Wild West: Early Opportunities

Grant Campbell

2021-01-18

There have been some injuries, covid issues and some unexpected players emerge early in this 56-game season that have created opportunities for players and changed some depth charts. We will go through each team in the West (excepting the Dallas Stars for now) and briefly see what players are in what roles and how they might influence your hockey pools (good and bad). These are very early returns so please take any PDO or CF numbers with a grain of salt.

Anaheim Ducks

There have been a few surprises in Anaheim as Trevor Zegras was sent down to the AHL and Sonny Milano has been scratched in both games the Ducks have played so far. Troy Terry, Sam Steel and Maxime Comtois have outscored the opposition two to none for goals at even strength notwithstanding a CF percentage of 37.8. On the opposite end of the spectrum lies the line of Adam Henrique Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell who have been outscored three to none while having a CF percentage of 61.0 early on. Isac Lundestrom has been given an opportunity to play with Danton Heinen and Ryan Getzlaf but the line has yet to click. Lundestrom could have a short rope before Milano is given another opportunity. On the power-play, Derek Grant has seen time, whereas Comtois has not.

On defence 28-year old rookie Jani Hakanpaa has seen limited minutes, but I figure he will be replaced when newly-signed Ben Hutton is ready to go. It appears that Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler are sharing the first unit PP duties with Shattenkirk appearing to have the inside track.

Arizona Coyotes

The big news out of Arizona is the injury to Oliver Ekman-Larsson which is listed as day-to-day but is at least a week because he is not on the Coyotes road trip. This opens up a chance for Kyle Capobianco to step into the lineup and see some PP time for at least the three games this week. It will give Jakob Chychrun an increased role as well.

The line of Derrick Brassard, Clayton Keller and Tyler Pitlick has dominated opposition at even strength with 33 CF and 13 CA (71.7 percent) and managed two GF and one GA. Currently, the first unit of the PP is Conor Garland, Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, Nick Schmaltz and Chychrun.