Monday Pickups – Feb 27/2017

Let’s recap on the players I suggested for pickups last week (not a great week, not bad for depth players either):

  1. Martin Hanzal (ARZ) – 3 GP – 1 Goal/ 1 Assist/ -1/ 9 SOG
  2. Jimmy Vesey (NYR) – 4 GP – 0 Goals/ 2 Assist /EVEN/ 5 SOG
  3. Michael Stone (CGY) – 4 GP – 0 Goals/ 2 Assists/ +4/ 7 SOG
  4. Jakob Chychrun (ARZ) – 4 GP – 2 Goals/ 1 Assist/ -1/ 3 SOG
  5. Travis Zajac (NJD) – 2 GP – 1 Goal/ 2 Assists/ -2/ 5 SOG

Let’s see who’s playing/not playing a lot this week:

Teams Playing 4 games:

  • Arizona
  • Buffalo
  • Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Columbus
  • Los Angeles
  • Minnesota
  • Montreal
  • New Jersey
  • Pittsburgh
  • Tampa Bay
  • Vancouver

Teams Playing only 2 or less (bye week) games:

  • Anaheim
  • Edmonton

Waiver-Wire Pickups (Percentages owned are via

1) Travis Zajac (Forward – 47%) – I’m sticking with Zajac again this week. Putting up 3 points in 2 games last week, he remains hot. Especially with 4 games on the schedule for the Devils this week. Zajac is one of the safer bets in the NHL to put up just over half a point per game, and right now he’s on fire.

Matchups this week: Montreal, Washington, Boston, Columbus

2) Frank Vatrano (Forward – 38%) – Vatrano has been playing very well since coming back to the big league club. With 4 points in his last 5 games, Vatrano is doing very well in a limited role for the Bruins. Boston is right in the middle of a playoff race, so they’ll need scoring from all lines. Expect Vatrano to keep chipping like he has been.

Matchups this week: Arizona, NY Rangers, New Jersey

3) Sebastian Aho (Forward – 69%) – While he is owned in the majority of leagues, if he’s available in yours, take a chance on him this week. Carolina is surely not going to make the playoffs, and they’re likely to ride their rookies from here on out. A couple Canes could be on the move at the deadline, and I expect Aho to see increased ice the rest of the way.

Matchups this week: Florida, Tampa Bay, Arizona (twice)

4) Nick Schmaltz (Forward – 45%) – Schmaltz is on fire right now with 2 goals and 5 assists in his last 5 games. He’s riding the benefit of playing with a fired-up Toews, and he’s taking full advantage. Jump on Schmaltz while you can.

Matchups this week: Pittsburgh, NY Islanders, Nashville

5) Mathieu Perreault (Forward – 31%) – Perreault checks in on the list with the lowest owned percentage, and the most points in his last 5 games (2 goals, 4 assists). Perreault has struggled most of the year, but has picked it up lately. He’s seeing much more ice-time in his last 7 games, and it doesn’t look like that will change.

Matchups this week: Minnesota, St. Louis, Colorado


Monday Pick-Ups – Feb 20th/2017

Let’s recap on the players I suggested for pickups last week (not a great week, not bad for depth players either):

  1. Jason Pominville (MIN) – 3 GP – 0 Goals/ 2 Assists/ -1/ 7 SOG
  2. Ryan Strome (NYI) – 4 GP – 2 Goals/ 1 Assist / -2 / 7 SOG
  3. Connor Brown (TOR) – 4 GP – 2 Goals/ 1 Assist/ -1/ 11 SOG
  4. Radek Faksa (DAL) – 3 GP – Zero points. Spezza returned from injury, impacting Faksa
  5. Brady Skjei (NYR) – 3 GP – 0 Goals/ 2 Assists/ +1/ 5 SOG/ 3 Hits/ 3 Blks

Let’s see who’s playing/not playing a lot this week:

Teams Playing 4 games:

  • Arizona
  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Florida
  • Nashville
  • New York Rangers

Teams Playing only 2 or less (bye week) games:

  • Buffalo
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Jose
  • St. Louis
  • Tampa Bay
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg

Waiver-Wire Pickups (Percentages owned are via

1) Martin Hanzal (Forward – 46%) – Hanzal has been rumored for the past couple of months as a likely candidate to be traded. That could come as early as this week. Surely whatever team he goes to will be a vast improvement for the young centre. Since missing action on February 9th, he’s scored 5 goals in 5 games. Surely that will slow, but he’s still a strong play this week with 4 games on the docket.

