate add. However, once in a while there is a guy who you should probably check the waiver wire for and take action if they are available. Tuch is one of those guys. If you do add him, once he's producing for your squad you might wonder why it Tuch you so long (I'll show myself out).

Nico Hischier, C, New Jersey Devils (28% rostered)

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Nico Hischier is back on the menu.

The 2017 first overall pick has failed to live up to the expectations that accompany his draft pedigree. If the 2017 draft was redone today, I'm sure Cale Makar would go first (instead of 4th overall) followed by Elias Petterson. Drake Batherson might find himself in the top five. Side note: the Senators drafted Batherson 122nd overall. That's a value pick if I've ever seen one.

Hischier, however, is putting together a respectable season in 2021-22.  He has 30 points in 44 games and is centering the Devil's second line. Hischier is averaging 18:44 a night with 2:30  coming on the first unit powerplay. He has scored six points in his last five games and has been on the ice for over 73 percent of New Jersey's powerplay in three of those five games.

The Devils don't play again until February 24th, so just keep an eye on him for now.

Another interesting note about New Jersey is the return of Dougie Hamilton following their break. That's good news for Hamilton owners, but it's bad news for managers who picked up Damon Severson in his stead. Severson has been a man possessed in Hamilton's absence. His deployment will take a hit as soon as the 24th. Now is a good time to send out some trade offers where you send Severson packing and get something a little more sustainable in return.

Calle Jarnkrok, LW, Seattle Kraken (1% rostered)

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The Seattle Kraken have been a wonderful source of short-term streaming options this year. Players like Jared McCann and Yanni Gourde have low ownership and can be very productive at times. Given the Kraken's west coast locale, home games often start late in the evening. That means if you have a player who is scratched from a game late, you can almost always find one of the two guys above on waivers to fill in for a game or two.

The issue is, many of my league mates have noticed the same thing. McCann and Gourde aren't always available as a result. I like to keep tabs on low-ownership Kraken players who might fill the streamer gap when needed. Right now Calle Jarnkrok is that guy.

Jarnkrok is 30 years old and has never scored more than 35 points in a season. He's not going to stay on your roster long. But his deployment as of late has been great and he can be useful.

Jarnkrok is currently on the second line with the aforementioned Gourde. He is also playing on the top powerplay unit for Seattle. He has four points in his last three games. The former Nashville Predator has logged over two minutes on the man advantage in four of his last five games.  That includes an insane 6:33 on February first.

As long as he is getting powerplay time, keep Jarnkrok in the back of your mind as a short-term streaming option.

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Stock Down

Chandler Stephenson, C, Las Vegas Golden Knights (58% rostered)

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Stephenson has been found money for many managers this year. I picked him up off waivers before the first game of the season and have loved his production thus far. In 45 games he has 38 points. He's averaging 19:27 of ice time a night including 2:21 on the powerplay.

The issue with Stephenson's situation is the return of Jack Eichel. The second overall pick in the 2015 draft is set to make his Vegas debut on Wednesday night against Colorado (shortly after the writing of this article).

Gone are the days when Stephenson was the team's best option at center. For a stretch this year Stephenson found himself between Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. He also had a steady burn on the first unit powerplay. As of late, Stephenson has been centering the third line and his only powerplay time comes on the second unit.

Before Eichel's return, Stephenson's production has slowed. He has no points in his last five games. His last two games have seen his ice time dip below season averages at all-strengths and on the man advantage.

Much like Severson in New Jersey, now would be a great time to try shopping Stephenson.

Alex Goligoski, D, Minnesota Wild (31% rostered)

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Alex Goligoski must love playing in Minnesota. After a pretty consistent (and solid) NHL career with stops in Pittsburgh and Dallas, he is producing at career-high rates in the state known as the Star of the North.

Goligoski has played on some excellent hockey teams, including the aforementioned Stanley Cup champion Penguins. For whatever reason things with the Wild have clicked offensively. He is on pace to score 55 points this year. That's 21 points higher than last year and 14 points higher than his career average.

I thought initially that his elevated production had to do with his increased powerplay time. But only three of his points have come on the man advantage.

It could be due to his defensive partners. Goligoski has spent the majority of his time with Jared Spurgeon. The pair has been great together producing a 58.4 shot-for percentage and a 57.5 corsi-for percentage. He's also spent time with Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin to similar effect.

Lately, he has found himself next to Jon Merrill. Merrill is known more for his abilities as a defender and frequently sees lower offensive zone starts as a result. Together the pair do not produce offensively - they have a shots-for percentage of 48.8 and a corsi-for percentage of 45.6.

Spurgeon has been playing with Jonas Brodin as of late. In the last two games, the duo has four points. With Matt Dumba's recent lower-body injury there may be some juggling to find defensive pairings that work. But if Spurgeon and Brodin continue to produce, Goligoski might stick with Merrill or Dimitri Kulikov. Neither is a boon to Goligoski's fantasy value.

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