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Mikael Granlund, LW/C/RW, Nashville Predators (47.2%): Whether he transfers to Toronto or elsewhere, or stays with the Predators, Granlund seems to have found his productive touch lately. The top six skaters have scored in three of the last four events, including one additional skater.
Although Granlund, 29, has not performed well since arriving in Nashville, his undeniable talent and skill cannot be ignored. Fantasy managers with injuries in deeper leagues might consider rolling the dice with someone who averages 0.84 points per game over the last three seasons with the Wild. Especially if he is traded to a more determined team like the Leafs. Toronto has scored an average of 0.88 more goals than the Predators this season. It’s a good piece.
Phil Kessel, RW, Arizona Coyotes (39.3%): The veteran sniper is back on one of his routes. May I suggest that, given the strength of the league, Tuesday’s goal and assist against the Avalanche are even more impressive than Saturday’s hat trick against the Sharks? Five goals in three games is remarkable, regardless of the result. The Coyotes face the more mature Kings and Ducks twice in the next 10 days, which will further bolster Kessel’s potential.
Phil Kessel scores his seventh hat trick of his career and the Coyotes easily beat the Sharks.
Jonas Donskoi, RW, Colorado Avalanche (27.8%): While it doesn’t often fit into my modus operandi to promote the third winger as a valuable fantasy asset, Donskoy’s six goals and four assists in eight games can’t be ignored. He also enjoys the power play here and there. If you can, make that productive run before the 28-year-old cools off.
Kirby Roof, C, Chicago Blackhawks (18.1%): After being sidelined with a broken wrist, Dak is back and at the top of the line, and the power play is with Patrick Kane. No points from the two games yet, but they will come – The sophomore is already averaging 21 minutes per game. Fantasy managers in different leagues need to be somewhere within 20 before he is credited.
Jason Robertson, LW, Dallas Stars (15.6%): The 21-year-old, who was recently promoted to the Stars’ first line and plays alongside Joe Pavelski and Rope Hinz on the power play, has four goals and 11 assists in 15 games. Very promising: He shoots a lot more often and has done so since he was 13. March averaged 3.4 shots per game. Although the Stars’ rookie won’t win the Calder, Robertson is doing his best to at least get into the discussion. His appeal to modern fantasy extends to dynasty leagues and deeper leagues.
See also: Josh Norris, C, Ottawa Senators (7.7%), Jesper Bratt, RW/LW, New Jersey Devils (6.3%), Robbie Fabbri, C/LW, Detroit Red Wings (13.2%), Noel Acciari, C/RW, Florida Panthers (8.2%)
Ty Smith, New Jersey Devils (21.5%): After a three-week hiatus in February and early March, Smith found his rhythm again with eight assists in 12 games. Not amazing numbers, but enough for a fantasy defender. The rookie blueliner, who will wear No. 17 in 2018, will play the role of puck mover for years to come. Don’t be surprised if the 21-year-old, who is now the Devils’ top striker, finishes his first season in style. Needless to say, Smith is a fixture in dynasty leagues.
Gustav Forsling, Florida Panthers (1.2%): Given the horrific injury to Aaron Ekblad, which includes Forsling, more than one man will be interested in Florida’s defensive lineman. Without getting ahead of ourselves, fantasy managers with blue line issues can at least get an idea of how 24-year-old coach Joel Quenneville is trying to fill the void left by Ekblad. A top 4 finish and more playing time is possible.
Juice Saros, Nashville Predators (58.8%): The 25-year-old has played great and helped the Predators win seven of their last eight games. Nashville is also in playoff position. Of course, that statement is only valid if Saros’ current injury is as minor as suggested. If not, look at Pekka Rinne, who has played in just 18.3% of ESPN.com leagues. The older one has also been online since mid-March. Over the next two weeks, the Preds play Chicago once, Detroit twice and Dallas three times. There are worse diagrams.
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Adin Hill, Arizona Coyotes (4.4%): Arizona’s current No. 1 pick has won in three phases, averaging 6.93 fantasy points per performance. At the very least, consider adding a third player to the Coyotes over the next week and a half against the Ducks and Kings. Fantasy managers are desperate for stayers – is Carter Hart still on your roster? – There are worse things than giving Hill a chance. Darcy Kemper and Antti Raanta, both 24, will be busy in the near future. Arizona won’t oust the Blues from the final spot in the playoffs in the West without a fight.
See also: Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (40.6%)
Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, St. John’s St. Louis Blues (77.3%): Hoffman, rarely used lately, has scored just one goal and given one assist in 10 games. The winger has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy this season, and he’s not making a single jump in St. Louis. Louis. Coach Craig Berube, who has made no secret of his displeasure with the former Panther/Senator, certainly hopes the recent punishing transfer will be some sort of spark of inspiration. Maybe I am. Or maybe there’s another UFA on offer. But until something goes right, Hoffman also belongs on the fantasy bench.