Just about 10 games into the season now for most teams and it’s at this time when even the more patient poolies start to panic a little. The “blips” start turning into “trends.” Or so they believe. And that’s where you come in.
Here are 10 buy-low and 10 sell-high players to move on. Take advantage of the situation!
Tyler Ennis, Buffalo Sabres
One point in 11 games is terrible. There’s no sugar-coating that and there is no bright side. But then again, only three Sabres are on pace to beat 25 points this season and it’s not going to end up that way. Ennis is a streaky player and although the sample size is small because he’s still quite young, from what I’ve seen he tends to really get rolling in the second half. At times he’ll go through one-month stretches of team-leading numbers.
Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
Sharp is one of the most consistent producers in the game. What fluctuates his point totals year-over-year are the injuries. He’s healthy now and if he plays 70 games he’ll get you 65 points. Simple as that. And I don’t care how long his current slump lasts, he’ll reach that target in the end.
Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
The perfect “buy low” player because he is coming off a couple bad years and has had a rather weak start numbers-wise (last game the exception). Dubinsky is “The Man” in Columbus, getting all the ice time he wants and seeing lots of action with Marian Gaborik. When the Jackets start winning, he’ll start producing and 55 points could be in the cards.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
By the same token, when the Jackets start winning, Bobrovsky’s numbers will improve. I’ve been pretty vocal about how Bobrovsky’s numbers will decline this year, but I only meant by a small amount. Not to the extent that we’re seeing now.
Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars
If and when Goligoski gets scratched, watch for him to return with some big numbers. It happened last year when he was scratched for a game. Incidentally, he started last year with just three points in 10 games. So going pointless in his first eight is just a disturbing early-season trend for him.
Slava Voynov, Los Angeles Kings
After his second half last season and that amazing playoff performance, I’m ready to anoint Voynov as a 50-point player even if he starts the season with five points in 20 games. So this three in 10 doesn’t faze me at all.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Come on, it’s King Henrik. You keeper league owners will never have a better chance of acquiring him than you do right now. Put aside all doubts and get him. Now. He’s virtually unattainable, were it not for this skid. It reminds me of when I went after (and got) Alex Ovechkin back in early February. After two weak seasons and a slow start, Ovechkin’s owner had enough and I swooped in.
Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers
When the Rangers get going, Del Zotto will be a big part of that. Don’t expect miracles, but 40 points is still pretty safe.
Any Philadelphia Flyer
At worst, the Flyers are a terrible team that won’t make the playoffs. But that still won’t mean Brayden Schenn will lead them in scoring with 51 points, as the current pace suggests. Nope, Claude Giroux will still get at least 65 points and probably 75. And Jakub Voracek will get 60-plus, while the likes of Matt Read will get at least 40 if healthy. These players are cheap in your league and, especially if you’re in a keeper, you should go after them.
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
Wheeler always starts slow. And then he’s a 90-point player in the second half. A great example of “buy low” here that’s guaranteed to pay dividends. It helps that he doesn’t get hurt (knock on wood).
Here are some other names to consider buying low on. Not necessarily because they will meet prior expectations, but because at the very least they will post better point totals than it looks right now: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Craig Smith, Nashville Predators; Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers; Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes.
Mason Raymond, Toronto Maple Leafs
David Clarkson returns on the 25th and so there goes some of Raymond’s PP time. And when Nikolai Kulemin returns in a couple of weeks, there goes some of Raymond’s even-strength ice time. Raymond is a hot/cold player as it is so between the slowdown that’s bound to happen, as well as the reduction in ice time, his eight points in 10 games are as appealing as his numbers will look this year.
Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames
I think Hudler has a ton of talent and he has yet to come anywhere near his upside. But 12 points over a nine-game point streak is insane. He’ll never see nine games like that again this year. So reap the rewards.
Mikhail Grabovski, Washington Capitals
The streaky Grabovski made a huge splash in his first game with his new team, garnering four points. But he has just three points in eight games since then and he’s showing us that the more things change…the more they stay the same. Right now the hype still exceeds what the result will be, so take advantage.
Jason Garrison, Vancouver Canucks
Garrison has 17 points in 22 games dating back to last season, but I’ve seen too many cold streaks and not enough final results when it comes to his offense. His best season is still just 33 points so until he actually hits 40 I’m not buying that he will. I would trade him for Goligoski in a heartbeat in points-only leagues and I would probably get another asset or two on top of that – truly taking advantage of things.
Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
I’m by no means questioning Harding’s talent. I think he’s a very skilled goalie with a lot of upside and I’ve always felt that way. But he’s extremely injury prone and you’d be playing with fire if you were counting on him to be one of your two goaltenders for any longer than a couple of weeks.
Lars Eller, Montreal Canadiens
Eller is having a breakthrough season. But to me that means 55 points. Maybe…maybe 60. So his current pace (73 points) will not continue. But if you can get a Wheeler or a Sharp for him, it should pay off.
Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey Devils
If there was some sort of bet I could place that gave me decent odds Zidlicky won’t reach the 40-point mark I would throw down some cash on that. His current pace is 64 points and while Zidlicky has a history of putting up points (his career high is 53), he has been unproductive for quite some time and I don’t believe he’s suddenly found the magic again.
Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders
For the past five years, Nielsen’s points-per-game average has held steady between 0.50 and 0.62 points-per-game. Since he has 11 points in nine games (1.22) it’s safe to assume he’ll slow down. It looks as though he’ll set career highs, but I would be surprised if he got that points-per-game average too far above 0.70 (56 points over 80 games).
Any San Jose Shark
They did this last year too, remember? Patrick Marleau had nine goals in five games, Joe Thornton had 14 points in six games. And Joe Pavelski? He had 12 points in his first seven games. He has similar numbers to start this season. Don’t get caught up in the hype and take advantage of those who do.
Alex Steen, St. Louis Blues
This is another case of “yes, I think he’s breaking out” but “no, he’s not breaking out to quite this extent.” Factor in that Steen misses about 10 games each year and now is the time to shop him.
Good luck and happy shopping!