It’s a packed night in the NHL on Thursday with nine games on the schedule. Patrick Kane ($8,600), the League leader with 32 goals and 76 points, is at home against the Dallas Stars while the NHL assists leader, Erik Karlsson ($7,600), plays a second straight night when the Senators face the Colorado Avalanche in Ottawa. With the exception of Ottawa, all clubs have at least one day of rest. The draft pool is wide open with great choices all over the pricing scale. Here are some players to consider in contest(s) tonight.
Braden Holtby ($8,500) – If owners are going to take one player priced over $8,000 on Thursday then Holtby should be it. The Capitals goaltender boasts a League-best 34-5-3 record along with an impressive 2.08 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in 43 games. Holtby should be a fine play at the Minnesota Wild with a 3-2-0 record. 2.19 GAA and .918 save percentage in five career games against the Central Division team. High owner percentage is likely with Holtby but that shouldn’t deter you from going with the goalie that gives you the best chance at big fantasy points. It is always recommended to keep an eye on game reports as owners will want to assure Holtby will be active Thursday.
strong>Martin Jones ($7,300) – With Jones coming off one day of rest, it’s safe to assume Sharks coach Peter DeBoer will go with his top goaltender at home against the Calgary Flames but owners should still monitor the game reports to be sure. Playing in a first full season as his team’s regular starter, Jones has San Jose in the thick of the Stanley Cup playoff race with a 25-15-3 record, 2.38 GAA and .915 save percentage in 44 games. Jones always gives owners a chance at a win when he plays the Flames but his 3-1-0 record against the fellow Pacific Division team is tempered by a 3.25 GAA and .892 save percentage. Lower-priced goalies always come with a risk but Jones could pay off big for your team at a deep discount.
Others to Consider: Steve Mason ($7,400), John Gibson($7,100), Cam Talbot ($7,000)
Dustin Byfuglien ($6,600) – With eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past six games, Byfuglien can help free up your budget as a high-yield potential top defenseman against the Boston Bruins. While it’s not likely that Boston will have a repeat of a 9-2 loss in their game Tuesday at the Los Angeles Kings, Byfuglien should still give owners a decent return. The offensive-minded defenseman has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists), 16 blocked shots and 67 shots on goal in 18 career games against Boston and 10 of his 15 goals this season have come in 26 home games.
Jake Muzzin ($5,200) – As long as the defenseman you choose plays on his team’s top power-play unit, then there is a good chance that player can help in daily fantasy. The Kings are third in the NHL with a 23.4 success rate on the power-play and Muzzin has contributed with a goal and 10 assists with the man advantage. If owners want to save a chunk of change and get a dependable defenseman, then Muzzin is a fine choice when the Kings visit the New York Islanders. The 26 year-old blueliner has 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in the past 17 games along with an average of 3.05 shots per game over that span.
Others to Consider: Tyson Barrie ($5,600), Matt Niskanen ($5,000), Sami Vatanen ($5,000), Tyler Myers ($4,300)
strong>John Tavares ($7,800) – The Islanders captain has been heating up recently with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and 29 SOG in the past 10 games, including an active three-game point streak in which Tavares has two goals and two assists. If owners don’t want to go over the $8,000 threshold for any single player, then Tavares is the man to lead the offense at home against the Kings.
Corey Perry ($6,500) – Depending on how owners manage their budgets for goalies and defensemen, they may have to go the mid-priced range for a top forward. Perry is having another strong offensive season leading the Anaheim Ducks with 21 goals, 38 points and 144 SOG in 52 games despite the Ducks scoring a League-worst 117 goals this season. Perry is also aiming to extend his three-game point streak Thursday but, unlike Tavares, he comes at an affordable price in a favorable matchup at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Ducks’ top forward has 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) and 119 SOG in 35 career games against Columbus, including three assists in a 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets on Nov. 6.
Others to Consider: Patrick Kane ($8,600), Taylor Hall ($6,700), Andrew Ladd ($5,000), Marian Gaborik ($4,700)