With the first weekend under our collective belt, let’s take a look at players you can pick up to try and get your team an early boost. We’ll profile three forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender each week.
Damien Brunner (RW) Detroit is a must-add if he’s still available. He’ll be on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. The points should be coming being on a line with those two. He should have a nice plus-minus ratio as well and could see time on the power play. Need we say more?
Vladimir Tarasenko (RW) St. Louis should be added in all leagues. The 21- year old looks like he is going to stick with the Blues and his two-goal opening game will solidify his spot on the roster. He’s been getting snapped up quickly but is still out there in 70% of ESPN.com leagues.
Travis Zajac (C) New Jersey is centering the line with Ilya Kovalchuk and is expected to be on the first power play unit. He logged a couple seconds short of 20 minutes of ice time against the Islanders in the opener so he will be out there and give your team plenty of opportunities for points. Zajac is available in 60% of ESPN leagues.
Jared Spurgeon Minnesota has been skating on the top defensive pairing with Ryan Suter and looks to be on the lead power play unit in the Twin Cities. He’s averaging 23 minutes per night and picked up a helper in the season opener against Colorado. Spurgeon is getting picked up quickly so get your claim in on him now.
Victor Hedman Tampa Bay was able to improve his game during the lockout when he played in the KHL with Barys Astana. Hedman is part of the top defensive pairing in Tampa with Eric Brewer and should see time on the man advantage. He logged a goal and 20 assists in 26 games and had a +18 rating during his stay in Russia. Hedman owners hope those numbers are able to keep going on a comparable scale here in the NHL. Hedman is available in 34% of ESPN leagues.
Josh Harding Minnesota posted a 24-save shutout against Dallas in his first start of the season. It’s still unknown what the balance will be between himself and Niklas Backstrom for the Wild. Harding shows he is a capable backup and would make a nice spot starter if you need one. He’s still available in 45% of ESPN leagues.