Anaheim DucksArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsBuffalo SabresCalgary FlamesCarolina HurricanesChicago BlackhawksColorado AvalancheColumbus Blue JacketsDallas StarsDetroit Red WingsEdmonton OilersFlorida PanthersLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildMontréal CanadiensNashville PredatorsNew Jersey DevilsNew York IslandersNew York RangersOttawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt Louis BluesSan Jose SharksSeattle KrakenTampa Bay LightningToronto Maple LeafsVancouver CanucksVegas Golden KnightsWashington CapitalsWinnipeg Jets

NHL: DADOUN – THE FANTASY WEEK AHEAD (March 4th to 10th) – NHL Trade Deadline looming – Favourable schedules and players to target

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Pittsburgh Penguins Left Wing Jake Guentzel (59) skates during the third period of the NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 10, 2022 at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire)

Although the trade season started a little early with Vancouver acquiring Elias Lindholm on Jan. 31 and Winnipeg getting Sean Monahan on Feb. 2, we haven’t seen a flurry of moves yet. In fact, there have been just two deals this week with defenseman Chris Tanev getting a new home in Dallas and the Maple Leafs adding a much-needed right-handed shooting blueliner in Ilya Lyubushkin.

The hold-up is likely due to possible sellers giving their teams more time to potentially climb into a playoff spot before finally determining their fate. The Penguins, for example, have presumably been waiting to see where Pittsburgh shakes out in the standings before deciding what to do about Jake Guentzel.

General managers won’t have the luxury of time for much longer, though. The trade deadline is this coming Friday. There have been reports that certain players won’t be moved, most notably Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom, but that aside, we’re still likely in for an incredibly busy deadline.

I’ll discuss some of the fallout of that next week, but in the meantime, let’s examine some teams with favorable schedules for the week ahead.


Arizona suffered its 14th straight defeat in a 4-2 loss to Toronto on Thursday – albeit with two of the losses in that span going to overtime. The Coyotes had a reasonable shot of making the playoffs before this slump, but that’s no longer the case, so they’ll likely be sellers at the trade deadline.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the Coyotes’ upcoming schedule isn’t too bad. They’ll play against Chicago twice – at home Tuesday and on the road Sunday – which is one of the few teams with a worse record than Arizona. The Coyotes’ other games will be tougher, but at least they’ll be at home. Arizona will host Minnesota on Thursday and Detroit on Friday.

The Coyotes have almost no players doing particularly well, which isn’t surprising given their recent record, but the main exception is Matias Maccelli. The 23-year-old forward is on a six-game scoring streak in which he’s provided two goals and six points. It helps that he’s logged a minimum of 19:40 of ice time in each of his last three contests compared to his season average of 16:36. With Arizona out of the playoffs anyway, it might as well give the young forward plenty of experience, especially with him rewarding the Coyotes for their trust.

In terms of who Arizona might trade, keep in mind that defensemen Matt Dumba, Josh Brown, Troy Stecher and Travis Dermott are all set to become unrestricted free agents this summer, so the blue line could look considerably different by next weekend. That might result in Michael Kesselring seeing a significant jump in ice time. The 24-year-old has four goals and 13 points in 42 contests, so he’s not a strong offensive option, but he is a solid source of PIM with 41.

We also might see the Coyotes give Victor Soderstrom a long look after the trade deadline. Taken with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, he’s been unable to establish himself at the top level but has provided eight goals, 24 points and 30 PIM in 46 appearances with AHL Tucson this year. We also might see forward Josh Doan, who leads the Roadrunners with 36 points (21 goals) in 50 contests, make his NHL debut before the season ends. While neither is likely to have immediate fantasy value, both are worth keeping an eye on.

Chicago Blackhawks - MON @ COL, TUE @ ARI (BTB), SAT @ WSH, SUN VS ARI (BTB)

Although the Blackhawks are a dreadful 15-40-5, as noted above, they will face Arizona twice next week – on the road on Tuesday and at home on Sunday. Chicago is also scheduled to play in Colorado on Monday and in Washington on Saturday.

Connor Bedard is going through a bit of a rough patch with just an assist over his past four games, but the slump shouldn’t last long. He might be just 18 years old, but Bedard has already demonstrated he can excel in the NHL with 17 goals and 40 points in 46 contests this year.

Bedard has been consistent too, his recent slump notwithstanding. By contrast, Philipp Kurashev has been far streakier. Kurashev’s campaign can basically be divided up into a series of hot-and-cold stretches: from Oct. 24-Nov. 24 (12 points in 12 games), Nov. 26-Dec. 22 (five in 13), Dec. 23-31 (four in five), Jan. 2-27 (two in 14), Feb. 7-19 (eight in six) and most recently his four-game slump. It makes him a frustrating option for fantasy managers, but one who can pay off handsomely if you time his usage right. Be sure to keep an eye out and jump on early when he starts heating up again.

One player worth using in the meantime is Nick Foligno. He’s not typically a major offensive force, but the 36-year-old has been playing like one recently, collecting five goals and nine points over his last 10 appearances.

Dallas Stars - TUE @ SJS, FRI @ ANA, SAT @ LAK (BTB)

Dallas has a lighter week than most of the other featured teams with just three games on the schedule and the Stars will spend the full stretch on the road. However, their competition is mostly favorable with contests scheduled against the lowly Sharks and Ducks on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. Dallas will conclude the week against LA on Saturday, which presently occupies the second wild-card spot with a 29-19-10 record.

Tyler Seguin has missed Dallas’ past four games due to a lower-body injury that he apparently had been playing through for a while. The idea he wasn’t 100 percent makes his 20 goals and 45 points through 58 appearances all the more impressive, but he might not be an option next week. As a result, Logan Stankoven has been summoned from AHL Texas and received ample playing time.

The 21-year-old has taken advantage of the opportunity, scoring three goals and four points in four contests. He was outstanding with Texas too, supplying 24 goals and 57 points through 47 outings. It’s still early in his career, but he’s looking like a potential steal at No. 27 overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. Stankoven’s fall to the middle of the second round likely had a lot to do with a combination of him being undersized at 5-foot-8 and the small sample size in his draft year because the WHL campaign was delayed until Feb. 26, 2021, due to the pandemic.

It’s plausible that Stankoven will remain with the team even after Seguin’s return. Should that happen, we might see Sam Steel drop out of the top nine when everyone is healthy. Steel has seven goals and 18 points in 56 contests this year, so he shouldn’t factor into too many fantasy teams, but if you’re in an especially deep league, you may want to get comfortable with the idea that Steel’s production will decline further in the final weeks of the campaign. Similarly, Evgenii Dadonov (lower body) might struggle to find a great role once he’s healthy should Stankoven perform well enough to entrench himself into the top nine.

Edmonton Oilers - TUE @ BOS, THU @ CBJ, SAT @ BUF, SUN @ PIT (BTB)

The Oilers will be on the road next week and open with a difficult matchup against the Bruins on Tuesday. Fortunately, the competition afterward is more manageable with games scheduled in Columbus on Thursday, Buffalo on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Zach Hyman is on a six-game goal-scoring streak, providing eight tallies and nine points in that span. That’s brought him up to the 40-goal milestone, making him the first Oilers player to reach that mark with the obvious exception of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid since 1990-91, per the NHL. He’s also the 11th player dating back to the 1999-00 campaign to score at least 40 goals after being selected in the fifth round or later, Hockey Reference noted. What an absolute steal Hyman’s turned out to be at his $5.5 million cap hit.

As great as he’s been, though, McDavid’s statsline over his past nine games is so good it looks like a typo. Although he has just one goal in that span, the superstar has provided 22 assists. His 94 points (22 goals) through 55 games still trails Nathan MacKinnon (100 points) and Nikita Kucherov (104), but McDavid is closing the gap.

Those are the Oilers players you expect to put up strong numbers offensively, though. One more surprising contributor of late has been Mattias Ekholm. The defenseman has six assists over his past seven games, bringing him up to four goals and 25 points in 56 appearances overall. The 33-year-old’s hot streak might last a little longer, but he’ll likely fall meaningfully shy of the 40-point mark this season, partially because he’s limited to the second power-play unit.

Florida Panthers - MON @ NYR, TUE @ NJD (BTB), THU VS PHI, SAT VS CGY

The Panthers will open the week with road games against the Rangers on Monday and the Devils on Tuesday. After that, Florida will head home and host the Flyers on Thursday and the Flames on Saturday. That’s not the easiest of competition, but it’s not the hardest either. With the exception of the Rangers, those are middling adversaries.

Regardless of the opponent, Florida has demonstrated that it can keep up. The Panthers are 40-16-4 this season and are red hot, winning 13 of its last 15 games. That’s despite Sam Reinhart going through a seven-game goal-scoring drought from Feb. 14-27. The 28-year-old found the back of the net Thursday, though, to reach the 40-goal milestone for the first time in his career. Now that he’s shaken off that slow patch, it wouldn’t be surprising if Reinhart gets on another run. His goals have mostly come in bunches this year with him scoring eight in seven contests from Oct. 14-30, five in five appearances from Nov. 8-16 and his incredible run of 22 tallies in 22 games from Dec. 18-Feb. 10.

Brandon Montour hasn’t enjoyed the same type of offensive success as Reinhart in this campaign. In fact, while Reinhart has set a personal best in goals, Montour has dropped from 73 points in 2022-23 to five goals and 22 points across 44 outings this year. He might be in for a strong conclusion to the season, though, based on his recent play. The 29-year-old defenseman has provided three goals and 10 points over his last six appearances. He plays on the top power-play unit and five of his points in that span have come with the man advantage.

If you’re looking for a goaltender to briefly add for a spot start, consider Anthony Stolarz. He’ll likely get one-half of the back-to-back against the Rangers and the Devils. While that’s stiff competition, Stolarz is among the league’s top backups with an 11-5-2 record, 2.02 GAA and .924 save percentage in 19 contests, so it’s typically good to make use of him whenever you can anticipate him starting.

Nashville Predators - TUE VS MTL, THU VS BUF, SAT @ CBJ, SUN @ MIN (BTB)

The Predators are on an incredible seven-game winning streak, which has gone a long way toward securing their postseason berth. Nashville will look to stay hot as it hosts the Canadiens on Tuesday and the Sabres on Thursday. The Predators will then visit Columbus on Saturday and Minnesota on Sunday. None of those adversaries are in a playoff position, so this is a good opportunity for Nashville to pick up points.

It’ll help if Gustav Nyquist can stay hot. He’s provided four goals and 10 points during Nashville’s seven-game winning streak and seems to be only getting better with five points over his last two contests alone. That’s propelled him to 16 goals and 51 points in 61 appearances this season. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him surpass his career high of 60 points.

Thomas Novak hasn’t had the same kind of big games Nyquist has enjoyed recently, but Novak’s been a steady contributor lately. The 26-year-old has been held off the scoresheet just twice over his last 12 games, accumulating four goals and 11 points in that span. Like Nyquist, Novak has a realistic shot at setting a new career high. His current personal best is 43 points, and he’s presently at 12 goals and 32 points in 50 outings this year.

Roman Josi probably won’t set a new career high in points, but that’s only because it would be extraordinarily hard for a defenseman to surpass his mark of 96 points, set in 2021-22. He’s still having another amazing season regardless with 15 goals and 60 points through 61 outings. Josi has also been superb recently, collecting four goals and 10 points over his past six contests. He’s probably not going to catch up to Quinn Hughes (12 goals, 70 points) in the blueliner scoring race, but Josi is a strong contender to finish in the top five.

New York Islanders - TUE VS STL, THU @ SJS, SUN @ ANA

I’m highlighting the Islanders’ three-game schedule over alternatives set to play four contests next week because New York’s competition is struggling. They’ll host the Blues on Tuesday and then begin a road trip with games in San Jose on Thursday and Anaheim on Sunday. The Ducks and the Sharks are in the bottom rung of the league’s standings while St. Louis is okay, but outside of a playoff spot with its 30-26-3 record.

Those three adversaries are also unimposing offensively with St. Louis’ 2.86 goals per game (25th in the league) being the strongest among them. That sets the stage for Ilya Sorokin to have a strong week. He’s having a down campaign overall with a 19-13-11 record, 3.11 GAA and .909 save percentage in 43 games, so lighter competition should help him.

It’s worth noting that the Islanders have been increasingly leaning on Sorokin over Semyon Varlamov, to the point where Varlamov made just two starts in February. With that in mind, it’s entirely plausible that Sorokin will start in all three contests next week. Varlamov is in the first season of a four-year, $11 million contract, so his tenure with the Islanders is far from over, but the fact that New York is deploying Sorokin this frequently even during a bit of a rough year for the starter just goes to firmly established that Varlamov at this stage is exclusively seen as a No. 2 and doesn’t even get more time than your typical backup.

The relatively weak competition might also help Brock Nelson extend his hot streak. The 32-year-old forward has six goals and eight points over his past eight contests. He found another level in 2022-23 with 36 markers and 75 points in 82 games, and while Nelson hasn’t quite replicated those results, he hasn’t taken a significant step back either.

Pittsburgh Penguins - TUE VS CBJ, THU VS WSH, SAT @ BOS, SUN VS EDM (BTB)

The Penguins continue to play without Jake Guentzel (upper body) and more recently Bryan Rust (upper body), but Pittsburgh has done its best to stay effective despite that, winning three of its last four games. Still, the 27-22-8 Penguins are eight points back in the wild-card race as they gear up for a busy week.

Pittsburgh will host the Blue Jackets on Tuesday and the Capitals on Thursday. The Penguins will then go on the road, facing the Bruins on Saturday and the Oilers on Sunday.

Guentzel won’t be back next week and will have already played his last game with Pittsburgh if the organization decides to trade the pending free agent. Rust, who is signed through 2027-28, is unlikely to be dealt, but he also might not return next week.

That leaves Reilly Smith and Rickard Rakell as Sidney Crosby’s wingers. That’s obviously a great assignment to have, especially with Crosby doing everything he can to keep the Penguins’ playoff hopes alive. Over the past seven contests, the superstar has provided four goals and 10 points, which brings Crosby up to 32 markers and 62 points in 57 outings this year.

The trickle-down effect of those injuries has also resulted in Valtteri Puustinen playing on the second line and first power-play unit. Despite being taken in the seventh round of the 2019 draft, the 24-year-old has demonstrated some offensive capabilities, providing 59 points at the AHL level last season and following that up with two goals and 12 points in 27 games with Pittsburgh this campaign while averaging a modest 11:27 of ice time. With his role increasing, Puustinen is worth taking a chance on in fantasy leagues.