Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the fourth installment of a weekly article I’ll be writing all season long in which I’ll deep dive some hot and cold players and determine if they’re worth trying to acquire or sell off. Before we dive in, be sure to check out the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon for even more content. I’m in there every day and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Cole Sillinger’s chance generation rates, my 3-year-old’s skating ability (#TeamCanada2038), or anything else that makes me giddily happy. Let’s get it!
Too Hot to Touch
Troy Terry, RW – ANA
Feels like I can’t do anything other than start off this article talking about Troy Terry who has put up a shocking 16 points in 13 games to open the season. But while Terry has undoubtedly taken a step in his overall level of play and is getting far more ice time than ever before (19:43 ATOI in his last five games), this pace can’t continue. Terry’s shots/60 rank a very pedestrian 197th in the league over his last five and the 87.5% individual points percentage (IPP) and 41.7% shooting percentage (S%) he’s compiled in that time both portend a coming downturn in production. If he continues to see 18-19 minutes a night, a 60-point pace rest of season is certainly not out of the question but the PPG+ he’s been producing is all but guaranteed to go away at some point (and likely pretty soon).
Tyler Bertuzzi, LW – DET
Bertuzzi feels a lot like Terry to me as a heavily utilized player on a bottom-10 team in the league who is putting up more points than he probably should be right now. Bertuzzi is rocking a 21.3% on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) in his last five games and a good chunk of that is his own 33.3% S%. In that same span he ranks 181st in the league in individual scoring chances for/60 (iSCF/60). Bertuzzi should not be counted on for this level of production and I’d be trying to move him to anyone who thinks that Lucas Raymond’s emergence as the third member of that Detroit top line alongside Dylan Larkin means that this 100-point pace for Bertuzzi is remotely close to sustainable.
Honourable Mentions: Anze Kopitar, C – LAK // Leon Draisaitl, LW – EDM // Jordan Eberle, RW – SEA // Brandon Hagel, LW – CHI // Brock Nelson, C – NYI // Adrian Kempe, LW – LAK // Anthony Duclair, RW – FLA
The Right Amount of Hot
Cole Sillinger, C – CBJ
I couldn’t wait to talk about Sillinger after getting a closer look at the numbers he’s put up of late. In limited ice time (13:55 ATOI in his last five games), Sillinger leads the league in shots/60 and ranks second in iSCF/60 during the same period to only Auston Matthews. That’s some rarified air. Sillinger has taken Patrik Laine’s spot on the Columbus top PP unit and we all know that Columbus has a wide open race for ice time at the center position. The Blue Jackets may try to slow play Sillinger in his first season, but he may force their hand and play his way into 16+ minutes a night. If he consistently reaches that mark, he’ll be fantasy relevant. I’m adding Sillinger now and waiting to see what comes next.
Alex Iafallo, LW – LAK
I fully expected to look at Iafallo’s advanced stats and see some inflated rates contributing to his seven game point streak. But Iafallo is firing tons of shots (10th in the league in shots/60 in his last five games) and none of the usual harbingers of regression are there. In the last five games the IPP is 75%, the S% is 13% and the oiSH% is 11.3% – maybe a couple of those numbers are a touch on the high side but I don’t see how you can say Iafallo is unreasonably hot right now. I don’t expect Iafallo’s shot rates to continue at this pace (it’s more than double his career rate), but you also don’t just luck into sustained shot production; there’s a reason it’s one of the most sticky stats year over year. The fact that Iafallo is putting up these shot rates despite playing 20+ minutes a night is truly impressive. Iafallo appears to have taken a step and he’s certainly been worth the waiver wire cost many paid for his services.
Honourable Mentions: Mika Zibanejad, C – NYR // William Nylander, RW – TOR // Tomas Hertl, C – SJS // Adam Henrique, LW – ANA // Elias Pettersson, C – VAN // Jason Robertson, LW – DAL // Patrick Kane, RW – CHI
Colder than Ice
Kaapo Kakko, RW – NYR
Last week I featured Alexis Lafreniere in this spot and now it’s Kakko’s turn. New York can’t be thrilled with the lack of production coming from their #2 overall selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, as Kakko has ZERO points in nine games and you can’t argue he’s deserved any either. Kakko ranks 393rd in the league in shots/60 in his last five games despite playing all of that stretch alongside Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin at even strength. I don’t know what else to say. That’s putrid. I’m pretty sure I could stand out there and have Panarin bank one puck off me per game to match Kakko’s shot “output”. At this point I’d be very worried about Kakko even in dynasty leagues.
Joel Farabee, LW – PHI
Farabee has no points in his last seven games and I don’t foresee a big surge upcoming. Farabee is 212th in the league in iSCF/60 and 493rd in on-ice SCF/60 in his last five games which is some truly uninspired work – he must be exhausted trying so hard to be this bad. It’s pretty hard to predict a turnaround for a guy who is playing poorly and whose team is not giving him any help to break the slump. I like Farabee as a player and think he has plenty of potential, but under coach Alain Vigneault Farabee will never get significant minutes so he’s a streamer-level player to me at the best of times. You should definitely drop him if you haven’t already.
Honourable Mentions: Jakob Chychrun, D – ARI // Ivan Provorov, D – PHI // Clayton Keller, LW – ARI // Jeff Petry, D – MTL
Frozen but Thawing
Roope Hintz, C – DAL
There is a worry with Hintz that is legitimate. That worry is that when Dallas has Seguin and Radulov around they don’t need to lean on the Hintz/Jason Robertson/Joe Pavelski line as much. If Hintz gets 16 and a half minutes a game, say, instead of the 18:13 ATOI he logged in his breakout 2021 campaign, that’s a significant chunk of minutes. But consider this: Hintz has actually improved all of his shot and chance generation rates both individual and team-based in his 11 games this season. He has yet to score on 29 shots which is bound to regress positively – if we apply Hintz’s 16% average S% from the last two seasons to those 29 shots we get 4.6 goals. Hintz has also been subject to a horrendous 4.9% oiSH% which is impossibly low, and on top of that he only has a 40% IPP (71% career average). There are much, much better days ahead for Roope Hintz, and I’m actively trying to acquire him where possible.
Thomas Chabot, D – OTT
Apparently Thomas Chabot is someone people need to be calmed down about. Let me reassure you: Thomas Chabot is a fantasy stud. This is a guy who ranks second in the league in average time on ice (27:16), and yet still somehow ranks in the top 30 defensemen in shots/60 and is 14th in iSCF/60. I usually use rates to describe player performance (because it’s more easily comparable to other players) but with Chabot because of his extreme usage the counting stats need to be recognized. On the season, Chabot is 4th among defensemen in Corsi For, 4th in expected goals for, and second in scoring chances for. His IPP is unbelievably low at a mere 20%, meaning to me that Chabot should probably be at around 9 points in 12 games on the season rather than the 4 he has currently. Chabot is a priority buy-low candidate for me.
Honourable Mentions: Kevin Fiala, RW – MIN // Dillon Dube, C – CGY // Kirby Dach, C – CHI // Mark Scheifele, C – WPG // Robby Fabbri, LW – DET // Nils Hoglander, LW – VAN // Blake Coleman, LW – CGY // Zach Werenski, D – CBJ // John Klingberg, D – DAL
Before you go, I want you to know I just launched the Apples and Ginos Fantasy Hockey Podcast and I would be much obliged if you were to give it the time of day. I’ll be providing weekly shows focused on the strategy elements of fantasy hockey and I’m very excited about providing more value to the fantasy hockey community in this way.
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter, on TikTok, and join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!