3 up, 3 down: Hamilton on top power-play unit a good sign

Calgary Flames defenceman Dougie Hamilton (27) celebrates his game-winning goal with teammate Sean Monahan (23). (Todd Korol/CP)

Welcome to the fantasy hockey stock market. Each week we will look at three players trending up and three players trending down.

Three Up

Dougie Hamilton – D – Flames – 9 Goals, 20 Assists, 166 Shots, 56 Games
Notorious second-half superstar Dougie Hamilton is at it again.

After a slow start, the defenceman has 13 points in 17 games since the start of January. Hamilton has received an added boost in the form of a recent promotion to the Flames’ top power-play unit with Johnny Gaudreau. Having flashed a 50-point upside without getting top-unit usage, Hamilton is a strong candidate to blast his way there with another second-half surge.

The window to get in on Hamilton for cheaper than elite prices is closing.

Mitchell Marner – RW – Maple Leafs – 12 Goals, 29 Assists, 130 Shots, 57 Games
Generally speaking, it’s the wrong time to jump in on a player after he has a five-point game, but as we discussed regarding Nazem Kadri last week, the Leafs’ newly formed second line is firing on all cylinders.

Marner has now scored seven goals in the past nine games, more than doubling his season total. With use together at even strength and on the power play the Kadri-Marner duo promises to bear fruit the rest of the way.

Kyle Palmieri – F – Devils – 13 Goals, 11 Assists, 104 Shots, 36 Games
Palmieri has struggled with injuries all season. Finally healthy, he’s contributing for fantasy owners.

A recent hot streak with five goals and eight points in the last seven games bumps up his per-game pace to that of a 60-point forward. He won’t reach that level because of said injuries but can be expected to continue at this pace the rest of the way.

He’s a high shot-volume guy who sees top-unit power-play time in New Jersey providing ample opportunity to contribute for fantasy owners.

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Three Down

Henrik Lundqvist – G – Rangers – 22 Wins, 21 Losses, 119 Goals Against, 45 Games
Lundqvist was brilliant in Sunday’s victory over the Jets. He remains one of the league’s top goalies and is certainly capable of stealing any game.

On the other hand, Lundqvist has been the victim of woeful play in front of him in recent weeks. Thanks to mounting injuries and a pledge from management to rebuild, the talent in front of Lundqvist is dwindling.

He’ll still have some great games, and will see most of the starts, but there are no guarantees that you’ll get good fantasy numbers.

Duncan Keith – D – Blackhawks – 0 Goals, 25 Assists, 133 Shots, 55 Games
This is not the first time that Keith has appeared in this space, but it’s worth re-emphasizing how poor a season he has had.

Keith has not yet scored a goal and has been mired in a miserable slump for much of the season. He has just 12 points in 30 games since the start of December and there are few signs that he’ll start trending upward any time soon.

Outside of Patrick Kane the Blackhawks are producing little offence, and Keith has lost his exposure to Kane on the power play having been reduced to secondary usage for the past month.

It looks like it’s time for the waiver wire.

Sam Reinhart – F – Sabres – 11 Goals, 16 Assists, 108 Shots, 55 Games
Reinhart was on his way to winding up on the top half of this stock market post until news of Jack Eichel’s high ankle sprain came down.

The Sabres had been riding high with one of the league’s most potent power plays since the start of January. In particular, Reinhart had cashed in with a run of 12 points in 11 games before Eichel missed Sunday’s contest.

There are few players as important to their team’s success as Eichel is to Buffalo’s. While Reinhart will continue to see big minutes, without the exposure to Eichel’s elite talent it seems fruitless to use a roster spot on him.

Reinhart has mostly been a flop through three seasons outside of a few intriguing hot streaks. Consider this yet another reason for intrigue, but not a reason to use the forward. It may be a long 4-6 weeks in Buffalo.

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