Whether you’re in or you’re out of your league playoffs at this point, here are some d-men that can help you in the final weeks, and another few that, if you snap them up in your keeper league now, will make you the envy of everyone next year!
My first piece of advice at this stage of the playoffs is to keep an eye on the transactions in your league on a daily basis. Fantasy owners are all kinds of desperate and you’d be surprised at who they’ll drop in order to gain an edge with streamers during the week. These drops can become your pickups, and if you do advance to the next week, your team will be even stronger for it.
If you’re in a keeper league, you are either picking up as many young guns as possible right now, or you’re heading into the finals with great roster already. Some are better for NOW, while some are for LATER and will make great additions to your dynasty team.
Victor Hedman – NOW
Granted, Hedman is probably not available on your wire, but it’s worth checking for him. After a 13-game pointless streak, a few owners may have gotten antsy and let him go as the fantasy playoffs started. He’s now got seven points in his last seven games. (UPDATE: Hedman is now day to day. If you find out he’s playing, definitely grab him. If he’s out, you know what to do).
Mike Green – NOW
There’s a decent chance that Green is available. It’s taken him until now to start producing points for the Red Wings. After playing below expectation all year, he’s got six points in his last eight games, including four on the power play. Watch out for his plus/minus though. It’s ugly.
Andrej Sekera – NOW
Unlike the two above, Sekera is not exactly a perennial offensive force. But time on the first PP with Connor McDavid, et al, is proving to be a valuable spot indeed. The Oilers have had a slow week, with only two games, so Sekera has stayed under the radar. He’s got four points in the last four games (two on the PP), plus he will contribute with SOG and Blocked Shots.
Kevin Connauton – NOW
Keep an eye on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s injury status. With Michael Stone done for the season, Connauton is the logical replacement on the power play. Back in February, he got some serious ice time for a short stretch and produced during that time. He doesn’t have much of an offensive track record, so it’s a speculative pickup, but could pay off if you’re desperate.
Justin Schultz – NOW (but maybe not ever)
First, just let me say that you would have to be pretty desperate to want to add Schultz. But don’t look now, he’s on a 3-game point streak with his new team. He’s always had the tools, he’s produced in the (distant) past, and now he’s getting PP time with Sidney Crosby, for God’s sake! His ice time is inconsistent, but he is getting regular PP time, producing points without hurting his plus/minus. You can’t necessarily trust him to keep it up, but on this team, the PP opportunity alone simply can’t be ignored. Just, before picking him up, take a breath and repeat after me: You. Can’t. Count. On. Him.
Casey Nelson – NOW and LATER
To be honest, I’d feel a whole lot better if Nelson was safely in the ‘LATER’ column only. But four assists in his first three NHL games says otherwise. Nelson has just finished up his college career and wasted no time showing the Sabres what he’s made of. He’s a great add for your final week if you’re in the finals, and might be worth hanging on to next year as well.
Adam Clendening – LATER
Clendening has been toiling in the AHL for a couple of years, where he has been quite the prolific scorer. Keep him on your radar as he could become a part of a good young Oilers squad that lacks many offensive options from the blue line.
Noah Hanifin –LATER
Hanafin is only 19, but has shown enough flashes of his talent this year to solidify an offensive role going forward. He’s too inconsistent to count on right now, but you’ll want him for next year if you can afford the roster space.
Shea Theodore – LATER
Theodore is a bit of crapshoot if you want points now, but he is getting PP minutes – with a goal to show for it in his last game. If you need to take a chance on him for NOW, he might be worth it. But with the stacked Ducks defence, don’t count on him getting enough ice time to make a difference.
Julius Honka – LATER
Keep an eye out for Honka (and tell me if you can say his name without giggling at least a little bit). He may not arrive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Stars give him a little taste of the big leagues before the season is over. He’s a small, offensive minded defenseman, about the same size as, oh, Shayne Gostisbehere. Just to make a random comparison. The point really is that Gostisbehere and a few others right now, are showing that you don’t have to be big to succeed on the blue line. Honka’s got skills and could be special – now imagine how special he could be with all that firepower in Dallas.
Good luck if you’ve made your final round – and if not, hope you’re stacking that keeper team for next year. Thanks as always for reading!
Hey guys, this is Viz. Sorry I haven’t posted my daily notes, I’ve been horribly sick with food poisoning the last few days. Being the final week of the season, I imagine you are all okay. All I really have to say is really stay on top of injury updates and if guys get rested in the last couple games, mainly guys on teams who have their playoff position wrapped up. It doesn’t happen nearly as often in hockey as basketball but sometimes it does happen. Anyways, here are my three streamers for Wednesday night on the short 3 game slate:
Patrick Maroon (12.2%) – Still on the first line and gets a prime matchup with the Canucks. I don’t understand how the Canucks just beat all the California teams in a row (their fans are upset ruining the tank) but I expect the Oilers to get plenty of goals in this one.
Riley Sheahan (1.1%) – He’s playing very well lately with 4+2 in his last 6 and the minutes are up. Massive game for the playoff race which I expect the Red Wings to win and keep their playoff streak alive.
William Nylander (2.9%) – He has points in two straight and gets a nice home matchup against the Blue Jackets.
I hope everyone is doing well. I should be able to post daily notes tomorrow at some point (probably the afternoon) to catch everybody up. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below; Matt and I should both be of assistance. Take care!