Derek Stepan, C NYR (15GP-3g-7a-10pts, with a +5 and 4 pp points)
I’m not completely sold on Stepan as a fantasy starter on his own but as long as he continues to see the ice with Marian Gaborik his value can’t be denied. The two, along with Artem Anisimov, have caught fire over the past week leading the Rangers to a 6-game win streak. Stepan has posted 8 points (3g-5a) over that stretch to go along with a healthy +7. You may also want to take a look at Anisimov, who has kept pace with 7 points (1g-6a) of his own on the current win streak, but take note that he doesn’t see a lot of powerplay time.
Craig Smith, C NSH (15GP-7g-7a-14pts, with an even rating and 4 pp points)
After a 3 point (1g-2a) night in a road win against Anaheim on Thursday night it may be time to declare Craig Smith for real, and a legitimate Calder trophy candidate. Developing some nice chemistry with Patric Hornqvist, who we highlighted last week, and Colin Wilson (also worth keeping an eye on); the trio are quickly evolving into the Preds’ top scoring unit, and a nice boost for a team that has had trouble finding a consistent scoring threat.
Dan Hamhuis, D VAN (17GP-2g-6a-8pts, with a (-3) and 5 pp points)
After a slow October, Hamhuis has started to turn things around and is definitely worth a look in deeper fantasy leagues. He now has 7 points (2g-5a) over his last 7 games with 5 of those coming with the man advantage. Don’t be scared off by his (-3) either, Hamhuis was a +29 in just 64 regular season games with the Canucks last year.
Jhonas Enroth, G BUF (6GP 5-0-0, with a 1.34 GAA and a .956 SV%)
Any Ryan Miller owners out there starting to sweat? Hopefully you took the initiative and already grabbed Enroth as an insurance plan. If not, you better get on that ASAP. Miller, a heavy Vezina favorite entering the season, has struggled out of the gate to the tune of a 5-5-0 record; and while his 2.74 GAA and .913 SV% aren’t brutal, he’s been heavily outplayed by the smoking hot Enroth, who’s yet to lose a start. To Miller’s credit, 4 of Enroth’s 5 wins have come against teams expected to be near the basement by season’s end, but it’s also not completely implausible that we could see a Tim Thomas-Tuukka Rask situation develop here. Either way, Enroth should be owned in most leagues at this point.