2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 23 Stock Watch

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

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

Stock Up

Wyatt Johnston, C, Dallas Stars (4% rostered)

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It looks like Wyatt Johnston's early season goal-scoring rampage was no fluke. This kid can put the puck in the net.

Johnston is currently on a five-game goal streak and is two ginos ahead of Matty Beniers for the rookie scoring lead. While it is likely the Calder goes to Beniers or Edmonton's Stuart Skinner, Wyatt Johnston has snuck into the conversation as of late.

Johnston is playing on Dallas' second line with a rejuvenated Jamie Benn and journeyman Evgenii Dadonov. He's also on the second powerplay unit, averaging 1:35 a night on the man advantage.

The Stars' schedule isn't ideal over the next two weeks. They play this week on Thursday and Saturday, which are both very busy nights for the NHL and then only three times next week. But if you need goals, there are few better options than Wyatt Johnston at the moment. Find a way to sneak him into your lineup if you can.

Jakub Vrana, LW, St. Louis Blues (30% rostered)

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The St. Louis Blues acquired Jakub Vrana for what amounts to nearly nothing in return: a seventh-round pick, plus AHL player Dylan McLaughlin. But Vrana has already begun paying dividends for the Blues.

Vrana spent much of this season in the NHL's player assistance program. Once he returned, he was healthy scratched and then subsequently called up prior to the trade deadline.

When Detroit sent him to St. Louis, it seemed to be a situation where the team and player recognized that a fresh start was needed. I like to look at these types of transactions as a business recognizing that its assets are human beings and sometimes need to be viewed and treated as such. Vrana had taken the time to get the help he needed and needed to surround himself in a new situation.  Detroit obliged. That's all conjecture on my part, though.

What is much more certain is his production of late. Vrana has six points and 29 shots in his first eight games with the Blues. He is playing on the top line with Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou and getting over two minutes a night on the second powerplay unit. This is a player who has produced at around the 0.75 point per game mark over the last three years. I would not be surprised if he hit that mark again over the remainder of the season.

Keep an eye on him and scoop him up if you need some offensive help during your playoff run.

Kirby Dach, RW, Montreal Canadiens (16% rostered)

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Just in time for the playoffs, Kirby Dach has returned. The 2019 third-overall pick had been out of the lineup since February 16th with a lower-body injury. Dach played his first game back against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night and scored a goal.

Dach is a compelling player due to his category-filling capabilities. He puts up points, shoots, takes penalties, hits, and blocks shots at rates that will help your team. Dach is playing on the first line with Nick Suzuki and Rafael Harvey-Pinard. He's also playing on the Habs' top powerplay unit.

Dach played over twenty minutes in his return so it appears Martin St. Louis doesn't plan to ease him back into play. That's good news for fantasy managers looking for a category-filling forward. Go get him.

Stock Down

Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Carolina Hurricanes (49% rostered)

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Prior to his injury on January 24th, Shayne Gostisbehere was seeing between two and five minutes on the Arizona Coyotes powerplay pretty consistently. He'd racked up 29 points in just over 40 games and had stretches where he was one the most offensively productive defensemen in the league.

Gostisbehere then missed eight games due to injury. He returned and played four more games as a Coyote, and was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes for a third-round pick at the deadline.

Since the trade, Gostisbehere's deployment has taken a significant hit. It makes sense. Carolina's defensive corps is one of the strongest in the league. Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, Brent Burns, and Jaccob Slavin are all in the top four and there is no way Gostisbehre was going to usurp any of their roles.

But Gostisbehere was playing over 22 minutes a night with the Coyotes on a regular basis. In his last two games with Carolina, he logged 15:56 and 14:27, respectively. That is a huge drop.

Gostisbehere does get some time on the second unit powerplay, but he plays second fiddle to Burns, and there is little chance of that changing. Over the season he has averaged 2:49 on the powerplay. He has exceeded that mark only once in 11 games with the 'Canes.

With his deployment down his production has tanked. Gostisbehere has one point in his last eight games. If you are still rostering him, I'd drop him and look elsewhere for production on your back end.

Martin Jones, G, Seattle Kraken (39% rostered)

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How about goaltending in the Pacific Division this year? Every team in playoff contention has had its fair share of issues.

Let's start at the top. The Vegas Golden Knights were riding high with Logan Thompson prior to his injury. Adin Hill looked good at times, but suffered an injury and is now out. Now they have Jonathan Quick in net after a whirlwind trade deadline. Quick's been up and down thus far in his Golden Knights tenure.

Then we go to Los Angeles, whose season has been saved by the strong play of Phoenix Copley. Jonathan Quick was atrocious in his starts and Cal Petersen, who recently signed a three-year deal worth $15 million was placed on waivers and sent to the AHL's Ontario Reign due to his poor play. Now with Quick out of town and Joonas Korpisalo playing well, the Kings may have steadied the ship for the playoffs.

The Oilers signed Jack Campbell to a five-year $5 million contract this off-season. He has been bad. Very bad. So bad that there are rumors Calvin Pickard could suit up as the Oilers' backup goaltender for the playoffs. Stuart Skinner has saved the Oilers' season in net and without him, the Oilers might not be in a playoff spot right now.

In Calgary, Jacob Markstrom is currently in the midst of his worst professional season in eight years. Markstrom has a sub .900 save percentage for the third time in his career and is coming off consecutive starts where he allowed six goals. Nothing is going right in Cowtown this year.

Seattle is certainly not immune to the goalie blues. Both Martin Jones and Philip Grubauer have save percentages below .900. Of the two, Grubauer has been the better goaltender, but not by much. And now Grubauer is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Martin Jones has one win and no quality starts in his last nine games. Over that span, he has posted a positive goals saved above average only once. He has been pulled three times in his last five games. There is no reason to roster this man and yet his ownership is at nearly 40 percent.

If you own him, drop him and stream someone like Akira Schmid (G, NJD) instead.


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