Hey guys, this is Jaroslaw Lajkosz here. You may know me from my frequent commenting in the game day discussions for the starting goalie pages, and now I’ll be writing an article once a week for you guys. Since we’ve crossed into the New Year, and thus we’re just over halfway through the season, I decided that I’ll look at each team and note some buy low and sell high candidates. This week will be part 1, and I’ll look at the other half of the teams next week for part 2.
Buy low on Cam Fowler. He’s playing in his rookie season at just 19 years of age, but already he’s 2nd on the Ducks in points for defensemen, tied for 23rd league wide in that same category, and also tied for 18th in PP points among defensemen. These values have a very real possibility of increasing in pace in the second half of the season with a healthy Getzlaf coming back soon. He’s also only owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues, so it’s very possible that you can find him in the free agent pool as well.
Sell high on Lubomir Visnovsky. Yes, I know, it’s really hard to give up the guy who is 5th in points among defensemen, but given that he’s only ever hit 67 points once in his career (his current pace), it’s hard to imagine that he can keepit up. True, his situation has changed since coming over to Anaheim, and there’s a good chance that he will reach that plateau, but honestly, you can find a guy who is more of a sure thing or perhaps even pry a struggling star off someone’s team using Lubo as a bargaining chip. At worst, you break even in a trade, but Lubo’s value won’t get any higher.
Buy low on Evander Kane and Bryan Little. They have the same number of points (27), with Kane in the lead for peripherals, and both could contribute to a strong second half for Atlanta offensively. They aren’t playing amazingly well right now, but 60 points is definitely in the realm of possibility if they can heat up down the stretch.
Sell high on Dustin Byfuglien. A trend you might notice is that he’s gone 6 games without scoring, and there’s almost no chance of him continuing at a point per game pace for the rest of the year. He’s overachieved, and the time to really cash in was about a week or so ago, but he should still have a lot of value due to his strong peripherals.
Buy low on Marc Savard and Nathan Horton. Yes, they are struggling badly right now, but these guys are highly talented players that figure to turn it around down the stretch sooner or later. It’s hard to imagine anyone holding on to these players if a half decent trade is offered.
Sell high on Tim Thomas. Yes, he’s the best goalie in the league right now but the chances of him keeping his torrid pace after playing so many games already can’t be too high. He should especially have a ton of value if another GM in your league owns Rask.
Buy low on Jason Pominville. His season totals don’t look fantastic, but a keen eye will notice that he has 19 points in his last 20 games. As long as Ryan Miller and the defense in general continue to struggle, he may be a +/- concern, but he’s always been good for 60 points or more, and especially since he’s on Buffalo, he may be had for cheap.
Sell high on Ryan Miller. He’s not doing terribly well this year compared to last year, but some diplomacy might go a long way to getting another GM excited about him considering he was the best goalie last year. He may turn it around, he may not, it’s tough to say, but his name alone should draw some interest. Drew Stafford is another candidate to sell high on, with impressive per game totals putting him on pace for 65 points, but perhaps a more reliable player can be had.
Buy low on Rene Bourque. His production has dipped, but if he proved anything last year, it’s that he can produce without being on Iginla’s line. He’s in a bit of a down period right now and that may make him available for fairly cheap from a frustrated owner.
Sell high on Jarome Iginla. He’s heated up the last two and a half months or so, but there’s no telling when he’ll settle back down to something that has been more expected from him from the last couple of seasons. Take advantage of his hot streak and see what you can get for him.
Buy low on Cam Ward. It might be hard to pry him away just because of his name, but a frustrated owner looking for a way out may be willing to deal him for less than he’s worth right now. I think he’ll bounce back, and for that reason, he’s worth looking into.
Sell high on Tuomo Ruutu. He’s having an excellent season, and while that is something to be excited about, his injury history is not. Find someone more reliable in exchange for him, as he’s bound to go down sooner or later.
Buy low on Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. It’s a little hard to recommend Keith, given that he’s only ever had one great season, but if an owner is willing to shop him for much less than he’s worth, it may be worth the risk. Ditto for Kane, although he’s been much closer to the level expected of him than Keith. Hossa, meanwhile, has struggled quite a bit since his fast start, but expect him to turn that around. Right now, he may be on sale for cheap.
Sell high on Patrick Sharp. He’s having a stellar season and looks to put up career highs in virtually all offensive categories, but at the same time, it’s hard to think that he will continue his torrid pace for the rest of the year when his career high is 66 points.
Buy low on Craig Anderson. It’s hard to recommend any buy low options on a team that is playing so well, but Anderson definitely is not. He is the starter for the team, and that means he’ll get starts and more chances to turn his season around. Some owners may not be willing to wait on that and let him go for a cheap price.
Sell high on Milan Hejduk and Tomas Fleischmann. Hejduk is having a renaissance year and that is great for GMs that got him very late in the draft. However, how long that will last once Chris Stewart comes back is up in the air. He will continue to play with Fleischmann and Duchene, and that in itself is a great opportunity for him to continue his pace, but injuries may take a toll, as well as reduced ice time once Stewart goes back to playing on Stastny’s wing.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Buy low on Kristian Huselius. The talented winger has been a 60 point man the last 3 seasons, and his pace for the rest of the year should reflect that going forward. Get him while he’s on this cold streak, because that won’t last for long.
Sell high on Rick Nash. I’m sure he’s always listed on these lists, but right now he’s playing decently well. You should be able to get a more reliable player for him and let someone else suffer with his inconsistency.
Buy low on James Neal. He’s starting to heat up lately, so the time to pry him away from a frustrated owner may have already passed, but perhaps you know someone who owns him that isn’t convinced that he will do much better for the rest of the season. It’s worth looking into.
Sell high on Loui Eriksson. The guy is a stud, but it’s entirely reasonable to expect his pace to dip a bit for the rest of the season, as his previous career high was 71 points last year.
Detroit Red Wings
Buy low on Jiri Hudler. Given his track record this season, you can probably get him for next to nothing, but his production has improved significantly the last 10 games, to the point where he might be ready to take on a top-6 role on the team very soon.
Sell high on Jimmy Howard. It’s hard to suggest a sell high candidate for such a good team, but Howard might get you some decent value back based on potential alone. He’s on a winning team that plays great defensively, so perhaps the hope of a turn around will get some decent value back for him.
Buy low on Taylor Hall. There isn’t much to be excited about with the Oilers, but Hall is only 2 points behind co-leaders Hemsky and Penner for the team lead in points, so perhaps his production will continue to increase going forward. He will certainly get all the opportunity to do so, especially on the power play.
Sell high on Ales Hemsky. His current pace has him at a point per game, something he’s never done in his career. He’s very talented, but on a weak team that has lost it’s best defenseman for the season, it might be time to cash in on his current value for a more reliable player.
Buy low on Tomas Vokoun. He hasn’t gotten many starts lately, and what that may mean is an impending trade to a better team. If his owner in your league has him, he might be willing to let him go for much less than he’s worth right now, considering his poor play and inability to get starts from Clemmenson. He’s certainly worth the risk.
Sell high on Tomas Vokoun. Yeah, it’s a little weird, but at the same time that you can perhaps pry him away from a frustrated owner, perhaps you can convince another GM to overpay for him based on his track record and the possibility of a trade. It wouldn’t be the craziest thing to happen.
Los Angeles Kings
Buy low on Jonathan Bernier. He has started the last two games and allowed only 2 goals in each of those games. With Quick beginning to falter, it might be time for Bernier to steal some starts from him, and LA is a good team, so you those starts that he does get will likely be high quality ones as well.
Sell high on Justin Williams. He’s had good luck with injuries so far this season, but when he does inevitably go down (he hasn’t played more than 49 games since 06-07), there’s absolutely no telling what sort of shape he’ll be in. He has a lot of value now, and perhaps now is the time to cash in on it.
Buy low on Nicklas Backstrom. This is a risky buy at best, which is exactly why it might not take much effort to pry him away from a very upset owner. However, if you’re a struggling team looking to make a run for a playoff spot or a higher seed, Backstrom might be one of the keys to a good second half if he plays well for the Wild.
Sell high on Martin Havlat. Until very recently, health hasn’t been kind to this highly talented winger. However, he’s playing very good hockey while healthy (though his play has slipped of late), and that makes him a perfect candidate to sell for a more reliable player. If he does go down, and there’s no reason to think that isn’t a reasonable possibility, there’s no telling how long it might be for, as he’s had a history with groin problems, which are very unpredictable in terms of healing time. At worst, you’ll break even because he does have great upside, but his value isn’t going to be any higher.
And that’s that until next week. All comments and criticisms are welcome.