Hey, everyone, NHL Editor Dakota Case here. My entry into the wonderful world of hockey coincided with my entry into the frightening world of congestive heart failure (CHF) in the Spring of 2010. My sport had always been hunting, but heart failure meant less and less time and ability to be out in the field. I hated watching others “play” my sport while I was out of commission, and hockey ended up being a substitute, which soon turned into a passion.
I finally crashed in May 2015, and have spent much of the time since in the hospital. Now, with a new heart, I’m healthy and am finally able to get on with life. With that in mind, as I re-enter the workforce in a career field completely different from my schooling or professional experience, I have less time to spend on my hobbies. It is with great sadness that I must announce my retirement from sports writing, at least for the time being.
It has been an amazing five years spent covering the world’s best sport, and I’ve made so many great connections and met even more outstanding people. I especially want to thank RotoRob for being flexible and understanding with my health issues. Fantasy hockey is a little different than covering hockey itself, but it’s been a blast!
I’ve got one more Troll to go, so let’s take a look at this week’s picks for old times sake, eh?
[Editors’ Note: We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dakota was all his amazing contributions to the site and to wish him well in his future career.]
Mikkel Boedker, LW/RW, San Jose Sharks (ESPN: 12.7 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): Boedker put up a hat trick Tuesday in San Jose’s victory over Edmonton (including a real beauty in which he flashed great feet and a deft touch as you can see in the video below). However, be very cautious: those three goals account for half of his season total. He has just 13 points this season to go with a minus-3 rating. That said, with four goals, five points, a plus-3 rating, a game-winning goal and nine shots in three games, last summer’s free agent acquisition may finally be heating up.
Radek Faksa, C, Dallas Stars (ESPN: 3.4 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Faksa hasn’t lived up to the hype of draft day, but he’s coming off a solid week. The young Czech had five assists and a plus-4 rating in four games last week. He has 18 points so far this season.
Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Montreal Canadiens (ESPN: 2 per cent; CBS: 9 per cent): Our “Rookie of the Week” just over a month ago, Lehkonen is coming off a pretty good week for the Atlantic-leading Habs. In four games, the Finn had three goals, five points, a plus-1 rating, two power play points and eight shots on goal. He’s definitely more of a goal scorer than a playmaker, and his 10 goals make up a huge chunk of his point total this season. Lehkonen could be a stud in a few seasons, so keep him in mind when you make your keeper selections in dynasty formats.
Oscar Klefbom, D, Edmonton Oilers (ESPN: 18.7 per cent; CBS: 47 per cent): Unless the wheels fall off, Edmonton is in line for its first playoff berth since the magical run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. It’s all thanks to young talent stepping up, and they’re stepping up on the blue line, too. In four games last week, Klefbom had a goal, three points, a power play point, a whopping 18 shots on net and three defensive points, depending on league formats. He has seven goals and 16 points this season, while averaging just over 21 minutes of ice time.
Mike Condon, G, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: 31.9 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Condon has done some bouncing around this year between Montreal, Pittsburgh and Ottawa. He seems to have found a home with the Sens, posting two wins, a 1.68 goals against average and a .943 save percentage in three appearances last week. His season totals suggest he should’ve been on your roster yesterday, so, go get him!
Rookie of the Week
Aside from the odd surprise (like Lehkonen above), this segment usually trades hands between Toronto rookies Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. This week, it’s Marner with five assists in two games. The Leafs’ 2015 top pick has clearly separated himself from Nylander and now sits third in the league in rookie scoring with 34 points (including 10 goals) in 40 games. Marner is two points behind Matthews and three behind currently concussed Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.