I was expecting a big bounce back from Nazem Kadri this season in Colorado after being stuck on the third line in Toronto last season. It hasn’t been spectacular, but Kadri has been a hold all season. He was going through a rough patch with only one point in seven games before Monday, but he broke out in a big way. Kadri scored two goals on four shots and added an assist in the Colorado victory over Detroit. Sure, it’s Detroit, but three points is three points. Kadri has already surpassed last season’s goal total in 27 less games and the penalty minutes are through the roof. His spot on the top power play unit appears locked in, therefore making him a hold for the foreseeable future. The big offseason trade has been a huge win for the Avalanche, no doubt about it. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Dylan Larkin – Goal and two assists with three shots. Sure, Robby Fabbri (A, 1 SOG) has had his moments, but with Mantha down, the Red Wings offense has basically been Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi (1+1, 3 SOG, 4 PIM). Larkin has been a bit disappointing this season, but it’s hard to criticize him with the lack of talent around him. Perhaps the Red Wings will get lucky in the lottery and get to draft Lafreniere which would go a long way to helping Larkin return to last season’s level.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals on eight shots. It’s pretty much expected from MacKinnon to have a big game against the poor teams like Detroit.
Nikita Zadorov – Two assists with two shots. In super deep leagues, Big Z can be streamed for hits, but that’s about it.
Andre Burakovsky – Two assists with two shots. Nice run here by Burakovsky with eight points in his last six games. He’s on the fringe but I consider him an elite streamer.
Ryan Graves – Goal and an assist with five shots. Graves has been a pleasant surprise for the Avs this season. He’s +34 which is just ridiculous. In deep leagues, there’s a ton of value because Graves his every category well besides points.
Mikko Rantanen – Two assists with two shots. It feels like Rantanen is going to go on a massive scoring binge sooner than later.
Cale Makar – Two assists with two shots. Ranking him as a top 20 defenseman this season put Makar on all of my teams. Needless to say, it’s working out beautifully. He’s the massive favorite for the Calder as he pushes towards a point per game.
Keith Yandle – Goal and three assists on Monday, two PIM on Tuesday. The shots have dropped and the PIM have disappeared, making Yandle more of an AAGNOF than he already was. That said, he’s among the best at assists on an annual basis.
Aleksander Barkov – Goal and two assists with seven shots over two games. Every season Barkov gets voted as the most underrated player by NHL players. How can he still be underrated? Doesn’t really make sense. He’s been terrific once again as 90 points seems likely once again.
Frank Vatrano – Assist with two PIM Monday, hat trick on Tuesday. Frank the Tank! I called him a bottom end streamer on Monday, but Vatrano is getting bumped up to elite streamer while he’s hotter than a pistol. He has nine points in the last five games.
Mike Hoffman – Three assists with five shots and two PIM over two games. That’s a ten game point streak for Hoffman. The numbers are down a bit from last season, but there’s no reason to think he can’t end up returning to that level.
Ryan Suter – Two assists with four shots. Suter has quietly had a very good season to this point. It’s not exciting, but he has an outside chance at 50 assists.
Jared Spurgeon – Goal and an assist with four shots. Spurgeon is on the fringe but I lean towards leaving him on the waiver wire. The lack of PIM and shots drive his value down.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Two assists with two shots. I loved Eriksson Ek as a prospect but it really hasn’t panned out. That said, he’s been a bit better this season and he doesn’t turn 23 until next week. I’m not completely giving up hope that he turns into an strong second line center, but he belongs on the waiver wire for now.
Luke Kunin – Two goals on four shots. Kunin is in the same boat as JEE, although I have a little more confidence in Kunin turning into a solid offensive player.
Nate Schmidt – Two assists with a shot. Schmidt is right on the fringe. I slightly lean hold but you can go either way. DeBoer has upped his workload a bit so I’m giving him a little extended rope.
David Krejci – Goal and an assist. Nothing has changed for Krejci; it all comes down to team needs.
Petr Mrazek – 16 saves on 17 shots in the 4-1 win over the Jets. Doesn’t get easier than that. Mrazek remains a bottom end #2 goalie.
Teuvo Teravainen – Goal and two assists with three shots. Teravainen could have an even bigger second half if his shooting percentage regresses. There’s a chance he ends up getting to a point per game for the first time in his career.
Justin Williams – Two goals on five shots. I wrote about Williams extensively on Monday; you can read that here.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. It’s scary to think about how good Svechnikov is going to be in a couple seasons. He’s still only 19 and is pushing a point per game.
Artemi Panarin – Missed the game on Tuesday and will miss the All-Star game. It doesn’t sound serious, but still unfortunate that he’s missing some time as The Breadman has been one of the best players in the league.
Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with eight shots playing almost 26 minutes. Quinn is really riding his top guys this season. Zibanejad has been elite once again on a per-game basis.
Josh Bailey – Goal and two assists. Bailey is a bottom end streamer due to his poor shot rate.
Mathew Barzal – Two assists with two shots. It’s impossible to say at this point if Barzal is a 70 point guy, an 80 point guy, or better down the line. It’s hard to get a grasp on him besides that he’s damn good.
Brian Elliott – 19 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Penguins. That’s two great starts in a row, but it’s going to take more than that for Elliott to get back into good graces.
Erik Gustafsson – Two assists. He’s had two points in three consecutive games. I think he’s worth owning because we’ve seen the big run from Gustafsson before and he can also be traded.
Kirby Dach – Goal and an assist with two shots. It was nice to see Dach get over 18 minutes in this game, partially because they were down most of the game. Long term, the upside is huge. Dach has the chance to be a true #1 center. However, he’s a bottom end streamer at best in redrafts for the time being.
That’s all for now guys. With the All-Star Break this weekend, my next post will come on Monday morning. It will either be some predictions on the second half and projections going forward, or my schedule manifesto if I get it done in time. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!