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Fantasy buzz: Boeser making immediate impact for Canucks

Rookie forward leads Vancouver in scoring despite being scratched in first two games

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

 

2:30 p.m.
DraftKings value picks for Wednesday

CENTER

Nick Schmaltz, CHI ($5,300) - The Chicago Blackhawks center could return against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). He missed the past five games because of an upper-body injury, but should promptly re-join elite right wing Patrick Kane and Ryan Hartman in a top-six role. Schmaltz has two goals, one assist, four shots on goal and is plus-5 in two games this season.

WING

Connor Brown, TOR ($4,100) - Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock dropped Mitchell Marner to the fourth line this week, and it paid immediate dividends for his replacement. Brown scored one goal on two SOG on the Maple Leafs' second line with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak in a 2-0 road win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Brown has three points (one goal, two assists) and five SOG in four games against the Detroit Red Wings.

DEFENSEMAN

Jake Muzzin, LAK ($4,500) - The Los Angeles Kings defenseman has a four-game point streak and power-play points in back-to-back games. He has covered peripheral categories well with nine blocks and 17 SOG in five games this season. The Kings have split up their top players onto separate power-play units; Muzzin played on the second unit with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. He's fourth among Wednesday defensemen with 4.4 DraftKings points per game, yet tied for seventh in DraftKings price.

GOALIE

Jake Allen, STL ($7,600) - The best goaltender strategy is to spend up for Jonathan Quick ($8,300) at home with the Montreal Canadiens on the second leg of a back-to-back set, but Allen provides significant DraftKings savings in a bounce-back spot against the Blackhawks at home. Sure, this is a toss-up game between the two top teams in the Central Division, but Allen is 8-4-1 with a .923 save percentage in home games since Mike Yeo was hired as coach Feb. 1.

READ: Full list of projected starting goalies

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12:30 p.m.
Blues activate Steen off injured reserve

The St. Louis Blues have activated forward Alexander Steen off injured reserve. He will play Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Steen (C/LW, 48 percent owned in Yahoo) has not played a game this season because of a hand injury sustained in the preseason. He is known for solid fantasy coverage of points, penalty minutes and power-play points, as evidenced by him finishing 82nd in Yahoo two seasons ago (52 points, 48 PIMs, 21 PPP in 67 games) and 142nd (51 points, 53 PIMs, and 16 PPP in 76 games) last season.

The Blues' top six has featured Paul Stastny centering Vladimir Tarasenko and Vladimir Sobotka and Brayden Schenn centering Jaden Schwartz (illness; day to day) and Dmitrj Jaskin. Steen is expected to start alongside Stastny and Tarasenko on the top line and is also a candidate to re-join St. Louis' first power-play unit with Tarasenko, Schenn, Schwartz and high-scoring defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

The 33-year-old is priced at $5,000 in DraftKings and has had moderate success against Chicago in his NHL career with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists), 25 blocked shots and 97 shots on goal in 41 regular-season games.

 

Boeser continues scoring binge for Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks kept rookie right wing Brock Boeser out of the lineup in each of their first two games, but a late start hasn't deterred him from being their leading scorer so far this season. 

Boeser (RW, 14 percent owned in Yahoo) had one goal, one assist, one power-play point, one shot on goal and was plus-1 in Vancouver's 3-0 road win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. He leads the Canucks with four points (two goals, two assists) in three games and has two PPP and seven SOG. He has played mostly with Bo Horvat this season, but spent time with Alexander Burmistrov and Sven Baertschi at even strength and with the same duo and defenseman Michael Del Zotto on the first power-play unit Tuesday.

It's been a wide-open Calder Trophy race so far, but Boeser is suddenly tied for fourth in rookie scoring behind New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (nine points), forward Jesper Bratt (six) and Washington Capitals right wing Jakub Vrana (five). He could end up being a bright spot for the Canucks and is a dark-horse candidate to lead them in goals and/or points the rest of the way.

Boeser and the Canucks play three more games this week (Thursday at Boston Bruins, Friday at Buffalo Sabres, Sunday at Detroit Red Wings), making him a viable short-term addition in all formats with a high ceiling for the rest of the season.

Video: VAN@OTT: Boeser punches in a PPG from the slot

 

Neuvirth making case for time-share split with Flyers

The fantasy goalie waiver wire is extremely thin these days, but don't underestimate the quality of the Philadelphia Flyers tandem. 

Brian Elliott (G, 71 percent owned) is a popular second or third fantasy goaltender but has had mixed results so far, going 3-1-0 with an .884 save percentage. He allowed six goals on 31 shots in his lone loss against the Nashville Predators on Oct. 10. Backup Michal Neuvirth (9 percent owned) has been efficient through two starts (1-1-0), allowing three goals on 68 shots faced. He stopped 40 of 41 shots faced in a 5-1 home win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

The Flyers have 14 remaining back-to-back sets and could provide their goaltenders with plenty of goal support moving forward. Their offense ranks second in goals per game (4.33) behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (4.67) and seventh in power-play conversion percentage (26.9).

If Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban (29 percent in Yahoo; 2-0-0 with five goals allowed) has already been added in your league, Neuvirth is likely the best available option.

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