I talked a lot about Taylor Hall in Monday’s post (you can read that here). The trade that I was talking about happened on Monday with Hall moving to Arizona. In the trade, Hall and Blake Speers went to Arizona for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder, along with forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley and defenseman Kevin Bahl. First, let’s look at this from Arizona’s perspective. It’s a steep price to pay for a rental, but Hall is the best player traded in quite some time, and Arizona is looking to snap a long playoff drought in a weak division. I totally get the move given their strong defensive talent but lack of overall offensive talent. Hall played on Tuesday dishing an assist and adding a shot in 18 minutes. He played with Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller. In Monday’s piece linked above, I said to buy Keller going forward due to his recent play. This only enhances his value. Same goes with Dvorak, but he moves up to an elite streamer for now. As for New Jersey, it’s hard to complain about this return. You have potentially two first round picks in this deal, but at least a 1 and 3. Bahl is a monster coming in at 6’7 and can skate fairly well. I don’t see a PP guy there, but he should be a modern stay-at-home who is strong on the PK. For those in deep leagues, he should be a very good hits/blocks guy down the line. Merkley has decent upside, but he has already had reconstructive knee surgery. He’s not the best skater, but he has great hockey IQ and should end up as a playmaking center in the middle six. Schnarr was a third round pick in 2018 who didn’t show a ton of offense until after he was drafted. He then exploded in Guelph last season, but he’s struggled in the AHL so far. That isn’t a surprise as many 20 year olds struggle in their first pro season. Speers looks more like organizational depth at this point. I don’t expect a ton, but there’s a decent chance he ends up an NHL’er. All in all, seems like this trade has the potential to be a win-win once you consider that Hall seemingly didn’t want to stay in New Jersey. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
David Perron – Hat trick on four shots. Perron had really struggled for a couple seasons before ending up in Vegas. Now, he’s been outstanding for three straight seasons. Easy hold in all formats.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two assists with a shot. RoR’s drop in shot rate is extremely puzzling. Last season, he was pushing three shots per game. Now, he’s well under two per game. This really caps his ceiling. Even if he gets to 50 assists, it’s hard to be that valuable when you’re taking 140-150 shots and scoring 15 goals with no PIM.
Oskar Sundqvist – Two assists. Not much to see here.
Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with seven shots playing over 25 minutes. Zibanejad has been nothing short of spectacular this season. It’s a shame he missed so much time.
Roman Josi – Three goals and an assist with five shots over two games. Smashville smashed ’em up scoring 13 goals over two games. I’m not going to hit on all of their guys since it won’t do much good, but credit to Josi who is having an elite season.
Ryan Ellis – Goal and three assists with five shots and two PIM over two games. Very nice bounceback from Ellis who is well on his way to a career high in points.
Craig Smith – Two goals and an assist with six shots and twelve PIM on Tuesday after only having one shot on Monday. Monster game from Smith but he hasn’t done much this season. Bottom end stream at best.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 6-1 win over the Senators. Bob has been outstanding in December. Florida and us fantasy owners can only hope that it continues.
Noel Acciari – Hat trick and two PIM. The new leader for most random hat trick of the season, Acciari actually played with Jonathan Huberdeau in this game, who dished four assists. I’m not rushing to stream him yet, but it’s worth monitoring.
Aaron Ekblad – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. At this rate, Ekblad is going to smash his previous career highs in assists and points.
Joonas Korpisalo – 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Capitals before 18 saves on 21 shots in the 5-3 win over the Red Wings. Korpisalo has worked his way into a tier above desperation.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Three goals and an assist with eight shots over two games. Here’s what I said Monday: “Razzball favorite Oliver Bjorkstrand has played over 20 minutes in each of his last two games. In the previous five games, he has 27 SOG. He’s available in almost 95% of leagues and I don’t really understand it. The Blue Jackets start the week with a back-to-back, including Detroit on Tuesday, so stream Bjorkstrand to start the week and be open to the idea of holding him.” And that’s me quoting me copying what Grey does! Yeah, you should be holding Bjorkstrand, plain and simple.
Gustav Nyquist – Goal and two assists with three shots over two games. Solid streamer for Nyquist.
Connor McDavid – Two assists with three shots. It’s almost an upset when McDavid doesn’t get two points.
