20 Fantasy Thoughts: Buy low on Patrik Laine while you can

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29), pictured above. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

It’s vacation time across the National Hockey League.

Starting today (Jan. 20) through to the end of month, each of the 31 teams will get their CBA mandated seven-day breaks. 10 squads will have their bye week conclude following Honda All-Star Weekend. Meantime, the other 21 will have their scheduled beach days post-San Jose.

Here’s a more intricate breakdown:

Jan. 20 – Jan. 24 Jan. 27 – Jan. 31
BOS, BUF, CBJ, DAL, NJD, NYR, PHI, PIT, TBL, WPG ANA, ARI, CGY, CAR, CHI, COL, DET, EDM, FLA, LAK, MIN, MTL, NSH, NYI, OTT, SJS, STL, TOR, VAN, VGK, WSH
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1. Quantity over quality when it comes to constructing your roster for the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool.

Over the next two weeks, the Hurricanes, Wild, Predators, Flyers, Penguins, Golden Knights, Capitals and Jets will play the most games (four). On the other side of spectrum, the Ducks, Kings and Canucks have just two contests.

2. The Los Angeles Kings will have the longest duration between games: 10 days (Jan. 22 to Feb. 1). Additionally, Buffalo, Dallas, Edmonton, San Jose, Tampa Bay will be off for nine days. Be smart with your moves.

3. Boston’s bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion on Saturday night and is considered to be out indefinitely right now. The clear replacement in the interim is Jaroslav Halak. We’ll see on Jan. 29.

4. Pontus Aberg isn’t worth your time.

After registering 11 goals and 19 points in his first 30 games with the Ducks this season, the Stockholm native fell off a cliff, going pointless in his final seven outings. He then was scratched for four consecutive games before being moved to Minnesota. He has one helper in two games so far skating on a line with Zach Parise and fellow newcomer Victor Rask.

5. I like the Nino Niederreiter for Rask swap – fantasy wise – more for Carolina.

It’s easy to forget that Niederreiter is a former top-50 fantasy player. A change of scenery can do him well. So far, he’s being utilized on the third line. It’s inevitable that he finds himself on a line with Hurricanes superstar Sebastian Aho eventually.

6. Due to necessity in Dallas, Andrew Cogliano is currently playing in the top six up front. The Stars are in desperate need of secondary scoring. Not a good role for Cogliano.

7. Look to acquire Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel. Not only is he playing well – four goals over the last seven games – but there’s a strong chance he’ll be dealt to a contender before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Excellent value buy opportunity here.

8. Speaking of the trade block, it’s all but a lock that the Rangers will deal Mats Zuccarello. The Norwegian is a must-add right now across the board. Not only is he blazing hot right now riding a five-game point streak (four goals, five assists, nine points) but a trade to a deeper team will make Zuccarello even more valuable.

9. Attention: We’ve entered another buy low window for Patrik Laine. After a torrid 18-goal November, the Jets sniper has just four tallies since then. Some food for thought – the second highest scoring month in Laine’s career is February (16 goals in 23 games). Make some offers.

10. Dump Keith Kinkaid. After a four-game win streak to start the season, the Devils and Kinkaid have been mired in a season long tailspin. Again, Taylor Hall’s performance last year masked a lot of deficiencies. Chalk it up to an off year for Kinkaid (3.10 goals against, 0.899 save percentage). Upgrade immediately.

11. The bye week couldn’t have come sooner for the Devils, maybe with exception to Blake Coleman. The speedster could provide you with a cheeky boost in daily fantasy. He has six goals and two assists this month. New Jersey is back in action on Jan. 28.

12. Don’t “ghost” someone if they’re trying to sell you on acquiring David Perron. I’m a believer. Quietly, the 30-year-old is currently riding a 13-game point streak. That torrid run has been interrupted by a nagging upper-body injury but it doesn’t sound too serious. Perron is looking to build off last year’s 16 goals and 66 points in 70 regular season games with Vegas last season. Do it.

13. Now’s a good time to sell high on Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm. Hats off to the 28-year-old defender, he’s already notched a career high in points (36) and is five off his single-season high in goals (10). This 0.75 point-per-game is obviously not sustainable, so maximize the value.

14. Move on from Tom Wilson. The controversial power forward has just four points in the last month. It’s certainly a fall from grace considering his blazing beginning after the suspension. You’ll find a more consistent option on the waiver wire.

15. If you own Carter Hutton, double up and pick up Linus Ullmark too. The 25-year-old appeared in six of Buffalo’s eight games leading into their bye week. With Hutton’s recent struggles, the door is open for Ullmark to get some playing time. Pay attention!

16. Take a flier on Boston’s Peter Cehlarik. The 23-year-old Slovakian has two goals and an assist in three games playing on the second line with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. The Bruins are another team searching for secondary offence.

17. Again, temper your expectations when it comes to Canucks blue chip goalie prospect Thatcher Demko. The 23-year-old tallied 36 saves in a 4-3 win over Buffalo in his season debut on Friday night. Demko’s time will come but it’s Jacob Markstrom’s crease right now.

18. How is Vincent Trocheck only 62 per cent owned right now in Yahoo! Leagues? After missing 27 games with a fractured right ankle, the Panthers centre notched an assist in his return to the lineup on Friday night. When healthy, Trocheck is easily a top-70 fantasy option. Go out and get him.

19. Have a look at Anaheim rookie Troy Terry. The American excellence program standout potted his first NHL goal and added an assist in a 3-2 win over New Jersey on Saturday afternoon. With the 12-game losing skid in the rearview, expect the Ducks to find their game a bit over the next little while.

20. Be mindful of Nolan Patrick’s recent resurfacing for Philadelphia. The sophomore is coming off a hot week where he tallied four goals and six points in three games. Scoop him.

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