There was very little hype about Jack Hughes going into the season despite being the first overall pick only one year ago. We’re only three games into the season, but he’s off to a tremendous start. Hughes had two goals and an assist in the 4-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday. That gives Hughes six points in three games in the early going. I wrote after his first game that he should be owned everywhere. He’s had the biggest chance in ownership since the beginning of the season, but he’s still available in over 1/3 of leagues. If you’ve been asleep at the wheel and you’re lucky enough that he’s still available, go do so immediately, and then read the rest of the notes below! Let’s take a look at what happened over the last two nights:
Brian Elliott – 40 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Sabres. Elliott won’t play much, but he should be a solid streamer in most matchups behind the Flyers defense.
Kevin Hayes – Goal and an assist with five shots. Hayes is a solid bottom hold and is even better than that in the short term with Couturier out for the next two weeks or more.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with two shots. It’s pretty much what we’re expecting when MacKinnon plays against a team like the Kings.
Anze Kopitar – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. The Kings won’t be exciting, but Kopitar is still a hell of a player. The assists are already piling up.
Miles Wood – Goal and an assist with four shots. Wood has scored a goal in all three games, the shots have been great, and the minutes are going up. He’s also on the top power play so Wood is an elite streamer at the moment.
MacKenzie Blackwood – 47 saves on 50 shots in the 4-3 win over the Rangers. Nobody’s outlook changed more in the preseason than Blackwood’s when Crawford retired. I’ve been pumping his tires since that was announced, and while it won’t stay this good, he should be a solid #2.
Adam Fox – Two assists with six shots playing over 25 minutes. Best case scenario has happened for Fox right now as Tony DeAngelo has been inexplicably scratched. When he gets back in the lineup, presumably next game, will DeAngelo retake his spot on PP1? Hard to say, but I feel like Fox will keep it until the PP struggles making him a bottom end 2D.
Artemi Panarin – Two assists with four shots playing over 24 minutes! Six power plays and the Rangers being down boosted the minutes, but no matter what, Panarin should be a top 10 player.
Blake Wheeler – Goal and an assist with five shots. Solid start for Wheeler who tied up the game with 1:17 left to help the Jets get two points. With Patrik Laine out, Wheeler’s minutes should be huge.
Mark Scheifele – Two assists with three shots. Really encouraged by Scheifele having 14 shots already in three games.
Josh Morrissey – Two assists with two shots playing over 27 minutes. Morrissey is getting PP1 time again right as I suspected could happen in preseason. I wouldn’t panic if I owned Neal Pionk as he’s getting massive minutes as well, but Morrissey should be owned in all leagues right now.
Drake Batherson – Assist with seven shots. He’s getting first line minutes and the shot rate is excellent so Batherson is right on the fringe of holding. Josh Norris is an elite streamer as well.
Tom Wilson – Two goals on three shots with ten hits. We know what we’re getting from Wilson at this point. More information out tomorrow, but with all of the Russians on Washington going on the COVID list for hanging out together in a hotel room, Wilson could play a ton against the Sabres over the weekend.
Sidney Crosby – Goal and two assists with three shots. Nice start from Crosby and there’s no reason to expect anything else.
Kris Letang – Two assists with four shots playing over 28 minutes. Nice to see Letang finally get some points. It’s only a matter of time for him to get on a run with those minutes.
Teddy Blueger – Goal and an assist. And there’s your annual Blueger update!
Jake Guentzel – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Business as usual for Guentzel in the early going.
Dominik Kubalik – Two goals and an assist with eight shots. Excellent game from Kubalik from beginning to end so he gets rewarded by playing 14 minutes! Fourteen! On his atrocious team! Absolutely ridiculous on Colliton’s part. Kubalik still isn’t on the first power play unit either, so while I really like Kubalik as a player, I don’t like how Colliton is using him. I mean, Andrew Shaw and David Kampf are playing more minutes than Kubalik, it’s hilarious.
Lucas Wallmark – Two assists with a shot. Yeah… no.
Keith Yandle – Two assists with a shot. The Stars getting COVID changed the entire complexity of Yandle’s season. Right now, Yandle and Aaron Ekblad are both playing on the first power play unit which means in the span of a week, Yandle went from looking like a massive bust to having his usual chance to success. Now, I’m not buying in all the way as he could easily go to the bench with the team not happy with how he plays defense, but for now, it’s okay.
