2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 6 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 6 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 6 Stock Watch.

Every Friday 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 is more likely these players are already rostered and you may be wondering if you should drop or trade them.

The intent of this article is to help inform your valuation of a player based on their performance to date. Some players are worth more now than last week, and for others the opposite is true.

Don't forget to check out Justin's Week 6 Waiver article and his invaluable Unsustainable Players articles along with all the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.

Let's kick the tires and light the fires.

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

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 6 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Oliver Kylington, D, Calgary Flames (17% rostered)

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Oliver Kylington (pronounced Shy-lington) has always had offensive potential. He is a smooth-skating defenseman with dynamic puck-handling skills. Before this season those skills had not translated to the NHL level. He spent the majority of last year in the press box. With the additions to the Flames blue line in the off-season, it appeared he was destined for more time on the bench.

That has not been the case.

The 24-year-old Swede has scored 11 points in his last 11 games and has carved out a role alongside Chris Tanev on Calgary’s top pairing. He is logging 16:28 a night and is posting impressive possession metrics. Of all NHL defensemen who have played over 100 minutes this year, Kylington ranks 10th in CF%, 11th in FF%, 6th in SF%, and 6th in xGF%. Players ahead of him are cornerstones of their respective franchises – Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Ekblad, and Morgan Rielly to name a few.

Some factors hurt Kylington’s value. He gets almost no time on the powerplay, and his recent point streak has come on the back of an 11.1 percent shooting percentage, above his career average of 8.6 percent.

His current pace of 60 points over a full season is likely unsustainable. However, his deployment will likely not change anytime soon. Even with shooting percentage regression to career levels, if he continues to shoot at the same rate, Kylington would score 11 more goals this season.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Kylington finishes the year teasing the 50-point mark. He also contributes blocks and hits at a rate that makes him an effective multi-category contributor. Kylington might be establishing himself as a pillar on the Flames for years to come.

Robert Thomas, C, St. Louis Blues (26% rostered)

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Two years ago Robert Thomas put up 42 points in 66 games on a Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues team. He did so as a 20-year-old playing a modest 14:34 a night. He followed that up with a subpar season in 2020-21 where he scored at a rate that would equate to 30 points over a full season. As a result, Thomas was an afterthought in most fantasy hockey leagues this year. Last week his ownership was around 10 percent.

It seems this year he has returned to form from two years ago. In 15 games he has scored 15 points. Thomas is playing over 19 minutes a night on the second line and first powerplay unit. His most common linemate is Vladimir Tarasenko, and as of late, both players are terrorizing the opposition with a combined 10 points over three games from November 11th to 14th. Thomas was responsible for seven points over that span.

The interesting thing about Thomas is that his production could be sustainable - it might even increase. His shooting percentage of 5.9 percent is well below his career average of 11.2 percent. His IPP is in line with the two seasons before last year's downturn and he is shooting at his career average rate.  He has played over 20 minutes in three of his last five games and his ownership has jumped over 25 percent in that span.

As of the writing of this article, the Blues are coming off four losses in a row so some changes may be coming regarding lines and deployment. But Thomas has been a bright spot in the stretch, and I would imagine his time on ice and opportunities with strong linemates will continue, or even improve.

Adrian Kempe, LW, Los Angeles Kings (27% rostered)

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Adrian Kempe is on a heater. He’s scored seven points in his last seven games as the Los Angeles Kings continue their impressive run. Over their last ten games, the Kings have gone 7-2-1, including wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues.

Kempe has been a big part of their success. He’s logging over 17 minutes a night at all strengths, including nearly three minutes on the first unit powerplay. Most of his 5-on-5 minutes are coming alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the Kings' top line. He's also getting some burn with Stock Watch alumnus Alex Iafallo. Kempe provides fantasy owners with peripheral stats, particularly in leagues that count shots, penalty minutes, and hits.

His 11.9 shooting percentage will likely regress towards his career average of 10.2.  But his IPP is near his career average and his deployment, line-mates, and production to date are all encouraging. In addition, his advanced analytics all look great, with strong CF% (56.77), FF% (55.04), SF% (56.35), and GF% (53.85).

