Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch.
Every week we’ll provide an overview of some players whose stock is trending up or down. For the players on the rise, I’m hoping there is a possibility they are available to you on the waiver wire. Usually, I identify players who are at, or below, 50 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues. I will break that rule from time to time.
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 the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.
Let's kick the tires and light the fires.
All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. This article does not include Wednesday night's games.
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 20 Stock Watch
Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buffalo Sabres (73% rostered)
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Rasmus Dahlin is over the 50% ownership threshold, but he's been requested by a few readers over the last two weeks. And dammit in the name of the people, I'll do it.
Rasmus Dahlin's deployment shows me that Buffalo views him as their 1A right now. That's probably a product of his growth as a player and the lack of competition on Buffalo's back-end. Either way, the Sabres have to be pleased with Dahlin's progression this year.
I covered Dahlin in my Week 7 stock watch article (oddly enough it was also due to popular demand, probably from my Dad or something but whatever). If you want a brief pre-2021 history of his career, it's covered there.
Since Week 7, Dahlin's trend has continued upward. His ownership then was just over 50 percent, now it sits above 70 percent. That tracks with me. Dahlin has 37 points in 57 games and provides coverage of penalty minutes, hits, shots, and blocks. His per-game rates for penalties, shots, and blocks are all at career highs. Those same rates for points and hits are the second-highest of his career.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 21, 2022
What's most promising about Dahlin is his deployment. His 23:48 a night is over two minutes higher than last year. He is quarterbacking the first unit powerplay over three minutes a game, on average. He has earned the Sabres' trust as evidenced by his team-leading time on ice against elites (from PuckIQ). Dahlin starts in the offensive zone 57.5 percent of the time at five-on-five. All of that is promising.
There is also little competition among the Sabres defensive core to eat into any of those areas. Colin Miller and Will Butcher are both returning from the IR soon. I'm not sure exactly what that means for Dahlin. The Sabres are rumored to be shopping Miller with interest from other teams. Will Butcher isn't exactly an offensive dynamo and has averaged just under 50 seconds of powerplay time a game. I doubt either will significantly impact Dahlin's role as far as fantasy value is concerned.
An exciting, non-fantasy-related, thing for Sabres fans: Dahlin is only 21 years old. Imagine what he'll bring to the table as a 25-year-old grizzled veteran. He might hit his draft day expectations yet.
Dylan Strome, C, Chicago Blackhawks (8% rostered)
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Dylan Strome was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft. And for good reason. In 2014-15 he put up 129 points in 68 games with the Ontario Hockey League's (OHL) Erie Otters. He also played with Connor McDavid and Alex Debrincat, which may have had something to do with it.
Strome hasn't produced at the level Chicago expected on draft day. However, he is an NHL player that can produce offensively. Twice in his career, he's surpassed the 50 point mark.
One thing we know about Strome is he can play with elite talent (at least in the OHL). In the second half of this season, the Blackhawks have put Strome with their two best forwards. He now finds himself (more often than not) alongside Patrick Kane and his ex-OHL linemate Debrincat. The trio has played well together posting an SF percentage of 60 and a CF percentage of 62.2 in the last three games. Strome has eight points over that span. Four of those came in a single game, so keep that in mind.
Dylan Strome appreciation tweet pic.twitter.com/8AhXvupeoc
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 13, 2022
Strome is consistently getting over 17 minutes of ice-time a night. That includes a 22:11 effort on March 6. his powerplay time on the first unit has been above his season average of 2:18 in seven of his last nine games.
I doubt we are seeing the emergence of a new and improved Dylan Strome. His shooting percentage and IPP are above career norms, and he's had hot streaks before that didn't last. But as long as he is playing with Kane and Debrincat he is a great short-term add for your squad.
Vincent Trocheck, C, Carolina Hurricanes (73% rostered)
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Vincent Trocheck is another player who was requested. His ownership is high, just like Dahlin. But we are all just going to have to deal with that.
Trocheck is an interesting case. I think he could fit into both the stock up and down sections of this article. I've included him as a riser due to his role on the Hurricanes and his ability to fill nearly every category imaginable. I would certainly entertain arguments that his stock has taken a hit recently, which I'll get into below.
