Three up, three down: Ryan Donato making instant impact with Bruins

Blake Wheeler picks up his 20th goal of the season as the Winnipeg Jets tie the game at fours against the Nashville Predators.

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

Three Up


Kyle Connor – LW – Jets – 29 Goals, 21 Assists, 175 Shots, 69 Games

The rookie winger is on another hot streak with seven goals in the last six games. He has been in a great spot all year skating with Blake Wheeler on Winnipeg’s top line and top power play unit. It hasn’t led to consistent production, but when he has strung together some strong patches of point-per-game play. He’s on another one of those streaks for a Jets team getting healthier and more dangerous by the day.

Ryan Donato – W – Bruins – 2 Goals, 2 Assists, 11 Shots, 4 Games

Donato jumped straight from college hockey into the Bruins’ top six, making an immediate impact with a three-point NHL debut. He is getting all the opportunity in the world skating on David Krejci’s wing at even strength as well as on Boston’s lethal top power play unit with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even in the player pool two weeks ago!

Chris Kreider – LW – Rangers – 15 Goals, 21 Assists, 120 Shots, 51 Games

The power forward has returned with a bang scoring four goals and 14 points in 14 games since recovering from broken ribs. He is back in his spot on the Rangers’ top line alongside Mika Zibanejad as well as at the net front on New York’s top power play unit. The Rangers’ offence hasn’t been the problem in the second half as they have traded goals with opponents on a nightly basis. Skill meets opportunity for fantasy owners.

Three Down


Mike Smith – G – Flamess – 24 Wins, 27 Losses, 136 Goals Against, 53 Games

The season has slipped away from Smith and the Flames during a disastrous second half. Since the All-Star break Smith has seen his play drop off boasting 4-8-0 record, a 3.62 goals-against average and an 0.879 save percentage. For many stretches Smith was the only thing holding the Flames together, but he has particularly struggled since returning from injury. It’s poor timing for the Flames and fantasy owners, but it would have been nice if the rest of the roster could have carried Smith during this rough patch. Now that they are all but eliminated Sean Monahan has been shut down for the season, which won’t help matters.

Jack Eichel – C – Sabres – 22 Goals, 32 Assists, 220 Shots, 60 Games

It’s been a tough go for Eichel since returning from a sprained ankle with just one point in five games. He returned to a team that had traded his best linemate (Evander Kane) and has been eliminated from contention. He still has performance bonuses, pride and a shot at the World Championships to play for, but otherwise you wonder why he even bothered to push to come back.

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.

Mark Giordano – D – Flames – 13 Goals, 24 Assists, 204 Shots, 76 Games

With the Flames’ best forwards dropping one by one at the end of a long season, it’s not leaving much offence to help prop up the remaining healthy bodies like Giordano. The top defenceman has just one point in the last six games and isn’t dynamic enough to generate offence on his own.

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

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