Last week I looked into Alex Iafallo. The more I dig into Kings players, the more I think they might be an above .500 team this year. They might even be within sniffing distance of a wildcard spot. It will depend heavily on the continued progression of young players and strong play from Jonathan Quick. As long as the Kings are winning, players like Kempe will continue to hold value for fantasy managers.

Stock Down

Max Comtois, LW, Anaheim Ducks (6% rostered)

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The Anaheim Ducks have been a surprise to date this season. As of the writing of this article, they sit second in the Pacific division. They are on a 7-game win streak and have produced more offense than every team in the NHL not named the Oilers.  That’s a stark contrast to the 2020-21 squad who finished as the second-worst team in the NHL.

Anaheim’s offensive virility has come from players on opposite ends of their career trajectory. There are the elder statesmen in Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique, and Kevin Shattenkirk and the young guns – Troy Terry, Jamie Drysdale (both of which were identified as risers in earlier stock watch articles) and Trevor Zegras. A young gun omission worth noting is Maxime Comtois, who has contributed only 1 assist in 13 games so far.

A moment of honesty: I drafted Comtois late on all my teams. He is a multi-category contributor who scored at a full-season pace of 49 points last year and 57 points in 2019-2020. I expected him to progress into a valuable season-long asset that would produce above his draft position. Turns out I was wrong.

Comtois’ shots per game, hits per game, power-play time on ice have all been on the decline and he’s been benched by Dallas Eakins on more than one occasion. He did see an uptick in deployment at all strengths in Anaheim’s November 11 game against Seattle, but with the Ducks currently playing well, there is little reason for adjustments in Orange County.

And to put the nail in the coffin – Comtois was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday with an upper-body injury. He’ll miss at least a few games.

Eeli Tolvanen, RW, Nashville Predators (9% rostered)

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Another player a lot of people were high on this year is Eeli Tolvanen. Tolvanen had a strong finish to the 2020-21 season where he posted 17 points in 19 games while also contributing shots and hits. His deployment at all strengths and on the powerplay presented ample opportunity to produce offensively and he cashed in often.

So far this season Tolvanen has four points in 15 games. His powerplay time has decreased from 2:20 last year to 1:47 this season and his all-strengths time has dipped from 14:48 to 12:29 per game. Recently he’s been spending his time on the fourth line alongside Thomas Novak and Micheal McCarron. With Nashville’s early-season success, there is little need for coach John Hynes to mix up his lines.

There is reason to expect some positive regression, as he is shooting at a career-high pace and his shooting percentage of 2.6 percent is well below his career average. He’s also managed to hold his spot on Nashville’s top powerplay unit alongside Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Mikael Granlund and contributed two assists against the Arizona Coyotes on November 13th. However, he followed that up with no points against the Maple Leafs on November 16th.

Keep an eye on Tolvanen for signs of a return to form, but for now, his stock is down.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Vancouver Canucks (68% rostered)

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One of the biggest trades of the off-season saw the Arizona Coyotes shipping team captain Oliver Ekman-Larrson (OEL) and Conor Garland in exchange for some cap relief and draft picks.

Garland and draft picks were the prize in this trade. The rest of the deal was an effort from both teams to remove themselves from bad contracts. And OEL's is a doozy. With some of his salary retained, he still counts for a seven million dollar cap hit for the next six seasons. That would be great if OEL was his former self. But in recent years his play has been on a steady decline. Most had him pegged for a bottom pairing role in Vancouver. That's a spicy meatball.

Following a rough bag skate in a pre-season practice that made headlines, OEL actually showed some moxie.  He racked up two points and five shots in his first two games as a Canuck. He followed that up by firing more than five shots on the net in three of his next five games and playing over 24 minutes a night. Some wondered if OEL had returned, in part, to his  2015-16 form.

It appears not. Since those first two games, he has one assist in 15 games and he isn't the only one struggling in Vancouver. The Canucks are 5-10-2 on the year. They sit second to last in the Pacific Division with the 4th worst goal differential in the league. In his last three games, OEL has played less than 20 minutes twice and totaled two shots on net. He will provide peripheral value in the form of hits and blocks with the occasional penalty, but gone are the days when OEL was a pillar on anyone's fantasy team. For good.


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1 comment

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 7 Planner - Fantasy Six Pack November 21, 2021 - 3:31 pm

[…] talks about Robert Thomas in his stock watch if you need more […]

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