Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
NOTE: This contest does not include the 4 p.m. ET game between the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames.
TOP CENTER: Evgeni Malkin, PIT ($7,700)
Some may wonder how Malkin can be the top center in a contest that involves Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby ($8,300). Crosby has 69 points (34 goals, 35 assists) in 57 games (4.6 DraftKings points per contest) but Malkin has 65 points (28 goals, 37 assists) in 56 games (4.5 DraftKings points per contest). Malkin had two goals and three points with four SOG (10.0 DraftKings points) in a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. He has six goals and 11 points in his past 10 games, and 44 in 30 home games to rank first in points per game at home (1.47), which should continue against the Buffalo Sabres.
VALUE CENTER: Bo Horvat, VAN ($4,700)
The Vancouver Canucks have lost six of seven games to see their Stanley Cup Playoff chances fade, but Horvat has been impressive. He scored in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and has four goals and four assists in his past 10 games. Horvat has averaged 2.9 DraftKings points per contest and leads Vancouver in goals (19) and points (41). The SOG may be low (119) but he thrives on the road (10 goals, 17 assists in 32 games). The Canucks visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. The sub-$5,000 price makes him an enticing option.
Video: VAN@SJS: Horvat taps home Hutton's pass for PPG
TOP WING: Evander Kane, BUF ($6,300)
Kane leads the NHL in goals at even strength since Dec. 1 (23), which shows how consistent he has been. The Sabres wing has thrived playing with Jack Eichel recently. Kane could be in line for his second 30-goal season (he scored 30 in 2011-12 with the Winnipeg Jets). He has a goal in each of his past two games and has seven goals in 10 games. He's averaged 3.4 DraftKings points per contest and has at least 4.5 DraftKings points in six of his past nine games. Kane is the sixth-most expensive wing behind a group including Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues; $7,500), Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks; $6,900) and Cam Atkinson (Columbus Blue Jackets; $6,700), but has produced like an elite wing in recent months.
VALUE WING: Jason Zucker, MIN ($4,600)
Zucker has 20 goals (tied for second on the Minnesota Wild), 23 assists and 44 points (sixth). He's been consistent and stayed healthy, playing in all 62 games this season for Minnesota, which recently was hit with the mumps. Zucker has four goals (27 SOG, five blocks) in his past 10 games and is one goal from his NHL career high (set in 2014-15) and already has passed his NHL high in points (26 in 2014-15). The Wild will be at home against the San Jose Sharks, where they are 22-8-1 this season.
Video: MIN@WPG: Zucker puts Wild on top with a late goal
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Brent Burns, SJS ($8,300)
It's hard to argue against picking the Sharks standout, who is tied with Crosby for the most expensive player in the tournament. Burns is a Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy candidate and entered play Saturday tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring (67 points) and tied for 11th in goals (27). Burns has five goals and seven assists in his past 10 games (6.0 DraftKings points per game). He has reached triple digits in blocks (109) and SOG (251, leads the League). Burns is also on a seven-game point streak (five goals, five assists) and had two assists earlier this season against the Wild.
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Mark Streit, PIT ($3,800)
Streit made an immediate impact in his first game with the Penguins since he was acquired in a trade with the Lightning after they acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. He had the game-winning goal and an assist with four SOG and two assists (8.0 DraftKings points) in a 5-2 win against the Lightning. Streit should see an uptick in production with Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley and Kris Letang sidelined for the Penguins. Streit has six goals and 17 assists in 50 games, including a goal and two assists (9.0 DraftKings points) in his only game against the Sabres this season. He's a steal at this price.
Video: TBL@PIT: Streit buries Crosby's feed in Pens debut
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Jake Allen ($8,100) or Carter Hutton ($8,000), STL
The St. Louis Blues have lost five games in a row but not all of that can be blamed on the goalies when the offense has managed a combined six goals in those games. Allen has lost four straight following a four-game winning streak, but should get back on track on the road against the Colorado Avalanche offense. If Hutton gets the call, he's the clear choice in this contest; he has three shutouts in his past five starts and allowed one goal on 38 shots in a 3-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. He has a 2.01 GAA, .929 SV% and four shutouts on the road this season.
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