Happy New Year! Friday night’s three-game NHL slate is not nearly as bountiful as its been during previous DFS Primer editions, but there are still a few good games on tap where the outcome could wind up going either way. New Jersey will travel to Pittsburgh in a game that promises to deliver points, with the goal total line set at 6.5, while the Carolina Hurricanes are -175 on the moneyline over the visiting Florida Panthers. Lastly, the late-night puck drop will occur out in Seattle, where the Kraken will host the Edmonton Oilers in a pick’em game. There is a fourth game on the slate that starts before 7 p.m. ET, Nashville at Anaheim, but most DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel are excluding those players due to the early puck drop.
Tuesday’s recommended picks were extremely top-heavy in terms of production consistency. Alexandar Georgiev (G – Avalanche) allowed five goals on 32 shots in a surprising 6-3 loss to Arizona, while Pyotr Kochetkov (G – Hurricanes) once again did not wind up starting in the crease. So both goalies were burned in terms of value. Both defenseman, Kris Letang (D – Penguins) and Rasmus Andersson (D – Flames) wound up without a point, while Artemi Panarin (LW – Rangers) and the New York Rangers were blanked 4-0 in a home loss to Washington. Even Andrei Svechnikov (LW – Hurricanes) wound up with five shots on goal but no points. Patrice Bergeron (C – Bruins) managed an assist, while the top player, Bo Horvat (C – Canucks), continued his point sure with a four-point outing in a 6-2 win over San Jose, which included two goals. Bergeron and Horvat would’ve performed well in any DFS lineups, but the other six players fell short of returning a good value.
There are fewer games to dissect on Friday’s slate, which means we’ll have to pay more for elite players and goaltenders. However, this does present an opportunity to dive deeper into the rosters and find undervalued talent that will catapult our DFS builds into the green by the end of the night. Let’s get right into the last edition of the NHL DFS Primer in 2022!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Connor McDavid (C – Oilers): $9,700
Edmonton and Seattle both occupy the middle of the Pacific Division with 40 points each, but they also have plus-goal differentials, indicating that these are two good offenses set to face off against each other on Friday night. I’m not getting cute here. Connor McDavid is the league’s biggest star right now and he hasn’t failed to generate at least one point since a road game against the New York Islanders on November 23rd. He’s worth every penny despite being the most expensive player on the slate. McDavid has scored a goal in three consecutive games and will face Martin Jones (G – Kraken), who just surrendered five goals to Vancouver during his previous start in the net.
Martin Necas (RW – Hurricanes): $6,400
23-year-old Martin Necas has scored four points across his last three games played and will get another good opportunity against Spencer Knight (G – Panthers) on Friday. Knight’s last start was a woeful appearance, allowing seven goals on 26 shots, so Necas finds himself in a smash spot and is undervalued at $6,400 on DraftKings. It helps that Necas also takes three to six shots on goal, providing a stable floor, but he should extend his point streak to four consecutive games after Friday’s contest concludes.
Jonas Siegenthaler (D – Devils): $3,300
We’re pinching pennies with Jonas Siegenthaler but he’s made some nice plays in the defensive zone for New Jersey this season. Siegenthaler is mostly a floor prospect who will notch three to four blocked shots and also take a couple of shots on goal, but he’ll have a good opportunity to secure his second point in the last five games facing volatile netminder Tristan Jarry (G – Penguins) on the road in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Vitek Vanecek (G – Devils): $7,900
A lot of the Devils’ success this season can be attributed to Vitek Vanecek’s play in the crease. The 26-year-old spent the first two years of his career in Washington but relocated to New Jersey this year and it’s been the perfect fit for both parties. Vanecek has only allowed two total goals in his previous two starts, both against Boston, so he should be able to handle a good Pittsburgh attack on the road on Friday. Consider this a slight discount under $8,000 on DraftKings.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Jack Hughes (C – Devils): $9,600
New Jersey’s young star center, Jack Hughes, finally saw his five-game point streak snapped during a 3-1 loss to Boston on Wednesday night. Fortunately, he lands a good matchup against Tristan Jarry on Friday, who has allowed nine goals in his last two starts in the net. It’ll be Hughes’ first matchup against the Penguins this season, so expect plenty of production with oddsmakers favoring over six goals at -120, which translates to Hughes returning to the point column and delivering value despite the high salary.
Matthew Tkachuk (RW – Panthers): $8,600
Florida hasn’t had a spectacular start to its season but their splash offseason signing, Matthew Tkachuk, is heating up lately. The talented winger has three goals and an assist across his last two games played while attempting anywhere from one to nine shots on goal depending on the game flow and opponent. Carolina is a quality team but Tkachuk can overcome a lot of obstacles to notch points, so I’m willing to pay up a bit to land his talent in my DFS lineups on Friday night.
Adam Larsson (D – Kraken): $5,100
I haven’t been giving Seattle enough credit for how they’ve performed in 2022. The Kraken possess a +8 goal differential and are ahead of several teams in the Pacific Division, while also rostering quality personnel. One of these players is Adam Larsson, who quietly has a four-game assist streak intact entering Friday’s home game against Edmonton. Larsson also notches a couple of blocked shots per game, while taking a few in the offensive zone as well, earning double-digit FD points in three of his past four games played. At $5,100, Larrson is an awesome value play against Stuart Skinner (G – Oilers).
Pyotr Kochetkov (G – Hurricanes): $8,100
OK, I’ve been recommending Pyotr Kochetkov for a few editions now, but Antti Raanta (G – Hurricanes) has been stealing starts from the young goaltender. Kochetkov is once again slated to start on Friday against Florida and he’s worth all of your salary. The Hurricanes have a good offense that takes the pressure off of Kochetkov, which is why he has a 1.94 GAA and three shutouts this season. His last start came on December 20th against New Jersey, where he wound up allowing only one goal on 38 shots, so he should be plugged into every lineup possible ahead of Friday’s tilt with the Panthers.