The good news with Trocheck is that he is centering the second line on one of the league's best teams. He's also on the Hurricanes powerplay unit, which is second in the league based on powerplay percentage. Since January 1st he has 19 points in 26 games with 25 penalty minutes, 69 hits, and a bunch of shots. As far as I'm concerned, that's incredible value for a guy drafted in the 11th or 12th round in most standard leagues. Given his deployment and his multi-category production, I'd argue his stock is on the rise.
The counterargument to that is his linemates just got way worse. For the majority of this season, Trocheck has played with one of Teuvo Teravainen or Andrei Svechnikov. Turbo and Svech are second and third on the Hurricanes in scoring with a combined 97 points.
Because Trocheck's value covers numerous categories, he's worth keeping around even if the offensive production takes a hit. We'll see if Carolina does some line shuffling in the future that benefits Trocheck. If so, his stock will be irrefutably up.
Jack Campbell, G, Toronto Maple Leafs (95% rostered)
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This feels like deja vu. Didn't it happen last year? Late in the season, the Maple Leafs had some goaltending issues, right?
I had to look into it, but yes I am right (even a broken clock....). From March 6, 2021, to May 12, 2021, Frederik Andersen had one win in seven games. In that span, he posted a negative goals saved above average (GSAA) in six games, and a 'really bad start (RBS)' in three of them (RBS means he had a goals-against average below .850).
Ultimately it led to the emergence of Jack Campbell and Frederik Andersen signing in Carolina during the off-season.
Fast forward to this season. From February 19 to March 8 Jack Campbell has played in five games. He has one win to show for it. In all five games, he has posted a negative GSAA. In fact, since January 15 Campbell has posted an RBS in seven of the 13 games he started.
Making things worse for Campbell: it was announced Thursday morning that he would miss at least two weeks with a rib injury.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) February 27, 2022
Campbell is in the last year of his current contract with the Maple Leafs. Could this mean that he leaves town and Petr Mrazek assumes the starter role in Toronto next season? If Mrazek's play has anything to say about it, the answer is a big smelly no.
At times Mrazek has looked brilliant. At other times, not so much. Lately, it's been more of the latter. In three of his last six starts, Mrazek has posted a really bad start. In the ten games that Mrazek has started since January 22nd, he's had a negative GSAA in all but one of them. Mrazek does have eight wins to Campbell's six since January 15th, so that's something. But at this point, if you ask Kyle Dubas who he wants to start in next year, Mrazek or Campbell? I imagine the answer is no.
We'll see how the rest of the season shakes out. At the moment both goalies are trending downward.
Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Detroit Red Wings (55% rostered)
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I loved the trade Steve Yzerman made in the off-season to bring Alex Nedeljkovic to Motown. Still do. Detroit sent a third-round pick and Jonathan Bernier to Carolina for the 2021 Calder finalist netminder. A great trade for Detroit any way you slice it.
With the addition of Frederik Andersen in Carolina, the Hurricanes don't really miss Nedeljkovic. I still struggle to find any decent rationale from the Checkers side, though. Even if they wanted to trade him, why not actively shop him? I would be shocked if you couldn't shake a better return from some goalie-hungry team (Edmonton, cough cough, goddamit Ken Holland, cough, cry).
Anywho, Nedeljkovic was never going to get fantasy owners many wins, but for stretches of the season, he's posted pretty good peripheral stats. Particularly in the early days of the season. From October 21st to November 30th he was borderline great. Nedeljkovic posted a save percentage below .910 in only three of the 14 games he played in that span. In nine of those games, he posted a save percentage of .929 or higher.
Not surprisingly, he was not able to sustain that level of play. I don't think anyone could unless your name rhymes with smashashevksy or besterkin. Nedeljkovic cooled off for a few weeks, then embarked on another hot streak from January 4th to January 17th. He was back, baby!
But not for long. Lately, it's hard to start him at all. Since January 21st he has had three wins in 13 games. He's put up five RBS' in that span.
Here's a writing exercise: write a short story in under ten words. Go.
Alex Nedeljkovic is back in goal.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 9, 2022
Red Wings twitter delivers.
To be fair, in those thirteen games, Nedeljkovic has been great at times. Including a 37 save, .946 save percentage performance in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. But given his streaky nature and the low likelihood of a win even if he does play well, Nedeljkovic is hard to trust. Owners might be better off streaming good matchups from other goalies on the waiver wire.
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