Patric Hornqvist – Two goals. The minutes aren’t great, but he’s on the first PP unit making Hornqvist a decent streamer.
Aleksander Barkov – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. He’s playing with Carter Verhaeghe (two goals on four shots) and Anthony Duclair (two assists with four shots) and is making both of them relevant in the process. I’d call Duclair an elite streamer right now while Verhaeghe is middling, but I’d like to see more games before I say for sure where they’re at.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Goal and an assist with two shots. Blashill shuffled the lines but by the end of the game, Bertuzzi was back on the top line per usual. He’s right on the fringe as long as he’s with Dylan Larkin (two assists with four shots).
Mikko Koskinen – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs. I certainly didn’t see a defensive battle coming between these two teams. This was a vintage Dave Tippett game, not a common Oilers game. I do not expect this to be the norm and Koskinen should be a #3 who is closer to desperation besides for wins.
Martin Jones – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Blues. I still want nothing to do with a Sharks goalie.
Jordan Binnington – 37 saves on 38 shots as the tough luck loser. Glad to see Binnington bounce back with a great game even though he didn’t get the win he deserved.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Goal and an assist with five shots. I loved Eriksson Ek as a prospect, but the offense never really developed. Shockingly, he’s stil only 23 years old and his defensive game is borderline elite so the minutes could be there. He’s not getting power play time yet, but if that changes, there could be some value here.
Nic Deslauriers – Goal and an assist with three shots. Deslauriers has two goals already which is quite the stunner. Even more stunning is that he has more goals than penalty minutes. Nothing to see here.
Carter Rowney – Two assists with two shots. Quite the journey for Rowney who made the NHL after spending time in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. I must say, that’s a fun place to watch a game, especially on $1 beer night, I’ve been gone to at least 10 games in my life. Anyways, all of that is as relevant to the readers as Rowney is in fantasy.
Tyler Toffoli – Hat trick on five shots. Hat trick revenge game! I’m a bit annoyed that Toffoli only played 14 minutes in this game. I like the player, but that will need to increase to get future results.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Same story as Toffoli, except he needs the minutes much more than Toffoli does to be fantasy relevant. He’s only a bottom end streamer.
J.T. Miller – Three assists with two shots. Nice to see Miller back in the lineup as he already has four assists in two games. The top power play went off on Wednesday scoring three goals. Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat each had two goals and an assist while Quinn Hughes dished two assists. They’ll get right back at it in the same matchup tomorrow night.
Alex Tuch – Goal and two assists with four shots and two PIM. The exciting thing here is that Tuch played 19 minutes. The only thing that’s been holding Tuch back over the past couple seasons is ice time. I’m not assuming this is going to be the norm, but it’s the difference between Tuch becoming a hold or staying a top streamer.
Alex Pietrangelo – Goal and an assist with four shots. Very good start for Pietrangelo in Vegas who has a chance to be a bottom end #1D.
Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with four shots. The captain has been dominant early going. There’s a real case for him being a top 10 player in real life. He won’t be that in fantasy, but Stone is elite.
Shea Theodore – Two goals on four shots. Not all of my big predictions have looked good to this point, but ranking Theodore extremely aggressively despite Pietrangelo’s arrival may be the best so far. He looks like a Norris candidate and a surefire #1 fantasy defenseman.
Jake DeBrusk – On the top line right now for Boston. In a small slate, that’s enough.
Andrew Copp – Playing on the top line with Scheifele and Wheeler against the Senators.
Drake Batherson – There’s a real case for him to be owned everywhere right now so getting to use him against a bad Jets team (defensively at least) is a win.
Friday Streamers (again, just names for now and details tomorrow, for those of you who need to make moves in advance)
Pius Suter, Chandler Stephenson, Zach Hyman (Joe Thornton will almost certainly be out for a while and this is assuming Hyman goes back to L1)
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back with a short post tomorrow recapping tonight’s games and having streamers for the weekend. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. I really appreciate all of the questions in the early going from everybody as the comment section is quite busy, makes it feel worthwhile writing. Thanks for reading, take care!
UPDATE: With only five games and not much changing overall, I’m not going to have a post on Friday. I’ll be back on Monday recapping the weekend’s action. Keep the questions coming!