Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 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.
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Let's get after it.
All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. This article does not include Friday night's games.
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Stock Watch
Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Edmonton Oilers (29% rostered)
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Jesse Puljujarvi has been out of the Edmonton Oilers lineup since he suffered a lower-body injury against the Anaheim Ducks on February 17. In that 12 game span the Oilers have filled the vacant right wing spot in the top six with a mixture of forwards, most commonly Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod.
Puljujarvi returned to action on March 17th against the Buffalo Sabres and assumed his rightful place in Edmonton's top six. He lined up with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman and slotted into the top unit powerplay on the man advantage.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 12, 2022
Ryan McLeod was bumped down to centering the fourth line. Adjust your expectations accordingly, although I don't expect that to last. McLeod has been excellent as of late, and it wouldn't surprise me if he found himself in the top nine, or even the top six again later this season.
In four games prior to his injury Puljujarvi had three points and 13 shots on goal. He's averaged nearly two minutes a night on the man advantage and over 16 minutes a night at all strengths. Many of those minutes have come alongside one of Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, and occasionally both.
With his strong deployment, simply returning to action has Puljujarvi's stock on the rise. Take a look for him on your waiver wire.
Sean Durzi, D, Los Angeles Kings (2% rostered)
Except for right now, actually. Doughty is out of the Kings lineup due to a knee injury and was placed on the injured reserve list earlier this week. That opens up some serious minutes and a spot quarterbacking Los Angeles' top powerplay unit.
Enter Sean Durzi. In the last three games, Durzi has been the sole defenseman on the top unit a team-leading 45.1 percent of the time. Another 10.5 percent of the time the Kings deploy two defensemen on the man advantage in the form of Durzi and Jordan Spence. So Durzi is on the ice for over 55 percent of the Kings' powerplay time. Since Doughty was placed on the IR, Durzi has spent at least 3:27 on the powerplay a night.
His average ice time this year at all-strengths is 18:06. In Doughty's absence, the lowest ice-time he had in a game was 21:52. On March 13 against the Florida Panthers, he played over 26 minutes. The Kings are going to lean heavily on Durzi while Doughty is out.
It's not all good. Even with all that extra ice-time, Durzi has only scored one point in his last four games. But he'll also give you shots, blocks, and hits coverage at reasonable rates. If the points start coming, he'll be a valuable asset while Doughty is out. Given his deployment, I think it's only a matter of time.
Erik Kallgren, G, Toronto Maple Leafs (25% rostered)
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Admittedly, this suggestion is a little cheeky. Last week I talked about the woes of Toronto's crease. Then some kid named Erik Kallgren shows up, stands on his head in his first start, and earns a shutout against the Dallas Stars. He follows that up with a strong performance and a win against the powerhouse Carolina Hurricanes.
𝗘𝗿𝗶𝗸 𝗞𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗻. Remember the name. 😤 pic.twitter.com/wjsmaYcJM0
— NHL (@NHL) March 18, 2022
Against Dallas, the 2015 seventh-round pick posted a 3.12 goals saved above average (GSAA)! His .944 save percentage against the Hurricanes wasn't too shabby either.
Most of his pre-NHL experience was in the Swedish Leagues where he's posted a .911 save percentage the last two years. Compare that to Lundqvist, who posted a .948, .927, and .935 save percentage in his last three years in the Swedish Elite League.
But let's root for the kid. Why not? It's great for hockey when something like this happens.
He might not be the next Hall-of-Famer. What Kallgren is right now, though, is a viable streamer who will likely get you more wins than losses and maybe even a strong save percentage from time to time. Campbell and Mrazek aren't up to the task at the moment, and why wouldn't the Leafs roll with the hot hand? As long as he is getting starts, Kallgren is worth your time.
Karel Vejmelka, G, Arizona Coyotes (9% rostered)
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Maybe it's spring in the air or the fact that the MLB lockout is over. Either way, I'm feeling positive today so I'm going to give you four risers and one faller.
The last riser on my list is the goalie for the Arizona Coyotes. Wait, what?
That's right! How about them Coyotes?!
They've won six of their last seven games. That includes wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche. Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz (both former stock rising alumnae), and Lawson Crouse are all on hot streaks. And in the last four games, he's started, Karel Vejmelka is, too.
— NHL (@NHL) February 10, 2022
Since March 3rd, Vejmelka has started four games, posted quality starts in all of them, and won three. In all of his starts, he has a save percentage above .920 and a positive GSAA. His best performance came against the Avalanche where he stopped 42 of 43 shots with a GSAA of 2.83. In a 2-1 win, that means Vejmelka likely stole the game for the 'Yotes.
Arizona's crease is in the midst of a timeshare between Vejmelka and Scott Wedgewood. Vejmelka has easily been the better of the two netminders and it wouldn't surprise me if he starts seeing more regular starts. Much like Kallgren above, Vejmelka is worth your time if he keeps playing.
Ivan Barbashev, RW, St. Louis Blues (38% rostered)
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Remember when Ivan Barbashev was on an absolute tear earlier this year? It's hard for me to forget because I was playing the guy who owned him in my league when Barbashev had four straight two-point games. Sweet.
From mid-November to January 17th Barbashev had 24 points in 19 games. Many of those points came when he was playing with Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas, or Pavel Buchnevich. He was a staple in the top six and saw pretty consistent time on the powerplay.
Fast forward to today and Barbashev finds himself on the third line with Logan Brown and Buchnevich. He's also slotted on the second powerplay unit. However, his time on the man advantage is pretty unreliable. In his last five games he seen 1:12, 0:22, 2:02 (yeah!), 0:46, and 0:00 (bummer), respectively.
Barbashev has seen his all-strengths time slowly decline recently to a low of 12:44 on March 15. At the writing of this article, he has played less than eight minutes in two periods against the Penguins. Unless he has an improbable third period, his downward trend in minutes seems destined to continue.
Barbashev has one point in his last seven games. His stock is on a steep decline.
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