For a trade that involved nine players, the Dion Phaneuf deal did not seem to make a huge fantasy ripple.
With Phaneuf gone, young Morgan Rielly seems ready to take over as the Leafs’ top defenseman. Rielly is on his way to a career season with 23 points in 51 games while taking on an important shutdown role. Another Leafs’ defenseman is featured in this week’s waiver wire pickups, since the trade could clear the way for additional icetime.
For more on the trade, please see Franklin Steele’s article on the Leafs scorching the earth.
Vincent Trocheck, C/RW, FLA
Trocheck is emerging as a fantasy star, as Dave Holcomb explained on Tuesday. With two assists on Tuesday, Trocheck now has points in six of his last seven games – a red hot 11 points over that span. He is more of an even-strength asset than a power-play contributor, as only three of those 11 points have been with the man advantage. However, he has also recently gained right wing eligibility in Yahoo leagues, making him more appealing now than he was at the beginning of year when he was merely a center that you’d never heard of.
J.T. Miller, C, NYR
Miller is one of the league’s hottest scorers at the moment with nine goals over his last 10 games. With 17 goals on the season, Miller appears to be on pace to reach 25, a total that no one would have assumed possible before the season. That number might be a longshot, though, since Miller’s run of success may only last as long as Rick Nash is sidelined. In addition, Miller’s 19.8 percent shooting accuracy is simply not sustainable. But go ahead and ride the streak for as long as you can.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, OTT
Mark Stone, who was one of fantasy hockey’s hottest second-half performers last season, is at it again with eight points over his last four games. He owes much of his recent success to Pageau, who is on a nice hot streak of his own with seven points over the same span. With Kyle Turris back in the lineup, Pageau may eventually get bumped out of the top six. But don’t expect Dave Cameron to mess with a good thing at the moment.
Hampus Lindholm, D, ANA
Lindholm was cast aside in many leagues after the Ducks’ horrid start. But with a recent three-game goal-scoring streak, Lindholm should gain attention in fantasy leagues once again. If he and the Ducks can sustain their recent run of success, Lindholm could reach 30 points for the third consecutive season. He averages over 22 minutes per game and plays on the second-unit power play, so you could reap most of the reward if you are able to grab him now.
Jake Gardiner, D, TOR
Leafs’ fans have been (not so) patiently waiting for Gardiner to break out, and the Phaneuf trade might provide that opportunity. This season he is averaging fewer than 20 minutes of icetime per game, which is down from his totals over the last four seasons. However, the Leafs can’t fast forward to the draft lottery yet – they still have to play the remainder of their games. With two 30-point seasons already in his career, Gardiner has already proven that he can fill that time with points for fantasy teams.
Ben Scrivens, G, MTL
Could the Montreal Canadiens be saving their season with Scrivens between the pipes? That’s three wins in a row for both the Habs and Scrivens, who has allowed just four goals over those three games. With Carey Price still uncertain to return at all this season, the Habs now appear committed to put the fate of their season in Scrivens, who started his season with four losses before the three wins. With Scrivens now the Montreal goalie to own, Mike Condon should now be considered expendable in fantasy leagues.