Believe It or Not? Fantasy Hockey Storylines at the Quarter Mark

Believe it or not

American Thanksgiving is widely used by National Hockey League analysts as a checkpoint to gauge the ultimate success of a team. At this point, we’re roughly a quarter way through the season. Are teams and players really what they are? Let’s look at some outstanding performances, good and bad, and determine whether to believe it or not.

Believe It or Not? Fantasy Hockey Storylines

Believe It

Ovechkin

Who would have thought that through 22 games, Alex Ovechkin would have more points than Connor McDavid? Ovi is averaging more time on ice than ever in his 17-year career. If there’s one thing he’s proven over that time, it’s to never doubt him. Better yet, he seems to have taken another step at 36-years-old. You should feel great about Ovi this year.

Bjorkstrand

Oliver Bjorkstrand’s points are the real deal. He’s only tickled twine six times this season, but his 13 assists have him currently at a point-per-game pace. He’s a go-to option on a surprisingly good team in Columbus. Hold on to him and enjoy it.

Ekblad

Aaron Ekblad has officially entered elite status in fantasy hockey. Through 21 games, he has 17 points, six of which are goals. He also has a hit and block per game and his 64 shots rank second among defensemen. Expect Ekblad to continue producing at a similar pace for the foreseeable future.

Kyrou

Jordan Kyrou is only 23 years old and has only 120 games of National Hockey League experience under his belt. He’s shown so far that he can be a bonafide superstar, carving out more-and-more ice-time for himself in a crowded and veteran top-six. He currently sits at 22 points in 21 games. A point-per-game may not be attainable, but 70 plus for a player that went undrafted in most leagues could be the waiver-wire steal of the year.

Campbell

Jack Campbell recently surpassed 100 games played and is approaching 100 games started. Most 29-year-old goaltenders would be well over those marks, but Campbell has dealt with injuries and been a back-up to an amazing Jonathan Quick for most of his years. Now is his time. Campbell is behind one of the best teams in the league and can realistically finish in the Vezina running when all is said and done.

Petry

Jeff Petry has scored over 40 points in each of his last four seasons, his only years above that mark. That run began when he was 29 years old. At 34, on a considerably worse Montreal Canadiens team, it appears as though the run of offensive output is over. It’s time to face the fact that this is not going to be his year.

Bobrovsky

After two poor seasons in Florida, Sergei Bobrovsky seems to have finally regained his form. He’s thoroughly outplayed Spencer Knight, who was widely believed to be this seasons’ eventual starting netminder. Bob had other plans. He’s been a rock behind a great Panthers team. Expect this to continue all season long.

Don’t Believe It

Kadri

Nazem Kadri is in the middle of an incredible stretch of 23 points in 12 games while averaging more ice-time than he’s ever had in his career. That ice-time is both based on performance and need, given the hole Nathan MacKinnon left. At 31-years-old, with a player that has only had more than 55 points once (61 with Toronto in 2015-2016), you should temper your expectations.

Mangiapane

Doubting a 25-year-old seems wrong, but the data suggests that he won’t keep up what he’s done thus far. Through 21 games, Andrew Mangiapane has 15 goals and just two assists – that’s just three goals shy of his career-high. Given his current deployment and 27.3 shooting percentage, it’s unrealistic to expect this goal-scoring pace over 82 games.

Pettersson

Elias Pettersson has been the face of the Vancouver Canucks struggles thus far. He has only three goals and 10 points in 22 games this season. Something will have to give soon. Either a firing of the Head Coach and/or General Manager or a pickup in production. The fact is, Pettersson is going to be a Canuck for a long time. He’s going to figure it out. A 5.1 shooting percentage is unsustainable.

Terry

Similar to Mangiapane, doubting a young player in fantasy can burn you. At just 24 years old, Troy Terry is putting together a remarkable season. He has 23 points in 21 games highlighted by a 16 game point streak. Unfortunately, Terry has a couple of things working against him. First, his shooting percentage of 27.1 is unsustainably high. Second, since the return of Rickard Rakell four games ago, Terry was pushed off the top powerplay unit and has just one goal. He won’t drop off entirely, but this pace is going to slow significantly.

Draisaitl

Leon Draisaitl’s 40 points in 20 games have him on a pace of 164 points. That’s not a pace you should believe in. A corrected shooting percentage would have Draisaitl on pace for about 140, which is entirely possible. Don’t even think about selling him, just know that a little bit of regression is going to happen.

Scheifele

Mark Scheifele is way better than the eight points in 15 games he’s been able to accumulate so far. He’s produced at least a point-per-game pace in each of the last five seasons – and he’s going to do it again. Scheifele is bound for an absolute explosion of points. Buy now.

Wheeler

At 35 years old, regression is right around the corner for Blake Wheeler. With just seven assists in 16 games this season, could that time be now? His play to this point doesn’t suggest that it is. Wheeler’s production is closely linked with Scheifele. Like him, points are on the horizon.

Shattenkirk

The bull run has been over for about two weeks now. Sell as high as you can and move on. Kevin Shattenkirk’s point-producing days are over.

Hartman

Ryan Hartman was put in the great situation of playing on the top line with Kirill Kaprizov. To his credit, he’s produced and rewarded the coach for putting him there. But this won’t continue. Hartman is just seven goals away from his career-high 19 goals he set seven years ago in his 76-game rookie season. He has scored one goal in five of his last six games – a span in which he’s shooting at 26 percent. Ride the wave, then try to sell.

Bobrovsky

After two poor seasons in Florida, Sergei Bobrovsky seems to have finally regained his form. He’s thoroughly outplayed Spencer Knight, who was widely believed to be this seasons’ eventual starting netminder. Bob had other plans. He’s been a rock behind a great Panthers team. Expect this to continue all season long.

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