Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way. This week, we will scan for intriguing outliers in terms of luck (PDO), involvement in team scoring (IPP), shifting opportunity, Breakout Thresholds, and shooting percentage.
It is an interesting time to pull the trigger on trades in keeper and dynasty formats. We are now about an eighth of the way through the season, which is just long enough for poolies to be wondering if cold and hot streaks are legitimate. Is Gabe Vilardi (LAK) a point-per-game player now? Is Alexander Holtz (NJD) going to be a healthy scratch all year?
Further, a boatload of rookies have recently played their tenth NHL games and burned off the first year of their Entry Level Contracts. That is a fantastic sign for managers who want to see what their super-rookie can do with a sustained stretch of NHL games; on the flip side, it also means these rookies will be headed into their first 82-game grind and will likely struggle at some point if they are not doing so already.
While the value of a young player theoretically increases when they stick in the NHL, I actually think it often has the opposite effect in fantasy: returning to Holtz, for instance, would he be a more valuable asset scoring at a point-per-game pace in a top-line AHL role or watching the Devils play from the press box every night? Poolies tend to fixate on production, so someone like Holtz is an increasingly ripe buy-low candidate right now.
Here is a quick list of rookies who recently played their tenth NHL game in 2022-23:
Matty Beniers (SEA)
Calen Addison (MIN)
JJ Peterka (BUF)
Shane Pinto (OTT)
Cole Perfetti (WPG)