In these parts, we’re a big supporter of the Jets for fantasy hockey. Going back to when I started writing here, the Jets love started with Blake Wheeler. An unheralded superstar, Wheeler has never received the credit he deserves for his consistent level of play. Another year goes by and it’s another year where Wheeler is pushing the top ten overall forwards. Wheeler continued his recent hot streak with a goal and two assists with two shots in the 3-2 win over the Flyers. That brings his totals to 22+41 in 73 games with 43 PIM and 230 SOG. The safety he provides is the main reason why I ranked him 21st overall in the preseason and it looks like Wheeler is going to reach that value. So where will he be next season? He’s going to turn 31 before next season starts which means he’s likely to start marginally declining as he exits his prime. However, his quality of teammate is going to continue to improve as the rest of the Jets core moves towards their prime. Is he going to be worth a second pick again? It’s going to be pretty close but at the least, Wheeler will be a high third round pick. I don’t see him falling outside of my top 30. Let’s take a look at the action around the league the last two nights:
Robin Lehner – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 2-1 win against the Red Wings, then 31 saves on 34 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Penguins. Lehner was strong in both games, especially the Penguins game despite giving up three goals. The save percentage remains strong which gives hope for a Lehner breakout next season.
Jack Eichel – Goal on twelve shots and two PIM over two games. He has the most shots and power play points in the league since his season debut and is also top ten in points. As we’ve talked about a bunch lately on the podcast, Eichel will be on the fringe of the first round next year.
Rasmus Ristolainen – Assist with three shots Monday, then a shot on Tuesday before accumulating 15 PIM and being ejected on Tuesday. It was a pretty bad hit that I expect a suspension for. You can wait to see what the suspension is but if you need the starts, I can understand cutting Risto in redrafts. The Sabres only have one more game this week anyways.
James van Riemsdyk – Two assists with three shots. He’s basically been a poor man’s Wheeler which is still pretty damn good. Here’s another guy who has a great young core around him so for his long term fantasy value, I hope he stays in Toronto.
Frederik Andersen – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 4-2 win over Boston. That’s three monster games in a row for Andersen after a massive dud in Florida. Roll the dice if you like. Like Lehner, there is potential for a breakout next season.
Ryan Ellis – Two goals on four shots with two PIM finishing +3. We talked extensively about Ellis’ long term value on Tuesday’s podcast.
Craig Smith – Two assists with a shot. I could see him being the guy Vegas grabs from Nashville which could give him a nice bounce back opportunity next year. For now, Smith is only useful in deep leagues.
Pekka Rinne – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 3-1 win over the Coyotes. I would hope for nothing less against Arizona.
Kari Lehtonen – 30 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Sharks. One random shutout does not change the fact that Lehtonen has been horrible this season. Hard pass.
Cam Talbot – 35 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Kings. Talbot is now sitting as the #4 overall goalie on the season. Do I expect a repeat next season? I would be quite surprised because he’s not going to receive this start volume again but Talbot still deserves #1 status.
Leon Draisaitl – Two assists. Another focus of the podcast, Draisaitl has a four game multi-point streak. Keep rolling him this year as the first line for the Oilers have been killing it. For a look at next season, check out the pod!
Connor McDavid – Two assists with four shots. The only thing stopping him from being the #1 overall player next season is the penalty minutes. If the shot rate goes up as expected, he’ll be neck and neck with Crosby for that spot.
Craig Anderson – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 win over the Bruins. It’s a damn shame that Anderson missed so much time. His numbers have been incredible but at the end of the day, the important thing is that his wife has made significant progress in her battle with cancer. Anderson will be a borderline #1 next year because there is quite a bit of downside as we saw last season with a 2.78 GAA.
Mike Hoffman – Two assists with three shots. My love for Hoffman is also well-documented. He’s going through an extensive goal drought but the assists keep coming in. Hoffman has become a six category stud who is easily a top 50 player going forward.
Kyle Turris – Two goals on five shots. It’s been a very solid season across the board for Turris who should come in again around the 100th overall spot.
Torey Krug – Goal and an assist with nine shots over two games. It’s a new career high in assists for Krug and per usual, the PIM and SOG are strong. If the plus-minus was better, we’d be looking at a borderline #1. I could see myself ranking him as such next season since plus-minus is swingy season to season and Krug has been a plus player every season before this one.
Sidney Crosby – Goal on three shots. What an event-filled game for Crosby. First, he went back to his old ways with this scummy move:
Sidney Crosby ladies and gents. pic.twitter.com/JkvwvSo3TG
— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) March 21, 2017
Then he scores one of the most absurd goals you’re see this season. One handed backhand, are you kidding me?
Sidney Crosby is not human pic.twitter.com/OCWfTnIYrG
— Spittin' Chiclets (@StoolChiclets) March 21, 2017
Then he lost a bunch of teeth after this high stick
Sidney Crosby has been shot pic.twitter.com/93JFULpCri
— SabresFanatics (@SabresFanatics) March 22, 2017
And there are your gif’s for this post! We debate Crosby vs. McDavid for the #1 overall spot on Tuesday’s podcast.
Conor Sheary – Goal and an assist with four shots. Sheary has been incredible this season and will crack my top 50 next season. Like Kunitz years ago, Sheary is in the dream spot but he has more talent than Kunitz ever did. It’s just so good across the board.
