Fantasy Mailbag: Can Senators’ Thomas Chabot keep this up?

Drake Batherson and Cody Ceci scored and the Ottawa Senators held on to defeat the Detroit Red Wings.

After Wednesday’s one-for-one swap between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, you’d think that there are several other NHL general managers looking to get after it as well.

The same probably holds true for many of you disgruntled fantasy owners out there off to extremely rough starts.

When constructing your weekly Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool rosters, don’t underestimate the value of dressing players in the middle of trade talk. Many respond positively and others, well, they usually get shipped out.

Now to your questions:

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JT Stevenson – @johntstevenson
What does the trade to Pittsburgh do for Tanner Pearson’s fantasy value?

Considering the amount of successful early-season trades that Jim Rutherford has made during his tenure as Penguins general manager, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Pearson explode. This was your classic struggling-player-for-struggling-player swap.

Clearly, there’s greater upside with Pearson. He’s a former first rounder who direly needed a change of scenery, not far removed from a 24-goal season. He has one assist in 17 games. You can only go up from there.

Additionally, skating on a line with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin should do wonders for his lack of confidence, obviously.

I think this move to Pittsburgh will be huge for Pearson’s development and career.

Monitor him closely.

Jason Elkins – @RedsealNinja
Is it too early to trade draft picks for marquee players? Lower teams are selling the farm right now (10- team, Points League). Wait it out? Or, pay the inflated prices now?

In a perfect world, I think you wait until later in the season to pull the trigger on a significant deal or two. After all, we haven’t even hit the 20-game mark. For all you know, your struggling players could get going.

That being said, you also have to gauge the market in your league. If you get fair value, don’t be scared to pull the trigger.

With that in mind, being patient may allow you to buy later on at a discounted price because of a lack of market. People jumping the gun now will have minimal later, if you catch my drift.

Patience is a virtue.

Matthew Herman – @mattyheman
Is Tom Wilson fantasy relevant?

That was quite the return for Wilson on Tuesday night, wasn’t it? (1 G, +2, 7 PIM, 16:47)

He is as relevant as the line he’s playing on. It looks like Todd Reirden’s plan is to keep the oft-suspended winger on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. That trio was dominant for a large chunk of last season.

That being said, Kuznetsov did leave Wednesday night’s game against Winnipeg with a suspected head injury. Keep that in mind going forward but yes, Wilson is very fantasy relevant these days. I’m interested.

Scuba Steve – @scone099
What do I do with Anze Kopitar?

Like you, I’m a Kopitar owner caught in the abyss of a dismal start.

There’s not much you can do right now. If you trade him, you won’t get proper value. There’s no point in letting him go for nothing.

Aside from his horrible 2016-17 season, Kopitar has been a fixture in the 20-30 goal, 65-75-point range. From the beginning, I thought it would be awfully difficult to replicate those Hart Trophy-worthy numbers from last season.

Fingers crossed Kopitar figures it out. Ride it out!

Lt. Dan ice cream – @LTDan30728175
Will Mikko Koskinen take the starter gig from Cam Talbot?

This is strictly my opinion, but doesn’t it feel like the Oilers have lost complete faith in Talbot? I know for a fact they’ve been out there quietly scanning the goalie market.

At this point, the Oilers will start anyone capable of making saves and winning hockey games. Koskinen has been the better goalie lately but that can all change with one strong Talbot start.

Coaches have short memories sometimes. It’s all about the previous game. If Koskinen keeps winning, he’ll keep starting. Simple as that – the Oilers have a general manager and head coach with jobs on the line right now.

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Kyle Wandler – @WandlerKyle
Is Neal Pionk a valuable pickup, or not? Will this continue?

I’m a big-time believer in what Neal Pionk is doing, fantasy wise, for the New York Rangers. He’s completely taken Kevin Shattenkirk out of the picture.

I went over the numbers a couple of weeks back. Almost 50 games into his NHL career now, Pionk is producing at around a 0.55 point per game clip. If you prorate that over a full 82-game season, you’re looking at about 45 points. That would’ve been good enough for 20th among NHL defencemen last season. BUY.

Laura Anderson – @babybruiser81
Is it time to drop Kasperi Kapanen? Was his production solely the product of Auston Matthews?

It just shows you how fantastic Auston Matthews truly is. Before Thursday’s two-goal night, Kapanen had just two assists in the previous seven games since the third-year pivot went down.

My eyes suggest Kapanen has been decent lately, just not getting the bounces. With Matthews potentially returning to the lineup over the next couple of weeks, I’d hold onto to the Finnish speedster. They developed some serious chemistry before the injury and with William Nylander still unsigned, I fully expect that to continue upon Matthews’ return.

Gut it out.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

JT – @TANGO274
Do I sell high on Thomas Chabot?

This kid’s something else. He really is.

Unless you’re blown away with an offer, I wouldn’t do it.

History tells us that a lot of second-year defencemen tend to explode offensively. Chabot has done it everywhere he’s played, and with no Erik Karlsson in the fold, he’s the No. 1 guy back there for Ottawa.

I fully expect this domination to continue although it’s also fair to expect regression. This pace is unsustainable.

I’m anticipating about 55-65 points from Chabot this season.

DR – @swaggerb0mb
Who do you prefer in a points-only league, Brayden Schenn or Jonathan Huberdeau?

Season Brayden Schenn (STL) Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA)
18/19 GP:12, G:3, A:6, P:9 GP:16, G:4, A:11, P:15
17/18 GP:82, G:28, A:42, P:70 GP:82, G:27, A:42, P:69
16/17 GP:79, G:25, A:30, P:55 GP:31, G:10, A:16, P:26
15/16 GP:80, G:26, A:33, P:59 GP:76, G:20, A:39, P:59

As the chart portrays, the numbers between the two players last season were pretty much even.

Schenn missed his fourth consecutive game for the Blues on Wednesday night as he continues to deal with an upper-body ailment. That scares me.

Also, given the fact that Ryan O’Reilly has essentially stolen the No. 1 centre spot in St. Louis, I’m inclined to expect a dip from Schenn this season. In my world, he’s a 25-goal, 55–to-60-point guy. That’s very solid.

To answer the question, I’m definitely siding with Huberdeau. Despite the recent success of Florida’s top line, I think it’s inevitable that Huberdeau returns to Aleksander Barkov’s wing eventually.

Simply put, I’ve got more faith in Huberdeau.

Michael DGiorgio – @BostonDiGiorgio
What’s going on with Erik Karlsson?

I chalk up Karlsson’s slow offensive start to a variety of things, with tough luck and questionable play among them.

Perhaps the two assists he added in Thursday’s loss against Toronto will be a turning point.

Bottom line – every player adapts differently to a big-time change from what’s considered the norm. While it’s fair for fantasy owners to be mildly agitated right now, Karlsson has recently shown positive signs of breaking out.

I think you ride this out. It’s inevitable that he’ll break loose eventually. Karlsson is just way too good of a player to be mired in a season-long slump.

Talk to me in a month and we’ll go from there.

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