The calendar has flipped to December as we work our way through the quarter mark of the NHL season!
As always, we want to keep an eye on the trade market, as there are constant peaks and valleys throughout the season and we certainly want to use those to capitalize on some mid-season swaps!
Let’s go ahead and dive into some names worth buying and selling in Week 9 of the fantasy hockey season!
NHL Fantasy Hockey Trade Advice
Here’s a player who is seemingly not getting the fantasy hockey love he should be.
He sits at just 81.9% rostered in ESPN leagues but is producing far better than that figure might suggest. Mathew Barzal has tallied seven goals and 23 points across 23 games played while logging 75 shots on goal. Additionally, he has collected nine points on the power play alongside 16 penalty minutes and a decent 11 hits. That’s some rock-solid cross-category production from a player barely over 80% rostered.
I mean, I do understand the lack of love to an extent. Barzel hasn’t exactly been a beast since he recorded 85 points in 82 games while taking home the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in the 2017-18 season. He hasn’t recorded a point-per-game season since. Still, It’s only a matter of time before he gains right-wing eligibility, as he’s currently skating to the right of Bo Horvat on the Islanders’ top line and top power-play unit.
Maybe Barzel won’t be the lead dog in carrying you to a championship, but his low rostership could be an avenue to a low price on a point-per-game talent.
Vince Dunn has long been a very talented player who has been on the fantasy bubble but couldn’t seem to break through.
Well, that breakthrough happened last season when the 27-year-old tallied 14 goals and 64 points in 81 games. He has followed that up with four goals and 21 points across 26 games this season. Furthermore, Dunn has added 54 shots on goal, 23 blocks, 16 hits and nine power-play points, while logging a healthy 23:40 of average ice time per game, interestingly the exact figure he put forth last season. There is also an edge to his game, as he’s spent 33 minutes in the penalty box and has logged as many as 63 penalty minutes in a single season his his career.
A second-round pick of the Blues in 2015, Dunn has two double-digit goal-scoring campaigns under his belt. He’s on pace for another 12-goal season and a career-best 66 points. If you throw in the penalty minutes, blocks, hits and man-advantage production, you have another cross-category producer on your hands.
As is the case with Barzal, Dunn won’t cost you a fortune to add to your lineup at 86.8% rostered in ESPN leagues.
The reigning Vezina Trophy-winning Linus Ullmark is in the midst of another excellent season for the NHL’s best defensive club. Normally, that’s a slam-dunk keeper for any fantasy hockey roster. The issue is playing time.
The Bruins, like many teams, deploy a goaltending tandem. That has led Ullmark to start just 11 of the Bruins’ 14 games on the season. He is a cool 8-3-1 in those 11 starts (along with one relief appearance), but those eight wins are tied with the likes of Jordan Binnington for 14th in the league. His 2.65 goals-against average is solid, and his .918 save percentage is above average. Still, is this a player who should be rostered in a whopping 97.4% of ESPN leagues while starting less than half of his team’s games?
Folks, there are other options. Maybe acquire a lesser talent who starts more games. That may sound odd, but consider that Sergei Bobrovsky, Connor Ingram, Cam Talbot, Adin Hill, Stuart Skinner and even Ullmark’s teammate Jeremy Swayman all have more wins than Ullmark. Having a talented goaltender on your bench more often than not, accomplishes very little.
Offer the Swede up in some deals and capitalize on that bloated rostership and quality numbers when he is giving way to Swayman more than he is between the pipes.
This one is tough. For one, Dougie Hamilton just had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Secondly, his value isn’t at its peak, which is not ideal in trade scenarios. However, there is still a time to cut ties on a player whose value could still go lower.
Rocking up 16 points in 20 games as a blueliner is nothing to sneeze at. The veteran also has 61 shots on goal and eight power-play points, along with 24 blocked shots. However, he also has just one goal over his last 11 games. His ice time has also been on the decline. Why? His name is Luke Hughes.
The Devils’ impressive rookie rearguard has usurped Hamilton as the quarterback of a power play that has been, by far, the best in the league at 36.4% on the season. That is a big deal. Hamilton has eight power-play points to his name but just one man-advantage point over his last eight after collecting seven over his first 12 games. Losing his PP1 spot to Hughes is a harsh hit to Hamilton’s fantasy value.
Not many fantasy hockey managers are willing to trade for an injured player. However, perhaps a rebuilding club will be more willing. Hamilton’s reputation, production and high shot volumes still hold value. Perhaps he can be included in a package for a larger deal.
It’s been an unexpected fall that could be mitigated in the right move.