Jason Dickinson has responded to his increased PT. (Twitter)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re almost through January now, but there’s a ton of time left for you to milk the wire to get what you need to move up.
This week, Chicago lost both Alex DeBrincat and Adam Boqvist to the Covid-19 list; long-time Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard hung ’em up after 14 seasons; and Toronto remained red hot (four straight wins, six of seven) thanks to a huge PPG from Auston Matthews on Thursday.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks
Jason Dickinson, C/LW, Dallas Stars (ESPN: 0.4 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): With Jamie Benn landing on the IR this week, Dickinson’s expanded role will continue for a while. Once upon a time, Benn and Dickinson were being looked at on the same line, but that’s never really come to fruition, leaving Dickinson in mostly a bottom six role. However, Dickinson’s PT has been on the rise the last three seasons, and now he’s seeing enough action to be worthy of Fantasy consideration. On Thursday, he potted a helper, giving him points in three of the last four games (including an overtime goal on Tuesday — see video below), while logging a season high in ice time. Dickinson stayed healthy last season, but the 2013 first rounder has yet to really live up to his potential, failing to score double-digit goals even once. However, he’s flashed the ability to be extremely productive in the AHL, so we still believe there’s upside in this 25-year-old’s game.
Max Comtois, LW, Anaheim Ducks (ESPN: 7.7 per cent: CBS: 22 per cent): Comtois jumped out to a blazing start, scoring the Ducks’ only three goals over the first two games of the season. He’s slowed since then (although did pick up his first assist on Thursday), so obviously we need to adjust our expectations a bit, but it’s clear he’s poised to break out. Is Comtois the answer to Anaheim’s scoring woes? Well, we’d like to see him get a bit more PT, as his ice time is down for the second straight season, but if the opportunity comes to him, he’s got major potential.
Bobby Ryan, RW, Detroit Red Wings (ESPN: 44.8 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): It was less than a year ago that Ryan was still dealing with alcohol issues, but he looked really good upon his return in February before cooling in March. Well, he’s bringing it early this season, having a huge impact on a very different looking Detroit team. In fact, Ryan set Red Wing history by becoming the first player in franchise history to score four times in his first three games with the team. He’s slowed down since that scorching start, but is just one goal behind last season’s output — in 17 fewer games. Ryan won’t keep up this pace (four goals on 19 shots), but perhaps we sold him short thinking he’s only a 20-goal man now.
- At the beginning of his second season, we had our doubts about whether Tristan Jarry was a bona fide NHL goalie, and sure enough we never saw him again until last season, when he was extremely solid. Well, we’re back to wondering whether he can play in the NHL, and the Penguins’ goaltender situation needs addressing pronto.
- Sure, it took him seven games, but 2020 No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere picked a perfect time to score his first NHL goal, potting the overtime winner on Thursday. He’s been getting decent ice time, so the production will come, and with his seven total shots over the last two games, it’s clear he’s starting to drive play in the right direction. Lafreniere’s growth into a star will be fun to watch this season.
- Meanwhile, his Ranger teammate Artemi Panarin is going to be hard-pressed to build on his spectacular debut on Broadway last season (95 points in 69 games), but he’s off to a solid start again. With a goal and an assist on Thursday, he’s back to averaging over a point per game and leads the team in goals and assists.
- After taking a high hit by Mark Stone, St. Louis centre Tyler Bozak (upper body) is going to miss both games this weekend. Bozak’s production has been in decline for four straight seasons, and this isn’t going to help matters.
- It’s been almost four years since Ryan Strome last caught our attention, but with goals in two of the last three, he’s making some noise again. He’s the 2C with Panarin and Phil Di Guiseppe (or Colin Blackwell) on his wings, so has a great chance to duplicate what was a career season in 2019-20.
- Finally, let’s talk about the inconsistent Brock Boeser. He fired a pair of goals in the season opener, another two in game five, and then two more (plus an assist) in game 10. Prior to Thursday’s big game, Boeser had recorded just one assist over the previous four games. More consistent production would be nice, but it’s hard to argue with the overall results, as he’s currently on pace to flirt with 50 goals in a full schedule. Whatever struggles Boeser had to score last season are clearly a thing of the past, and unlike some of his teammates, he’s actually shown some growth this season.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
British hip hop/electronica band Stereo MC’s have been at since 1985. The band’s signature hit, “Connected,” went top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic.