3 up, 3 down: Trouba stepping up in Byfuglien’s absence

Watch as Jacob Trouba jumps up into the play and caps off some nice passing by the Winnipeg Jets against the Minnesota Wild.

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

Three Up

Jacob Trouba – D – Jets – 2 Goals, 8 Assists, 75 Shots, 33 Games

Trouba has had a slow start for fantasy owners, taking a backseat to Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers in order to provide the Jets with a consistent defensive presence. His minutes are down from over 24 per game last season to just 21:26, but he has been up over 22 minutes in each of the last four games thanks to Byfuglien’s absence. Trouba has been promoted to the top power-play unit and should produce big points in that role as long as Byfuglien remains on the shelf, which could be weeks.

Kevin Fiala – LW/RW – Predators – 8 Goals, 15 Assists, 66 Shots, 31 Games

Nashville’s second line has run over the opposition since Kyle Turris was acquired. In 17 games since the big three-way deal Turris, Fiala and Craig Smith have scored 17, 16 and 16 points respectively. Fiala has been particularly lethal of late with six goals and nine points in the past seven games. It would be more enticing if Fiala were playing more than the 14:33 he has averaged per game, but at this point we cannot ignore the results. Ride Fiala until opposing teams find an answer for the Predators’ second line. If you are late to the party on Fiala, consider Smith as an under-owned consolation prize.

Colin Miller – D – Golden Knights – 5 Goals, 14 Assists, 67 Shots, 32 Games

After a quiet November, Miller has bounced back scoring eight points in eight games this month. His minutes have also climbed to nearly 20 per game after averaging 18 per game through the first two months of the season. With Vegas sustaining its elite scoring figures, Miller is in a great spot to succeed especially with exposure to James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault on the power play.

Three Down

Jacob Markstrom – G – Canucks – 9 Wins, 13 Losses, 59 Goals Against, 23 Games

Markstrom has conceded 16 goals in four games. What’s really concerning is that the Canucks appear set to face the next month without the entirety of their top line after Brock Boeser left Sunday’s game with a foot injury. The Sedins have performed quite well stepping up for the already injured Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi, but without Boeser the burden may be too much to handle.

Don’t be shocked if the Canucks go on a horrible slide with their top youngsters out.

Nico Hischier – C – Devils – 5 Goals, 15 Assists, 69 Shots, 32 Games

Hischier has been on a downward slide over the past month scoring just six points in the last 15 games. He is currently riding a five-game scoreless drought. Star linemate Taylor Hall should be returning soon, which will help Hischier plenty, but there are still reasons to be sour on the rookie. For whatever reason the Devils still are not using him on their top power-play unit, which has hurt his chances of racking up cheap points. Of his 20 points only four have come with the man advantage.

He needs to get bumped up to the top unit for a better chance of consistently producing points, but that hasn’t happened, not even after Adam Henrique was traded.

T.J. Brodie – D – Flames – 2 Goals, 14 Assists, 47 Shots, 33 Games

All the circumstances that had Brodie as a hot option early on are still in effect. He continues to be the lone defenceman used on the Flames’ top power-play unit. However, that power play has slowed to more realistic levels and with it has gone Brodie’s scoring.

Over half (nine) of his points have come with the man advantage. This is not a usual trend for Brodie, however his pairing with Travis Hamonic has not been a successful one, hurting his even-strength production. At some point the Flames’ power play will get rolling again, but until then Brodie is going to be a wasted roster space. He has already gone eight straight games without a point. Get out now before any more damage is inflicted.

Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of DobberHockey. Follow him on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.

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