First and foremost, a hearty congratulations to Ian Gooding and Cam Robinson on their promotions within here at Dobber Hockey. While Cam’s has promotion been known for a while, Ian’s has not. Cam is the new Managing Editor for Dobber Prospects while Ian is the new Managing Editor right here at Dobber Hockey. Both are bright fantasy hockey minds with unique perspectives that are valuable resources for the readers. 

The site is in very capable hands with Cam and Ian in their new positions.


We have a lot of NHL news to get to so let’s get to it.


The Vegas Golden Knights signed Nate Schmidt to a contract extension, tacking on six years with an AAV just under $6-million. This tweet from Cap Friendly shows some recent comparable contracts:



Here’s the thing with Schmidt. For a long time, the analytics community had been clamouring for the Capitals to give him more minutes and he never really got them – his career-high for minutes per game in Washington was his rookie year. As such, we have one year of Schmidt playing top pair minutes (admittedly, with good results) and one year of Schmidt cracking 20 points. He’s 27 years old and is serving a 20-game suspension. It feels like a lot of money for a guy with that kind of track record at that age.

This contract will render him useless in cap leagues, by the way. If you’re in a dynasty cap league, the time to trade him will be before the All-Star break. 


Scott Darling is back with the Carolina Hurricanes. When he starts and how many starts he’ll get is up in the air.


Travis Zajac returned Thursday night for the Devils.


The injury woes continue for the Canucks as both Alex Edler and Sven Baertschi have been put on IR. Both players left the game on Wednesday night and did not return. There was word that Edler may be out weeks, plural, rather than a week. Once we get more updates we’ll let you guys know.


Torey Krug took part in the game-day skate for the Bruins but was not in their lineup on Thursday night. At the least, that should indicate that he’s very close to his return to the lineup.  


Speaking of returning to the lineup, the Ducks may get back a couple forwards soon:



Once again, when we know more we’ll let you guys know.

Jesse Puljujarvi was a healthy scratch Thursday night for Edmonton. I have no words, just anger.


Kevin Fiala was demoted to the fourth line for Nashville’s game. Likely just some motivational work being done by the coach. I wouldn’t worry.


A big night for New Jersey’s top trio, albeit in a 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville. Kyle Palmieri had three assists (more on him later), Nico Hischier had a pair of goals, and Taylor Hall had a pair of helpers.

With three shots on goal, Hischier is now up to 20 shots in 7 games. Should anyone have NHL Gamecentre, go watch Hischier’s third period. At times he was downright dominant and got the better of PK Subban a couple of shifts in a row. The kid is really starting to come into his own in all facets.

Speaking of top lines, both Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson scored their respective seventh goals of their seasons so far. That’s the start fantasy owners were looking for.


Zdeno Chara had his first multi-goal game in nearly five years while Jaroslav Halak registered his second shutout of the season in Boston’s 3-0 win over Philadelphia. Halak had one shutout in 49 starts last year.

Travis Konecny led Flyers forwards in even strength ice time, by the way.


Anthony Duclair and Boone Jenner both had a pair of goals in the Columbus 7-4 win over St. Louis. The lines were a little bit of a mess again as Jenner was between Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson. Artemi Panarin had three assists to give himself his fourth multi-point effort of the season.  


In today’s edition of “Who got power play time for the Kings?” we have Ilya Kovalchuk and Jeff Carter being QB’d on the PP by Sean Walker and Dion Phaneuf.



Jeff Skinner’s three-assist game against the Habs (a 4-3 Sabres win) gives him an even 10 points in 10 games to this point.


I know there is a lot of hubbub for some starts around the league, namely the goal scoring from Auston Matthews, the production from the top lines in Boston and Colorado, or even the blue line scoring from Ottawa. He’s not exactly flying under the radar but Alex DeBrincat continued his torrid start to the season with a goal and an assist in the team’s 4-1 win over the Rangers on Thursday night. DeBrincat now has eight goals and 14 points in 10 games, and 23 points in his team’s last 20 regular season games going back to last year. Pretty good for a 21-year old second round pick!

That top line for the ‘Hawks, by the way, has a higher on-ice shot rate at 5v5 than the Canucks and Ducks do at 5v4. They’re really good!


