John Tavares – Johnny T is absolutely on fire and taking yet another step into elite status in the NHL. With 56 points in 46 games, Tavares is poised to shatter his career high of 81 points. The Sauga born player has tore up the competition especially over the past 9 games with 17 points and 8 goals. With 8 wins over that stretch, the captain is finally turning this Islanders team in the right direction.
Joe Pavelski – The trio of David Backes, Ryan Kesler, and the Sharks’ Pavelski will form the 3 centers for the US Olympic hockey team in Sochi. Similar to his national team, the big Pavelski plays mostly on the third line for San Jose but puts up numbers on a consistent basis regardless of linemates. Currently playing on the top line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, Pavelski has 9 goals over the past month and is a good bet to stay hot.
Jonas Hiller – Despite multiple top end goaltending prospects nipping at his heels, Jonas Hiller has kept the Ducks’ crease when healthy. An obscene 23-4-4 record with a current 14 game winning streak, Hiller is playing a big part in Anaheim’s success. Named the NHL’s second start of the week, Jonas plays a steady game and will be a big part of team Switzerland at the Olympics.
Vincent Lecavalier – After being bought out by the only team he had known, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lecavalier got a fresh start in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, a number of injuries have derailed the Flyers new center throughout the season and he hasn’t found the back of the net in the last 13 games. Once a 50 goal, 100 point performer, it looks like Lecavalier’s best days are behind him.
Jason Spezza – Spezza is a career point per game player but is playing below his averages this season. Having missed many games throughout his career, this season is no exception as Spezza has 31 points in 41 games, and a -15 rating. With his team struggling, the Senators will need their captain to help turn their season around with some offensive production.
Travis Zajac – Once having the luxury of playing in the middle of Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, Zajac is finding it difficult to put up points without a pair of elite linemates. Still an integral player for the Devils, as evidenced by 22 minutes of ice time over the past month, Zajac is playing an all around game for New Jersey. Until Lou can unearth a few young offensive weapons to once again play along side Zajac, expect low offensive output.
Free Agent Pickups
Andrew Cogliano – With a fresh new 4 year contract worth $12 million, Cogliano has fully settled into southern California. Displaying his top end speed and iron man like durability, Cogliano has 6 goals in his past 10 games and is on pace for career high totals. Available in 77% of Yahoo leagues, Cogs can be a depth source of offense for rosters out there.
Nathan Mackinnon – The Avs young phenom in development is starting to find the back of the net with increasing regularity. With 8 goals in his past 10 games, it seems Mackinnon is poised for a Stamkosian-like second half to his rookie season. Still a young 18 year old, Nate is already blessed with elite level acceleration as evidenced by his open ice goal against the New York Islanders. With the rookie scoring race in his hands, Mackinnon will be hard to catch in the race for the Calder trophy.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Yet another weapon in the St. Louis Blues high octane offence, Tarasenko has merely scratched the surface so far in his young career. Over the past 9 games, Vladimir seems to have turned a corner with 3 goals and 12 points including four multi-point games. Moving up to the top 6 due to injuries has helped his production of late, and he has first line talent, so he is a fantasy asset worth having.
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