20 Fantasy Thoughts: Keep close tabs on Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates his goal against the Arizona Coyotes with Oilers centre Connor McDavid (97) during the second period of an NHL hockey game. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Time flies.

Can you believe that today marks the one-year anniversary of that multi-player blockbuster between Winnipeg and Columbus?

And believe it or not, Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic are reportedly still very much available on the trade market.

Some things just never change.

Initially, it looked like the Blue Jackets were going to make out like gangbusters, especially the way Roslovic came out of the gates. But then Pierre-Luc Dubois had a great offseason, returned in phenomenal shape and is currently on pace for career-highs across the board.

WPG Pierre-Luc Dubois – 78 GP: 25 G, 24 A, 49 P, -9

CBJ Patrik Laine – 64 GP: 16 G, 20 A, 36 P, -32

CBJ Jack Roslovic – 85 GP: 18 G, 32 A, 50 P, -16

As you can see, it’s still way too early to determine a winner.

Meantime, we’re still awaiting the first significant trade of this season. Speaking of which, it’s been an eventful time in Alberta lately.

1. Keep close tabs on the Edmonton Oilers, who in recent days, have reportedly ramped up their search for a goalie. Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin and Joonas Korpisalo are three names worth monitoring. Be mindful.

2. No, you shouldn’t trade Connor McDavid and/or Leon Draisaitl. Suffice it is to say, you’ll instantly regret that decision. Bottom line, try to avoid being reactionary.

3. Make a move for John Klingberg. The Dallas blueliner has six points in eight contests since his trade request went public back on Jan. 7. For what it’s worth, the Swede could go sooner rather than later. All eyes on the Carolina Hurricanes there.

4. It’s buy-time on Tyler Seguin. The 29-year-old has three goals and six points over a modest three-game point streak. He’s looked excellent lately. Act swiftly.

5. With Kaapo Kahkonen shining bright lately for the Wild, now’s an excellent time to execute a buy-low on Cam Talbot. Even with Kahkonen’s emergence, I still think Dean Evason will give Talbot every opportunity to hold onto that number-one job.

The veteran could get the call on Monday night at home against Montreal.

6. Pick up Ville Husso immediately. The 26-year-old is on fire and has started to push the struggling Jordan Binnington for playing time in St. Louis. So far in 2022, Husso is 4-0-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average, 0.959 save percentage and one shutout.

The Blues need to see what they have in Husso, he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent following the season.

7. I’m curious to see what new Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is thinking. Are there any untouchables? What happens long-term with Carey Price? Stay tuned, there are lots of possible fantasy dominos to fall ahead.

8. In Winnipeg, Andrew Copp and Cole Perfetti stand to gain an uptick in responsibilities now that Nikolaj Ehlers is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. He’s considered week-to-week.

9. Acquire Blake Wheeler. After missing just over a month with a suspected knee issue, the Jets captain returned to the lineup on Saturday afternoon in Boston. Overall, the 35-year-old has had a tough season, which should pave the way to obtain him for less than market value. That window could close quickly, however. Wheeler notched 12 points in seven games prior to the injury.

10. Some wing eligible replacement options to ponder: Adrian Kempe, Clayton Keller, Viktor Arvidsson, Tyler Toffoli and Travis Konecny.

11. Honestly, it’s bewildering to me that Alex Tuch is still under 30 per cent owned in standard leagues. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a must own fantasy player and you should act accordingly. In nine contests with Buffalo, Tuch has registered three goals and 10 points. Don’t miss out on that value.

12. Scoop up and stash Adam Henrique. The 31-year-old will be traveling with the Ducks on their five-game road trip and is expected to make his return to the lineup as early as mid-week. He has six goals and 16 points in 24 games this season.

13. Put Quinton Byfield on your watch list. The Kings recalled the 2020 second overall pick this past week. Early on, the 19-year-old is skating on the third line as well as the first power play unit. Monitor closely.

14. Add Evgenii Dadonov. Playing on Vegas’ top line with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone, the Russian has tallied at least one point in six of his past seven outings (2 G, 5 A).

15. Can I interest you in a little Gustav Nyquist as a short-term stream? The Jackets forward has five goals and five helpers over the past 10 games. Think about it.

16. Need help on the back end? Evan Bouchard, Mike Matheson, Esa Lindell, Jaccob Slavin, Jared Spurgeon and Adam Pelech are all worth a trial run.

17. The NHL released an updated schedule for the balance of the regular season, one that will now feature 95 total games between Feb. 7-22.

The breakdown:

3 Games – LAK, TBL

4 Games – DET, FLA, NYR, SJS

5 Games – ANA, ARI, NJD, NSH, VGK, WSH

6 Games – BUF, CHI, COL, DAL, PHI, PIT, STL, VAN

7 Games – BOS, CGY, CBJ, MIN, MTL, NYI, SEA

8 Games – CAR, EDM, TOR, WPG

10 Games – OTT

This is certainly some concerning information for those of you who own a lot of players from teams like Tampa and Los Angeles. Get ahead of it.

18. Meanwhile, the upcoming week is tentatively slated to feature a total of 53 games (Jan. 24-30):

Monday: 7 Games

Tuesday: 8 Games

Wednesday: 5 Games

Thursday: 10 Games

Friday: 5 Games

Saturday: 11 Games

Sunday: 7 Games

19. There are 13 four-game teams (ANA, BOS, CGY, CAR, COL, DAL, LAK, MTL, NYI, NYR, PIT, SEA, VGK).

When it comes to strength of schedule, I like these three teams:

Boston Bruins:

Games: Mon (ANA), Wed (@COL), Fri (@ARI), Sun (@DAL)

Waiver Looks: Matt Grzelcyk, Erik Haula, Craig Smith

SN Fantasy Pool: David Pastrnak 3, BOS Goalies 3

Colorado Avalanche:

Games: Mon (CHI), Wed (BOS), Fri (@CHI), Sun (BUF)

Waiver Looks: Valeri Nichushkin, J.T. Compher, Pavel Francouz

SN Fantasy Pool: COL Goalies 3, Nazem Kadri 2

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Games: Tues (ARI), Thurs (SEA), Fri (DET), Sun (LAK)

Waiver Looks: Jeff Carter, Kasperi Kapanen, Brian Dumoulin

SN Fantasy Pool: PIT Goalies 3, Jake Guentzel 2

20. Nashville, Tampa and Toronto will play just twice, so it would be wise to steer clear of depth adds from those three squads.

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