Matchups this weekAnaheim, Chicago, Dallas, Buffalo

2)Jimmy Vesey (Forward – 64%). While he’s owned in most leagues, his averages starts have been low lately. Vesey has struggled since coming out of the gate on a tear. However, he’s back on the Rangers top line. Time to claim Vesey if possible.

Matchups this week: Montreal, Toronto, New Jersey, Columbus

3) Michael Stone (Defense – 40%) – Stone was acquired by the Flames on Monday, adding to their depth on D. Not sure yet what his role will be, but if he suits up for 3 of their 4 games this week I’d take a chance on him. He’s got a heavy shot and should slot into one of the Flames power plays.

Matchups this week: Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina

4) Jakob Chychrun (Defense – 42%) – another beneficiary of the Stone trade. The rookie should see increase ice time with Stone gone. Perfect time for the rook to step up his game with 4 matchups this week.

Matchups this week: Anaheim, Chicago, Dallas, Buffalo

5)  Travis Zajac (Forward – 47%) – Zajac has been dependable his whole career. He’s been flying low this season, but is once again on the top line. With a winger like Taylor Hall next to him, and playing a very banged up Ottawa team this week, he could be in for a big week.

Matchups this week: Ottawa, NY Rangers

Drafting Skills: Winnipeg Jets

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Winnipeg Jets

 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mark Scheifele (C) 7th overall – Scheifele is quickly becoming a star in the NHL in his third full season. He finished the 2015-2016 campaign on absolute fire, and started the 2016-2017 season the same way. In his first 55 games, he’s nearly a point per game with 25 goals and 28 assists. There are few people behind him in this draft that you would want over Scheifele. With the Jets adding a sniper in Laine, this will only boost Scheifele’s confidence and play for the foreseeable future.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Chicago in acquiring Andrew Ladd – Chicago used this pick to take Adam Clendening, who hasn’t amount to nearly what they got out of Andrew Ladd.

Round 3 – Adam Lowry (C) 67th overall – Adam Lowry has been a serviceable 3rd/4th line centre for the Jets for 2 seasons now. He doesn’t put up much for point production, however not many players after him have. Everyone will be judged as missing out on Johnny Gaudreau, but he wasn’t drafted until the 4th round. Let’s face it, 29 teams missed out on Johnny Hockey. This isn’t the worst selection of the night for the Jets, but also not their best.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jacob Trouba (D) 9th Overall – Jacob Trouba is what most NHL teams are looking for in today’s game – right-handed shot, mobile, big defenceman, with offensive upside. His offensive numbers are up this year despite starting the year on the sidelines with a trade request. It still remains to be seen if Trouba will stick with the Jets long-term, as right now he feels like he’s being limited in his growth potential, playing behind two other right-handed defenceman currently ahead of him on the depth chart. An injury to Tyler Myers has seen Trouba play an increased role. It will be interesting to see what happens with Trouba between now and the expansion draft. Either way, this was a great selection by the Jets.

Round 2 – Lukas Sutter (C) 39th overall – The Jets’ second round pick was a big swing-and-a-miss selection. Sutter plays a mean game, racking up 165 PIM in the WHL in his draft year to go along with 59 points in 70 games. It’s hard to fault the Jets too much for this selection, as you need grit to win. However, since his selection, Sutter has basically fallen off a cliff. His production dipped to 24 points the following year, and he was never signed by the Jets. He ended up back in the draft in 2014, being selected in the 7th round by the Islanders. The Jets would love a mulligan on this pick, as plenty of future NHLers were selected after Sutter.

