Fantasy Mailbag: Finding replacements for injured goalies

Watch as Bobby Ryan gets emotional after scoring a hat trick in his first game back in Ottawa.

Thankfully, we were spared a Jeff Marek juggling performance on trade deadline day – Feb. 24 produced 31 trades in total. How could you not be entertained? That was fun.

All-in-all, it ended up being a rather busy last flurry of NHL trade activity before the stretch drive to the Stanley Cup Playoffs got underway. Before moving forward, let’s dissect the fantasy repercussions of all the wheeling and dealing over the last little while. Here’s a top-five list of traded players who stand to gain a fantasy boost from their change of scenery:

Player Yahoo! Ownership SN Fantasy Hockey Pool Value
PIT Jason Zucker 58% 2
VAN Tyler Toffoli 56% 1
EDM Andreas Athanasiou 50% 1
CAR Vincent Trocheck 55% 2
WSH Ilya Kovalchuk 29% 2

By the way, make sure to check out Sunday’s ’20 Fantasy Thoughts’ for a deeper fantasy dive into last Monday’s trade deadline. There’s lots that grabbed my attention.

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For now, let’s get to your questions:

Thatcher Demko, by a landslide. With Jacob Markstrom out long-term, I view the 24-year-old as a must own goalie. The Canucks are legitimate. Simply put, Alex Nedeljkovic isn’t ready. Look for Anton Forsberg to get the majority of the starts with both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek currently sidelined for the Hurricanes. Where you at, David Ayres?

Again, I’d go with Demko. Vancouver is the better team. Considering all the injuries in Columbus, I’m not sure how much that team has left in the tank. Regardless, they’ve been a marvelous story.

Honestly, take your pick between Demko and Alexandar Georgiev. Unbelievably, the Rangers are making a late charge for a playoff spot. With blue chipper Igor Shesterkin currently on the shelf after being involved in a car accident, Georgiev will see the brunt of the workload.

Again, you can’t go wrong with Demko either.

As evident by Thursday night’s impressive 5-2 win in Tampa, Corey Crawford is capable of stealing a game or two. That said, you just never know what you’re going to get from the Blackhawks defensively on a game-by-game basis. Prepare for some rough outings. Other than that, there are far worse crease options out there. Also, don’t forget that Crawford has a new contract to compete for. I expect a strong finish from the veteran tender.

David Ayres for Prime Minister.

Yes, I do think Juuse Saros is worth the investment. For what it’s worth, the Predators have really started to turn things on lately, most of which has been with the 24-year-old Saros in goal. The Predators are 6-1-1 over their last eight games. In addition to that, Saros has won five of his last six starts. He’s certainly outplayed Pekka Rinne. Monitor closely, but certainly, I’d scoop him up.

Stick with Alec Martinez. He’s been an excellent fit so far in Vegas and I like the fact that Peter DeBoer has rewarded him with some power play time as well. It’s fine to hop around when it comes to your blue line. For now, ride the hot hand of Martinez.

This isn’t Mike Green of 10 years ago. Temper your expectation. Suffice it to say, you can find much better options on the waiver wire right now.

Go with Dominik Kubalik. Andreas Athanasiou is still too much of a wildcard for my liking in Edmonton. I’m super curious to see how his relationship with head coach Dave Tippett holds up. From a defensive standpoint, Athanasiou has a lot of room to grow. He’ll have some turbulent times, for sure. Additionally, I love the rest of season exposure for Kubalik to Patrick Kane. Simply because I have too many questions when it comes to Athanasiou, I’ll go with Kubalik here. Both should provide steadily to finish up.

Both players are banged up right now. When healthy, I’m going with Andre Burakovsky. At this point, Jared Bednar knows what he has in the player. Undoubtedly, there’ll be a feel out process between Tippett and Athanasiou. I hope it works out, because he’s got speed to burn.

Depending on your league settings, I’d view both players more so as waiver streams when Pittsburgh and Edmonton have busy schedules. Without question, schedule manipulation is crucial, especially this time of year. Every point and game matters. When it comes to current deployment, Conor Sheary is skating with Sidney Crosby and Tyler Ennis with Connor McDavid. Obviously, both are in favourable situations to succeed. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Great question. I’m rolling with Tyler Toffoli.

I’ve loved that fit since that trade between Los Angeles and Vancouver went down. You can’t stop contract year Toffoli, you can only hope to contain him. A strong finish from the 27-year-old should put him in line for a massive pay day.

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