Mikko Koskinen – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 2-1 win over the Stars. Koskinen has slowed down a bit but he’s still been solid overall. He’s good enough to still hold.
Jack Eichel – Goal and an assist with five shots. That’s a seventeen game point streak for Eichel who has found another level to his game. It’s amazing to watch.
Rasmus Dahlin – Goal and an assist. It was great to see Dahlin buzzing and playing over 23 minutes. It was a disappointing start of the season for Dahlin, but there’s still plenty of time for him to blow up in the second half.
Victor Olofsson – Two assists with five shots. Goaloffson was the guy I took with my last or second last pick in all of my drafts and I haven’t cut him since. He’s pushing a point per game and is playing his way into the Calder conversation with Makar out injured.
Auston Matthews – Two goals on four shots. Matthews continues to kill it which comes as no surprise.
Tyson Barrie – Two assists with six shots. Barrie looks like a different player under Keefe than Babcock. That said, it’s still nowhere near his Colorado level and we have to expect that it won’t happen this season. Next season depending on where he signs, possibly.
Frederik Gauthier – Goal and an assist. And there’s your annual Gauthier update!
Danton Heinen – Goal and an assist with two shots. Heinen is on the first power play unit at the moment which makes him a solid streamer by default.
Carter Hart – 40 saves on 41 shots in the 4-1 win over the Ducks. After a rough start, Hart is on a great run. His save percentage is a bit below average, but the goals against average is very good. He looks like a solid #2 who can end up being a #1 sooner than later.
Sean Couturier – Goal and an assist with four shots. Claude Giroux also had a goal and an assist. Travis Konecny returned from a concussion and these three made up the top line. It’s a great help to Giroux and Konecny to get to play with Couturier. Look for this line to really take off.
Chris Tierney – Two assists. Bottom end streamer at best.
Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with four shots. He couldn’t get one more point so I hit the Three Point Challenge? Damn it!
Adam Erne – Two goals on four shots. I was a fan of Erne as a prospect but he never panned out. He was a nice gamble for Detroit to take though.
Sebastian Aho – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM. It feels like yesterday that people were whining about Aho’s slow start. Now he has 20 goals before the halfway point.
Dougie Hamilton – Three assists with two shots. Dougie is playing at a Norris level this season. He’s absolutely crushing all of the categories.
Jordan Staal – Two goals on ten shots. Ten shots!? What got into Staal? His offense really dried up this season so I’m not even looking to stream him.
Nino Niederreiter – Two assists with three shots. Really disappointed that Nino hasn’t had a better season. He’s a bottom end streamer but hard to see more right now.
Blake Wheeler – Two assists with three shots. It’s remarkable that Wheeler can just shift to center and continue to produce massive offensive numbers with worse teammates. We’re starting to see a bit of a dropoff at 33 years old, but Wheeler is still pretty solid across the board.
Tristan Jarry – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over the Flames. What a run that Jarry is in the midst of. He’s clearly the #1 for Pittsburgh right now. If for some reason he’s still available in your league, grab him immediately.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal and an assist, as did Kris Letang and Bryan Rust. The studs for Pittsburgh are getting massive minutes right now and should continue to crush.
John Marino – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Marino played over 27 minutes in this game. While I’m not really buying the offense, Marino is worth considering in deeper leagues when he’s getting this many minutes.
Carey Price – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 3-1 win over the Canucks. Big run for Price to get his numbers back towards respectability. I still see a middling #2.
Joel Armia – Two assists. This breakout offensively by Armia is somewhat surprising because he is 26 years old, but I loved his offensive upside when he was a Sabres prospect. He’s a great streamer given the shot rate.
Max Domi – Two assists with two shots. Domi has the potential to go on a big run. The PIM are low and the goals are really down, but it could turn quickly given his role.
Mark Stone – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Five game point streak for Stone who is finally getting back on track.
Tomas Hertl – Two goals on three shots and two PIM. While the Sharks have been a big disappointment, Hertl has been fairly good. He’s not far off last season’s breakout besides the plus-minus which is a disaster.
Three Point Challenge: We will use Thursday’s games for the next Three Point Challenge. Reminder that you can’t pick someone in the top 10 in points in the league. For my picks for three points on Thursday, I will go with Filip Forsberg against the Senators.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!