Evander Kane is a player that I aggressively rank every season. The shot rate is always elite, the penalty minutes are great, and the goals should come along with those shots. Thankfully for his owners this year, Kane has managed to stay healthy. Kane had the best game of his career on Friday, scoring four goals on seven shots and adding two penalty minutes. He followed that up with eight shots on goal and two PIM on Saturday. That brings Kane’s totals to 25+25 with 65 PIM and almost 4 shots per game. Obviously he’s must own, but what is his ceiling going forward? I don’t think his point totals are going to change much depending on where he signs in the offseason. What can change is his plus-minus. Sure, plus-minus is generally hard to predict, but there are some situations that you can feel better about. Obviously Buffalo was almost worst case for that, and Kane is +5 in San Jose to this point. Yes, it’s a small sample, but we’ve seen around the league this year that a lot of teams are loaded with big plus-minus totals. Kane has never been much of a power play guy either, but maybe he goes somewhere that he plays on the top unit and improves. I feel like he’ll be in the bottom of my top 50, but obviously things can change between now and then. For those who have him for this year, enjoy him down the stretch. With his shot volume, Kane can be a massive difference maker if he has some good fortune. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Mathew Barzal – Goal and an assist with four shots. I’ve long been a fan of Barzal, but there’s a chance I’m lower on him than most going into next year. Low PIM, below average shot rate, tons of hype after winning the Calder. I’ll be very interested to see how high he’s ranked elsewhere. He seems like a bottom end of the top 50 guy to me at this point.
Alex Chiasson – Goal and two assists with two shots. Whoop de do.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with three shots and two PIM before leaving the game with an upper body injury. He missed Sunday’s game, but there is no timetable besides that he’ll be back before the playoffs start. You can’t really afford to hold onto guys that aren’t playing at this time in the year, so unless we get a firm timetable in the next day or two, or he goes on IR, you have to cut Kuznetsov.
Jamie Benn – Two assists with five shots. Another under the radar quality season. Benn is absolutely crushing all six categories.
Erik Karlsson – Two assists with two shots playing over 31 minutes. As expected, Karlsson is closing incredibly well.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with four shots. I’m probably holding Duchene right now although it’s right on the fence.
Mike Hoffman – Goal and an assist with three shots. I ranked Hoffman too high this season, mostly because the penalty minutes from last year appear to be an outlier, but I still like him plenty going forward.
Tomas Hertl – He’s really heating up lately (more on him later) so I’d look to stream him at the moment.
Michael Ferland – Goal and an assist with two shots. Boy did Ferland fall off hard as the season went along. I have no interest in using him in 12’ers right now.
Filip Forsberg – Two goals on five shots. He’s turned into more of a playmaker as he’d be on pace for 45 assists over 82 games. That said, everything is looking good across the board although the shot rate has fallen to average. Forsberg is still only 23 years old and should easily be a top 50 player for the next five-plus years.
Craig Smith – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Smith is an elite streamer and if you need a balanced stat line, he’s an okay hold at the bottom of your roster.
Colton Sissons – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. And there’s your annual Sissons update!
Juuse Saros – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 4-2 win over Colorado. When Saros gets his chance to be a #1 in real life, and it will happen eventually, he’s going to be a #1 fantasy goalie. The talent is through the roof.
Jakob Silfverberg – Two assists with four shots. He’s fallen off a bit this year to the point where he’s a bottom end streamer at best.
Jason Zucker – Goal and an assist with three shots. Zucker is setting career highs across the board besides in plus-minus, where he’s still a +11. He’s easily a top 100 player at this point.
Erik Haula – Goal and an assist with two shots. A nice revenge game for Haula, although Vegas did lose to Minnesota. Speaking of career highs, Haula has blown all of his previous numbers out of the water. He has to be held in almost all formats.
David Perron – Two assists with two shots. The shot rate has fallen off to a pretty bad level, but Perron is still at a point per game on the season. Craziness.
Patrick Kane – Two assists with two shots. You can basically lock Kane in for two points every time he plays in Buffalo.
Sam Reinhart – Goal and two assists. That’s 29 points in Reinhart’s last 27 games. This gives me the excites. Obviously he’s a hold right now, the question is how good he can be in the future. I’m not sure he’ll get to being a top 50 guy, but it can be close. I want him next year on all of my teams.
Ryan O’Reilly – Goal and an assist with four shots. RoR has also been on a tear as long as Reinhart has. If you are lucky enough to own him in a faceoff league, you are cleaning up right now.
Nicholas Baptiste – Two goals. I think he can turn into a solid NHL’er but I doubt Baptiste ever becomes 12’er relevant.
Connor McDavid – Goal and two assists. Would it shock anyone if McDavid finishes with an absurd three weeks and wins the Art Ross?
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Goal and an assist with five shots. Very solid year for RNH. He’s an elite streamer going forward.
Keith Kinkaid – 38 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Kings. Overall, his numbers are poor, but the wins are outstanding. Kinkaid has played very well over his last ten starts so I’d stream him in most matchups.
Torey Krug – Three assists with two shots. Krug is a solid #2 with McAvoy out, possibly a bottom end #1.
Tuukka Rask – 23 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Tampa. The only thing keeping Rask from being a top 5 goalie is the volume.
Curtis McElhinney – 33 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Canadiens. He’s been outstanding this year. As long as Andersen is out, McElhinney needs to be held. Andersen could be back soon, but Toronto has no reason to push him at all.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 2-1 win over the Senators. Bob has been strong once again. Not last year’s levels, but still pretty damn good.