John Gibson got shelled again, this time facing 41 shots in Anaheim’s 5-2 loss to Dallas. Anaheim looks horrific right now but at least Gibson should face a lot of shots, which should play well in some scoring formats.

The Stars scored five goals without a single point from Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin. If the team wants to truly be a Cup contender, they need more games like this from their depth. They can’t expect multi-goal games from the top line every night.


Calgary got decimated by the Penguins 9-1. Pittsburgh got multi-goal games from Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel while getting multi-point games from Derick Brassard (3), Sidney Crosby (3), Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, Dominik Simon, and Kris Letang (2).

Nothing to do about that one but move along.


Lawson Crouse scored again for the Coyotes! Arizona took advantage of a decimated Canucks lineup to skate away with a 4-1 win. Clayton Keller also scored, extending his point streak to three games. With this team finally scoring with regularity, look for Keller to really turn up the point production.


Going through Yahoo trades is something I like to do from time to time. While we don’t know the context of each particular league in which the trades are made, they are a reasonable gauge of what the public thinks of certain players. This knowledge can help. Maybe someone in your league doesn’t have the *exact* same opinion of a given player that someone else in the tubes of the internet does, but I’d wager that in many cases, the opinions aren’t drastically different. Stats and trades as of Thursday afternoon.


Trade 1: Kyle Palmieri for Mathew Barzal

Yes, Kyle Palmieri is shooting over 30 percent and no, that won’t last. But he’s also landing 3.67 shots per game, even if that were to fall to 3 shots per game, and his shooting percentage the rest of the season is 10 percent, he scores 23 goals the rest of the year and finishes with 30 on the campaign. That doesn’t even begin to dig in to his exemplary PP production (5 points) and huge hit totals (15).

There was an article recently from Chris Ryan interviewing Devils coach John Hynes. Hynes stated he has absolutely no intention of breaking up their top line.

If only someone had written over, and over, and over, and over, and over that he was a player to draft in every league this year.

The only type of league where I wouldn’t trade away Barzal to get Palmieri is a straight points-only league. That said, do people realize Barzal has 7 shots in 8 games? That’s abysmal. I would wager people drafted him hoping he could crack 30 goals this year. His shot rate at five-on-five is near the bottom of the league right now. The Islanders are a mess and Barzal is somehow going to have to figure out how to pull the trigger a little more often.


Trade 2: Anders Lee for Max Pacioretty

This is an interesting trade for me because there was a huge gap in their final ADPs – something in the realm of five or six rounds. My personal rankings for standard Yahoo leagues had them a lot closer – something in the realm of about a round and half (player 55 vs player 73). In a lot of ways, at least fantasy-wise, they are similar players. Both are known for goals rather than assists, both had questions coming into this year (new team off a down year vs. no John Tavares), and both can put up stout hit totals.

It’s a fun trade. I think if we’re talking standard leagues, we’re shuffling deck chairs for the most part. I’ll throw it to the readers: who wins this trade the rest of the season in standard Yahoo leagues?


Trade 3: Ilya Kovalchuk for Mike Hoffman

Los Angeles has been a massive disappointment this year and Ilya Kovalchuk with them. It’s weird because Kovalchuk is on pace for a 46-point season (as of Thursday afternoon). It’s not that bad for a 35-year old in today’s NHL. Consider that no player aged 35 or older cracked 60 points last year and it gives you a good barometer of what to expect for Kovalchuk. My preseason prediction had him at 58 points, so, he’s got some work to do.

On the flipside, Mike Hoffman has four goals, six points, 3 shots per game, and three PPPs so far this year. That’s a good start. He’s also been relegated to the fourth line at times, pushed off the top PP unit at times, and has a role that generally can’t be defined. Uncertainty isn’t a good thing in fantasy sports, at least not when you’re trying to value your asset. Hoffman has a lot of uncertainty.

It’s easy to see either side of this trade:

  • Kovalchuk – surely Los Angeles will improve this year and even at an advanced NHL age, Kovalchuk will reap the rewards.
  • Hoffman – he’s producing just fine for fantasy leagues at the moment but role uncertainty makes an owner nervous. However, if his role can ever be defined in the top-half of the lineup, there is more upside to be had.

Where does the Dobber community fall on this trade? Let us know in the comments.