Ondrej Palat is surging since the trade deadline.
The trade deadline is always an exciting time for fans as several prominent names will change hands, mostly with one team gearing up for a playoff run and the other looking forward to next year. In fantasy hockey the implications are significant. Not only do the trades impact the players involved, they also have a lot of side-effects on both teams. When a player is added he is always taking ice time from at least one other player and when a player is subtracted there is an opportunity for one or more players to increase their role.
After previewing the trade deadline the past two weeks (part one and part two), today we will do a stock watch to analyze which players are in a better spot today and which players lost value. In some instances the effect is immediate while in other cases the implications are longer-term and limited to keeper leagues.
Alex Burrows (Ottawa)
After scoring 20 points in 55 games with Vancouver Burrows has heated up following his trade to the Senators with four points in three games. He is only getting third-line minutes so this run will obviously not last beyond the typical post-trade adrenaline rush. However, if he can maintain a better scoring pace than he had in Vancouver the whole of his contributions would make him a pretty appealing multi-category player for the foreseeable future.
Be careful when investing in him in keeper leagues because he will soon turn 36 and has been slowing down significantly in recent years. If you need anything more than a short-term boost you should consider other options.
Xavier Ouellet (Detroit)
Since the departure of Brendan Smith, Ouellet has logged around 20 minutes per game, up two minutes from his season average. The difference may not jump out but Ouellet has been a surprisingly good multi-category defenseman this year and any increase should make him that much better across the board. Not to mention, teammate Niklas Kronwall is declining rapidly which will help Ouellet gain even more minutes in time.
As it stands the Red Wings are not in great shape with respect to the salary cap and have no major prospects coming up to challenge young blueliners like Ouellet. It may not take long for him to establish himself as a legitimate top-four option capable of contributing in various fantasy formats.
Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay)
This year the Lightning found themselves outside of a playoff spot and went into seller mode. In the end both Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula were sent packing. Since the Boyle trade on February 27, Palat has logged 20 minutes or more in ice time in all but one contest. This is a nice increase from his season average of 18:26 and the most minutes he has received in his career. Additionally, he has been on the ice for the vast majority of the team’s power-play minutes.
Despite just two points in those five games, Palat’s stock remains up. His line with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov has been productive and it is only a matter of time before Palat follows suit. The only concern down the stretch is a potential return of Steven Stamkos bumping him off the top unit with the man advantage.
Brendan Smith (New York Rangers)
Smith has largely been a disappointment since arriving in the NHL after being a first-round pick back in 2007. His below-average offensive totals make him irrelevant in points-only but he has always offered a decent mix of PIM, hits, blocks and shots on goal, making him a player of interest in deeper multi-category leagues.
Since moving to the Rangers, Smith has seen an increase in ice time but has not recorded a point. This increase may not last for long as the Rangers are currently without Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi. However, in the meantime Smith can serve as a decent short-term filler in the right setup.
Mark Streit (Pittsburgh)
Streit’s arrival in Pittsburgh could not come at a better time because the Penguins are currently without Kris Letang, Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta. With Justin Schultz being the only other proven point-producer on the blueline at the moment, Streit has a role on the second power-play unit. This will only last until Letang returns but in the meantime it is not a stretch to believe Streit can produce around 0.5 points per game in the short term. Given his age and decline in play he will find himself on the waiver wire in some leagues and could be a solid depth addition.
Brian Boyle (Toronto)
Despite logging third-line minutes Boyle has had some good moments this year including some good stretches of production on scoring lines and on the power play filling in for injuries in Tampa Bay. Add in his physical play and faceoff abilities and you have a good multi-category contributor.
Unfortunately, the move to Toronto kills a lot of that appeal. So far Boyle has been used in a fourth-line role with no time on the power play. He has continued to do well in peripheral categories and even picked up a point since the trade. All things considered, it is difficult to envision the offense continuing n this role. Keep an eye on him though in case things change. In the right situation he can be productive.
Michael McCarron (Montreal)
Despite not producing much offensively McCarron offers some nice multi-category value especially in leagues that count faceoff wins. Those waiting for him to transition to the NHL full-time will have to wait as the Canadiens acquired a couple gritty forwards at the trade deadline including Steve Ott who has been excellent on draws during his career.
There is still plenty of time for McCarron to deliver on his potential but owners who invested in him in keeper leagues when he was drafted must be growing frustrated by now. Try to take advantage if you can this summer and buy low. His skill set belongs in the NHL and when he gets there full-time he will be a factor in multi-category leagues right away.
Markus Nutivaara (Columbus)
After showing some potential in Finland, Nutivaara made it in the NHL as a 22-year-old making him a viable long-term option in keeper leagues. So far the results have been minimal as his minutes have been limited due to the success enjoyed by the Blue Jackets’ other defensemen.
At the deadline the team brought in Kyle Quincey, a defenseman with more experience and a history producing in the NHL. As a result Nutivaara has been healthy-scratched three straight games. From here things can go a number of ways for the young defenseman including spending some time down in the AHL.
Kyle Quincey (Columbus)
At times Quincey has been a sneaky-good option in deep multi-category leagues due to his secondary-level scoring along with good totals in PIM, hits, blocks and shots on goal. The trend continued this year in New Jersey where he played a top-four role. However, with the Devils out of the playoff race Quincey was shipped to Columbus where he is clearly the team’s sixth option on defense. Look for him to experience a dip in production across the board barring a rash of injuries on the Columbus blueline and become a much less appealing option in leagues that cater to his strengths.
Thomas Vanek (Florida)
Vanek has done a great job bouncing back from a poor campaign that resulted in a buyout from Minnesota. The strong play made him appealing to the Panthers who traded for him at the deadline. Despite being in the playoff race and seeing more ice time thus far than he did in Detroit, it is difficult to envision Vanek continuing at his current production rate. Sometimes players just click and he had developed great chemistry with Frans Nielsen which allowed him to produce with consistency. Vanek should still be productive with the Panthers but not at his current unsustainable rate.
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