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All-Access: Barkov can provide fantasy boost

Panthers center must-add asset; Hudler, Purcell available

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Aleksander Barkov has scored three goals in two games since returning to the Florida Panthers lineup.

The 20-year-old has 19 goals, 19 assists and a plus-14 rating in 45 games but is owned in just 47 percent of Yahoo leagues.

In the next few games, the Panthers could see Jonathan Huberdeau return from injury onto his usual line with Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. The three haven't played together since Feb. 8, when Barkov sustained an upper-body injury that caused him to miss six games, but their 22 goals as a line are tied for sixth in the NHL, according to leftwinglock.com.

Huberdeau, the 2013 Calder Trophy winner, has been sidelined with a concussion since Feb. 20 and was placed on injured reserve Thursday. Even if Huberdeau remains out for an extended period, talent at left wing on Florida's top line will not be an issue.

Jussi Jokinen (C/LW/RW, 46 percent owned), who has played the past two games with Barkov and Jagr, has 11 goals and 31 assists in 61 games compared to Huberdeau's 11 goals and 29 assists in 59 games. On Saturday, the Panthers acquired forwards Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell (LW/RW, 7 percent owned) in trades, adding more depth to an already talented forward group that has helped Florida climb to first place in the Atlantic Division.

Barkov figures to be a big part of Florida's push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs over the final 21 games, and he should be a big part of your postseason run if he's available on waivers.

Video: ARI@FLA: Jagr feeds Barkov for slam-dunk in 3rd

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Jiri Hudler, C/LW/RW, Florida Panthers (57 percent owned) -- Hudler established NHL highs of 31 goals and 45 assists in 2014-15, but after the Calgary Flames' top line struggled early in the season, coach Bob Hartley tried several players in Hudler's place at right wing with center Sean Monahan and left wing Johnny Gaudreau. Then Hudler got sick in December and sustained a groin injury in January. He was back with Monahan and Gaudreau in recent weeks, likely being showcased for a trade. Hudler is in a much better situation now and should be rejuvenated playing with the first-place Panthers. He'll likely find himself in a top-six role until Huberdeau returns. You can never go wrong adding a player who's eligible at all three forward positions, as Hudler is in Yahoo leagues.

Dmitry Orlov, D, Washington Capitals (8 percent owned) -- With defenseman John Carlson out 3-4 weeks because of a lower-body injury, Orlov stands to gain more ice time, including on the power play. He has seven goals in 60 games, including one in each of the past two games and three in the past 10. The 24-year-old has 18 assists and a plus-16 rating in his best season in the NHL.

PA Parenteau, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs (7 percent owned) -- Parenteau was still with Toronto when this article was published. That could change before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, and that's why he's on this list. Despite playing for the Maple Leafs, who are 28th in the NHL in goals per game (2.35), Parenteau has 16 goals and 16 assists in 60 games. Parenteau left the game Saturday because of muscle cramping, but the injury does not appear to be serious. If he is traded, he'll find himself in a better situation with more scoring chances.

Craig Smith, C/RW, Nashville Predators (31 percent owned) -- Smith is playing on a line with center Mike Ribeiro and the red-hot Filip Forsberg. He has a goal and three assists the past three games.

LINE CHANGES

-- Andrew Ladd, traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, will play left wing on a line with center Jonathan Toews against the Capitals on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN). It's Ladd's first game back with Chicago since being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010.

Video: DAL@WPG: Byfuglien feeds Ladd for shorthanded goal

-- With Ladd gone and Bryan Little out for the season because of an upper-body injury, Mark Scheifele is centering Blake Wheeler at right wing and Nikolaj Ehlers at left wing. Scheifele (48 percent owned) had a goal and three assists in the Jets' 6-3 win against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, just after Ladd was dealt, but was kept off the score sheet, had no shots on goal, and was minus-1 on Saturday in a 4-1 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

-- David Jones received the first opportunity to play on the Flames' top line with Monahan and Gaudreau after Hudler was traded to the Panthers on Saturday. Jones was kept off the score sheet in a 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators, but Gaudreau had two goals and an assist, and Monahan had a goal and an assist. Those two will put up points no matter who is on their line.

-- Jason Spezza is again playing on the Stars' top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Spezza had three goals in three games with Dallas' dynamic duo last week but was minus-4.

-- Josh Bailey (LW/RW, 2 percent owned) has taken the place of injured Mikhail Grabovski (upper body) to the left of John Tavares on the New York Islanders' top line. The right wing is Ryan Strome (C/RW, 14 percent owned).

Video: NYI@CGY: Bailey beats Ortio for the overtime winner

-- The Montreal Canadiens' line of Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher was reunited Wednesday against the Capitals. Pacioretty assisted on Gallagher's power-play goal in the 4-3 win, and Plekanec assisted on one of Pacioretty's two even-strength goals in a 4-1 win against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

-- With Jakub Voracek missing his first game since the 2011-12 season, Sam Gagner (C/RW) was back on the right side for the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes, one of his former teams, and he scored a goal in the 4-2 win. Gagner played left wing on the top line with Brayden Schenn at center and Wayne Simmonds at right wing in the three games center Claude Giroux missed with an upper-body injury. Giroux returned Saturday and scored a goal for the 500th point of his NHL career.

SCHEDULE NOTES

-- The Penguins will play five games this week, including one at the Capitals on Tuesday in a game initially scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 24, when the Washington, D.C. area was impacted by a major winter storm.

The Canadiens, Capitals, Flames, Jets, Maple Leafs, Senators, Stars, Wild, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers each will play four games this week.

The Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues each have two on their schedule, and the rest of the League has three.

-- The San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks play this Sunday in Vancouver, their first meeting of the season and first of three games against each other in one week. They also play a home-and-home set later in the week; the first leg is Thursday in Vancouver, and the second is Saturday in San Jose.

-- The Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings play their two games against each other for the 2015-16 season this week. Detroit plays Chicago in consecutive games, but the Blackhawks will visit the Bruins between games against the Red Wings.

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