Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Could Pyotr Kochetkov take over the net in Carolina this season?

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Depending on who you had on your roster, Tuesday’s 9-8 victory for the Seattle Kraken over the Los Angeles Kings was either massively productive… or a nightmare.

Kevin Fiala and Jordan Eberle each had four assists, while Drew Doughty and Justin Schultz both notched three. There were also multiple other players that had multi-point games and seven skaters had at least four shots. Those players certainly would’ve helped get your week started on the right foot.

If you had a goalie, though, it was a much different story. Martin Jones picked up a win despite giving up eight goals with a .771 save percentage, and both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen combined to give up nine goals. It’s going to be tough to recover this week if you started any of those three.

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Then there was the opportunity lost for some skaters. Jaden Schwartz, for example, somehow managed no points and just a single shot during the scoring fest. It almost seems impossible to get that little production in a game where there were 17 combined goals.

Games like this are rare, but they typically make or break your matchup for the week.

Now to your questions:

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Two players going in different directions. After a torrid start, Hampus Lindholm has really been hurt by the return of Charlie McAvoy, now going pointless in five straight games. Evan Bouchard, meanwhile has points in four straight games and is averaging three shots in his past five. The Edmonton Oilers blueliner is who I would go with but not just because of their recently play. It feels like Bouchard has more upside, as he’ll have a decent chance to get on the first power play over Tyson Barrie if he keeps this up. I can’t see Lindholm overtaking McAvoy in Boston.

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Unfortunately, he probably is at this point. An .878 save percentage just isn’t going to cut it from Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight has started nine of the past 12 games. The Florida Panthers also don’t look anywhere near as dominant as they were a season ago, so don’t expect them to prop Bobrovsky up too often. He’s probably only valuable for spot starts when there’s a favourable matchup at the moment.

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As long as you possibly can. Pyotr Kochetkov is making a real case to stay up with the Carolina Hurricanes, even when Frederik Andersen gets healthy. Kochetkov’s numbers have been stellar, but there are also financial reasons for keeping him around.

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The Canes could also use Kochetkov’s current cheap contract when they eventually have to activate Max Pacioretty and his $7M cap hit off LTIR, but that would likely mean having to move either Andersen or Antti Raanta. Kochetkov’s new deal kicks in next year, which means the Hurricanes plan on him being one of their two goalies for 2023-24. With all that considered, there’s even an argument for Kochetkov as a potential keeper.

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I’m taking William Karlsson out of that group, as I think he’ll be the most consistent. Jonathan Toews might have the most upside if he gets traded to a contender that re-ignites his game, but Karlsson should provide you with a safer option.

As far as Teuvo Teravainen goes, I have my doubts on whether he can start clicking as well as he did last year. The Canes are struggling to score this season and Pacioretty’s eventual return may hurt Teravainen’s value a bit, depending on how Carolina eventually deploys the top six.

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The way things are going, I can’t see Mackenzie Blackwood getting a ton of starts upon his return unless there’s an injury to Vitek Vanecek. The New Jersey Devils have been dominant and Vanecek has been excellent behind them, so making a change just doesn’t make sense for them unless they have to. Of course, they probably won’t continue on this point pace all season, but things would really have to go poorly for Blackwood to get a chance to win back the job.

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Akira Schmid has been good, but I think it’s a longshot they completely give up on Blackwood if he’s healthy. Schmid will still be effective for spot starts while he’s up with the Devils because they are so strong, just don’t give up anyone significant to go out and grab him.

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Generally, with prospects, the sooner you can gauge what type of NHLer they might be, the easiest it will be to decide if they are worth hanging onto. Do they have top six potential? Or will they be a solid pro that just maybe doesn’t produce a ton of points? I’ve mentioned before I think Ty Smith could be an effective player, but I’m not sure he’s going to be a coveted fantasy option. Philip Tomasino, on the otherhand, had 32 points as a rookie, so there’s certainly some potential there.

Most players under 21 that were high-end prospects are lottery tickets, so it’s tough to determine who to give up on until we see a larger sample size from them in the NHL.

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For the rest of season I think the obvious two would be JJ Peterka and Juuso Parssinen because they are both getting a featured role. Jonatan Berggren is producing well also and could have some value for 2022-23. There’s no one that I’ve really soured on among the players you listed. Perhaps there’s some concern for Dylan Holloway and Vitali Kravstov because they haven’t made the most of some decent opportunities so far, but there is still a lot of potential for each of them.

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It’s a tough situation, as Victor Hedman is having a down year and has been overtaken by Mikhail Sergachev for power play time. Hedman is even on the can’t drop list in a lot of leagues. Unfortunately, you may have to wait it out and hope things improve, unless you can swing a good trade that works in your favour.

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I’m not a fan of carrying four goalies, so I think you have a decision between Jack Campbell and Thatcher Demko and honestly, the answer might be neither. Demko just went down with an injury and Campbell’s game has seemed to completely disappear. You might better off dropping Campbell for someone else entirely or using that roster spot for streaming options.

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Even if he does, I’m not sure how much value Mike Matheson will have. Despite all the talent the Montreal Canadiens have, their power play is ranked 31st in the NHL. Matheson isn’t a huge points guy but is decent for hits or blocks and plays big minutes. So, unless you’re in a deep league, he may be challenging to roster.

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It might not be a bad idea if you still can. Martin Jones really hasn’t given us anything in the last four or five seasons to think he could keep this going long term and the return of Philipp Grubauer is going to put more pressure on him to keep the net. Grubauer has the big contract and will get the benefit of the doubt if both are playing at a comparable level. Plus, Jones just gave up eight in that wild game earlier this week. That’s not exactly going to fill the Seattle Kraken with confidence in Jones.

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When it comes to long-term considerations, I’m not that worried about Demko. This year has been tough but he still has a ton of talent and the Canucks do have some decent pieces to build on, even if they do some tearing down this season. Demko is still young enough and has enough upside to have some very productive seasons in the future.

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Jason Zucker is likely going to play with Evgeni Malkin for most of the year, so there’s definitely value there if you utilize him at the right times. The problem is Zucker isn’t that consistent of a scorer and you’ll have to deal with a lot of peaks and valleys in his game if you plan on rostering him for the bulk of the season. He’s probably better to be streamed when he catches fire.

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I don’t think that’s enough in return for Martin Necas and Teuvo Teravainen. Necas is playing too well to sell high on and it’s not like Devon Toews and Marc-Andre Fleury are having incredible seasons. If you really want to move Necas for a big return, I’d target a lot more before pulling the trigger on a trade.

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Calvin Petersen is taking the brunt of the criticism there, but Jonathan Quick isn’t playing very well either. Quick’s numbers last season came sort of out of left field and considering his age, it was risky to bet on him replicating them. Given the significant cap hits for both Petersen and Quick, it’s going to be tough for the Los Angeles Kings to move one. I think Quick still might be able to produce solid results in the wins category, but his other numbers are probably going to leave a lot to be desired.

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I think the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing better defence as a whole, as Sheldon Keefe has the entire forward group focusing their attention more in their own zone. The Leafs will probably utilize Jake Muzzin’s cap space on LTIR to bring in someone else to help the group. I don’t see any scenario where they’d trade Morgan Rielly or TJ Brodie, as they are too important to this team succeeding in the playoffs. As good as things are going now, the Leafs aren’t going to end their playoff drought with Victor Mete or Mac Hollowell in the lineup.

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I would probably try and move Evgeny Kuznetsov for a position of need like defence. Out of all the players you listed he’s probably the most expendable. Maybe try for someone like Evan Bouchard or Filip Hronek. Bouchard, like Kuznetsov, has really yet to hit his stride yet, and Hronek is playing really well at the moment. Acquiring either should help balance out your roster.

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Without knowing who you have exactly, my general advice would be to not make a rash decision if they haven’t been struggling for too long. Fellow league members often look to take advantage of a GM’s frustration when they have players that aren’t playing up to par. Most high-end skaters figure it out sooner than later.

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If it isn’t costing you anything, why not? I don’t think Alex Iafallo is going to make or break your team, but he could be a serviceable depth option that has a chance to get 15-20 goals. There’s value to that in deep leagues.

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If you can mange his plus/minus, I’d probably stick with Seth Jones. He plays so much that his numbers in volume categories like blocks and hits should outweigh a bad plus/minus, unless it really starts to go downhill. I don’t see John Marino or Bowen Byram doing much for you this season, although Byram certainly has some long-term potential.

Between Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn, I’d prefer Killorn. I think in a seven-game series I’d rather have Cirelli for his great two-way play, but Killorn is the better fantasy option for points.

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It’s very tempting to say Kochetkov, but Ville Husso has been excellent and should provide the most value the rest of the way. Alex Nedeljkovic isn’t playing much and Husso has all but taken over the job there. With the Detroit Red Wings competing for a playoff spot, Husso should be able to post enough wins to give you a good return on your investment.

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It depends what kind of league you’re in. If it’s points you could consider dropping, but in a league with hits there’s still value with Brayden Schenn. There simply aren’t many players that can hit the way he does and have the ability to go on good offensive runs. He also has dual eligibility and is decent for faceoff wins, too. Schenn is a versatile option, so your league would have to be very focused on points to move on.

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