Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This list of targets includes expensive and value options at each position to help you build a winning roster.
C - Joe Thornton, SJS ($6,000)
The San Jose Sharks play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday in the fourth game of a five-game road trip, but that hasn't put a damper on Thornton and the offense, which has scored 10 goals the past three games. The veteran center has two assists in back-to-back games and offers elite upside on a potent power play at an affordable price. The Penguins have allowed four goals in each of their past two games and there's a chance backup goaltender Mike Condon (2.71 GAA last season) will make his season debut. San Jose is an appealing stack option.
C - Victor Rask, CAR ($5,100)
Rask has started the season on a three-game point streak for the Carolina Hurricanes, who get a favorable matchup against the Calgary Flames. The Hurricanes' top line of Rask centering Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak has been lights out, combining for six goals and six assists in three games. Rask, Skinner ($6,100) and Stempniak ($4,800) all have cheap DraftKings salaries and make for a great contrarian stack in large tournament-style contests.
W - Max Pacioretty, MTL ($6,800)
The captain of the Montreal Canadiens is coming off an 8.0-point performance with a goal, assist and six shots on goal against the Penguins on Tuesday. He did most of his damage at even strength but skated plenty on the Canadiens power play. Pacioretty gets a plus-matchup against the Arizona Coyotes, who have allowed 10 goals in two games and will likely be without starting goaltender Mike Smith, forcing backup Louis Domingue (2.80 career GAA) into net. Even though Pacioretty's ownership percentage will be low in DraftKings, he will be a solid play in most contests.
W - Jonathan Drouin, TBL ($5,600)
Drouin has scored in each of his first three games (goal, three assists) for the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you're looking for a cost-friendly wing on a top offense with a great goaltending matchup against Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche, look no further. Drouin is second on the Lightning with 11 shots on goal behind linemate Steven Stamkos and has three blocked shots. It won't be long before Drouin's price starts to skyrocket, so you'd best insert him into your lineup while it's low.
D - John Klingberg, DAL ($5,800)
The Los Angeles Kings are reeling without goalie Jonathan Quick, allowing 12 goals in three straight losses to start the season. Now the Kings must travel to Dallas and face Klingberg and the Stars' high-powered offense. The defenseman has been relatively quiet on offense in three games with an assist and three SOG but has eight blocked shots. The Stars should feast on the Kings at home, and Klingberg could be in line for a breakout performance. His salary has dipped a bit the past two games, but that only adds to his appeal.
D - Brandon Carlo, BOS ($3,100)
Few are talking about the Boston Bruins rookie defenseman, but Carlo has quietly had a nice start. He is averaging 3.5 DraftKings points per game with a goal, an assist, a plus-7 rating, six blocks and five SOG in three games. He's getting a ton of ice time (21:35 per game) on a potent Bruins offense, and though he doesn't play on the power play, he leads Boston in shorthanded ice time (10:11). Plenty of blocks with a high rating and some offensive upside make Carlo a solid bargain play.
G - Kari Lehtonen, DAL ($7,600)
If you skipped right to the goalie section, here's a refresher: The Kings are struggling. It also helps that Lehtonen has allowed two goals on 41 shots in two appearances this season, including 27 saves in a 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. It's unclear if Lehtonen or Antti Niemi ($7,600) will start Thursday, but either goaltender is appealing.
G - Jacob Markstrom, VAN ($7,300)
One of the cheaper goalie options Thursday, Markstrom has played well with Vancouver Canucks starter Ryan Miller out with an abdomen injury; Markstrom is averaging 5.2 DraftKings points in two wins. The Buffalo Sabres are without forwards Jack Eichel and Evander Kane, and the Canucks have allowed five goals in three games. With Carey Price of the Canadiens expected to return, and elite goalies Bishop and Braden Holtby in action, Markstrom is a nice contrarian play in tournaments.
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