Round 3 – Scott Kosmachuk (RW) 70th overall – Kosmachuk had a great 4 years in the OHL, yet he has failed to crack the NHL roster for longer than 8 games. In his 4 years in the OHL, he managed 120 goals, 126 assists in 271 games. Contrast that to 41 goals, 40 assists in 170 AHL games, he hasn’t maintained that level of play. He still has time to grow into an everyday NHL player, however he didn’t stick with the big club after playing 8 games near the start of the season. He’s now 23, so time is ticking for the young winger.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Josh Morrissey (D) 13th overall – Morrissey hasn’t lived up to expectations for the Jets. This season is his first in the NHL, and while he’s play okay, he hasn’t been the same quality of player that others in his draft class have been. If we compare him to defenders taken after him, he’s not far off the mark. So if the Jets were keen on taking a defencemen with this pick, than they couldn’t have done THAT much better.

Round 2 – Nicolas Petan (C) 43rd overall – Petan was coming off a 120 point campaign in the WHL in his draft year, and followed that up with 113 points in 63 games, and 89 points in 54 games. It appeared the Jets had gotten a steal at this point in the draft. Petan would follow that up with 32 points in 47 AHL games, and 6 points in 26 NHL games in 2015-2016. Pretty solid AHL numbers for a 1st year pro, not the best NHL numbers. He’s spent time in both the NHL and AHL this year, with his NHL production not keeping up to his track record – 12 points in 37 games. The Jets are going to need more out of Petan in the near future if they hope to become a perennial playoff team.

Round 2 – Eric Comrie (G) 59th overall – Comrie is viewed by many as a potentially elite goalie of the future for Winnipeg. He’s currently playing in the AHL with a GAA of 2.68 and SV% of 0.914. These are both pretty solid numbers for a young goaltender. The Jets do possess a couple other goalie prospects, so it will be interesting to see what they do with Comrie over the next couple of years. His time could be coming soon, with the expansion draft looming.

Round 3 – Jimmy Lodge (C) 84th overall – A late 3rd round pick, it doesn’t appear Lodge will pan out. He’s currently playing in the AHL, where he only had 6 points in 44 games last season. Even in junior, he’s never put up great production. If he can work on his defensive game, he could potentially slot in on a bottom 6 role for the Jets in the future, but right now that doesn’t appear likely.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nikolaj Ehlers (LW) 9th overall – Ehlers has seemed to come into his own this year, playing alongside Scheifele and Laine on the Jets top line. He’s coming off a season in which he put up 38 points in 72 games, and he’s currently on pace to put up 65 points. That’s the kind of increased production they were expecting when they drafted him in the top 10. There are a few wingers who were selected behind him in the draft that are also having great seasons, however I’m sure the Jets are more than fine with getting Ehlers at 9th overall as he’s currently the 4th highest scoring player from that draft.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Minnesota (before onto Washington eventually) for Devin Setoguchi – I’m sure the Jets are regretting this trade, as Setoguchi only put up 27 points in 75 games for them. There haven’t been many current NHLers to come out of the 2nd round, however someone like Christian Dvorak would be exactly what the Jets need coming up for their team.

Round 3 – Jack Glover (D) 69th overall – Glover hasn’t yet panned out for the Jets, but they’re taking the slow-and-steady approach with him, and he’s now currently playing for the University of Minnesota in the NCAA. He had a good season in 2015-2016, where he put up 11 points in 36 games. He’s a big-body at 6’3”, so the Jets are hoping he can come along in a few years when they lose one of their current right-handed shots.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Kyle Connor (LW) 17th overall – Kyle Connor has seen stints in the NHL (4 points in 19 games) this year, but he’s currently back in the AHL, where he is playing much better. He’s still young at 20 years old, but the Jets he could step in and be a factor this year. He still has time to find his game, add some strength and excel at the NHL level. He has the tools to do it, a full year in the AHL won’t hurt his value.

Round 1 – Jack Roslovic (C) 25th overall – Another selection out of the USHL, Roslovic had put up great numbers in his draft year – 38 points in 25 games. He’s currently playing his first year pro for the Jets’ affiliate in the AHL, and has been playing well all season long. He’s on pace for nearly 50 points, which is great for a 1st year player.  

Round 2 – Jansen Harkins (C) 47th overall – Harkins was heralded as a complete player ahead of the 2015 draft, and is off to a good start in his final WHL season. While he’s likely a couple years away from competing for an NHL roster spot, he possesses skills that could one day make him an everyday player.

Round 3 – Erik Foley (LW) 78th overall – The Jets again went the USHL route and selected Foley in the third round. He put up solid numbers ahead of the draft (54 points in 55 games), and has now transitioned to College hockey playing for Providence College. He’s sitting at a point-per-game so far this season. It’s too soon to tell what Foley will become, but right now appears to be a smart pick by the Jets in the mid-3rd round.


All-in-all, the Jets have done very well for themselves in these 5 drafts. In most cases, when picking early on in the draft, they’ve come up with the best possible player. Sure there are cases where Johnny Gaudreau was missed, but we’re talking about a guy who was picked in the 4th round, no one really expected him to be the player he is today.


*Sites used: http://www.hockeydb.com

Monday Pick-Ups – Feb 13th/2017

I’ve been playing fantasy hockey for years, and often finish in the top couple spots after the regular season ends. We won’t talk about my playoff performance, which often derails due to injuries/players resting. I tend to have a great draft each year, but where I find I really set myself above others is on the waiver wire. Starting today, each Monday I’ll outline 5 players which I have on my radar for the upcoming week. Here’s week 1:

Teams Playing 4 games:

  • Arizona
  • Buffalo
  • Colorado
  • Columbus
  • New Jersey
  • New York Islanders
  • Ottawa
  • Pittsburgh
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

Teams Playing only 2 or less (bye week) games:

  • Carolina
  • Chicago
  • Nashville
  • Tampa Bay
  • Washington
  • Boston (1 game)
  • Montreal (1 game)

Waiver-Wire Pickups (Percentages owned are via

1) Jason Pominville (Forward – 41%) – Pominville has been on fire in his last 20 games really. If he’s still available, which he is in over half of leagues, he is a MUST have. In 20 games since December 31st, Pominville has 5 goals and 16 assists. He has been known to be streaky throughout his career, and over his past 5 games he has 9 points. The time is now if oyu want to pick him up. Minnesota is in for a tough week, with 3 very strong teams on the schedule, but Pominville is still a rare find on the waiver wire.

Matchups this week: Anaheim, Dallas, Nashville

2) Ryan Strome (Forward – 45%) – Strome has failed to live up to expectations he set for himself after a great rookie campaign. Last year even had a long trip to the AHL for the forward. In his last 10 games, Strome has put up 3 goals, 5 assists. Could he have found his touch? It’s difficult to say, but new coach Doug Weight seems to be trusting Strome more as his ice-time has been increasing.

Matchups this week: Toronto, NY Rangers, New Jersey x2

3) Connor Brown (Forward – 38%) – He rides shotgun on a line with Auston Matthews, and has been a streaky goal scorer all season long. His line has been quiet since coming out of the All-Star break, however expect them to heat up this week as Matthews and Brown look to get back on track with 4 games on the schedule.

Matchups this week: NY Islanders, Columbus, Ottawa, Carolina

4) Radek Faksa (Forward – 34%) – Faksa has taken advantage of an injury to Jason Spezza and used his increased ice-time as best as he could have hoped. Since drawing back into the lineup on January 31st, Faksa has chipped in with 2 goals and 3 assists. He’s averaged 17 minutes a night in that timeframe, and is currently lining up with Tyler Seguin. That right there is enough for a chance on Faksa for a week or two.

Matchups this week: Winnipeg, Dallas, Tampa Bay

5) Brady Skej (Defense – 56%) – The rookie blueliner for the Rangers has been playing well with increased ice-time over the last handful of games. He’s managed to put up 1 goal and 7 assists in his last 10 games, which is amongst the elites in that timeframe. If you’re looking for help on the blue-line, he’s definitely your guy.

Matchups this week: Columbus, NY Islanders, Washington


Trade Candidates – Jan ’17

February has just arrived, and the Trade Deadline is only a short month away. March 1st can’t some soon enough for us hockey fans hoping for a busy deadline. Most would think that the looming expansion draft should create some major trades from here until the expansion draft takes place. Here is my take on the top 10 players who appear like they could be on the move:

10) Gabriel Landeskog – Trade rumors have been surrounding Colorado for the better part of 2 months now, with good reason. They are in the middle of one of the worst seasons in recent NHL history. They have a lot of pieces that they can move to upgrade for the future, starting with their captain. Landeskog surely would bring in a prospect plus a mid round pick.

