We know that Jack Hughes has dominated the first three weeks of the season, but his older brother has started off extremely well, while his teammate and younger brother is starting to get going as well. Let’s start with Quinn Hughes. On Friday, Hughes scored two goals on four shots, adding two PIM. Against the Rangers, he had three shots on goal, which sounds disappointing, but it illustrates a large change in Quinn’s game. The one thing that has been holding Quinn back for years in terms of fantasy value is his shot rate. This was his sixth straight game with 3+ shots, and 7th in eight total games. It signifies a huge chance in his game, one that does fantasy owners wonders. He has eight points in eight games and certainly can come close to repeating last season’s 76 points in 78 games, if not topping it. He was always an elite #2 with flaws, but now, he’s a #1. Sure, the hits are dreadful, but everything else is magical.
In two games over the weekend, Luke Hughes had four assists with five shots. Three of those assists came on the power play, which is where his value lies. The minutes aren’t going to be consistent, the hits and PIM will be poor, and the blocks will probably be below average as a defenseman. However, he fills a clear niche for teams that are short on PPP and assists. Luke is going to be a star in the long term, but for this season, keep expectations in check. It’s on the fringe of 12’ers. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Erik Haula – Two goals on four shots. After Sunday’s game, Haula has five goals in seven games. It’s nice to see him healthy again. The shot rate is solid, and the PIM are there for those in leagues that include that. Haula has played his way onto the fringe.
Shea Theodore – Goal and an assist with two shots. Theodore has been as good as any defenseman in the league in the early going.
William Karlsson – Goal and an assist with two PIM. Very good start from Karlsson with ten points in nine games. He’s back into elite streamer territory, but I’m not rushing to hold him unless my league has faceoff wins.
Antti Raanta – 20 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Sharks. This says more about the Sharks than anything, although it’s nice to see Raanta have a good game after an ugly start.
Teuvo Teravainen – Hat trick on five shots. Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis each had two assists. Teravainen has been on fire to start, with seven goals in nine games. He’s on the fringe, but I’m not rushing to grab him because he’s shooting 35%.
Thatcher Demko – 22 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Blues. Demko has been excellent so far, which is great to see after an injury riddled season. He’s a top end #2 with bottom end #1 upside.
J.T. Miller – Goal and two assists. Miller is up to a whopping twelve points in eight games with great contributions across the board. He seems to be thriving with Tocchet which is great to see.
Elias Pettersson – Two assists. The shot rate is down quite a bit, which explains the two goals, but he has eleven assists in eight games already. I’m sure the goals will start flowing.
Drew Doughty – Two goals on four shots. Doughty shockingly has four goals already. Don’t count on him getting more than around ten goals, but regardless, he’s a clear hold, even if it’s bottom end.
Adrian Kempe – Two assists with seven shots. Kempe has really put it together the last 2+ seasons, to the point where he’s a clear hold in all formats.
Mikey Anderson – Goal and an assist with two shots. Anderson is off to an extremely hot start, but I do not buy it at all. If you want to stream him in hits/blocks leagues, that’s okay, but the offense is going to fall off a cliff.
Quinton Byfield – Goal and an assist with three shots. He hasn’t broken out as most had hoped for. Byfield is stuck in the middling streamer range.
J.J. Moser – Goal and an assist. Nothing to see here.
Frank Vatrano – Hat trick on four shots. This is amazingly Vatrano’s second hat trick of the season already. He’s always had an elite shot rate, but he’s thriving with this opportunity in Anaheim. He’s on the fringe, and I lean towards holding.
Ryan Strome – Goal and two assists with two shots. Strome is also on fire with ten points in eight games. He’s on the fringe, as he’s been a hold in the past, but I’m still skeptical that the Ducks can maintain anywhere near this.
Mason McTavish – Two assists with three shots. McTavish is definitely ahead of Strome for me, and he’s close with Vatrano. I’m simply a huge believer in his talent.
Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end streamer because the shot rate is so poor.
Travis Konecny – Two goals on six shots. I liked Konecny plenty going into the season, but I undersold him. He’s a top 50 player right now.
Bobby Brink – Two assists with two PIM. Brink’s role continues to change. Because of that, he’s in the middling streamer range, but there’s a lot of variance.
Will Borgen – Two assists with two shots. Decent bottom pair defensive defenseman, but that does nothing for fantasy. That’s evident by Borgen being in the league for years, but this is the first time I’ve written about him. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Dmitry Kulikov – Two assists. And there’s your annual Kulikov update!
Jeremy Swayman – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 4-1 win over the Red Wings. Both Bruins goalies have been fantastic. Reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated.
David Pastrnak – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Pasta has been as good as ever so far. HIs numbers are a step ahead of last season’s monster performance.
