2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Stock Watch

by Kyle Vaughan
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Stock Watch

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 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. Wednesday's games are not included as part of the analysis below.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 21 Stock Watch

Stock Up

Rasmus Sandin, D, Washington Capitals  (28% rostered)

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When I drafted John Carlson this year I was amped. I got him in the fourth round and felt like it was great value. Then he got hurt, and I picked up Erik Gustafsson and once again I was amped. Gustafsson produced wonderfully and filled the Carlson-shaped hole on my team seamlessly. Then Gustafsson was traded to Toronto.

Now Rasmus Sandin (who was part of the return for Gustafsson) is the next man up. Since acquiring him at the trade deadline, the Capitals have given Sandin the first unit powerplay to run.

It appears Sandin knows how to make an entrance. He registered three assists in his first game with Washington on Sunday in a win against the lowly San Jose Sharks. He followed that up with a goal and an assist against the Kings on Monday night. Sandin was on the ice for over 64 percent of the Caps' powerplay time in both games.

Due to injuries, there is virtually no competition amongst Washington defensemen for powerplay time. The second unit is currently quarterbacked by Trevor van Riemsdyk, who has averaged 11 seconds on the man advantage this year and has one powerplay point.

If you need some offensive production from your defensive group, take a look for Sandin on the waiver wire.

Nino Niederreiter, RW, Winnipeg Jets (24% rostered)

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Moving from Raleigh, North Carolina to Winnipeg, Manitoba in early March would be mildly shocking, I imagine. It would probably necessitate a trip to your local outdoor store for a sweater or two and a new jacket.

On Tuesday, it was 24 degrees Celsius in Raleigh (that's 76 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you living in Liberia, the Cayman Islands, or the United States). It was ten degrees Celsius below zero in Winnipeg (10 degrees Fahrenheit). That's a big swing in temperature.

But for Nino Niederreiter the move to a colder climate has him heating up. He was traded from Nashville to Winnipeg for a second-round pick prior to last week's trade deadline. In his last 15 games as a Predator, Nino registered five points while playing in the top six and getting pretty consistent time on the first unit powerplay. He has three points in his first four games with the Jets.

His deployment in Winnipeg is basically the same as it was in Nashville. Niederreiter is playing on the top line and the first unit powerplay. But his linemates in the city known as the Gateway to the West are markedly improved.

No offense to Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Mikael Granlund, but I would much rather play with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor. On the powerplay, you can add Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Morrissey to that list.

That is a strong supporting cast for Niederreiter. And his playing time is up as well. In his last three games, he has exceeded his season average for time on ice (both at even strength and on the powerplay) by a significant margin.

The Jets aren't exactly killing it at the moment, so a line shakeup could occur. But even if Neiderreiter gets bumped to the second line he'll be playing with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolai Ehlers. Given his deployment and linemates Nino's stock is up.

J.T. Compher, C, Colorado Avalanche (41% rostered)

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J.T. Compher is centering Colorado's second line with Mikko Rantanen playing on his right. He's also centering the first-unit powerplay, sharing the ice with Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Valeri Nichushkin. In his last 12 games, he has 12 points, 27 shots, 15 penalty minutes, and 19 blocks. Yet he is just 41 percent rostered. I don't get it. If he is available, go get him.

And if your playoffs begin the week of March 20th (which most standard leagues do), then make sure you hang onto him. Colorado plays four games that week, and all of their games fall on off-nights for the NHL. Maximizing games played in the playoffs is crucial, and Compher will help you do just that.

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Stock Down

Brandon Hagel, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (62% rostered)

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Not all is well in Tampa Bay.

Prior to their win against Philadelphia on Tuesday night, the Lightning had lost five in a row. The final loss was a 6-0 mauling at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday that also saw Victor Hedman leave with an injury (which appears to be minor). In all five losses, the Lightning allowed at least four goals.

Tampa Bay needs to figure things out soon. If they keep sliding they could find themselves in a wild card spot with a much less favorable round-one matchup.

John Cooper took an initial stab at making changes earlier this week when he shook up the lines. One player who was dealt a much worse hand was Brandon Hagel.

Hold Hagel?

Hagel has played the majority of the season on the top line with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. The trio has played over 520 minutes at five-on-five together this year. Every possession metric is north of fifty percent, and some even dip into the sixties. The group has consistently outplayed its opposition.

Now, however, Steven Stamkos is occupying the left-wing spot on Tampa's top line, and Hagel has been demoted to the second line. Hagel has also lost his spot on the top powerplay unit.

It's hard to blame Cooper for demoting Hagel. The 2016 sixth-round pick (!) was pointless during the winless streak. He also only registered four shots in that span.

Hagel has been dropped by over 2000 teams in yahoo leagues this week. I think that's a mistake. Tampa Bay can't afford to load up its top line for the rest of the season. It weakens their top six and leaves Nick Paul as their second-line center.

I suspect Tampa will right the ship soon and these new lines will be short-lived.  This is a group with a strong leadership core who have been through just about everything a hockey player can imagine over the last several years. I wouldn't bet against them.

Hagel has produced consistently for much of the season and his shooting percentage, PDO, and secondary assists are within levels where I don't expect his production to suddenly fall off a cliff.

If someone in your league has dropped Hagel, I'd be scooping him off waivers.

Tyler Bertuzzi, RW, Boston Bruins (37% rostered)

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Do you think the Red Wings told Dylan Larkin they were shopping Tyler Bertuzzi before Larkin signed his new contract extension? Based on Larkin's comments afterward, I'm not so sure they did.

 

The Red Wings received a first and fourth-round pick for Bertuzzi, which is a fine haul for a pending unrestricted free agent. Particularly in a draft year that is supposed to be one of the deepest in recent memory.

The Red Wings aren't technically out of the playoff hunt just yet, but they've lost six in a row and would need a small miracle to sneak into the second wild-card spot.  Business-wise the deal makes sense.

Cut Ties with Tyler?

The Bruins are the best team in the NHL this year, and potentially one of the best teams of all time. But for Bertuzzi, this move will likely hurt his production. When healthy, he played on the top line and first unit powerplay for the Red Wings. He was nearly a point-per-game player last year on a really bad Red Wings team.

In Boston, even with an injury to Taylor Hall, Bertuzzi will play on the third line and might see some consistent time on the second-unit powerplay. Boston's top six has been dominant all year and, barring another injury, the path to better deployment for Bertuzzi is a difficult one.

I wouldn't be hasty and drop him just yet. He did produce an assist in his first game as a Bruin and Hall put up serviceable numbers from the third line for most of the year. But lower your expectations. If Bertuzzi doesn't produce over the next few games feel free to cut him loose and look for better options on the waiver wire.


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