Fantasy Hockey Values: Juuse Saros leads key risers after massive 64-save performance


From Jan Levin, RotoWire

Special for Sportzshala Sports

In this section, we’ll look at which NHL players see their fantasy hockey value go up or down each week.

This week’s article includes hot flames, no stone left untouched in Vegas, Juice on the loose in Nashville, and Martin falling in Vancouver.

First liners (RISERS)

Elias Lindholm, C, CGY

Lindholm, who scored a career-high 42 goals and 82 points last season, has been on the rise since December 1st. In the last 18 games, Lindholm has scored 7 goals and made 14 assists. His hot play helped the Flames hold on to their Wild Card spot. Tyler Toffoli Benefited from skating to the right of Lindholm, who is still looking for a stable left winger in his line. He is unlikely to equal or exceed the 82 points he scored last year, but finishing in the 70+ range is doable.

Mason McTavish, C, ANA

McTavish may be on the verge of another successful streak. On Friday, he scored four points against the Sharks after scoring a goal and an assist against the Stars on Wednesday to bring his season total to nine goals and 17 assists in 41 games. McTavish moved up to the center of the top lane, while Trevor Zegras moved to the flank of Ryan Strome. Given his recent success, expect McTavish to stay at the top, at least in the short term.

Alexander Barabanov, LW, SJ

Barabanov extended his four-game hitting streak against Boston on Saturday, scoring two goals and as many assists in that time. After scoring 39 points in 70 games last season, Barabanov is scoring 25 points in 36 games this second full season in San Jose. Barabanov rides on the second line to the right of Logan Couturea placement that should allow him to remain productive and possibly exceed his total compared to last year.

Alexander Barabanov #94 of the San Jose Sharks has fantastic value
Alexander Barabanov demonstrates unexpected fantastic value. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

Travis Konechny, right right, PHI

While Philadelphia is having a tough season, Konechna’s performance has been one of the highlights. Two assists on Monday extended his hitting streak to nine games and took him to nine goals and seven points in that span. This season, he has 21 goals and 43 points in 35 games, surpassing the record 61 points he scored in 2019/20. Konechny could end up setting career highs for goals and assists in addition to points.

Mark Stone, right right, left edge

On Saturday, Stone ended his seven-game hitting streak. During this time, he made four multi-pointers, scoring five goals and eight helpers. The forward has 17 points, 38 points, 113 shots and a plus-11 rating in 42 games overall. Stone’s recent hot stretch, which occurred during Jack Achel was suspended, which could allow the winger to set a new career high in points, surpassing the 73 he scored in 2018-19 with Ottawa and Las Vegas.

Cale Makar, D, COL

Makar didn’t repeat the dominant season he had last year when he won the Norris Trophy, but that doesn’t mean he has a bad campaign. In the last six games, Makar has three goals and five assistants. Those eight points took his season total to 10 and 27 assistants in 38 games, which (despite my first suggestion) isn’t that far off last year’s pace.

Part of the representation or perception of the Makar season may be due to the fact that Colorado has its own problems at times.

Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF

Dalin showed no signs of slowing down after his hot start. With two goals and three assists on Saturday, Dahlin moved up to third in scoring from the blue line (44 points), behind only Erik Karlsson (54) and Josh Morrissey (46). His recent successful streak saw Dahlin equal his rookie season points total, meaning he is now only behind the 53 points he scored last season. The three-year, $18 million contract Dahlin signed with the Sabres in September 2021 expires at the end of next season, putting him in line for a huge promotion.

Youse Saras, G, NAS

You make 64 saves, your name is in bold. Of course, the total number of shots could be “increased” a little, but for now, this is the number. Saros followed up that performance with 38 saves on Monday and won four of his five starts, improving his season record to 15-10-5 with a 2.67 goal average and .921 shooting percentage in 30 games this season. Last season, he was great at the start but dropped out late due in part to an ankle injury. Saros started out relatively slow this year, but now it seems to be running at full capacity.

Others include Leon Draisaitl, Dylan Cozens, Jack Hughes, Paul Stastny, Kyle Connor, Brandon Saad, Tyler Toffoli, Jason Robertson, Kirill Marchenko, Eric Gustafsson, Mark-Eduard Vlasik, Justin Schultz, Colton Paraiko, Samuel Ersson, Linus Ullmark and Jake Oettinger.

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (FALLERS)

Cole Sillinger, C, CLM

Sillinger has a bright future, selected 12th overall in 2021, but that future could be at least a year or two away. After scoring 31 points in 79 competitions as a rookie, Sillinger has limited himself to just seven points in 36 games this season. Part of this decline in production is due to the presence of Kent Johnson, who was center in the first or second line in Columbus, dropping Sillinger to third or fourth line. But Sillinger has also failed to show that he deserves to be elevated up the pecking order of the main players.

Max Comtua, LW, ANA

Comtua’s no-point drought hit 14 games on Sunday. He scored in his comeback from a lower body injury on Dec. 6 against the Hurricanes, but that was all because of his offense last month. More and more it looks like his 33 points in 55 games in 2020/21 was a fluke. The 24-year-old striker has just five points: 41 shots, 55 PIM, 49 hits and a minus-11 rating in 30 games this season, while placing in the bottom six.

Travis Sunheim, D, PHI

Sunheim has amassed 15 points in 41 games, with only two of those coming from the last nine competitions. After seeing a drop in performance in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, Sunheim scored 31 points last year, the second most of his career. This result has given some hope that Sunheim is ready to take a step forward, but his performance to date leaves him at a pace that is essentially in line with what he posted last season. To reach this mark, Sunheim will need to step up his game.

Spencer Martin, G, VAN

If you recorded Martin when Thatcher Demko landing on injury reserve on December 1st, you can send Martin back for waivers. Martin has only conceded less than three goals once in his last 11 games, which date back to early December, averaging 3.67 goals and .881 shooting percentage for the season. If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you, Demko started off easy and could be back in a few weeks.

Others include Tyler Seguin, Alex Killorn, Anthony Beauvillier, Anthony Manta, Moritz Seider, Devon Toews, Elvis Merzlikins, and James Reimer.