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The Wire Troll: Dylan Guenther Delivering for ‘Yotes

April 11, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Dylan Guenther is really coming into his own for the Arizona Coyotes.
Dylan Guenther looks like a future superstar. (Kelsey Grant)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. With the season just about complete, this will be the 2023-24 finale for the NHL Wire Troll. Stay tuned for our All-Star Team in the coming weeks.

This week, the NHLPA has deemed Sidney Crosby as the league’s most complete player — for the fifth straight season; the Devils became a tougher team to back on FanDuel now that Jack Hughes is done for the season thanks to shoulder surgery (see below for the Fantasy opportunity this presents); and the Flyers descended into meltdown mode.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks

Dylan Guenther, RW, Arizona Coyotes (ESPN: 8.7 per cent; CBS: 34 per cent): With 31 points in just 42 games this season, Guenther has quickly established himself as must-viewing on an otherwise mostly moribund Arizona squad. After a four-point explosion to celebrate his 21st birthday on Wednesday, he’s recorded points in four of the first five games this month after managing nearly a point per game in March. Guenther is a superb keeper league asset thanks to his mad skills plus the fact he commands the puck and when he has it, good things generally happen (see video below).

Sam Bennett, C, Florida Panthers (ESPN: 47.4 per cent; CBS: 49 per cent): Bennett has always been injury prone, but this season he’s been more efficient, bouncing back to scoring on 12 per cent of his shots after struggling last season in that regard (8.3 per cent). The former Flame had a rough go towards the end of March, but has turned things around now with three goals and a helper in five games in April despite a reduction in PT for the third straight month.

Shane Bowers, C, New Jersey Devils (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): As mentioned above, Hughes’ season is done, and Bowers has taken his place on the top line, making him an intriguing late-season flier. A 2017 first round pick, Bowers has yet to post a point through five games this season, but he’s starting to see more PT and generate shots, so the production should come. He did flash some offensive potential in the AHL this season with nine goals in 40 games.

Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (ESPN: 11.9 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): The last time we checked in on Nedeljkovic, we thought he could become the starter in Detroit and sure enough he was the Wings’ No. 1 goalie that season, but with mixed results. Things were even worse last season, so he spent a good chunk of the campaign in the AHL. Signed last summer to act as the Penguins’ backup, Nedeljkovic has enjoyed a fine bounce back effort, usurping Tristan Jarry as the No. 1 goalie over the last few weeks while helping the team surge back into playoff contention (he’s expected to start a 10th straight game on Thursday). Nedeljkovic is undefeated through five games this month thanks to a solid .910 save percentage and is posting his best campaign since his last season in Carolina when he enjoyed a breakout effort. There’s late-season value here.

Ice Chips

  • Vladimir Tararensko has picked up his play since getting dealt to Florida, managing a dozen points in 16 games while seeing duty on the top line and PP1. Before getting shut out Tuesday, he had racked up points in four straight, is averaging over an assist per game this month and impressively is doing more with less PT as a Panther.
  • Back on Tarasenko’s old squad, Jordan Kyrou has taken over as the big gunner in St. Louis. Kyrou scored a pair on Wednesday giving him four goals and seven points over a four-game point streak. While he’s averaging over a point per game this month, the strong finish won’t be enough to duplicate his breakout campaign in 2022-23. Still, Kyrou has now managed at least 65 points in three straight seasons and has dramatically improved his plus/minus and possession numbers (career best 58.2 CF%).
  • Logan Cooley may have had an inconsistent rookie season, but he sure is finishing strong. He got the overtime winner and an assist on Wednesday, giving him four points over the last four games. Cooley managed just nine goals through February but nearly doubled his season output by scoring eight in 15 games last month. He’s proved to be a fine playmaker on the power play and clearly has a very bright future. Expect a major breakout by Cooley next season.
  • Nic Dowd is seeing more ice time than ever this season, yet his offensive numbers (not that they were ever stellar) have regressed a smidge. Still, he can be forgiven considering he leads the NHL in percentage of shifts starting in the defensive zone. Dowd has yet to post a point this month, but has still managed to record a fourth straight double-digit goal season despite missing a good amount of time with a UBI. No, he’s never been much of a Fantasy asset, but he’s kind of glue guy that helps teams win in the real world.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

English rockers UFO got their start in 1968, and despite three breaks, are still at it today. In 1978, they released “Only You Can Rock Me,” the band’s first single that charted in the UK (reaching No. 50).

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