Adam Lowry – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. The third line for the Jets went off, as Nino Niederreiter had a goal and an assist, while Mason Appleton dished two assists. They’re all middling streamers, with Niederreiter being the preference as he could do well if he moves up the lineup.
Kaiden Guhle – Two assists with four shots and two PIM playing over 25 minutes. When on the ice, Guhle has been very good this season, especially in blocks leagues. With extra categories, he’s must hold everywhere. In standard leagues, he’s on the fringe, but I lean towards holding for the all-around contribution.
Brady Tkachuk – Two goals on four shots, both assisted by Claude Giroux and Tim Stutzle. The top line is playing as well as any line in hockey so far.
Ridly Greig – Goal and an assist with two shots. It’s nice to see Greig still performing with Norris back in the lineup, but he’s still a middling streamer.
Sidney Crosby – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Crosby is at 3.5 shots per game with nine points in eight games. No signs of slowing down at age 36.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two goals playing over 23 minutes. The workload for RoR is off the charts so far, as Brunette is giving him all he can handle. It’s still on the fringe in non-faceoffs leagues.
Roman Josi – Goal and an assist with five shots. Josi is off to a slow start, but I have zero concern.
Filip Forsberg -Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Just stay healthy!
Luke Evangelista – Two assists with a shot. He’s on the first PP unit right now, which is a huge value. They have plenty of talent on the unit, and Brunette is a great PP coach. Evangelista is a solid streamer.
Semyon Varlamov – 34 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets. I’m really surprised that Varly decided to stay on the island instead of being a starter elsewhere, or at least in a duo. He’s not going to play much, but I would stream him in almost all matchups.
Mika Zibanejad – Goal and two assists with three shots. Zibanejad’s goal was his first of the season, but the assists and shots have been there. No reason to worry.
Artemi Panarin – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Panarin has had a point in every game so far. Is that good?
Adam Fox – Goal and an assist with four shots. It’s been the usual start from Fox, great in the points department but below average in shots. It’s the only thing keeping him from being in the top tier of defensemen.
Filip Hronek – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. He’d be a monster if Hughes were to ever go down, but without that, the problem is that the top unit gets almost all the PP time. It’s been really good so far, but I’m a bit skeptical of this continuing. I lean towards bottom end hold, but it’s towards the fringe.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – 23 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Avalanche. Levi is out right now (although he should practice Tuesday), and Eric Comrie is week to week, so obviously UPL would get his first career shutout against Colorado. He stood on his head the first 5 minutes and then the team was great in front of him. He should start Wednesday against Philly, but it would be a big risk to stream him.
Jeff Skinner – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. Eight points in the last five games for Skinner, who is off to a great start. Remember when Ralph Krueger had him on the fourth line? Fun times.
Pat Maroon – Goal and an assist. Bottom end streamer at best.
Jesper Bratt – Two goals and an assist with five shots. I love Bratt as a player, but it looks like I was too low on him for fantasy. I didn’t doubt the points, but the power play is so good now and the shots are decent enough again.
Alex Ovechkin – Two assists with seven shots. The kind of game you’d expect from Ovechkin against the Sharks, just unfortunate one didn’t end up in the back of the net.
John Carlson – Two assists with two shots. Carlson has seven points in the last seven games now. It hasn’t been great, but it’s been fine.
Darcy Kuemper – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sharks. This says more about the Sharks than anything. Kuemper is worth holding, but it’s bottom end.
MacKenzie Weegar – Two assists with three shots. The offense has been better lately, but Andersson will be back from suspension shortly, in which case most of his value will disappear.
Evander Kane – Goal and two assists with six shots, six hits, and four PIM. This is the game we’ve been waiting for from Kane. Sure, the goal was an empty netter, but he was a force all night. Be patient.
Zach Hyman – Goal and an assist with three shots, +4. It feels like Hyman hasn’t done much, but he has nine points in eight games.
Leon Draisaitl – Two assists with three shots and two PIM playing almost 25 minutes. Even with McDavid back, Draisaitl got all of the minutes. You’d think you’d be super excited with 13 points in 8 games, but that’s basically the same pace as last season.
Three Point Challenge: It is a very weird schedule this week. Because of that, you can pick anybody tonight or on Tuesday. For the first few 4-6 weeks of the season, we will use last season’s top 10. That means you can’t select McDavid, Draisaitl, Kucherov, Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Robertson, M. Tkachuk, Rantanen, RNH, or Pettersson. I’ll go with Keller against the Blackhawks.
That’s all for now guys. Despite the weird NHL schedule, the schedule is going to be about the same. Jules’ streaming post will be out this afternoon, so be sure to check that out. I’ll have a post on Wednesday recapping the action from the next two nights. After that, JKJ’s Friday/Sundae splits post will be out on Thursday, and then I’ll have my first hold/stream list out on Friday. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!