The “Value Picks of the Night” series will be a periodic “these are guys I like from tonight’s slate” type of article. While I will most often look towards value options — choosing stars is the easy part — there will occasionally be higher-end players listed, particularly on nights where there aren’t a lot of games.
C – Nico Hischier (New Jersey) – $3,800 DK, $4,600 FD
Hischier’s counting totals don’t jump off the page (two points in five games) but he’s been playing very well offensively. He leads the Devils in 5v5 scoring chances despite ranking 12th in 5v5 time on ice, and he’s averaging 13.16 scoring chances per 60 in that game state, which is 26th in the NHL and more than notables like Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar, and Viktor Arvidsson, among many others. Tonight he’s in a really good spot as he’ll center Taylor Hall and Drew Stafford on the top line and is going up against a team that ranks 25th in Expected Goals Against and is in the latter half of a road back-to-back.
C – Vadim Shipachyov (Vegas) – $3,700 DK, $4,000 FD
In Shipachyov’s NHL debut he scored a goal and recorded three scoring chances at 5v5, which was tied for 2nd among all skaters. He should continue to get more ice time as he gets comfortable in the NHL and tonight he has a good matchup at home against a Buffalo team that ranks 28th in Expected Goals Against at 5v5, meaning they allow a lot of good scoring opportunities.
W – Brock Boeser (Vancouver) – $3,900 DK, $4,400 FD
Boeser has played in just two of Vancouver’s four games yet is tied for the team lead in 5v5 scoring chances with eight. He has a good matchup going against an Ottawa team that has allowed more shot attempts/60 than any other team, which is ideal for a volume shooter like Boeser. He’s also a good bet to see avoid tough matchups, as Ottawa will almost certainly be using Erik Karlsson against the Sedins and/or Bo Horvat’s line at evens.
W – Alex Tuch (Vegas) – $3,500 DK, $3,300 FD
If you want a cheap mini-stack with upside, play Tuch with Shipachyov. In six games with Minnesota last season, Tuch showed a lot offensively as he averaged 14.03 shot attempts/60 at 5v5 (4th on the team) and 9.36 scoring chances/60 at 5v5 (2nd on the team). The trend of creating a lot of shots and chances continued in his debut with Vegas as he posted a game-high four scoring chances at 5v5 while also firing four pucks on net. He’ll see a regular shift at evens, skate on the 2nd power play unit and, as mentioned with Shipachyov, has a favorable matchup against the Sabres.
D – Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) – $3,200 DK, $4,300 FD
Skjei is a very efficient offensive player at 5v5 and is at his best in up-tempo, high-event games. It just so happens he’ll be playing in one tonight as the Rangers are going up against a Pittsburgh team that is 3rd in 5v5 Shots For/60, 31st in 5v5 Shots Against/60, and 31st in 5v5 Expected Goals Against/60. He should see big minutes in a game where pucks will be flying in both directions at a high clip, giving him ample opportunity to not only accumulate shots and blocks, but also find his way onto the scoresheet.
D – Andy Greene (New Jersey) – $2,900 DK, $3,600 FD
He plays big minutes against opposing team’s top players and will no doubt be hard-matched against the Namestnikov – Stamkos – Kucherov line, which has been on the ice for almost 80 shot attempts for per 60 minutes at 5v5 thus far. With steady ice against a line that funnels pucks towards the net, Greene is a safe bet to pick up a few blocks and provide a solid floor. His lowest output of the year is 2.0DK points, and I’d be surprised if he dips below that tonight.
G – Roberto Luongo (Florida) – $7,100, $8,200 FD
No team has allowed fewer scoring chances than Florida at 5v5 and the Panthers are not only on the road but facing a team coming off an eight-goal performance. This a nice opportunity to get a goaltender with a legitimate chance of winning at a cheap price and with low ownership.