Good day to you all. Aaron here with this week's ‘Lining Up’. I am going to have a look at the Taylor Hall trade and see where he may line up. I will also look at the hottest lines of the also week. I have compiled a list of the top lines for each team over the last three games at even strength.

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Taylor Hall

Yesterday the Arizona Coyotes showed their fan base that they are all in this year by acquiring the top rental player in the trade market Taylor Hall. There is lots of speculation as to where Hall will line up in his first game. I imagine over the next couple weeks he will be mixed with different line mates until he finds some good chemistry. The obvious choice is to put Hall with youngsters Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak and this is where he may start however, I happen to believe that he is more likely to find chemistry with a different pair. I think he lines up with Phil Kessel and Nick Schmaltz. Putting Kessel and Hall together will take some heat off the younger lines and ultimately give them more space to perform. Adding Schmaltz to this line gives them some speed up front and a skater with great playmaking ability. If this line clicks and they can all get going they will certainly be fun to watch. It may be too late now to grab any of the top six but take a swing at Hall or at least try and buy low on Kessel. Whatever line Taylor Hall ends up on I expect both his line mates to get a boost in point production. Make sure to check Dobber's Last Game Lines Tool to see how Hall is being deployed.

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As I mentioned above, there were a few lines that performed quite well last week. Below you will find the list of those lines.  I will be talking about a couple of the hot lines over that time, one of which had a player score his 1000th point.

Rank

Team

Line

Points

1

BUF

EICHEL,JACK – OLOFSSON,VICTOR – REINHART,SAM

10

2

VGK

PACIORETTY,MAX – STEPHENSON,CHANDLER – STONE,MARK

10

3

WPG

CONNOR,KYLE – LAINE,PATRIK – SCHEIFELE,MARK

9

4

TOR

HYMAN,ZACH – MARNER,MITCHELL – TAVARES,JOHN

8

5

BOS

BERGERON,PATRICE – MARCHAND,BRAD – PASTRNAK,DAVID

7

6

MIN

STAAL,ERIC – ZUCCARELLO,MATS – ZUCKER,JASON

7

7

CBJ

DUBOIS,PIERRE-LUC – ROBINSON,ERIC – TEXIER,ALEXANDRE

6

8

CHI

KUBALIK,DOMINIK – SAAD,BRANDON – TOEWS,JONATHAN

6

9

ARI

GRABNER,MICHAEL – HINOSTROZA,VINNIE – RICHARDSON,BRAD

5

10

CGY

BACKLUND,MIKAEL – GAUDREAU,JOHNNY – MONAHAN,SEAN

5

11

L.A

BROWN,DUSTIN – IAFALLO,ALEX – KOPITAR,ANZE

5

12

MTL

DANAULT,PHILLIP – GALLAGHER,BRENDAN – TATAR,TOMAS

5

13

NYR

KAKKO,KAAPO – PANARIN,ARTEMI – STROME,RYAN

5

14

STL

BOZAK,TYLER – STEEN,ALEXANDER – THOMAS,ROBERT

5

15

T.B

CIRELLI,ANTHONY – KILLORN,ALEX – STAMKOS,STEVEN

5

16

COL

BELLEMARE,PIERRE-EDOUARD – CALVERT,MATT – NICHUSHKIN,VALERI

4

17

S.J

COUTURE,LOGAN – KANE,EVANDER – MEIER,TIMO

4

18

ANA

CARRICK,SAM – RAKELL,RICKARD – SILFVERBERG,JAKOB

3

19

CAR

GAUTHIER,JULIEN – MARTINOOK,JORDAN – MCGINN,BROCK

3

20

DAL

DOWLING,JUSTIN – HINTZ,ROOPE – RADULOV,ALEXANDER

3

21

DET

BERTUZZI,TYLER – FABBRI,ROBBY – LARKIN,DYLAN

3

22

EDM

GAGNER,SAM – HAAS,GAETAN – NEAL,JAMES

3

23

N.J

BOQVIST,JESPER – MCLEOD,MICHAEL – WOOD,MILES

3

24

NSH

FORSBERG,FILIP – JARNKROK,CALLE – JOHANSEN,RYAN

3

25

NYI

EBERLE,JORDAN – LEE,ANDERS – NELSON,BROCK

3

26

OTT

BROWN,CONNOR – PAGEAU,JEAN-GABRIEL – TKACHUK,BRADY

3

27

PHI

COUTURIER,SEAN – GIROUX,CLAUDE – VORACEK,JAKUB

3

28

PIT

GUENTZEL,JAKE – MALKIN,EVGENI – RUST,BRYAN

3

29

WSH

BACKSTROM,NICKLAS – OVECHKIN,ALEX – WILSON,TOM

3

30

FLA

ACCIARI,NOEL – HUBERDEAU,JONATHAN – TROCHECK,VINCENT

2

31

VAN

BOESER,BROCK – MILLER,J.T. – PETTERSSON,ELIAS

2

 

Hot Lines

 

Minnesota Wild

Eric StaalMats ZuccarelloJason Zucker

The Minnesota Wild have fought their way back into the playoff race after a terrible first 6 weeks of the season. They are three points behind Calgary for the last wild card spot. If they want to make the playoffs, this line will need to be great the rest of the season.

 

Eric Staal

The first eight games of the season saw Staal put up a measly two assists. Since then he has been close to a point-per-game player with 24 points in 26 games including his 1000th career point this past Saturday.

 

 

Over his last three games he has three goals and one assist to go with one power play goal. As of today, Staal is available in 54 percent of Fantrax leagues so there is a good chance you can grab him off the waiver wire.

 

Mats Zuccarello

In his first year with the Minnesota Wild, Zuccarello has taken a bit of time getting used to his surroundings. Over the last three games he has only managed one assist. For the season he is up to 18 points, 13 of them being at even strength. He has managed 84 percent of his points with these line mates so there is a good chance he continues on this top scoring line. If he does than I can see his line mates dragging him up the scoring column and he should be able to finish with over 50 points when the season is over. I would sit in a holding position for now until I see him putting up points like his line mates.

 

Jason Zucker

For the better part of the last three seasons, Jason Zucker has been paired up with Eric Staal and I think that has made him a better player. This season Zucker also started very slow with just two goals in the first seven games. Since then Zucker has put up points at a similar pace to Eric Staal. Zucker has 22 points over his last 27 games 17 of those points came at even strength. His current points pace of 58 would give him his second best season and if he and his line mates can stay hot, he could get real close to his best which was 64 points in the 2017-2018 campaign. He is currently owned in 51 percent of Fantrax leagues so it might be a smart play to grab him while you can. His double winger eligibility doesn’t hurt either when trying to max out games at each position.

 

Buffalo Sabres

Jack Eichel – Victor Olofsson – Sam Reinhart

The Buffalo Sabres are currently holding down the second place spot in the very tough Eastern Conference. The strong play from this top line is certainly helping them hold down this spot.

 

Jack Eichel

After Eichel’s strong week he was given the NHL’s third star honor. He scored 5 goals and had one assist. Four of those points were at even strength. Eichel has shown in the past that he can single handedly drive his team's offense. This year being paired with two good line mates, Eichel's point production is through the roof. He has scored 15 even strength points when paired with these line mates. Over his last 15 games he has been on fire accumulating 25 points over that time span. Eichel is on pace for 116 points which would eclipse his previous best total by 34 points. It certainly looks like he may get close to that so if you own Eichel I would definitely be holding on to him with a very firm grip.

 

Victor Olofsson

In his first full season with the Buffalo Sabres, Victor Olofsson has been put into a prime position to succeed. This situation reminds me a little of when Artemi Panarin came over and joined the Chicago Blackhawks where he was teamed up with Patrick Kane. That year Panarin went on to win rookie of the year. I can’t say Olofsson will have the same fortune but he is certainly putting himself in good position to at least get a few votes go his way. Olofsson is also very hot right now scoring 16 points in 14 games. He has spent 86 percent of his even strength time on ice where he has scored 12 points. His current pace of 72 points would be an exceptional rookie campaign but we may see some regression as it is a long season and he really hasn’t hit a rookie scoring drought just yet. I think 65 points would be a closer estimation.

 

Sam Reinhart

Playing 73 percent of his even strength ice time with this line, Sam Reinhart is the other lucky talented winger flanking Jack Eichel. He is currently listed as another hot winger on Dobber's Frozen Tools scoring seven points over his last six games. For the season, he is on pace to tie his best year of 65 points. He is scoring on five percent more shots than his career average of 13.6. I would be a little leery of his almost 29-goal pace as that shooting percentage may be hard to sustain all year. I think 25 goals would be a safe number to go with and about 40 assists.

 

Thanks for reading this week's edition of ‘Lining Up’

Aaron