Hey everyone! We are only two days away from the season starting and the preseason is in the books. Today, I’m going to take a quick look at all 30 teams in regards to lines, injuries and surprise players who may make the team. Players officially have to go down by Tuesday so there will be a little guess work on my part for the last couple guys to make the roster but at least for standard leagues, nearly everything is clear at this point. Let’s get right to it!
Anaheim Ducks – Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm are still unsigned which is quite problematic. I’m not sure either of them are worth holding if they’re unsigned by the first game. This gives a bump to Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen with Lindholm out and Jakob Silfverberg because the Ducks are playing with more balanced lines up front and Silfverberg looks to be playing with Ryan Getzlaf.
Arizona Coyotes – Dylan Strome will make the team as the second line center so own him in all leagues. Michael Stone will miss the beginning of the season so Alex Goligoski should be owned in 12’ers. Radim Vrbata has been getting first line time so he’s an interesting streamer to start the year.
Boston Bruins – Not much to note here. David Pastrnak may be on the first line and David Backes the second but I don’t think it changes either’s value significantly.
Buffalo Sabres- Kyle Okposo is questionable for opening night but he needs to be held regardless. Rasmus Ristolainen remains unsigned and while I’m optimistic a deal can happen, they’re cutting it extremely close. Hold Risto for at least a week or two to see what develops.
Calgary Flames – Johnny Gaudreau is the biggest holdout right now and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. I am already lowest on him on Fantasy Pros but I’d be avoiding him if you haven’t drafted yet. I’d hold if you already have him but it could be painful if he misses the first few weeks. Matthew Tkachuk is going to make the team, at least for the first nine games, so I’d look to stream him while he’s getting big minutes. If he starts well and Gaudreau signs, I’d try to sell high in redrafts.
Carolina Hurricanes – Nothing has changed here at all; everything is as expected in their team preview (available under the team preview tab in the header at the top of the page).
Chicago Blackhawks – Tyler Motte looks like he’s going to make the team and quite possibly in a top six role. I’d try to grab him in deep leagues if he’s available; for standard leagues he could be a nice early stream. He was a very strong player at Michigan. Niklas Hjalmarsson is suspended for the first game of the season for those in deep leagues.
Colorado Avalanche – No surprises here. The big 3 look to be playing together as expected so they all get a boost.
Columbus Blue Jackets – No surprises. I’m buying into Oliver Bjorkstand and think he could be a hold at some point this year. Zach Werenski has a chance to make an impact from the back end; it’s something to keep an eye on.
Dallas Stars – Tyler Seguin should be back game one, if not game two so he’s a clear top 6 player for me. Mattias Janmark is out six months due to a knee injury so drop him everywhere. Cody Eakin will also be out around 4 more weeks due to a knee injury which could give Radek Faksa some extra value in deep leagues.\
Detroit Red Wings – Their lines are a big mess and make me dislike their players more than I already did. Mike Green is on the top pair and top power play unit which gives him a chance for a bounce back season.
Edmonton Oilers – Traded Nail Yakupov to the Blues (more on him later). Jesse Puljujarvi should slide into the top six. I’m not thrilled about him for this season but he’s a streamer in 12’ers for the time being. They also signed Kris Russell who is horrible at hockey. His most useful asset is blocking shots after he’s been hemmed into his own zone. This will almost certainly hurt the plus-minus of virtually everyone on the team.
Florida Panthers – Jonathan Huberdeau is out 3-4 months after his Achilles was cut by a skate. Horrible news. If your league has IR spots, stash him for the time being, otherwise just cut him. Jonathan Marchessault has moved into the top six (probably the first line) and should be owned in all deep leagues. He’ll be an excellent streamer in 12’ers in the short term. They have some other young players breaking into the lineup but all in the bottom six with minimal fantasy value.
Los Angeles Kings – Marian Gaborik is out over a month due to injury; I wouldn’t draft him in standard leagues any more. Dwight King bumps up into the top six for the short term but his value is restricted to deep leagues. Somehow, Dustin Brown will also be getting top six time which is a mess. Don’t touch him, he’s a shell of his former self.
