We are only six days into the NHL season, and while it is way too early to overreact, we can already have a look at power-play time on ice and see if there are any trends that start to emerge.
Of course, much can change. A coach could be trying something for three games, and by next weekend, things could shift completely. For those with weekly add-ons though, it could be worth the risk to pick up players who are getting unexpected minutes with the man advantage and see if they can stick it out for a while. On the flip side, it’s a good time to see if there are any players to start expressing a little concern about.
Below are 10 players whose PP ice time has been a surprise — both positive and negative — so far this year.
10. Adrian Kempe
I wrote this before last night’s game, hence why Kempe is ranked so low. However, in game one, he made quite the impression in L.A., skating on the top power-play unit with Ilya Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin. At even strength, Kempe is skating on the third line with the likes of Trevor Lewis, Nate Thompson and Kyle Clifford. While Kempe doesn’t normally have much value in fantasy, if he can stay — and produce — on that first power-play unit, he could be worth a pickup in deep leagues.
9. Tyson Jost
Jost’s average power-play ice time has gone up each year (and last season, it went up every quarter), but now he’s found himself on that coveted number one power play. He spent part of last season there, so this shouldn’t have come as too much a surprise, but you never know what coaches will do. Last year, Jost wasn’t even a power-play option at the start of the season. He should be able to top the 22 points he had last year if he can stay on that top unit.
8. Sam Bennett
Bennett’s power-play ice time is noticeable simply because he’s not getting any. The last few years, he’s at least been on the second unit and averaged anywhere from 1:14 to 1:58 per game. This year, he’s averaged only four seconds per game. He’s never been a power-play producer, but this is a further indication that he’s in the doghouse in Calgary (his overall ice time is down from 14:24 last year to 7:54 this year).
7. Nick Leddy
During the summer months, Ryan Pulock was a sexy pick to have a breakout season, with many hoping that he was going to get more power-play time in New York. However, that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Instead, Leddy has been on the ice for about 65 per cent of the Islanders’ man-advantage minutes. Leddy is still a must-own in points-only po