The four-day all-star break will give fantasy owners another chance to step back and reassess their teams for the second half of the season. What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses? Will a trade help to address any of those weaknesses? Astute fantasy owners should also be on the waiver wire frequently to find out which players have recently become available and which players are making some noise.
Who has recently been dropped depends on your league, but we can certainly help with the players that have been standing out to us lately.
Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WAS
Although his first-half totals haven’t been anything to get excited about, Burakovsky has been on fire as of late. Over his last eight games, Burakovsky has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) with a plus-8 rating. His ice time total isn’t great (just over 13 minutes per game), but he’s been clicking on the Capitals’ third line that includes Lars Eller and Brett Connolly. Since Washington has a lot of pending free agents this summer, Burakovsky is one to consider in keeper leagues should he move up the pecking order as a result.
Patrick Eaves, RW, DAL
The roller coaster that is Patrick Eaves is once again on the rise. With an assist on Thursday against Buffalo, Eaves now has seven points (three goals, four assists) over his last five games. The Stars are once again finding ways to score, and Eaves just happens to be on the same line as Jamie Benn for the time being. With 18 goals and 31 points this season, Eaves is on the verge of setting career highs in both, and we’re barely halfway through the season. His only downside at the moment is a minus-10 rating, which is always going to be risky given the Stars’ style of play.
Jason Pominville, RW, MIN
While Pominville is once a regular on fantasy teams, his ice time has fallen as a result of several young Wild forwards blossoming into legitimate scoring threats. Yet, playing on a line with Zach Parise (more line combinations here), Pominville is currently riding a five-game point streak. As seen with Burakovsky above, a third-line player on a deep team can provide decent short-term value. That fantasy value won’t rival Pominville’s days on the top line in Buffalo, so he’s best suited for deeper leagues.
Ivan Barbashev, C/LW, STL
This waiver wire suggestion is probably more for keeper leagues than anything. Barbashev was recalled by the Blues in time for Thursday’s game against Minnesota, where he failed to record a point in just 10 minutes of ice time. So, in the short-term, he will probably have difficulty receiving meaningful minutes with a deep Blues’ scoring attack. However, he has been posting solid numbers in the AHL, scoring 37 points (19 goals, 18 assists) in just 44 games with the Chicago Wolves this season. He also scored 95 points in just 57 games in his final QMJHL season, so he’s proven himself as a scorer at every level.
Jacob Trouba, D, WPG
Over the past month, Trouba trails only Brent Burns in points scored by a defensemen (see Dobber’s Report Generator), totalling 12 points over his last 15 games. One significant reason for the recent success is the fact that Tyler Myers has been sidelined since November, boosting Trouba’s ice time to as high as 25 minutes most nights. Trouba has also been taking a ton of shots lately, firing 19 over his past five games. Whether he stays in Winnipeg or eventually gets moved, Trouba is starting to prove that he can score, as long as he receives consistent ice time.
Philipp Grubauer, G, WAS
After three games in four nights heading into the all-star break, the Capitals have four games in six days following it. With two back-to-backs (Tuesday/Wednesday, Saturday/Sunday), Grubauer could possibly start two games next week. With Braden Holtby logging a ton of starts over the past three seasons, a backup as effective as Grubauer (9-2-2, 2.13 goals-against average, .924 save percentage) can make life easier not only for his team, but for your fantasy team as well, as the Capitals prepare for the stretch run and gear up for the playoffs.