Mika Zibanejad was looking like the biggest bust of this season near the halfway point.  Well, it's changing pretty quickly and amazingly, it wasn't the Sabres that turned it around.  Last week, Zibanejad had three goals and three assists against the Flyers.  It was so fun that he did it again eight days later!  On Thursday, Zibanejad doubled down with his second natural hat trick and six point game in rapid succession against Philadelphia in the 8-3 win.  That brings him up to 10+16 in 32 games, not exactly lighting the world on fire, but within reason.  He's still over three shots per game, so while a repeat top 20 season is out of play, a top 50 season is still within reason.  As I said at the time, Zibanejad is prone to huge hot streaks, and I think 17 points in 7 games qualifies.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We had a blockbuster happen on Saturday morning.  Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic are headed to Columbus in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third round pick.  Three disgruntled players all get fresh starts and all should have a fantasy impact, albeit to differing degrees.  Let's start with Dubois.  He's going to start centering the second line, presumably with Ehlers and Stastny moving to the wing.  I presume his minutes will come in around the 18 he was at last season which should be quite productive.  The big question is whether or not he's on the first power play or if Stastny keeps that spot.  We'll have to wait two weeks to find out as Dubois will have to quarantine for that long given Canadian rules right now, but there's a potential top 50 player in here.  I really like the combination of Dubois with Ehlers.
The player with the most points this weekend was Connor.  No, not McDavid.  Kyle Connor continued his terrific season with two amazing games.  First, he scored a goal and dished three assists against the Senators.  Then, he followed it up on Sunday by scoring two goals and an assist with five shots in the win against the Blackhawks.  That brings Connor up to a point per game on the season, 26+30 in 56 games.  Connor is developing into one of the unheralded stars in the league.  Overshadowed by Scheifele and Laine on his own team, this will be Connor's third straight 30 goal season at age 23.  His shot rate is over three per game now and the penalty minutes have jumped quite a bit.  I'm not sure how much higher his ceiling is, if at all, but it doesn't have to get higher.  Connor has established himself as a player whose floor is 30+30 with plenty of upside from there.  He's going to be a top 50 player (conservatively) for a long time, mixing in seasons where he's a top 25 player overall when he has some good fortune.  The Jets are in terrific shape going forward offensively, now they have to do whatever they can to improve their blue line.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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:
One of my main focuses as far as team projections go is coaching, especially when it deals with goaltending.  I always love the Isles goalies because of Trotz, or Arizona because of Tocchet.  Well, I made the mistake of not giving enough credit to Dave Tippett going to Edmonton.  Tippett has always had great defensive teams in Arizona, and that's continued in Edmonton.  The biggest beneficiaries have been the goalies, and over the weekend, that was Mikko Koskinen.  Koskinen had a 29 save shutout on Friday against the Devils before saving 31 of 33 shots in the 6-2 win over the Ducks on Sunday.  His numbers are spectacular as are Mike Smith's.  Do I love these guys going forward?  No, I still prefer the Isles guys, for example.  That said, I probably undersold both of these guys.  I think both Koskinen and Smith need to be held and could be decent #2's for the rest of the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I've been stubborn in terms of thinking Dougie Hamilton was going to have a massive fantasy season for years now.  Loyal Razzballers know my love for guys who hit all of the categories, and Hamilton has always done that.  It seems like Carolina is finally giving him the chance to be the #1 guy in all situations and he's off to a tremendous start.  On Friday, Dougie scored a goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He followed that up with a goal on five shots Saturday, bringing him to 4+4 in 6 games with 19 shots, 6 PIM and +7.  Obviously he's not going to keep up this pace, but this is the kind of start that can allow Hamilton to finish as a top five defenseman.  In fact, gun to head, I'd bet on it happening right now.  If you follow my rankings, odds are that you have Hamilton on your team in redrafts or keepers.  If that's the case, don't even consider selling high because this isn't a fluke.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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 15th stop, we finish off the always competitive Central Division with the Minnesohhhhhta Wild. With a pending GM change stalling RFA signings and an already old core only getting older, I personally think this will be a miserable season for the Wild. That being said, there are some fantasy impact players:
The Bruins split up their first line recently and there's been one massive winner: Danton Heinen.  Heinen had a great rookie season in 2017-18 with 47 points in 77 games.  He's struggled mightily this season but Heinen has taken off since moving onto a line with Marchand and Bergeron.  Heinen had a goal and two assists with three shots against the Blackhawks on Tuesday.  That gives him three goals and three assists in the past four games, with at least three shots on goal in every game.  If you're in a 16+ teamer, Heinen should be owned no matter the format.  Even in 12'ers, I am good with holding onto Heinen while he's hot and the Bruins have three games in four nights starting on Friday.  At the least, he's moved up to elite streamer status as he's as hot of a schmotato as they come.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Patrice Bergeron has had an excellent career to this point, one that gives him a chance at making the Hall of Fame one day if he ages well.  To this point, we've seen no signs of him slowing down.  That continued on Tuesday as Bergeron scored two goals in his 1000th career NHL game.  He became the fifth Bruin to reach that mark, and he'll be 3rd all-time early next season behind Bourque and Bucyk.  On a per-game basis, this has been the best season of his career.  He has 18+28 in 37 games with an elite shot rate.  This is his eighth straight season with a Corsi over 56%.  Bergeron is arguably the best defensive center in the game who is good enough to dominate the other team's top players on a nightly basis.  His prowess is what gives the Bruins a chance to upset someone, presumably Toronto, in the first round of the playoffs.  I wouldn't be selling high if I owned him; the first line is so damn good that very few teams have a chance against them.  Let Bergeron continue to provide great value to your team.  Here's what else happened on a busy Tuesday night:
We found another goalie out of nowhere!  Jordan Binnington was great in his second start on Thursday, allowing one goal on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over over Canadiens.  He's been strong in the AHL the last two seasons, and with how bad their other goalies have been, Binnington deserves a chance.  Obviously it could collapse at any time, and the Blues' schedule in January is very road heavy.  On the other side, there a lot of good matchups over the next two weeks for Binnington.  I wouldn't go out of my way in shallow leagues to own him, but Binnington could be a solid streamer with upside for more, especially before the All-Star Break with the Sens, Kings, and Ducks in a row.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: