Welcome to the fantasy hockey stock market. Each week we will look at three players trending up and three players trending down.
Micheal Ferland – LW/RW – Flames – 6 Goals, 2 Assists, 37 Shots, 15 Games
Currently riding a three-game goal streak, it’s worth a look in your fantasy league. Seeing 80 per cent of his shifts alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, the Flames power forward is in a good spot, especially over the past few games where he has seen over two minutes of power-play time.
The power-play chances may not continue but even if they don’t, Ferland should still have some value thanks to the exposure he provides next to the Flames’ top dogs. Ferland is especially useful in multi-category leagues where he is a consistent provider of PIM and hits. Even his shot volume is on the uptick, which is always a good sign.
Kyle Connor – LW – Jets – 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 20 Shots, 11 Games
The Jets’ top six is loaded with talent but there is still room for the rookie, Connor, thanks to an injury to Mathieu Perreault. Connor has clicked alongside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler at even strength and on the power play. He is skating 18 minutes a night and has given the coaching staff no reason to trim his opportunity. Perreault may return soon so it behooves fantasy owners to stay on top of Connor’s minutes and linemates but he’s worth using so long as his opportunity remains this cushy.
Pavel Buchnevich – LW/RW – Rangers – 8 Goals, 7 Assists, 46 Shots, 18 Games
The sophomore forward has provided an offensive spark that the Rangers desperately needed. Over half of his offensive production has come on a revamped Rangers power play, currently converting on a quarter of all their chances. Buchnevich and free-agent acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk are a big reason why that unit has been so dynamic. If that group keeps clicking, Buchnevich should have a breakout season with 50-plus points.
Duncan Keith – D – Blackhawks – 0 Goals, 7 Assists, 46 Shots, 18 Games
It’s not yet time to dump Keith, he’s proven himself too many times over, however we are starting to see some troubling trends. Keith has just one point in the last nine games and is losing time on the top power-play unit to Cody Franson and Jan Rutta. That Blackhawks power play is drowning at 27th in the league in efficiency, the second year of decline for this squad after falling to 19th last season. After trading away Artemi Panarin, it is worth asking if there’s enough offence outside of Patrick Kane to push the power play into the top half of the league. Keep an eye on Keith’s usage, he may turn droppable shortly.
Colton Parayko – D – Blues – 1 Goal, 4 Assists, 47 Shots, 18 Games
Parayko is a dazzling talent. There are few defencemen his size who can rush the puck end-to-end. Unfortunately, talent does not always translate to production. The defenceman has registered back-to-back seasons in the mid-30s and should finish there once again. There was some hope that with Shattenkirk gone, we might see Parayko soak up some time on the top power-play unit. Alex Pietrangelo has taken that spot by the reins and is not letting go.
On the plus side, Parayko is still providing some tremendous shot volume but if you were hoping for a breakout season, it seems unlikely.
Alexander Wennberg – C – Blue Jackets – 1 Goal, 8 Assists, 29 Shots, 18 Games
Wennberg rode a hot power play to a breakout last season scoring 23 of his 59 points with the man advantage. However, the Blue Jackets power play went into the tank mid-way through last season going from one of the league’s best to one of the worst, seemingly overnight. They sit dead last this season, clicking on only 9.6 per cent of their power plays. The situation has gotten so dire they have started to cut back on Wennberg’s power-play chances. Without a pile of power-play points, Wennberg is a middling centreman option with a low shot volume. That’s a difficult fantasy asset to support.