James Neal – With regular centerman Evgeni Malkin out with injury, Neal has had no drop off in talent among his linemates as he is seeing time with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. As a result, Neal is red hot with 4 goals and 8 points in just his last two games. With a career high 1.42 PPG this season, Neal is stating his claim for Team Canada as he takes yet another leap in his career progression.
Patrick Sharp – Another player with Team Canada aspirations, Sharp has 22 goals and 41 points at the halfway mark, giving him a pace that would see him exceed his career highs. Sharp has 6 goals in his last 3 games, and with a championship pedigree and great chemistry with fellow Olympic hopefuls, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, and Duncan Keith, he will be hard to leave off the team going to Sochi.
Kevin Shattenkirk – As under the radar and underrated a defenseman as there is in the NHL, Kevin Shattenkirk is a premier offensive defensemen for the St Louis Blues. Often forgotten behind Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester, its Shattenkirk who paces the Blues D corp with 28 points in 37 games. Currently on a 6 game point streak, Shattenkirk continues to make his mark with exemplary play, especially on the man advantage.
Henrik Sedin – Despite leading his team in scoring, Henrik Sedin finds himself on the Cold list mostly due to high expectations. With 90 and 110 point seasons under his belt, Sedin is well below that pace with 34 points in 40 games. A perennial top 10 finisher in league scoring and his iron man like durability make this as good a time as any to buy low on Captain Sedin.
Nail Yakupov – Yet again finding himself in the press box as a healthy scratch, Nail Yakupov is going through a serious sophomore slump. With just 6 goals in 39 games and a league worst -25 rating by far, Oilers fans better hope coach Dallas Eakins’ tactics eventually get the best out of Yakupov. Still just 20 years old, Nail has a chance to turn it around and become the dynamic sniper Edmonton envisioned on draft day.
Joffrey Lupul – Continuing to battle minor ailments here and there, Lupul seems to have come back down to earth from his point per game pace the past two seasons with the Maple Leafs. Now closer to his career scoring rate, it may be a good time to buy low if you think the Toronto water did in fact have a magic effect on Lupul. With just 2 points in his last 7 games, Lupul owners should be frustrated as ever.
Wayne Simmonds – Simmonds has found a home in front of the opposition’s crease, as he has 7 goals on a 5 game point streak that includes three straight 2 goal games. The Flyers offense has struggled throughout the year but Simmonds offers a rare combination of goals and penalty minutes that poolies need. With Philadelphia’s offense finally starting to turn it around, go and get this guy if he is still available.
Valtteri Filppula – Ever since Steven Stamkos went down with injury, everyone looked to Filppula to step up and fill the massive void as best as possible. Early on the offense wasn’t there, but with 10 points over his past 7 games, Filppula has heated up in a big way. Don’t expect Stamkos to return anytime soon, so we’ll see Valtteri continue to pile up the minutes and points.
Aleksander Barkov – The 2013 NHL Entry Draft 2nd overall pick, Aleksander Barkov has adjusted seamlessly to the North American game as an 18 year old after playing in Finland the past two seasons. While his defensive game has been strong from the start, Barkov has now added the offensive element with 8 points in his past 9 games, so nows the time to go out and grab this top end talent.
For Hockeyland Canada,