The Top 10 buy low candidates
Knowing when to buy low on certain players is a key component to winning your hockey pool. Kudos to those who bought in on Sidney Crosby and Jakub Voracek a month ago. You're reaping the rewards now. They are two of the hottest players in the league after rough starts to the season. Below you'll find 10 of the top buy-low players out there. They're not all going to rebound this season, but they should find their normal groove by next year.
10. Mark Stone
Stone would have been much higher on this list a week ago. But the Senator has five points in three games since the all-star break. He still has only 36 points in 50 games, a 58-point pace. This may be your last opportunity to buy Stone at a cheap price. Remember he went on a crazy streak last year to end the season. He's a good candidate to do it again this year.
9. Zach Parise
Once a must-own, Parise is barely keepable in cap leagues. And he's simply an okay player in non-cap leagues as the 31-year-old has 29 points this year. I'm not advocating you grab him expecting a return to a point-per-game player. But if you can get him cheap enough, there's no reason not to expect he can possibly flirt with 65-70 points next season, even though he hasn't hit that mark since 2011-12 with the Devils.
Sure Toews will never be the potential 100-point player that teammate Patrick Kane is, but he's definitely much better than his current 38 points. Toews' 0.69 points-per-game is the worst of his career. I wonder if much of that has to do with Kane being so good. Toews doesn't need to score as much as is able to focus more on defence as Kane is lights out this season. It doesn't help that Toews' linemates of Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw haven't been very good.
7. Derek Stepan
Stepan, like many of his New York Ranger teammates, seems to be having an off year. Many had him pegged as a potential 60-to-70 point player after the 2014-15 season when he had 55 points in 68 games. Instead he has just 22 points in 42 games. He's still getting the opportunity, and is one of the team leaders when it comes to power play ice time per game. It's just a matter of time before he turns it around.
Forsberg and the aforementioned Stone were two of the hottest properties in NHL pools a year ago. The future looked bright and they were both coming off Calder-caliber seasons. Unfortunately, the sophomore slump has hit Forsberg hard. Not only does he have 33 points, but he has points in just 23 of his 53 games this year. Which means he's not helping a fantasy GM more nights than not. Any time you can pick up a young player for cheap in a keeper league, you have to pull the trigger.
There's two main reasons why Bobrovsky is a good buy-low candidate. He's a Band-Aid boy, and his injuries this year is even worse than usual. He goes on the IR, and then after missing six weeks of action, re-injures himself his second game back. That has to be frustrating to owners. The second reason is that this is his worst season since becoming a Blue Jacket in 2012-13. An owner looking at Bob's numbers and injuries may be getting frustrated and may be willing to deal him cheaply just to get rid of the headache.
I would look at investing in AP as a long-term goal as much of his success will depend on what happens with Kevin Shattenkirk. Rumours have Shattenkirk being dealt as the Blues can't afford him when he becomes a UFA in 2017. The offence will come down to Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko if Shattenkirk leaves. With AP having just 23 points this year (his points-per-game pace of 0.42 is his worst of his career), this is the perfect opportunity to buy low on Pietrangelo.
Nyquist has a lot of expectations on him thanks to his breakthrough 2013-14 season when he potted 28 goals in just 57 games. But he's been disappointing poolies every since. This year he has 14 goals and 29 points in 52 games. It may seem like he's being passed on the depth chart by players such as Dylan Larkin, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan. Even with his struggles this year, he's third among team forwards in power play ice time per game. And there will always be a top-six spot for Nyquist as long as Detroit continues to employ Band-Aid boys like Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen.
No one saw this much of a downgrade coming from Johnson, who tied Steven Stamkos for the team lead in points last year with 72. Johnson has been dreadful this season with just 20 points in 38 games. It's weird because his ice time is pretty much even from where it was last year and his power play time is actually up a little. He probably won't bounce back much this season, but next year is a different story. And if Stamkos leaves in the offseason, then Johnson becomes a top-line player and his value increases.
1. John Tavares
It wasn't too long ago that Tavares was considered just on the cusp of the big three. Now it seems like he's been passed by at least five players in keeper pool value (including Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid). This year's poor season hasn't helped as Tavares has 37 points in 47 games. That doesn't cut it for a top-10 player. But remember he's been pretty much a point-per-game player for the previous four seasons. He'll rebound. So this could be the lowest price you might ever have to pay for Tavares.