2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 15 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 15 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 15 Stock Watch.

Below I'll take a look at some players who are doing various things. And I'll tell you why I think those things have made said players more or less valuable.

Don’t forget to check out the other great Fantasy Hockey content at Fantasy Six Pack.

All statistics from DobberHockey unless otherwise stated. Thursday's games are not included as part of the analysis below.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 15 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Scott Laughton, C, Philadelphia Flyers (32% rostered)

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I think the worst coach to play for in the NHL right now would be John Francis Tortorella. There's no doubt he's had success. Tortorella is the first American-born coach with over 500 wins and he has a Stanley Cup to his name. He's also won the Jack Adams twice. That's a pretty good resume.

But he seems miserable to be around. And he loves benching players. Not just any players - his best ones. To be fair,  I respect that Torts keeps all players accountable for their actions, regardless of how good they are. But I can't imagine it's fun to play in an environment where you are one mistake away from a solid benching.

Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny were the latest victims of Johnny Torts' bench-stravaganza last month. Yes, they are Philly's best forwards. No, there was no reason given for their benching. Tortorella decided to keep his rationale within the confines of the locker room, which is a move I also respect.

Last week Tortorella banned the use of iPads on the Flyers' bench because he thought they were impacting his player's ability to focus on the game itself. But really, couldn't we all stand to live in the moment a little more?

After reviewing the last few paragraphs, it seems as though I kind of like how John Tortorella goes about his business. I would just never want to play for him. Hear that, Philadelphia? Don't come calling, because the answer is no.

Anywho, Kevin Hayes responded to his benching with 11 points in 13 games. Konecny responded with 29 points in 22 games. Maybe ol' Torts is on to something...

Someone who hasn't been benched and is doing good hockey in Philadelphia is Scott Laughton. Currently, Laughton is centering the third line between Hayes and Wade Allison. He's also centering the first unit powerplay and has 17 points in his last 15 games. Laughton will also get you shots, hits, face-offs, and some penalty minute coverage.

Laughton is 28. I'm always skeptical about the sustainability of players who break out in their late 20s or early 30s. However, Laughton's shooting percentage, PDO, and secondary assist rates are all in line with career averages. One thing that is well above his career average is playing time.

Laughton is averaging over 18 minutes of ice time a night, with 2:21 of that coming on the powerplay. That's an increase of two minutes in both aspects of the game compared to last season. So is this simply a player getting better deployment and producing as a result? Could be.

I mean when has Tortorella ever steered us astray? In John we trust. And for now, trust Laughton as well. Add him if you are in need of some healthy category coverage.

Jack Roslovic, C, Columbus Blue Jackets (5 % rostered)

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Remember that blockbuster trade where Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic were sent from Winnipeg to Columbus in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois? I think initially, most people had Columbus winning that trade. But what about now?

The Jets looks great this year and so does Dubois. Winnipeg is currently second in the Central Division and Dubois is scoring at a career-high rate. Alternatively, Columbus is one of the worst teams in the league. Laine is doing fine, although he is currently scoring well below his point-per-game mark from last season.

But the person I want to focus on is the least intriguing member of that trade: Jack Roslovic. He is currently centering Johnny Gaudreau and Laine on Columbus' first line. Roslovic is getting powerplay time on the Blue Jackets' second unit as well.

He has five points in his last five games and has played over 19 minutes in three of those outings. Columbus distributes their powerplay time somewhat evenly between the first and second units, meaning Roslovic gets over two minutes on the man advantage most nights. He'll get you category coverage in the form of shots, hits, and blocks as well.

As long as Roslovic maintains his current deployment, his stock will be on the rise.

Adam Boqvist, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (6% rostered)

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This year has not gone as planned for Adam Boqvist. Most expected him to build on his respectable 2021-22 season, where he registered 22 points in 52 games and played over 17 minutes a night as a 21-year-old.

But Boqvist broke a bone in his foot early season that caused him to miss two months of action. Shortly after his return, he was benched in-game after a handful of egregious giveaways during a game in early January.

But there is good news when it comes to Boqvist: he is the most offensively gifted defenseman in Columbus, and the quarterback spot on the top unit is vacant following an early season injury to Zach Werenski.

Over the last three games, Boqvist has been on the ice for over 60 percent of the Blue Jackets' powerplay time. That includes 3:41 on January 17th against the Nashville Predators.

Boqvist has five points in his last eight games and should be a lock to stay on the first unit for a heavy chunk of the season. His competition consists of Nick Blankenburg and Tim Berni. Boqvist was a first-round draft pick of the Blackhawks in 2018 due to his offensive acumen. Not much is going on in Columbus this year, and it would make sense that management give Boqvist a continued opportunity to see what they have in the young defenseman.

As long as Boqvist is quarterbacking the top unit, he is a worthwhile streamer when you are in need of offensive production from your defenseman.

Stock Down

Carter Hart, G, Philadelphia Flyers (70% rostered)

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So how about this Samuel Ersson kid? I'll admit that at Christmas time I had never heard of him. To be completely honest, until about a week ago I had no idea who he was.

When a young goalie wins five of his first six starts, people notice it. But when a young goalie wins five of his first six starts on a team that's as bad as the Philadelphia Flyers, his name gets hot in the streets.

One more impressive aspect of young Ersson's run: one of his wins was a shutout victory against the Buffalo Sabres, who are currently third in the league in goals for.

But instead of focusing on the positive, I choose to dwell on the negative in this scenario. I am referring to Carter Hart's plummeting fantasy stock. Hart has been wildly inconsistent this year. In his last ten games the following things have happened:

  • A one-goal-against, 49-save victory against the New Jersey Devils
  • Allowing a combined ten goals over two games in losses to the Maple Leafs
  • A one-goal-against, 40-save win against the Washinton Capitals
  • A .750 save percentage effort against the Boston Bruins where he was pulled after 27 minutes
  • Losses to the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes where he posted .879 and .857 save percentages, respectively

How do you possibly start Hart with any confidence this year? You can't. It's a roll of the dice every game. Admittedly, Toronto, New York, and Carolina are good hockey teams. Philadelphia is not. I'm not saying those losses are on Hart, but as a fantasy manager what's the point in owning a goalie who will most likely crater your goalie stats for the week if you start him more than once?

In 11 of his 32 starts, Hart has allowed four or more goals. His quality start percentage this year is 46.9 percent. That's 42nd overall among goalies who have played at least five games this season.

You'd be better served to use Hart's roster spot for streaming goalies with favorable matchups.

I really like Hart, and hope he is traded at some point as the Flyers rebuild. He needs a fresh start in a new system with a better coaching staff. It would be a shame to watch Philadelphia continue to mismanage a potential superstar to the point of ruining his career. Can't you picture him going somewhere like Las Vegas and killing it? Sean Burke has proven he can mentor young goalies in the past (including Logan Thompson this year). I hope Hart gets someone like that to work with, and soon.

In the meantime, his fantasy stock is about as low as it can get. If you own him, it's time to move on.

Alexis Lafreniere, LW, New York Rangers (14% rostered)

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Alexis Lafreniere put up 112 points in 52 games with Rimouski of the QMJHL in 2019-2020. I read that, and thought 'Wow! That's really good!'. But then I thought 'Wait, is that good?'. The answer is sort of.

Lafreniere ranks 136th overall in points per game in a season in the QMJHL. Now most of the players ahead of him were from different eras, like the 1970s through the 1990s. But there are some more recent names on that list. Alexander Radulov, Jonathan Drouin, and Sidney Crosby are all above Lafreniere.

So what does that mean? I don't really know. Just like I don't really know what to make of Lafreniere as an NHL player. He's in his third season with the Rangers and has 18 points in 44 games. He's putting fewer than two shots on the net per game. That is nowhere near the level of production the Rangers thought they were getting when they drafted him first overall in 2020.

As of late, he finds himself on the top line with Kaapo Kakko and Mika Zibanejad as well as the first unit powerplay. And yet, he does not produce. In his last four games, his ice time has jumped by more than four minutes over his season average. Still, he does not produce. Lafreniere has no points and six shots in that span. His deployment simply cannot improve. It's on Lafreniere to start producing, and soon.

As a fantasy asset, his stock is basically zero. There are better options on the waiver wire. If Lafreniere has somehow snuck onto your roster, I'd be kicking him off.

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