Low Risk- Martin Havlat

Martin Havlat has just one point in his last eleven games.

Analysis: As a result of this terrible slump Havlat has become available in over half of fantasy hockey leagues. Although Havlat only has six points this year he isn’t minus-4 or minus-8, he actually has a plus-1 rating. He has over forty shots on goal and is averaging sixteen minutes of ice time per game so he does have some value in those areas.

But what we really have to consider is the potential. He’s still only thirty-one years old so we know his skills are not declining rapidly although he isn’t quite the speedster he used to be. Havlat has scored over fifty points seven times in his career and he is a career plus-68. He is a proven winger and worth the risk(if he has not burned you already).

When he gets it going his goals and assists will be there and his ice time and power play opportunities will be there for fantasy owners as well. It is hard to have patience in such a short NHL season but Havlat’s upside may be worth a pick up.

Buying Low- Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky isn’t a household name but he continues to quietly produce on a mediocre team.

Analysis: The oft-injured Czech native has stayed healthy thus far this year yet he still isn’t getting much love from fantasy owners. Hemsky has 10 points in 16 games this year while averaging 16 minutes of ice time per game. While those aren’t especially great numbers he is among the top thirty in scoring and fourth in goals among right wingers. He also has 6 power play points this year which is elite no doubt but he does have some negative aspects to his fantasy game. Hemsky doesn’t quite shoot as much as he should, his plus/minus will not be great and he has never been one to take tons of penalties although he is respectable in that area.

Hemsky ranks ahead of Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in terms of fantasy production this year yet he is available in 50-70% of fantasy leagues. If he remains healthy he is a viable source of points on the right wing who will continue to get tons of minutes on the power play.

Buying Low- Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton got back on track with a goal and an assist against Buffalo after a six game scoreless stretch.

Analysis: You have to be patient in fantasy hockey and especially with defensemen with tons of offensive upside. Dougie Hamilton is only nineteen years old but he is a special player. He’s been well over a point per game player in the OHL over the past two years and his transition to the NHL has been as expected. Hamilton has 6 points in 12 games this year and he is averaging nearly nineteen minutes of ice time per game. He’s getting his fair share of power play minutes as well, however, Hamilton’s biggest fantasy flaw is that he has zero penalty minutes thus far this year.

Hamilton is one of the most heavily dropped fantasy players at the moment but it may be a mistake dropping him so early in the season. His offensive upside is tremendous and his plus/minus will improve when Boston starts to score more(2.6 goals/game). He’s available in 30-50% of fantasy leagues but when he catches fire again you won’t be finding him on the wire.

Last Call On Slava Voynov

Slava Voynov has been playing some major minutes for the Kings as his stock continues to rise.

Analysis: Voynov is plus-7 this year on a team with a negative six goal differential. To put Voynov’s plus-7 rating in perspective, Drew Doughty is minus-10 this year. Not only is Slava’s plus/minus a strength so are other areas of his fantasy game. He’s receiving about 26 minutes of ice time over his last four games while his seasonal average is a solid 21 minutes per game. Voynov’s success should not come as a surprise, he posted a plus-12 and 20 points last year in limited ice time and in just 52 games.

This year Voynov has a very respectable 6 points in 11 games played. He is getting secondary power play minutes but he’s not going to put up tons of points. The only areas he can hurt you is penalty minutes and power play points but outside of those areas he’s fine. Voynov is not just a deep league add, he’s a twenty-three year old coming into form on a team that really needs him at the moment. He’s available in 40-50% of fantasy leagues nationwide.

Stock Rising- Tyutin, Visnovsky

Fedor Tyutin appears to be having a career year and Lubomir Visnovsky is two games into his NHL return after his “issue.”

Analysis: Fedor Tyutin is getting 23 minutes of ice time and plenty of power play minutes this year but he’s had that his past four years in Columbus. So… what’s different this year? Well, the twenty-nine year old is simply having a career year. Tyutin has 10 points in 13 games this season which is fourth most in the NHL among defensemen. He’s not a big penalty minute guy nor does he shoot a ton so he can hurt you a bit in those areas. His points production will decrease a bit but he has taken his game to another level this year. As of today he is outperforming Shea Weber and Brent Seabrook.

It doesn’t matter what you think of Lubomir Visnovsky as long as you can clearly see he still has some tread on those thirty-six year old tires. Yes, he had a down year with the Ducks last year but two years ago he was a 68 point defenseman with a plus-18. He has 2 points in 2 games with the Islanders so far who are one of the better offensive teams this year. Visnovsky already has over nine power play minutes as well so pick him up if he’s available in your league because he racks up points in bunches on the man advantage.