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Fantasy: Late trades have sneaky upside

Impact of deadline moves by Bruins, Ducks, Stars, Islanders

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL Fantasy Insider

Kris Russell - Trade Reaction

Kris Russell Trade Reaction

Kris Russell reacts to the news he was dealt to the Dallas Stars on Monday

  • 06:42 •

The trade that sent Mikkel Boedker to the Colorado Avalanche was far from the only Monday trade with fantasy implications.

In addition to Boedker filling the Avalanche's top-six void at right wing, plenty of other Stanley Cup Playoff contenders made moves to improve their rosters before the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline.

Here are the other deadline-day fantasy developments that could potentially alter the landscape in your league(s):

Lee Stempniak to Boston Bruins

The Bruins acquired Stempniak (LW/RW, 44 percent owned), the New Jersey Devils' leading scorer (41 points in 63 games), in the hope that the breakout forward can carry over his production into a top-nine role. From a fantasy standpoint, his value could be affected negatively by the trade unless he ends up playing right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He was playing the fourth-most minutes per game among Devils forwards (18:43) behind Travis Zajac (19:57), Adam Henrique (19:48) and injured Mike Cammalleri (19:16) and was tied for second on the Devils in power-play points (12 in 2:23 on per game on power play) behind Kyle Palmieri (16). The perennial journeyman is ranked 99th in Yahoo but could dip when he joins a more crowded man-advantage picture in Boston. He will need to play top-six minutes at even strength to have a shot at maintaining his career-best rate of production.

2015-16 NHL Trade Tracker

Brandon Pirri and Jamie McGinn to Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks, 22-4-2 since the NHL's Christmas break, loaded up with forwards prior to the deadline. Pirri and McGinn can each factor into the top-nine forward mix and chip in offensively because Anaheim continues to roll three strong lines -- two of which have holes. Each is an option to either play right wing with Ryan Getzlaf and David Perron or left wing with Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry.

Pirri, tri-eligible (C/LW/RW) and 9 percent owned in Yahoo, will be on a slight delay as he recovers from an ankle injury. Based on his original injury timeline, he could be back as early as next week. Pirri has bounced around the Florida Panthers lineup this season and has 24 points (eight on power play) and 111 SOG in 52 games. He scored 22 goals in 49 games last season and could blossom down the stretch if given the chance.

McGinn has seen some top-six and first power-play unit time this season with the Buffalo Sabres alongside mostly Jack Eichel, with 27 points (nine on power play) with 109 SOG in 63 games. Pirri is more appealing once he returns, but McGinn (LW/RW, 2 percent owned) is also dual eligible and worth a deep-league, short-term flier in the hope he can play with Getzlaf or Perry.


Kris Russell to Dallas Stars

If your fantasy league counts blocked shots, Russell has likely been owned for a while. He has 174 this season, second-most in the NHL, and 715 since 2012-13, the most League-wide in that span. Last season, he came alive offensively when Mark Giordano was injured in late February, scoring 14 points in his final 18 regular-season games in addition to covering blocks. Russell's fantasy upside in Dallas is limited because his defensive specialty is the biggest reason he was brought in to complement one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL.

The prayer in picking up Russell (D, 11 percent owned) in fantasy is that he either sees the splash effect from exposure to Dallas' top forwards or steals minutes from Alex Goligoski and/or Jason Demers. He should definitely help the Stars, but he's far from a sure thing fantasy-wise as his offensive role is yet to be determined.


Shane Prince to New York Islanders

The Islanders were relatively quiet at the deadline, but snagged a potential diamond-in-the-rough asset in Prince. He led the Ottawa Senators by a wide margin in Shot Attempts Relative per 60 minutes (25.8), but was rarely used in a top-six role. New York appears to love Prince's possession game, giving him a trial on the top line with John Tavares and Ryan Strome in his debut Tuesday at the Vancouver Canucks. It's too early to tell how Prince (LW, less than 1 percent owned) will ultimately fare, but the fact that coach Jack Capuano is giving this 23-year-old a chance to play premium minutes right off the bat gives the rookie an opportunity to reach far greater fantasy ground than he did in Ottawa.

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