Matt Murray – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sabres. I can see a pretty compelling argument to ranking Murray as the #2 goalie next season. I’m very intrigued to see where consensus is on him come August and September.
John Quenneville – Goal and an assist with two shots. The former first round pick is a name to watch for those in dynasties. He’s behind Pavel Zacha in the long-term totem pole but Quenneville has some potential in his own right. Speaking of Zacha, he had an assist for the fifth straight game. Nice to see him string together some points down the stretch.
Cory Schneider – 38 saves on 40 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Rangers. I know he’s ruined a bunch of seasons this year but I can see Schneider bouncing back next season in a big way. Schneider has been too good for too long to overreact to one bad season.
Nicklas Backstrom – Three assists. Is eleven assists in the past five games good? Asking for a friend.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and two assists with eleven shots. This is the Ovechkin that we know and love. It’s not as incredible as the past few seasons but it’s still worthy of a top five pick next season.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Goal and an assist with four shots. It’s been solid since going to Washington as expected. I don’t think his value will drastically change in the offseason depending on where he goes unless Shattenkirk goes to a horrible team.
Jimmy Howard – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Canadiens. He’s been incredible this season but it’s still only 19 starts. I’m much more inclined to think this is a heater than anything predictive for the future.
Max Domi – Two assists with a shot over two games. The shot rate hasn’t progressed as expected but Domi’s assist rate has made significant progress. I’m still a big fan in dynasties but deciding where to rank him next season will be incredibly difficult.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM in two games. Like Schneider, I’m going to chalk up this season as an outlier and proceed next season under the assumption that OEL gets back to form.
Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with five shots. He’d be pushing the #1 overall player if Kucherov stayed healthy. We’d be looking at over 40+50 over 82 games which is remarkable. Add in the contributions elsewhere and he’s a slam dunk first round pick next year. My first thought is I’d have him 6th overall but it’s certainly top 10.
Sebastian Aho – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. That’s a four game point streak for Aho who is a clear hold right now given the Hurricanes’ amazing schedule.
Jeff Skinner – Two goals. With his recent hot streak, Skinner should reach the 30 goal mark for the third time in his career. His concussions are a thing of the past now so with the huge shot rate, he’ll fit in almost every team nicely somewhere in the 6-8th round range.
Jason Demers – Two assists with three shots. Aaron Ekblad (2 SOG) returned killing any short term value Demers had.
Jaromir Jagr – Two assists with a shot. We salute you, Mr. Jagr. It’s a shame both of his linemates missed extensive time since the shot rate, PIM and plus-minus are great. Jagr is simply lacking the points to be a top 100 guy.
Claude Giroux – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. It’s been a rough season for Giroux with a bunch of worrisome signs. He’ll still be fine going forward but he’s not a top 50 player anymore let alone a top 25 like he’s been in the past.
Mathieu Perreault – Goal and an assist with three shots for some streamer success. He’s a great option for streaming and as a cheap DFS choice in his current role.
Mark Scheifele – Goal and two assists with two shots. Man, if Scheifele gets his shot rate back up to where it was last season, he’d be in that tier at the wheel of the first round. Scheifele is definitely a second round pick but I don’t think it’s quite worth the first round grade.
Daniel Sedin – Goal and an assist with two shots. His cyborg brother Henrik Sedin also had 1+1. I think Daniel is a strong streamer but I wouldn’t hold him. Henrik is waiver wire fodder unless you’re desperate for assists. AAGNOF!
Brandon Sutter – Two goals on four shots. Meh, Sutter has been fantasy relevant before but that time isn’t now.
Corey Crawford – 6 saves on 10 shots in 42 minutes before being pulled in the 5-4 OT loss to the Canucks. That is what we call a horrible start. Not much to take away from it though, Crawford will be fine.
Marian Hossa – Goal and an assist with two shots in his return from a brief injury hiatus. I wouldn’t hold him right now only because Hossa is outside of the top six but it’s close.
Zach Parise – Two assists. Just by the eye test, Parise looked excellent in this game. It’s right on the fringe at the moment but I assume he’s not available. If I owned him, I’d hold tight since the Wild have three games in four nights starting Thursday.
Devan Dubnyk – 21 saves on 23 shots in the 3-2 win over the Sharks. Unspectacular but the return to form we expected.
Patrik Berglund – Two goals on three shots for some more streamer success! Very nice second half for Berglund who is still worth streaming when the schedule is nice for the Blues. You can honestly grab him Thursday for their game against Vancouver and hold him through next week. The Blues have three games with the Coyotes and Avalanche on the horizon.
David Perron – Two assists with a shot. Another strong streamer in those games although I prefer Berglund over Perron.
Zach Sanford – Two assists. There’s a bit of upside here for dynasties. A lot depends on how they plan on using him going forward.
Oliver Bjorkstrand (5.6%) – Going back to the well with a couple of these picks. The Blue Jackets are pushing for home ice and Bjorkstrand has been solid lately.
Pavel Buchenvich (5.7%) – His role has decreased lately but the Butcher has a point in three of the last four and there are only three games on the slate. Options are limited so I’ll take a shot on his upside.
Zach Hyman (3.2%) – Hyman is ice cold but he’s still on the top line with Matthews and Nylander. Good enough for me tonight.
That’s all for now guys. With only three games on the slate, my next set of daily notes will be up Friday morning with a podcast going up Thursday afternoon. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!