Eastern Edge: Boosts for Barzal, Beauvillier, and Dobson; Laughton’s New Role

Brennan Des


In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll continue looking at skaters who have bounced back from underwhelming starts.

In last week's article (which covered skaters from Boston to New Jersey) we focused on first-half and second-half splits. I decided to be more lenient with the timeframes in this week's edition so that we could include a few more players.

Mathew Barzal

The star center got off to a slow start this year, posting just eight points in 17 appearances through October and November. He's been excellent since the beginning of December, boasting 30 points in his last 30 games. The Isles have a league-leading 26 games left in their schedule and more appearances means more opportunities to put up points. He was recently sidelined for six games, so his value may have dropped slightly due to recency bias and the 'out of sight, out of mind' phenomenon. If your league's trade deadline hasn't passed yet, you may want to reach out to the manager that's rostering Barzal.

Anthony Beauvillier

The 24-year-old forward started struggled mightily during the first three months of the season, tallying just eight points in 24 games. Beauvillier has been much more productive since the new year began, posting 19 points in 29 games. He's been especially hot recently, racking up seven points in his last four appearances. It seems he's earning a reputation for slow starts and strong finishes; he opened last season with six points in 19 games before taking off with 22 points in his final 28 appearances. As I write this, Beauvillier is available in 92% of Yahoo leagues, so this is a good time to get in on the ground floor. His overall numbers are weighed down by a horrendous start to the season, but as we've established, he's in great form right now. Given the Islanders busy schedule down the stretch, Beauvillier will have more opportunities to contribute to your fantasy team than most other waiver wire options.

Noah Dobson

Not enough people are talking about how good Dobson's been this season. He isn't near the top of the blueliner scoring race, but that's mainly because his overall numbers are weighed down by a slow start. He posted just four points through 15 games during October and November, but has 28 points in 39 games since December began. Notably, 12 of those 28 points were tallied with the man advantage as Dobson has established himself as the team's top power-play defenseman, seeing 63% of the Islanders' total power-play time. I've harped on the appeal of New York's busy schedule a couple times already, but that's especially relevant for Dobson because defenders should be easier to incorporate into your fantasy lineup.

Scott Laughton