Where to?: Ottawa, Florida, Calgary

9)  Shane Doan – Spending his entire career in the Coyotes organization, Doan hasn’t had much of a chance at capturing a Stanley Cup. He’s now 40 years old, and on the final year of his contract, and potentially his career, it’s time for a chance with a contender. He doesn’t provide a big scoring punch anymore, but is regarded as one of the best leaders in all of the NHL, and could surely help out a team in need.

Where to?: Nashville, San Jose, Minnesota

8) Ryan Miller – Vancouver is still sitting JUST outside of the playoffs, however with the compressed schedule, and teams starting to gain momentum heading towards the post-season, the Canucks could be one of the teams to slide off and towards the basement. It’s time to sell whatever you can in Vancouver, and like other Canadian teams in recent years, accept the rebuild. Miller can provide solid backup down the stretch for a team in need of an upgrade, and there are plenty.

Where to?: Edmonton, Columbus, Boston

7) Radim Vrbata – Vrbata hits all checks that teams are looking for: cheap AAV, right handed shot, good speed, great shot. Problem is? He is due a bonus that could hinder a lot of teams. This could hurt his potential landing spot, as a team would need some cap space to play with.

Where to?: Montreal, Nashville, Ottawa

6) Martin Hanzal – Like Colorado, Arizona finds themselves as sellers at this deadline (like many others). Hanzal is on a very cheap (expiring) deal, and can instantly upgrade any team’s 3rd line centre. Arizona has plenty of prospects waiting in the wings who they will gladly add to the lineup next year. There should be plenty of willing suitors for Arizona in this case leading up to March 1st.

Where to?: San Jose, Montreal, Chicago

5) Thomas Vanek – Vanek has stated that he loves playing in Detroit, but they are surely going to miss the playoffs. 25 years straight is a record that will likely stand for a long time, so they are more than due for a bit of a rebuild. They have some core pieces in place, and viable veterans. Vanek, on an expiring deal, could bring back a 3rd round pick for Detroit at minimum. He can surely help add scoring depth to a Cup hopeful.

Where to?: Pittsburgh, Nashville, Chicago

4) Jarome Iginla – With how bad Colorado has been trending on a nightly basis, they will surely be one of the more active teams leading up to March 1st. Iginla could help a team’s scoring depth looking to make a push. He’ll draw some attention, even if he’s not quite the same Iginla of a few years past.

Where to?: Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Minnesota

3) Matt Duchene – Another Avalanche that could (should?) be on his way out of town before the trade deadline. Duchene could bring back a boat load for the Avalanche. He’s signed for two more seasons so he’s not a rental. He could slot in perfectly on any team as either their first or second line centre. If Colorado is looking to go full-rebuild, and right now they sit with the best possible chance at landing either of coveted centres due to be drafted high, trading Duchene would surely ignite the rebuild a lot quicker than expected.

Where to?: Nashville, Montreal, NY Islanders

2) Kevin Shattenkirk – Shattenkirk is a pending UFA, and will not be returning to the Blues next season. The biggest question surrounding St. Louis right now is between keeping Shattenkirk and pushing for contention this year, or trading him off for future assets and riding out this year however it plays out. They currently sit in a playoff spot, and have the talent to make a run. However, their goaltending has been atrocious this year, going from 1st to 30th in SV% alone. Shattenkirk will draw lots of interest the closer we get to March 1st.

Where to?: Toronto, Edmonton, Dallas

1) Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay has had some very serious goalie struggles so far this year. Everyone expected the tandem of Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy to be a force this season, and with the caliber of skaters they have, Tampa was expected to be viewed as a contender. Going into February, Tampa sits 14th in the East, but only 6 points out of a playoff spot. They could use some help defensively, even if for the short-term. It appears as though Bishop will be on his way out of Tampa this summer, so the time is now to capitalize on his value.

Where to?: Colorado, Dallas, Calgary