With All-Star weekend now behind us, it is time to put our focus back onto the fantasy hockey season. Whether your team is smooth sailing or contending for a playoff spot, here are six players worth taking a look at down the stretch.
Thomas Vanek – LW Detroit Red Wings (Owned in 38% of yahoo leagues)
One of the lone bright spots on the Detroit Red Wings this season, has been the play of veteran forward Thomas Vanek. In 37 games, he has recorded 31 points, including seven on the power play. The 33-year-old had eight goals and 13 assists in 21 games, before going pointless in his last three outings before the All-Star break. If Detroit wants to continue their playoff streak, they will need to rely on the play of Vanek.
Tomas Hertl – C/LW San Jose Sharks (Owned in 38% of yahoo leagues)
After missing 31 games with a knee injury, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl is finally fully healthy. In 18 games this season, the 23 year old has four goals and five assists. Hertl will look to build on a very strong post season, and contribute regularly when it comes to both even strength and the power play. He averages 16:30 minutes per game, and will get plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks.
Evander Kane – LW Buffalo Sabres (Owned in 34% of yahoo leagues)
Despite a slow start to the season, Sabres forward Evander Kane has been on a roll, scoring 14 goals in his last 25 games, while leading the NHL in even strength goals since December 6th. The power forward leads Buffalo in both penalty minutes and shots on goal, while missing 11 games due to a broken rib. Kane averages just less than 19 minutes per game, and has been a reliable player in almost all categories on a consistent basis.
Ryan Ellis – D Nashville Predators (Owned in 31% of yahoo leagues)
Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis is having himself quite a nice season, recording eight goals and 12 assists in 41 games. He has three goals and five points in his last five games heading into the All-Star break. The 26 year old has benefited from injuries to fellow defensemen P.K. Subban and Roman Josi, as he averages 24:37 minutes per night, while earning time on the power play. With Josi still on the Injured Reserve, Ellis will continue to contribute on the score sheet.
Jacob Trouba – D Winnipeg Jets (Owned in 36% of yahoo leagues)
Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba has made his mark in the team’s line-up since holding out the first 15 games of the season due to issues with his contract. He has 20 points in his first 37 games, and was hot coming into the All-Star break, recording six points in his last five games. The 22-year-old averages 24:18 minutes per night, and has also recorded 87 shots up to this point in the season. Trouba will look to continue his stellar play down the stretch for the Jets.
Michal Neuvirth – G Philadelphia Flyers (Owned in 24% of yahoo leagues)
If you are in need of a goalie, Michal Neuvirth is an intriguing option, with low risk and high reward. It appears the Flyers are still undecided on who their number one goalie will be, so Neuvirth and Steve Mason may continue to split starts until someone stands out. In his last start before the all-star break, Neuvirth recorded a 27 save win against a surging Leafs team. If he can stay healthy, the 28 year old should have the upper hand in the competition over Mason.