Special to Yahoo Sports
Player inclusion for this column often comes as a result of how they've done recently. The problem with that is the fact the schedule has been light the last couple of weeks.
The lack of real-life action makes digging into the stats even more important. And, of course, it's wise to keep updated on the latest news so you can keep track of any line upgrade/demotion or switch in situation.
Let's see which 14 players made the cut.
(Rostered rates as of Feb. 9)
Lucas Raymond, Detroit Red Wings (Yahoo: 50%)
We're choosing a player exactly at 50% due to favorable recent results (and we'll be targeting players above that roster rate in the other two sections). Raymond may not have always received prime positioning this season, yet he's on pace to beat the 57 points he established as a rookie. His placement has definitely improved skating alongside Dylan Larkin at both five-on-five and the top power play. And if we go back 15 games, Raymond has racked up three goals and 12 assists on 17:51 a night, including 2:35 while up a man.
Mason Marchment, Dallas Stars (Yahoo: 36%)
When Marchment was first featured in late November, he had been trending up while only sitting at 4% coverage. Needless to say, his numbers have significantly grown since, as he's reeled off 29 points and 59 shots. Dallas' second line has been superb all year, and Marchment is the only one from that trio who's mainly been overlooked in fantasy as Matt Duchene is gone in 77% of Yahoo leagues and Tyler Seguin in 56%. Marchment adds value having already hit a career high in power-play points with six on the Stars' backup unit featuring the aforementioned linemates and a pair of promising players in Wyatt Johnston and Thomas Harley.
Reilly Smith, Pittsburgh Penguins (Yahoo: 22%)
To say Smith's first year in Pittsburgh has been disappointing would be … entirely accurate. After all, 20 points from his first 40 games isn't what was envisioned for someone who consistently scored in Vegas. Smith would then go on to miss the next six contests with an upper-body issue. He returned Tuesday on a line with Evgeni Malkin at even-strength and a place on what was considered the lead man-advantage, though shifts seemed to be evenly distributed among both groups. With the Pens fighting for a wild card, Smith should have the chance to display his offensive skills next to above-average talent. There have been reports of him not fitting in, but the only consideration from a fantasy standpoint is his history of respectable output. And if that doesn't materialize soon enough, you can always toss Smith back.
Trent Frederic, Boston Bruins (Yahoo: 21%)
Frederic got some attention after managing 17 goals and 14 assists during his second full-schedule season. He looked to continue that momentum into the current campaign, though early returns proved erratic. It wasn't until Frederic received additional ice time that his production improved as he's registered 19 points, 39 shots, 25 PIM, 44 hits, 21 blocks and a plus-15 in the last two months. He's mainly operated within the bottom half of the Bruins' depth chart, though he's also played alongside some of the bigger names and performed well.
Nicholas Paul, Tampa Bay Lightning (Yahoo: 18%)
When you're holding down a sweet gig surrounded by elite scorers, it's your job not to mess things up. The Bolts boast the NHL's best power play with a success rate of 30%. Paul just happens to be part of that having contributed 11 PPPs. He was also occupying a regular place next to Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point until recently being switched back to the wing of the second line. Paul's a natural center and still takes enough faceoffs, though the other position virtually guarantees a top-six spot. As long as he stays within the upper half of the lineup, he'll work in any fantasy roster.
Max Pacioretty, Washington Capitals (Yahoo: 19%)
Pacioretty has been known in recent years as someone who underwent back-to-back Achilles surgeries. There's the obvious risk, yet there's a potential reward that comes with a sniper who potted at least 30 goals on six occasions. Pacioretty returned right after New Year's, and it took him until Game 3 to notch his first point. A week-and-a-half later would see him pick up his first PPP. Pacioretty finds himself in familiar territory on the top man-advantage, where he once tallied double-digits 10 times across an 11-season span. With that in his repertoire and an increasing shot rate, he makes for a solid pickup.
Ilya Mikheyev, Vancouver Canucks (Yahoo: 4%)
Pius Suter was mentioned two weeks ago as someone who's benefited from joining forces with J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. Mikheyev is in a similar situation beside Elias Pettersson and Elias Lindholm at five-on-five. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much with the opportunity, as he's only recorded a single assist from his last 10 outings. Mikheyev has also come up empty as a member of the Canucks' second power play. Based on how potent their offense has been, you might as well wait and see how he performs in the next couple appearances before adding him.
Ondrej Palat, New Jersey Devils (Yahoo: 2%)
Palat missed significant time to injury over parts of several seasons, and the soon-to-be 33-year-old isn't getting any younger. He enjoyed a long tenure in Tampa with two Cups and plenty of points. Palat didn't do a whole lot before being sidelined for three weeks with a lower-body issue. And since coming back, he's immediately clicked with Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt to post three goals and two assists in four matchups. Palat has proven throughout his career he can be fantasy-relevant when teamed up with decent talent, so let's hope the current placement holds.
Noah Hanifin, Calgary Flames (Yahoo: 56%)
Hanifin has been busy the last month, accumulating 11 points, 36 shots and 19 blocks. He's only registered one PPP over that stretch, but that came on Tuesday in the form of a goal on the top unit. Hanifin was only recently promoted to that group and could eventually swap spots with Rasmus Andersson or MacKenzie Weegar, yet he's there now and that marker should help his chances to stay there. His prospects are further improved by a 24-minute average and a lead short-handed role, though a potential move to a contender would most likely limit his output.
Jeremy Lauzon, Nashville Predators (Yahoo: 37%)
I've been tempted to include Lauzon for a while based on a consistently high Yahoo ranking, so here he is. Like Kaiden Guhle last week, Lauzon boasts a double-digit single-game achievement with 12 hits on Jan. 15. And that figure isn't an anomaly considering he comfortably leads the league with 202. Lauzon also contributes to the other physical areas with 74 blocks and 66 PIM. At five goals and three assists overall, don't expect him to regularly find the scoresheet, but if you're looking for a boost in the secondary stats, Lauzon is a great addition.
Damon Severson, Columbus Blue Jackets (Yahoo: 2%)
Regardless of how much combined talent an NHL team offers, poolies will often hesitate to acquire players from lesser sides if they're not consistently producing. So it shouldn't be a surprise a few Blue Jackets have featured in this column throughout the season. When it comes to their blueliners, Zach Werenski (62%) is really the only one who's been deemed safe for fantasy consumption. While Ivan Provorov (14%) has done decently, his partner Severson has posted comparable stats from 15 fewer contests. The duo also share time on Columbus' second man-advantage. Severson may not be lighting it up, yet there's enough cross-category work to warrant more coverage.
Shakir Mukhamadullin, San Jose Sharks (Yahoo: 1%)
Since being drafted 20th overall in 2020, Mukhamadullin compiled a pretty good KHL season and was traded by Jersey last February as part of the Timo Meier deal. Following a standout effort in the minors, he made his big-league debut right before the break, where he logged three games with a PPA, two shots, two hits and six blocks from the final outing. Mukhamadullin was then sent back down, though he participated in the AHL All-Star Game while San Jose remains in the middle of a 13-day layoff. As he's projected to be a key contributor and the Sharks aren't going anywhere, it would be a shock if he weren't with the parent club when they resume play.
Joonas Korpisalo, Ottawa Senators (Yahoo: 52%)
Despite a dangerous offense, the Sens have once again failed to deliver in the standings. The blame would seem to lie with a 30th-ranked GAA, though that number's recently improved thanks to a 2.19 from Korpisalo over his last seven appearances – and that includes giving up four goals in half a game. With Anton Forsberg not yet back, Mads Sogaard struggling and now in the AHL, and call-up Kevin Mandolese light on experience, expect Korpisalo to handle the bulk of the Ottawa starts. And with the club facing four weaker defenses the next week, maybe that'll result in a few wins for the Finn.
Jonathan Quick, New York Rangers (Yahoo: 44%)
Igor Shesterkin hasn't fared particularly well so far in 2024, having posted a 3.25 GAA and .863 save percentage covering 10 outings. Over the same period, Quick has countered with a 1.98/.925 line across six matchups. And he's started the last three heading into Friday. While this may look like the veteran has a shot at wresting the No. 1 job away from the 2022 Vezina winner, that's never going to happen. At the same time, Quick should be able to continue adequately filling in when required behind a top-10 D and decent attack.
Players to consider from past columns: Pavel Zacha, Seth Jarvis, Ryan O'Reilly, William Karlsson, Wyatt Johnston, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dylan Cozens, Johnny Gaudreau, Quinton Byfield, Cam Atkinson, Gustav Nyquist, Troy Terry, Josh Norris, Robert Thomas, Nazem Kadri, Andrei Kuzmenko, Joel Farabee, Cole Perfetti, Nikolaj Ehlers, Chandler Stephenson, Mason McTavish, Dylan Strome, Brayden Schenn, Ivan Barbashev, Charlie Coyle, Jordan Eberle, Shane Pinto, Jonathan Drouin, Marco Rossi, Nicolas Roy, Trevor Moore, Sam Bennett, John-Jason Peterka, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Coleman, Morgan Geekie, Yegor Sharangovich, Sean Couturier, Eeli Tolvanen, Ross Colton, David Perron, Dakota Joshua, Matias Maccelli, Alex Kerfoot, Alex Killorn, Daniel Sprong, Jake Sanderson, Owen Power, Mike Matheson, Brock Faber, Filip Hronek, Thomas Harley, Jamie Drysdale, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Cam Fowler, Neal Pionk, Simon Nemec, Ivan Provorov, Darren Raddysh, Will Borgen, Colton Parayko, Connor Ingram, Alex Lyon, Joey Daccord, Ilya Samsonov, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Anthony Stolarz, Laurent Brossoit, Antti Raanta, Joel Hofer, Elvis Merzlikins, Petr Mrazek