Ryan Smyth, LW, EDM – start
Has there been a bigger surprise during the first month of the season than the Edmonton Oilers? Rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and veteran Nikolai Khabibulin have been instrumental to the Oils’ success, but the player who will always have the Oilers in his heart is now both happy and productive. With ten points and 27 penalty minutes in 11 games, Smyth has been a late-round or waiver-wire steal for anyone who believes he has something left in the tank. Smyth will return to Los Angeles on Thursday, and he is sure to be booed after asking for a trade to Edmonton during the summer while a member of the Kings.
Evander Kane, LW, WPG – start
After a slow start and rumors that he had asked for a trade out of Winnipeg, E-Kane is putting it together. With two goals on Monday, the second #9 in Jets history has four goals in his last five games and points in four of his last five games. With the Jets facing the Islanders on Thursday, Kane is in an excellent spot to add to that streak.
Jarome Iginla, RW, CGY – start
This may sound strange, but Iginla is nowhere to be found among the Flames’ scoring leaders. The longtime captain has struggled out of the gate with just two goals and two assists in his first ten games. However, fantasy owners need to stay the course on consistent studs such as Iginla, so don’t be overanxious to trade him or bench him. The Flames face a Wings team that Iggy scored at will on last season (six points in four games last season).
Alexander Edler, D, VAN – start
The Canucks have exploded for 12 goals over the last two games, and Edler has been in on six of them. With back-to-back three-point games, Edler is picking up the slack left by 50-point defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. With 12 points (3g-9a) in 12 games, Edler is now a top-5 scoring fantasy defenseman and an option who should be in your lineup on a nightly basis.
Nick Leddy, D, CHI – add/start
If you’re scanning your waiver wire for the next blueline option, Leddy could be your guy. Only owned in five percent of Yahoo leagues, Leddy has already put up seven points and a +6 in 11 games played this season. The Wild, who chose Leddy as a first-round pick, have to regret giving up on the potentially high-scoring defenseman. Leddy makes a decent option for Thursday because Duncan Keith left Monday’s game and as a result is no guarantee to play on Thursday.
Miikka Kiprusoff, G, CGY – sit
Despite the stinker on Tuesday against Vancouver (five goals allowed over two periods), Kipper has gotten the job done for fantasy teams this season (2.02 GAA and .930 SV% prior to Tuesday). I would normally recommend Kipper to bounce back, but he faces a Detroit team that he was 0-2-2 and 3.67 GAA and .883 SV% against last season. The Wings are struggling, but Kiprusoff seems like an iffy option for this game at the Joe Louis Arena.