It wasn't that long ago that Vladimir Tarasenko requested a trade from the Blues. It wasn't that long ago that Tarasenko could have went to Seattle in the expansion draft.  Now, St. Louis has to be thanking their lucky stars that he's still on the roster.  Tarasenko had his biggest game of the season on Thursday, scoring a hat trick on four shots and adding two more assists in the 6-2 win over the Sabres.  Tarasenko now has 31+41 in 67 games, with a great chance of setting a career high in points.  It's a remarkable turnaround for the Russian who is certainly a top 100 player for drafts next season.  I don't see him cracking the top 50, but it's great to see Tarasenko playing great hockey again.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Those of you that have been patient holding Evander Kane for almost four months were rewarded on Saturday night.  Kane played his first game of the season with the Oilers and went right on McDavid's wing.  Kane scored in the first period and finished with three shots in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens.  He's still available in 50% of ESPN leagues and very close to that on other sites.  Kane is a must own immediately, and if you use FAAB, you should bid a large amount of your budget.  Yes, he could do something stupid and be banished, but the upside is too high for him to be on waivers.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Not everybody can step into the league and score 105 points like Crosby or 52 goals like Ovechkin did.  Even for #1 overall picks, it can take some time for them to learn the league and figure out how to play to their strengths.  If the last week is any indication, it looks like Jack Hughes has started to figure it out.  After a three point game earlier in the week, Hughes followed that up with another three point game; two goals and an assist with seven shots against the Oilers. On Sunday, Hughes kept the multi-point streak going with two assists against the Capitals.  That brings to 8+8 in 16 games.  You don't need a math major like me to tell you that's a 41+41 pace over 82 games.  The minutes are starting to reach first line minutes on a regular basis.  Missing a lot of time will keep his overall value down, but Hughes has a reasonable chance to be a top 50 player this season on a per-game basis, and he'll be ranked extremely high from yours truly in 2022-23.  Let's take a look at what else happened over what was hopefully a great New Years weekend for everyone!
Jeff Skinner scored 40 goals in 2018-19 playing on the first line with the Sabres.  Then, for no reason at all, Ralph Krueger decided that Skinner shouldn't play on the first line anymore.  Last season, Krueger thought that Skinner, on a team devoid of talent, should play on the fourth line, or even be scratched.  Needless to say, Krueger was one of the worst coaches in the league and quickly lost his job.  Since Don Granato took over, Skinner has been back in the role he should be, and he's been thriving in the early part of this season.  Skinner scored two goals and added an assist on Saturday against the Maple Leafs.  He has 5+4 in 14 games so far with a whopping 47 shots on goal.  The shot volume will go a long way towards Skinner finding his goal scoring touch again.  I don't think he's a slam dunk hold in 12'ers just yet, but he's an elite streamer with clear upside in his role.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's no secret that I think Nikolaj Ehlers is the best forward on the Jets and it's not much of a debate.  Ehlers stole the show on Tuesday night, tying the game with the goalie pulled, only to score 19 seconds later and win the game for Winnipeg.  Ehlers had an assist earlier in the game bringing him up to 2+2 in six games.  The big thing is that he has 25 shots in six games.  Ehlers is an absolute stud and the points are going to keep flowing in.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Razzball favorite Oliver Bjorkstrand had his second 3+ point game of the young season on Thursday, dishing three assists and adding two shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Islanders.  That's seven points in four games and the equally encouraging sign is that Bjorkstrand played over 20 minutes in this game.  He's owned in almost every league like he should be, but the upside may be even higher than I gave Bjorkstrand credit for.  I have no doubt that the goals are going to come, but the playmaking has improved leaps and bounds over the last season plus.  I don't think he can quite get to being a top 50 player in a best case scenario, but top 75 is attainable.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Joel Eriksson Ek took a big step forward last season, one of the main reasons the Wild made the playoffs with relative ease.  It was more on the defensive end than offensively, but he showed plenty of offense with 19 goals in 56 games.  On Tuesday, Eriksson Ek controlled the game for the Wild, scoring a hat trick on seven shots in the 6-5 OT win over the Jets.  Eriksson Ek averaged just over two shots per game last season, but he now has twelve shots in three games.  The minutes are going to be there so there's a chance he could push into bottom end hold territory.  For now, he's an elite streamer.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We wrap up the forward rankings today with the Top 100.  If you've missed the early parts, you can start with the Top 60 here and go backwards from there.  In a few days, I'll have my Top 200 list out and before you know it, the season will be starting.  Let's get to it! 61) Bryan Rust - The point per game season will probably be an outlier, but Rust has a high floor no matter who his center is.  Like Guentzel, I wouldn't be surprised if the shot volume goes up a tad while Crosby and Malkin are out because the Penguins will need the puck on their sticks more.
Howdy, Razzguys n gals! I'm stoked to bring you my first-ever piece of fantasy hockey content here at Razzball. If you pay attention to the fantasy baseball side of things, then you'll know me from there. But believe it or not, I know a thing or two about fantasy hockey and hope to share my unparalleled wisdom with you all. Poor Viz has been doing it all by himself, so I figured I'd lend a hand. I'll be doing an eight-part Team Previews series, with each division getting two parts. Today is Pacific Part 1, tomorrow will be Part 2, then Wednesday and Thursday will be the Central. Next week, we'll do it all again with the Metro and the Atlantic on Monday-Thursday. Hope you enjoy!
With only a couple weeks left in the season, it's time to lock down and make that final push.  In this post, I'm going to highlight some notable things around the NHL and their fantasy impact, along with looking at the schedule for the week ahead and what we can do with that.  Let's get to it! Alex Nedeljkovic is only three games away from becoming a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted free agent.  It's easier for Carolina to do with Petr Mrazek banged up (he could play if necessary, but Carolina won't push him), so expect Nedeljkovic to start at least three times down the stretch.  He's still available in almost 70% of leagues which I do not understand.  I would add him immediately if he's available.
Nino Niederreiter's first season in Carolina couldn't have gone any better with 14+16 in 36 games.  Last season really couldn't have gone worse with 11+18 in 67 games.  Well, this year has certainly been closer to 2018-19 and we can be thankful for that in fantasy.  Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with three shots on Friday before dishing an assist on Saturday, adding six shots.  That brings Nino to 9+3 in 16 games with over three shots per game, 13 PIM, and a great +11 rating.  The second line in Carolina has been incredible, sparked by Niederreiter and Trocheck's revival.  He's an easy hold in all formats for the time being.  I wish that the minutes were a bit higher, but considering what Nino is doing with what he's getting, there can be some growth with additional minutes, namely in the assist department.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: