Fantasy Hockey Buy & Sell: Week 10 (2021)
For the most part, fantasy hockey trade deadlines have come and gone. For that reason, I will pivot this article to touch on both players on the trade market and players on the waiver wire.
There is still a large discrepancy in games played in the NHL. The Vancouver Canucks have played 36 games, while the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins are sitting at 28. Boston is currently in COVID protocol, so the back end of their season will be very condensed. Remember always to utilize the “average stats” tool in favor of “season totals” on your platform. Averages are a much better resource in an uneven year like this.
Tom Wilson (RW – WSH)
Tom Wilson just returned after serving a seven-game suspension for a hit on Brandon Carlo. His ownership took a hit during that two-week absence. He has returned into his usual spot on the top line alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. Note that Alex Ovechkin is currently listed as “day to day” with a lower-body injury. This might scare off prospective buyers, but Ovechkin is notorious for always being in the lineup. I don’t expect this to be a long absence. In just 22 games, Wilson as 7 goals, 18 points, and 72 hits. He may be known for his antics, but Wilson is a productive player both on the ice and in fantasy. Capitalize on anyone that thinks otherwise.
Rickard Rakell (LW/RW – ANH)
The NHL trade deadline is less than three weeks away. It is hard to predict the kind of movement we will see this year. Traditionally, in a healthy market, the salary cap steadily climbs year over year. With the impact of COVID on the NHL as a business, the salary cap will remain flat for the next two years. The business side of things has put many managers in the NHL in a tight situation financially. To further complicate things, there are still strict quarantine rules in effect in crossing the Canadian border, so there will be less of an appetite for a Canadian General Manager to make a deal for a player they can’t see for two weeks.
With all that being said, there are still a few players that should be dealt before the trade deadline, and Rickard Rakell is the top forward on most “trade bait” lists. Rakell has 6 goals and 21 points in 33 games this season. He is suffering from a career-worst 5.8% shooting percentage. Even if he isn’t traded, I expect this player to regress to the mean positively in the back half of this season. Should he get traded, I expect him to pay immediate dividends to the team that acquires him. Rakell has scored over 30 goals in consecutive seasons in his career. He is still just 27 years old. This is a productive player with a modest contract on a rebuilding team. I want him on my fantasy team before the NHL trade deadline on April 12.
Elias Pettersson (C- VAN)
It just simply hasn’t been the season we all hoped or expected from Elias Pettersson and the Canucks. The former Calder Trophy winner is in a contract year. If you combine that motivation with a talented supporting cast up front and a Canadian division that surrenders goals by the bucket, everything was pointing upwards. His 15.9% shooting percentage is fair but still a career-low. He started the season ice cold with just one goal in eight games. Pettersson has missed the last ten games due to injury, and it was reported Monday that he would not be available this week either. The Canucks lead the NHL in games played, so even if he does return, he won’t have a voluminous schedule.
Regarding points percentage, the Canucks are as close to a playoff spot as they are to last place in their division. At this point, there is no sense in the Canucks bringing back Pettersson this year. If you can sell this player to a team that can afford to wait, I recommend taking whatever you can get.
Frederik Andersen (G – TOR)
Frederik Andersen has had an interesting career thus far in Toronto. On the one hand, he has brought a certain level of stability in goal for almost five years. This franchise has not been able to boast that in several decades. However, his performances in pivotal playoff moments have certainly been lacking. This season, both his health and his play have been highly questionable. Andersen’s 5-year deal expires at the end of this season, and while I expect the Maple Leafs to bring him back, I wouldn’t be surprised if they explore their other options. Andersen has a 2.91 GAA, and a poor .897 save percentage this season.
His backup, Jack Campbell, has played five periods of shutout hockey since taking over in relief. Andersen remains “day to day” with a lower-body injury. Even upon his return, I expect Campbell to earn more starts. I would rather spot start goalies off waivers in the playoffs than bank on strong performances from Andersen. He remains 95% owned, so I expect he holds some value on the trade market. I would be happy with getting anything in return, as I believe he provides no value above replacement at this time.