Fantasy trends and hidden gems: Bowen Byram, Vladimir Tarasenko and more faces in new places

With the trade deadline behind us, it’s time to look forward — that means analyzing the aftermath of a bunch of notable moves and how they matter from a fantasy context. But first, our usual bits of business. 

Four-Game Streamers

Timo Meier, LW/RW, NJD | 76% Yahoo

Generally, I don’t talk about someone who is over 60% rostered. But I’ve been asked about Meier all season and now he is finally cooking. Without Tyler Toffoli in New Jersey (and I’ll get to him in a bit), Meier should get more top-six time and PP1 opportunity. Plus, he is finally getting some looks on the right side, which seems to agree with him. 

Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, CAR | 41% Yahoo

Jake Guentzel’s debut with the Hurricanes will shake up the lineup, so the big question is which player will lose their spot in the lineup as a result. If Andrei Svechnikov ends up shifting down to the second line so Guentzel can start with the team’s No. 1 center Sebastian Aho, that should boost Teravainen’s production (that has been really strong of late, even before any upgrades). 

Charlie Lindgren, G, 37% Yahoo

Lindgren’s game started to trend in the wrong direction in January, but he has our attention after his past two starts. The Capitals goalie saved 4.6 goals above expected against Pittsburgh last week, then another 2.9 against the Blackhawks. If he can keep putting up quality starts, he could be worth an add. With four games on the Capitals’ slate, including a back-to-back, I expect at least two starts. 

Dylan Strome, C, WSH | 36% Yahoo

Alex Ovechkin has finally turned it around over the past month, and that’s having a positive impact on the players around him — especially on the power play. Dylan Strome is one of those players who is benefiting. The two don’t play together at even strength, right now Hendrix Lapierre is Ovechkin’s center, which makes him a worthwhile (and more low-key add). Power play production is just extra valuable, which is why our focus is primarily on Strome.

Sean Monahan, C, WPG | 35% Yahoo

Monahan has been a fit in Winnipeg so far, and with Tyler Toffoli in the mix, he should have even better winger depth around him. The Jets play four times this week and will be in action on three light nights, so there is extra value here. 

Michael Bunting, LW, PIT | 28% Yahoo

Bunting just did not fit on the Hurricanes as well as expected. The Penguins are going through it, so I understand any skepticism here, but time on Sidney Crosby’s wing is a prime opportunity for him to rebound. 

Matt Roy, D, LAK | 25% Yahoo

If you’re looking for a category booster, or a defender to just round out your roster in a points league, consider Roy. He contributes in one key area: shot blocks. So if that’s something of value in your league, he could be a very solid pick for you based on the Kings’ schedule. 

Kyle Palmieri, RW, NYI | 21% Yahoo

The Islanders are cooking right now and are in a position to build on that this week, considering the quality of some of their opponents. A very top-loaded leading line is, rightfully, one to watch from a fantasy context, considering Bo Horvat, Brock Nelson, and Mathew Barzal are all on PP1. But the other forward rounding out that top unit is Palmieri, who is on a very solid line. Along with Anders Lee and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, that second line has rocked a near-77 percent expected goals rate heading into Sunday night’s game against the Ducks, while outscoring opponents 6-2. 

J.T. Compher, LW/RW, DET | 17% Yahoo

With Dylan Larkin out of the lineup, Compher has moved up to center a line with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Compher isn’t going to suddenly lose his value when he slots back to the second line, either — he has formed a pretty reliable combination with Lucas Raymond. 

Ryan Pulock, D, NYI | 9% Yahoo

Pulock does two things really well: he creates shots and he blocks them. Lately, he’s chiming in on the scoresheet as well. That adds extra value to the defender. 

Jack Roslovic, C/RW, NYR | 6% Yahoo

The Rangers are a very rare five-game streamer this coming week, which is as good as it gets from a fantasy context. So while I am going to hold Roslovic for our post-deadline analysis, I can’t leave out New York here. Roslovic is starting his tenure with the Rangers alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, which has potential. If he can be the puck transporter on that line, expect even strength production. 

Light-Night Performers

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See those four-game streamers? Look how many of them are in action on a light night — the Kings and Jets are three times, while the Capitals and Blues are twice. 

Otherwise, teams like Colorado, Chicago, Nashville, Vancouver, and Anaheim are all in action on a light night. Artturi Lehkonen and Jonathan Drouin are two forwards in Colorado on my radar, along with their new additions. Gustav Nyquist remains a standout option on the Predators’ top line, as well. 

Trade Deadline Aftermath

Jake Guentzel, LW, 94% Yahoo

Let’s start at the top. Guenztel won’t have Crosby at his side, but he will still have a lot of skill wherever he slots with the Hurricanes. Plus, he should have more power play luck outside of Pittsburgh. No notes — don’t change anything here. 

Tomas Hertl, C, SJS | 38% Yahoo

Hertl will return in the regular season, so keep an eye on updates there. The center was still performing really well in San Jose despite the team around him, so expect that production to jump up on a real contender like Vegas.

Bowen Byram, D, BUF | 29% Yahoo

The Byram trade may have been the most surprising of the past week. Obviously he’s going to a team with way more scoring issues in Buffalo, but there are individual opportunities here — including top pair minutes with Rasmus Dahlin and a role on the top power play unit. There is a lot more fantasy potential here. 

Vladimir Tarasenko, LW/RW, FLA | 62% Yahoo

The Panthers are loaded and Tarasenko is already benefiting from the upgrade in quality around him. Playing the left is something a bit more unusual for him, but it’s a role worth adjusting to for minutes with Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart. That makes him someone worth betting on, even without PP1 time. 

Anthony Duclair, LW, TBL | 7% Yahoo

Duclair isn’t going to stay at 7% rostered forever in Tampa Bay. It was a tough year for him in San Jose, with not just his point totals sinking, but his play across the board below the surface. The Lightning are a much better fit because he’s not going to be expected to be “The Guy” there. Instead, he is just one of the guys with Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli. That should provide him with the two-way support he has been missing. 

Tyler Toffoli, LW/RW, WPG | 84% Yahoo

So Toffoli won’t have a potential boost from Jack Hughes now that he’s been traded to Winnipeg. He will, however, still be in a very good top-six. And he likely has a lot more power play potential with the Jets, so this fit should not diminish what he brings from a fantasy context. 

Noah Hanifin, D, VGK | 69% Yahoo

Calgary and Vegas aren’t all too different in their expected and actual goal generation this year at five-on-five. But I expect that to change now that the Golden Knights have loaded up, which increases Hanifin’s even strength scoring potential. As for the power play, Hanifin played about 33 percent of the available minutes with the Flames, which is about what the second unit gets in Vegas. So his deployment may be similar there as well, so forward quality could also be the difference. 

Adam Henrique, C/LW, EDM | 38% Yahoo

The bad team effect is no longer a problem for Henrique. The thing to watch for is a boost to the top-six. He started his Oilers’ tenure down the middle of the third line, which isn’t super conducive to scoring. If he shifts up to the wing on either top-six line, he is an instant pick-up.  

Sean Walker, D, COL | 10% Yahoo

Walker has a lot more star power around him in Colorado, but I won’t be surprised if his usage dwindles on their blue line with their depth in mind. If that happens, his fantasy value will subsequently dip as well. 

Anthony Mantha, RW, VGK | 6% Yahoo

Mantha isn’t scoring with his new team just yet, but on paper he seems like a really strong fit for the Golden Knights. The healthier this team gets, the more potential he will have. So keep an eye on players like Hertl, because his return could signal when it’s worth adding Mantha. 

Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, CAR | 12% Yahoo

I am nothing short of curious of the fit here. Carolina has a knack for maximizing players, and that seems super possible here with their improved winger depth and overall defensive support. If any team could help Kuznetsov prove that he isn’t washed, the Canes could be it. That makes him someone to keep an eye on moving forward. 

Alex Wennberg, C, NYR | 2% Yahoo

Wennberg generally isn’t a fantasy hockey stud. Some of it has to do with the fact that he doesn’t shoot the puck much, and then there’s his heavy defensive usage to consider. But if his start in New York is indicative of what’s to come, then there is some intrigue. On the third line with Will Cuylle and Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers had a 15-5 edge in shot attempts. The ice was less slanted when considering the quality, though. But if this combination can keep it up, maybe Wennberg won’t be the fantasy target to watch, but Kakko or Cuylle will — especially if the playmaker helps bolster their shot creation. 

Casey Mittelstadt, C, COL | 30% Yahoo

Mitelstadt was producing well in Buffalo, but this is a completely new opportunity considering the elite talent at the top of this roster. That second line will likely rotate between Valeri Nichushkin, Jonathan Drouin, and Lehkonen. Plus there is always a chance of Mikko Rantanen, if the Avalanche do not want too top-heavy of an approach. So it’s fair to expect Mittelstadt to pick up the pace from here.

Data via Evolving-Hockey, HockeyViz, HockeyStatCards, AllThreeZones, and NaturalStatTrick. This story relies on shot-based metrics; here is a primer on these numbers.  

 (Top photo of Bowen Byram: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

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