Minnesota Wild – Joel Eriksson Ek should make the team; I like him as a prospect for dynasties but for now, there’s little value. Nothing else here.
Montreal Canadiens – No surprises. I just want to add that Daniel Carr has really impressed me in the preseason; he’s only a streamer for now outside of the deepest of leagues but he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Nashville Predators – It sounds like Roman Josi will play with Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban with Ryan Ellis. Either way, Ekholm and Ellis are must-draft now with the minutes load they’re going to carry.
New Jersey Devils – To balance their lines, Kyle Palmieri will start on the second line with either Beau Bennett or Devante Smith-Pelly on the first line. I don’t think it hurts Palmieri much. Bennett or DSP will be worthy of streaming if they’re on the top line. With Jon Merrill out, Steven Santini could be on the top pair. I don’t think it matters outside of deep leagues but we need to pay attention to the first few Devils games to see how their defensemen are utilized.
New York Islanders – No surprises here; Mathew Barzal has made the team so I’d keep taking a flier on him in late rounds or pick him up to see what he does i the early going.
New York Rangers – Pavel Buchnevich will make the team and should be on a line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Color me intrigued by this line. In deep leagues, I’d be sure to grab The Butcher and look to stream him Thursday against the Islanders (spoiler alert!)
Ottawa Senators – It sounds like Mark Stone may be able to play day one after suffering a concussion. Nice break for his owners; hopefully there isn’t a setback. Ryan Dzingel has replaced Zack Smith as the LW2 due to a very strong camp. It’s another thing to keep an eye on for deep leagues.
Philadelphia Flyers – This is just a reminder that Brayden Schenn is suspended for the first three games from a playoff charge against the Caps. Michael Raffl will start the season on the first line and makes a nice stream. Radko Gudas is almost certainly going to get a suspension for another cheap shot. No surprise, this scumbag needs to get out of the league. Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny have made the team. Provorov should be drafted in all 12’ers since he’ll be in a top 4 role right away. Konecny has deep league value and should be in the top 6 the first three games making him a solid stream.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Only thing here is it’s Marc-Andre Fleury‘s job to run with until Matt Murray returns. Fleury could turn this into a true timeshare so he gets a nice boost.
San Jose Sharks – Tomas Hertl has been getting time on the first line again while Mikkel Boedker is on the second in the place of Patrick Marleau. Hertl is a must own while he’s in the top six while Marleau is fringe. He absolutely needs to hold his spot on the first power play unit or he should be on the waiver wire. The Sharks are trying to add a backup goalie but in the meantime, expect a lot of Martin Jones.
St. Louis Blues – Jaden Schwartz will be out the first 4-6 weeks of the season. Hopefully you can IR him and if you’re in leagues that have IR spots, draft him in the later rounds. David Perron is going to get first crack to take his place. He could play himself into a hold so stream him for now. Nail Yakupov could eventually take Perron’s place once he settles into St. Louis. For now, I’d just keep an eye on him, there are better streaming options available.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Nikita Kucherov remains unsigned although Bob McKenzie sounded optimistic about the two sides getting a bridge deal done. Nothing else to see here.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Nikita Soshnikov will start on the Marlies while Mitch Marner will be up to start the season. He’s a nice late flier or streamer. Same goes with Milan Michalek who should be in the top six. Also, I’ve been extremely impressed with Nikita Zaitsev. The Russian is 24 going on 25 so he’s much more experienced than your normal rookie. I’m not sure it’ll be 12’er worthy but there’s a chance that it will be so watch how he does on Wednesday against the Senators. Frederik Andersen is healthy to start the season.
Vancouver Canucks – Anton Rodin will make the team and is an interesting player for dynasties. He’s questionable for opening night due to a knee issue and I don’t want much to do with him this season for redrafts since the Canucks will be a mess.
Washington Capitals – No surprises at all here.
Winnipeg Jets – Jacob Trouba is holding out for a trade; don’t draft him in 12’ers and cut him if you have him because I don’t see a resolution in the short term. Nikolaj Ehlers looks to be on the first line solidified my love for him this season along with the rest of his line (and this team in general).
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back tomorrow with a podcast with Reid; my next writing post will be Wednesday with a quick preview of the four opening night games. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Take care!