Dan Carcillo, LW CHI (15GP-2g-5a-7pts, with a +10 and 34 PIMs)
Sean Avery, LW NYR (5GP-2g-0a-2pts, with a +2 and 12 PIMs)
The league’s two most notorious super-pests are benefiting from their annual comebacks at the moment and now is the time to capitalize in PIM leagues. Both Carcillo and Avery are currently in good favour with their respective clubs; so much that they are even seeing a fair amount of ice-time with some star players. Carcillo is a borderline elite fantasy player at the moment, playing with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, he’s posting the best numbers of his career this month with 5 points (2g-3a), a +5 and 32 PIMs over his last 7 games. In fact, he has yet to post a minus in a game this year, and is garnering rave reviews from Hawks’ coach Joel Quenneville in regards to his all-round play and locker room presence.
Avery on the other hand, may not be the most beloved player on his own team, but there’s no denying his value to the Rangers when he’s in full pest mode. Since being recalled, Avery has seen his ice-time increase every game so far and is beginning to make a noticeable effect on opposing team’s frustration levels once again. In his last two games, playing just over 10 minutes per, Avery has scored a goal in each, with a +3 and 7 PIMs.
Of course, both of these guys are capable of doing something incredibly stupid at any time, which in turn could lead to them completely falling out of favour with their team, but when things are going good for these guys expect them to fill up your stat sheet.
Jakub Voracek, RW PHI (17GP-3g-9a-12pts, with a +2 and 3 pp points)
Maybe one of the most underrated off-season acquisitions by any team, Jakub Voracek is benefiting from playing with a glut of talented offensive players for the first time in his career. A former 1st round pick, playing in his 4th season, Voracek is right at that point in his career where his true potential should be emerging. The fact that he plays on the number one offensive team in the NHL doesn’t hurt either. He may not be a top line guy yet but playing on such an explosive offense means your going to see that high-end production start to spill over to the second and third lines. Voracek has 1g-7a over a current 5-game point streak.
Ryan Johansen, C CMB (13GP-5g-2a-7pts, with a +2 and 2 GWGs)
With a disastrous start to the season in Columbus, at least there’s one sign of hope for the future. Johansen, the Jackets’ 1st round (4th overall) pick in 2010, is doing his best to prove he belongs with the big club despite the coaching staff’s hesitation to let him loose. Averaging around 12:30 a game for a struggling squad, Johansen has already found the back of the net 5 times in just 13 games; including game-winning tallies in 2 of the 3 wins the Jackets have this year. He isn’t exactly an elite fantasy option yet but keep an eye on him. The Jackets are not as bad as they appear, and as they continue to build towards the future, Johansen should be a centerpiece.
Andrei Markov, D MTL
It appears the Canadiens number one blue-liner is nearing his first appearance on the ice in just over a year. If Markov is still on the waiver wire in your league now is the time to pounce; you may not find a better free option all year. That is assuming he can actually stay in the lineup for a while. Markov is a stud on the powerplay and has shown in the past he doesn’t need much time to return to game form after a prolonged absence.