First off, sorry for the delay in getting a post up following the trade deadline.  I'm in Vegas to see the Sabres Friday night and with the snow in Buffalo, traveling issues came up cutting into my time to write.  Anyways, this seems like a good point to highlight certain things around the league that are having an impact in fantasy hockey.  Next week, I'm going to start with my playoff manifesto so everyone in head to head leagues can plan ahead in regards to streaming and bottom end holds.  Let's get to it!
It's my favorite day of the year!  It's the NHL Trade Deadline, and I'll be updating this post throughout the day with instant analysis on every single move.  I'm starting this post now with moves over the weekend and will start up again around noon EST and be here through the hour after the trade deadline.  Let's get to it!
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:
He's backkkk.  Justin Williams made his return on Sunday, totaling three shots on goal in 13 minutes of action before scoring the shootout winner for the Hurricanes.  So what should we expect from him going forward?  Well, the Hurricanes are in a bigger dog fight for the playoffs than expected, so I do expect Williams' workload to ramp up sooner than later.  He skated on the fourth line in this game, but there's a spot for him right now in the top six that's currently occupied by Foegele.  It should only be a matter of time until he fills that role.  How much does that matter?  Well, we know that Williams is a great source of shots.  He pushed close to three per game last season while totaling 53 points and 44 PIM.  That sounds like a guy firmly on the fringe to me.  I wouldn't be rushing to grab Williams, especially with Carolina only having one game between now and January 31st, but he's back to elite streamer status with the upside of being a bottom end hold.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Hey everyone!  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and got to enjoy some hockey over the long weekend.  There's been a lot of action since I last wrote, so I'm going to hit on every team quickly and write about anything notable that's taking place that will impact us for fantasy.  Today, I'm going to hit on the first 15 teams alphabetically and then I'll post about the next 16 on Tuesday. Let's get to it! ANAHEIM DUCKS There are only three skaters that are owned in more than 50% of leagues, and I think that's correct.  However, I think two of the people are incorrect.  Jakob Silfverberg is in the midst of a cold streak and I wouldn't be holding him any more.  On the other hand, Cam Fowler is an easy hold at the moment.  The minutes are huge and while it's not exactly exciting, it's plenty good enough to hold in a 12'er.
While general sports fans were watching playoff baseball (Go Braves!) or Sunday Night Baseball, hockey fans saw one of the best performances of the season take place on the first weekend.  Anthony Mantha scored four goals on eight shot, including the winner in the last minute of the game, to beat the Stars 4-3.  This comes after an incredible performance in his season opener in which he scored a goal and two assists with five shots and four penalty minutes in the upset win over Nashville.  In both games, the players on the top line were at or above 20 minutes each.  That's extremely encouraging for their long-term success.  Obviously we're not expecting Mantha to be a top 25 player all of a sudden, but the potential is there for 30 goals, 50 PIM and a very good shot rate.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Today, we wrap up my defensemen rankings going through the top 40.  Guys that don't make this list will creep into my top 200, but these 20 blueliners will be the last guys that get a whole paragraph on them.  For those who didn't see it, my top 20 can be read here.  Let's get right to it! 21) Seth Jones - I know it will be controversial that Jones isn't in my top 20.  A lot of my concerns with Jones last season were founded.  His huge jump in shot rate dropped almost all the way back to where it was in 2016-17.  His power play totals plummeted.  His assists and goals both dropped despite the team shooting 9.9% while Jones was on the ice last season, the best of his career.  Am I expecting a big bounce back?  Not really.  The loss of Panarin should help increase his PP role, but he could also lose PP1 time to Werenski.  Obviously he could get back to 2017-18 form where he was a bottom end #2, but I have my doubts.
Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season. Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our 14th stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we visit the Windy City – Chicago baby! There weren’t huge expectations for this Hawks squad heading into 2018-19, but their young offensive weapons helped them fight till the bitter end, ending up just six points out of the playoffs. With an interesting free agent pickup and some moves to stabilize their D core, what will the Hawks do this season?
One of my favorite late round gambles on the blue line this season was Erik Gustafsson.  Gustafsson played 35 games last season and has 16 points and two shots per game.  That doesn't sound great, but that was with zero power play time and limited minutes.  Keith and Seabrook were falling off a cliff giving Gustafsson prime opportunity.  He took advantage of it and then some.  Gustafsson dished three assists on Monday night while putting a shot on goal and adding 4 PIM.  That brings Gustafsson up to a whopping 17+42 with 34 PIM and almost exactly two shots per game.  That's with 18 STP, a number which could be higher if he played on PP1 all year.  So what do we make of Gustafsson for next season?  Well, it's early to say.  I think these numbers are mostly sustainable as long as Chicago doesn't add a PP specialist in the offseason.  I don't expect them to with the young guys they have coming, especially Jokiharju, but there's always a chance.  Gustafsson looks like he'll be a solid #3 next season, possibly a bottom end #2.  The goals will probably come down a bit, but 40+ assists should be a near lock with Chicago's style and strong PP, and he's average in PIM and shot rate.  If he's going to be better, it's because he takes a few more shots.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Monday night: