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Fantasy Hockey Trade Advice: Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore, John Tavares, Johnny Gaudreau

Fantasy Hockey Trade Advice: Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore, John Tavares, Johnny Gaudreau

We are at the tail end of Week 20 of the fantasy hockey season, and it’s once again time to look at the trade board to bolster your lineup for a championship run. If you’re out of it, make sure you’re taking advantage of the talented players on your roster to take another run at it next year.

Below are some candidates to buy or sell for Week 20 and beyond.

NHL Fantasy Hockey Trade Advice (Week 20)

Buy

Jack Eichel (C,F – VGK)

Is it me or has some of the fantasy shine worn off the oft-injured Jack Eichel? It sure appears that way but this is a player that will come cheaper right now than he has commanded in the past.

As Eichel returns from injury, the former second-overall pick has tallied 19 goals and 44 points across 42 games on the season. He has added 173 shots on goal on the season, good for a healthy 4.12 shots per game, a pace well above his 3.58 shots per game clip for his career.

Eichel doesn’t add much to the physical departments with just 20 hits and 10 penalty minutes. However, he did have a rock-solid 14 power-play points prior to getting injured.

With Mark Stone sidelined for at least the remainder of the regular season, Eichel will be leaned on heavily for a Golden Knights team once again near the top of the Pacific Division. This is a player who is a manager difference-maker who could be a big addition to a championship-caliber fantasy hockey roster down the stretch.

Shea Theodore (D – VGK)

Let’s stay with the Golden Knights, as Shea Theodore is another major fantasy asset that recently returned from injury. The 28-year-old hasn’t skipped a beat since missing more than three months with an upper-body injury, racking up an eye-popping eight assists in four games since getting back into the lineup. He’s right back on the top power-play unit and has skated as much as 24:10 in a game since returning.

For the season, Theodore has recorded four goals and 26 points across 24 games. The left-shot blueliner has added 60 shots on goal while 12 of his 26 points have come on the power play. Like Eichel, Theodore doesn’t play overly physically but his points production is fantastic, especially on the man advantage.

Theodore’s 84.9% rostership in ESPN leagues is a reflection of the fact he just recently returned from injury. Thank the dormant fantasy managers for that mirage. But make no mistake, this guy is one of the best fantasy hockey defenders out there in terms of pure offensive production this season, regardless of injury.

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Sell

John Tavares (C,F – TOR)

Man, you hate to put long-time pivot John Tavares in this spot, but it’s becoming clear his production is on the decline after reaching 1,000 games played. Next season, Tavares will be in the final year of his seven-year deal with the Maple Leafs (that went fast). If his usage of late is any indication, he is in for a decreased role moving forward.

Tavares has not only been demoted to third-line center duty but he has also been removed from the Leafs’ lethal top power-play unit in favor of the recently-hot Tyler Bertuzzi. That’s a big deal considering the Leafs boast the No. 1 power play in the NHL.

There’s still plenty to like with Tavares. He has fired a hefty 199 shots on goal across 56 games on the season, and he quietly lays the body with a rock-solid 73 hits in that time. However, he has just three points over his last seven games and has skated fewer than 15 minutes in two of his last three entering Thursday’s action. The decline appears real, so sell sooner than later.

Johnny Gaudreau (LW – CBJ)

Gaudreau is a player who simply has very, very little use in fantasy hockey regardless of format. His production has been dipped since his move to the Blue Jackets last offseason. He still recorded 74 points with the Jackets last season but he is doing nothing to help fantasy managers this time around.

Gaudreau has just eight goals on the season with a solid 34 assists. Unfortunately, assists is the lone area where he is an asset, as he has just 115 shots on goal, two hits, and 10 penalty minutes. He has recorded just a single goal on the power play this season. For good measure, he is a rough minus-19 on a poor Blue Jackets club.

Clearly, the fantasy community has taken strong note of the former Flames star’s decline, as Gaudreau is rostered in less than 65% of ESPN leagues. Throw him into a package for someone far more meaningful to your roster.

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