One of my favorite late round gambles on the blue line this season was Erik Gustafsson. Gustafsson played 35 games last season and has 16 points and two shots per game. That doesn’t sound great, but that was with zero power play time and limited minutes. Keith and Seabrook were falling off a cliff giving Gustafsson prime opportunity. He took advantage of it and then some. Gustafsson dished three assists on Monday night while putting a shot on goal and adding 4 PIM. That brings Gustafsson up to a whopping 17+42 with 34 PIM and almost exactly two shots per game. That’s with 18 STP, a number which could be higher if he played on PP1 all year. So what do we make of Gustafsson for next season? Well, it’s early to say. I think these numbers are mostly sustainable as long as Chicago doesn’t add a PP specialist in the offseason. I don’t expect them to with the young guys they have coming, especially Jokiharju, but there’s always a chance. Gustafsson looks like he’ll be a solid #3 next season, possibly a bottom end #2. The goals will probably come down a bit, but 40+ assists should be a near lock with Chicago’s style and strong PP, and he’s average in PIM and shot rate. If he’s going to be better, it’s because he takes a few more shots. Let’s take a look at what else happened on Monday night:
Tony DeAngelo – Assist with two shots and seven PIM. Depending what the Rangers do in the offseason, I may be all in on DeAngelo next season. By all in, I mean that I will want him on every team. This season, he’s +6 playing at a 40 point pace and nearly 100 PIM. He’s always produced when given the opportunity, and Quinn has given it to him lately. He’s an attitude problem off the ice, but if the Rangers give him this chance next season on a presumably improved roster up front, DeAngelo has big time potential.
Travis Zajac – Goal and an assist with four shots. I can’t believe his contract still has two years left on it. Woof.
Connor Carrick – Goal and an assist with three shots. I said in my live trade deadline post that I thought Carrick was better than Lovejoy by himself, and I was confused as to why Dallas added a pick to get Lovejoy. That said, Carrick hasn’t done much for the Devils. Far from fantasy relevant right now.
Frederik Andersen – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 win over the Islanders. He’s as safe as it comes these days besides Vasilevskiy which puts Andersen in the debate for #2 goalie next season.
Robin Lehner – 36 saves on 38 shots as the tough luck loser. Lehner was spectacular in this game. It will be interesting to see if the Isles pay him, but regardless, somebody is going to give Lehner a good contract after this incredible bounceback.
T.J. Oshie – Two assists. Solid season across the board for Oshie but I don’t expect to have a lot of Oshie stock next season. He’s solid across the board, but it feels like one slight step back in his game is going to hurt him tremendously, and I won’t want to take that risk.
Aleksander Barkov – Three assists with two shots. He probably won’t get to 100 points, but the fact that Barkov even has a chance shows how good he’s become. Now imagine him with Panarin on his wing…
Vincent Trocheck – Two goals on six shots with two PIM. I can already tell I’m going to have a ton of Trocheck shares next season at his lowered price.
Yanni Gourde – Two goals and an assist. He’s on the first line at the moment making Gourde the best streamer around.
Nikita Kucherov – Three assists with a shot and two PIM. 125 points and counting. It’s hard to even process how good Kucherov has been.
Braydon Coburn – Two assists with two PIM. And there’s your annual Coburn update!
Brayden Point – Goal and an assist. I have a tough time believing Point will shoot 22% again next season, but at the same time, it’s hard to imagine a big dropoff.
Mikhail Sergachev – Goal and an assist with six shots. Victor Hedman missed this game giving Sergachev ample opportunity. I’ll be buying low next season, and if you need a guy for now, Sergachev is a great option.
Brady Tkachuk – Goal on two shots with two PIM. Love the kid for fantasy long term, but I have no idea how to rank him for next season. We have no clue what the Senators roster is going to look like come October.
Gabriel Landeskog – Goal and an assist with four shots. Dude is a warrior through and through.
Jack Roslovic – Two goals on five shots. I’d love to see what Roslovic could do with a consistent top six role. Perhaps he gets moved in the offseason, or the Jets move someone else. Their offseason is perhaps the most intriguing in the league.
Dylan Strome – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Here are the first two things I said following the trade: “I like the trade a lot from their perspective but it’s hard to say how it works in the short term. If say, Toews and Kane are split up, Strome could end up getting a big boost. Something to watch.” Then after his first game, “If he sticks with DeBrincat and Kane, he’s going to push towards being a hold sooner than later.” Well, Strome has been even better than expected. It’s enough to be drafted in all formats next season even though his shot rate is poor and he gives little PIM.
Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with four shots. Toews has a chance to be a point per game player for the first time in his career besides the lockout shortened season.
Malcolm Subban – 18 saves on 19 shots in the 3-1 win over the Oilers. Desperation play.
Mark Jankowski – Goal and two assists with two PIM. The Flames scored seven goals, and the guys with multiple points were Jankowski, Derek Ryan, and James Neal. None of these guys matter for fantasy.
Andrew Shaw (18.7%) – Sure, it’s against Tampa, but Shaw is on fire right now. Additionally, Tampa will be on the second of a back-to-back with Eddie Pasquale in net. Given the chance he does something dumb and gets a ton of penalty minutes too, it’s a nice spot for Shaw.
Zach Kassian (3.4%) – Kassian played with McJesus and Draisaitl for the majority of Monday’s game. That’s enough for consideration.
Roope Hintz (3.7%) – Staying on the Hintz bandwagon as he has four points in the last five.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Thursday recapping the action from tonight and Wednesday’s short slate. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!