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The Wire Troll: Norman Powell Taking Toronto By Storm
Mike Alonso Left a Major League Legacy at Upland

The Wire Troll: Rickard Rakell Making Instant Impact

November 6, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Michael Grabner has been surprisingly effective for the New York Rangers.
Michael Grabner is really impressing early on this season. (Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

So, um, remember when we recommended Montreal Canadiens backup goalie Al Montoya as a good bench option for your Fantasy team? Um, yeah, we’re sorry about that… Montoya and the Habs got hammered 10-0 by the Columbus Blue Jackets in what will almost assuredly be the most lopsided game of the 2016-17 NHL season. At least they got it out of the way early.

The league’s powerhouse teams are back in working order for the most part, too. Pittsburgh has been dominant with the return of Sidney Crosby and the point-per-game pace typical of Evgeni Malkin. Chicago has also hit a hot streak with Artem Anisimov on fire of late. The Minnesota Wild has come back down to earth with two one-goal losses on the week, but Devan Dubnyk remains one of the NHL’s best in goal with just three goals allowed in his last five games.

Also, who didn’t love Max Domi’s one-punch KO of Ryan Kesler in the first period of the Coyotes-Ducks game on Friday? You can bet his dad taught him a thing or two there. On to the picks!

Michael Grabner, LW/RW, New York Rangers (ESPN: 13.7 per cent; Yahoo: 14 per cent): The former Islander has been on fire this season while playing with New York’s other NHL team. This week, Grabner piled up five goals, seven points,  a plus-9 rating and 12 shots on goal for the Rangers while flashing some superb transitional and passing skills even while short-handed (see video below).

Rickard Rakell, C, Anaheim Ducks (ESPN: 47.4 per cent; Yahoo: 25 per cent): A restricted free agent holdout at the start of the season, Rakell has more than made up for it since his return to the ice. He had three goals, six points, a plus-1 rating, two power play points and 13 shots on goal last week.

Nazem Kadri, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (ESPN: 46.5 per cent; Yahoo: 34 per cent): The Leafs are crawling with elite young talent, but the vets are putting up the points, too. Toronto’s 2009 top pick, Kadri had three goals, a plus-1 rating, 26 penalty minutes and 12 shots on goal in four games.

Dennis Seidenberg, D, New York Islanders (ESPN: 11.8 per cent; Yahoo: 12 per cent): Seidenberg had a fantastic week, and not just by defenseman standards. In four games, the 2011 Stanley Cup champ had two goals, six points, a plus-5 rating, eight penalty minutes and four shots on goal while averaging 20:56 of ice time.

Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, Winnipeg Jets (ESPN: 46.5 per cent; Yahoo: 30 per cent): Winnipeg is yet another Canadian team filled to the brim with youth. Former Halifax Mooseheads star and 2014 top pick Ehlers had a great week with two goals, five points, a plus-2 rating, four penalty minutes and 15 shots on goal in four games. He also averaged — as a forward — over 20 minutes of ice time over that span, meaning he’s considered by Jets coaching staff to be a key part of the Winnipeg attack.

Damon Severson, D, New Jersey Devils (ESPN: 35.4 per cent; Yahoo: 19 per cent): Severson is absolutely on fire from the Devil blueline, recording five points, including two goals, over the last three games. He actually leads all New Jersey players with nine points over the first 10 games as he’s well on his way to shattering his output last season of 20 assists. This kid has come of age and needs to be added in all formats, pronto.

Rookie of the Week

New York Rangers left winger Jimmy Vesey claims this week’s honours with two goals, five points, a plus-4 rating, two penalty minutes, a power play point and seven shots on goal. That said, averaging just over 13 minutes of ice time, he’s definitely seeing sheltered minutes.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.

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The Wire Troll: Jason Zucker Producing For Wild

October 30, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
No player has more points in the last week than Bennett. The Flames’ top pick from 2014 has three goals, six points, a plus-3 rating, eight penalty minutes, a power play point and eight shots on goal in four games. He’s only averaging 12:51 of ice-time per game, but Bennett is obviously making the most of it. Calgary is young. Calgary is talented. Calgary will eventually be perennial playoff contenders, and youngsters like Bennett are a big reason why.
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The Wire Troll: Rookies Rising

October 23, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
One of a few defensemen currently scoring at above a point-per-game pace, the former Michigan Wolverine is everything Columbus hoped for when it picked him on draft day. In three games, Werenski has two goals, four points, a minus-1 rating, three power play points, 14 shots on goal and four defensive points, depending on Fantasy formats. He’s doing all this while skating an average ice-time of 22:12 per game, too. Impressive.
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Video Game Review: NHL 17

October 4, 2016 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
There’s no fault with EA Sports’ presentation here. All it takes is a few glances at screenshots to see that the team has fully grasped the engine. It’s the usual 5-10 per cent graphical improvement you see with these annual iterations, but at this point, it’s really fine polishing.
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Calder Trophy Watch

October 3, 2016 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
The Leafs are ridiculously flush with top prospects right now, but none can touch the immense potential of Matthews. It wasn’t much of a shock that he went first overall in the 2016 draft, and this big American centre has all the makings of a dominant player. Last season, Matthews competed in Switzerland’s top professional league, so he’s been playing against older players that are more physically developed.
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