Mika Zibanejad – Two goals, both assisted by Chris Kreider. They’re both rolling right now, especially Zibanejad, so I’d probably hold both. There’s no debate over Mika.
Alex Pietrangelo – Two goals and an assist with four shots. He’s closing the year on a massive tear solidifying himself as a #1.
Devan Dubnyk – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 3-1 win over the Coyotes. Nice revenge game for Dubnyk. He’s taken a step back this year but Dubnyk is still a bottom end #1.
Timo Meier – Two goals with four penalty minutes. Meier looks poised for a breakout next season. The 21 year old has reached the 20 goal mark, the penalty minutes are strong, and the shot rate is already average. I can smell a Meier sleeper post in the future. He looks like a guy who you’ll be able to get with one of your last few picks and makes a huge difference.
Logan Couture – Goal and an assist with four shots. It’s a shame Couture isn’t a three shot per game guy anymore. It doesn’t take away from him probably scoring 30 goals again, but it keeps him from being a top 50 guy instead of safely in the top 100.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals and an assist with eleven shots. MacKinnon is putting in a claim to be considered for the #1 overall pick next season in fantasy drafts. I won’t have him quite there, mostly because of McDavid’s safety, but he’ll be very close. What an incredible year.
Gabriel Landeskog – Goal and two assists with two shots. The drop in penalty minutes have stopped Landeskog from pushing towards the top 50, but he’s still a no-brainer hold in all formats. He might actually be a value next year assuming the PIM bounce back.
Mikko Rantanen – Two assists with two shots. Just remarkable what Rantanen has done. 25+52 and there’s still 10 games left. Not bad for a 21 year old.
Semyon Varlamov – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 5-1 win over Detroit. The upcoming schedule for the Avs is pretty tough so proceed with caution.
William Karlsson – Hat trick on four shots. That gets Wild Bill to 39 goals on the season and a +39 rating. Everything about this season screams regression for next season (he’s shooting almost 25%), but for now, just enjoy the ride.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 42 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Flames. Not much else to say about Flower, he’s been a godsend.
Jaccob Slavin – Goal and an assist. He’s ended the year well but I’m still passing on Slavin in fantasy.
John Tavares – Three assists with four shots and two PIM. This gets Tavares back over a point per game on the season. Whether or not Tavares stays will be one of, if not the biggest, story line of the offseason. His fantasy value won’t change much, but it will greatly impact the Islanders and potentially another team if he leaves.
Anders Lee – Two goals on four shots. That brings Lee to 35 goals, a new career high after his 34 last year. Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist with five shots as he also sets career highs. I buy into Lee’s success but I’m still a bit hesitant on Bailey. Obviously both of these guys are going to lose plenty of value if Tavares leaves, even if Barzal slides into that spot.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with two shots. Four game point streak for Ovechkin as he could post his best season in over five years.
John Carlson – Goal and an assist with three shots. Carlson is going to have set new career highs across the board by the end of the season. It would be ideal if he stays in Washington past this season (he’s the marquee defenseman free agent) but he should still be a #2 even in the worst spots. Carlson is obviously a #1 at the moment.
Wayne Simmonds – Two goals on six shots. The shot rate has taken a step back this year, as has the PIM. Are we approaching the downside of Simmonds? At 29 years old, that could be possible.
Jakub Voracek – Goal and an assist with two shots. Spectacular all-around season for Jake who also isn’t getting the credit he deserves.
Sean Couturier – Two assists with four shots and four PIM. He’s fallen off a bit, especially in the goals department, but Couturier has been one of the waiver wire pickups of the year. At 25 years old, he’s just approaching his prime.
Nikita Kucherov – Two goals on six shots, both assisted by Steven Stamkos. Business as usual for the Tampa superstars.
Louis Domingue – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over the Oilers. Domingue is a fine stream when he starts solely for the wins.
Alex Pietrangelo – Goal and three assists with eight shots. Lord, have mercy. As mentioned above, Pietrangelo is closing the year incredibly well. There’s even a chance he finishes as a top 5 defenseman.
Vince Dunn – Goal and three assists with four shots. I’m a huge fan of Dunn going forward, both in real life and for fantasy. Next year still might be a year early, but he profiles as a guy that I’ll take as my last defenseman in 12’ers as a flier.
Alex DeBrincat – Hat trick. Remarkably, this is the third hat trick of his rookie season. On the last podcast, I said that DeBrincat is a guy who I want on all of my teams next season. I’d rather he slow down right now to keep his stock down since I don’t have him anywhere, haha. DeBrincat is positioned to take another step forward just with additional ice time, let alone that the 20 year old should get better as he develops.
Patrik Laine – Two goals. This gets him back into a tie with Ovechkin for the league lead. At 19 years old. Laine currently has a 15 game point streak with 18 goals over that stretch. Unbelievable.
Blake Wheeler – Goal and an assist with three shots He’s been killing it all season long. Wheeler is back in the league lead in assists to go along with his other quality contributions. Wheeler is 31 years old now so I doubt I have him ranked as a first rounder next year, but in the second again is a lock.
Ryan Getzlaf – Goal and an assist as did Rickard Rakell. No slowing down for either of these guys. It’s a damn shame that Getzlaf missed so much time due to injury. Rakell has taken major strides this season to push towards being a top 50 player. Right now, I’d guess he’s just short, but it’s close.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action over the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Best of luck to everyone in their fantasy playoffs or just the end of the year in roto leagues! Thanks for reading, take care!