The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and we saw our first big move happen over the weekend. Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann were traded to Pittsburgh for Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, and three draft picks. So what does this do to their values? Well, let’s start with the easy ones. Sheahan is fantasy irrelevant as a fourth line center. McCann is currently playing as the third line center for Pittsburgh with Malkin down, having Pearson and Hornqvist on his wings. With no power play time, he’s a bottom end streamer, but there is some upside here. Bjugstad is centering the second line, but even when Malkin comes back (possibly tonight), the plan is for Kessel to be on his wing. I’d say this gives him a small boost to his value, but I wouldn’t rush to own him. Bjugstad’s situation in Florida was pretty good from a fantasy perspective. Brassard gets the biggest boost here, but to what level? Obviously he was a disaster in Pittsburgh since they acquired him. Florida is starting him on the wing with Trocheck and Hoffman. This is a huge upgrade for Brassard who becomes an elite streamer. However, this might only last for a while as I expect Florida to flip Brassard closer to the deadline. That means big minutes for now which is obviously great, but who knows where he gets moved. Maybe it’s somewhere that would be good for his value (e.g. Winnipeg, who tried to get him last year before Pitt did), but it could also be somewhere like Colorado or Boston which wouldn’t be great. In a deep league, I would grab Brassard immediately. In standard leagues, I’d use him tonight against the Blues and go from here. Here’s some other observations I’ve made over the last few days:
Carter Hart is on an absolute tear lately. He’s now won seven straight starts and his save percentage is pushing towards .925 in his 16 games so far. Hart is an elite dynasty asset who should be owned in all formats. I’m stunned that Hart is still available in over two-thirds of leagues. With so many terrible goaltending situations around the league, Hart’s showing why he’s worth holding.
Corey Perry has made his return putting seven shots on goal over two games. The Ducks were murdered in both of these games losing 15-4 on aggregate. I’ve got a lot of questions about Perry lately so he’s worth talking about. I wouldn’t hold him in standard leagues. He’s simply not that good anymore, the team is a mess, and it’s tough coming back from a long absence. Let somebody else have him because he’s a big name.
I feel bad for John Gibson. He’s been outstanding all season carrying a horrific team. Then he gets up 6 goals on 14 shots against Winnipeg, only to give up 5 goals on 35 shots Monday to Toronto. These last three starts have completely torpedoed his save percentage. There aren’t many goalies, if any, that I would take over Gibson in real life, but it’s hard to trust him now because of the team in front of him. I would try to trade for him in dynasties, but I’d be worried if you had him in redrafts.
The Hurricanes are on fire and it’s starting with their top guys. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen are both killing it. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Michael Ferland was going to be traded, but perhaps they try to make the playoffs now? Interesting decision for Don Waddell to make. I talked about it last week, but Nino Niederreiter needs to be owned everywhere now.
The hottest three forwards in fantasy right now? Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat. They’re still near the bottom of the Western Conference, but it’s certainly not because of their stud forwards. Some of the young defensemen will have to take a jump next season to give them hope sooner than later.
Dustin Byfuglien looks likely to return on Tuesday. If you have him stashed on your IR, get him in your lineup tonight. It’s hard to say what comes of Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey, but I’d hold both for now.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back tomorrow with daily notes on Tuesday’s games. As always, feel free to ask any questions, give any comments, or leave any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!