Fantasy Hockey Pickups: Go get Jack Quinn before he really takes off

By Evan Berofsky, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The winter holiday season is approaching. Make sure you're ready by stocking up on enough resources to get through any potential issues. While you're coming up with a plan, go ahead and treat yourself to something nice. Of course, that was a reference to your fantasy hockey rosters.

Grab a couple of players to tide you through to the New Year. And that star goalie you've always wanted? He's waiting for you in the trade queue.

As is the format of this column, the following NHLers are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are ready to keep you out of the cold.

(Rostered rates as of Dec. 9)


T.J. Oshie, WAS (Yahoo: 39%)

Oshie has missed time due to injuries in recent seasons, and this year is no different, as he's already missed 11 games due to a lower-body issue. The soon-to-be 36-year-old can still produce and has been solid since returning with six points, 23 shots, 25 hits and 11 PIM in eight contests. Oshie remains a power-play fixture, and that's where five of his 11 points have come. He's seen his shooting percentage slip the last two campaigns, but he can be relied on for a decent number of goals and shots thanks to his favorable lineup placement.

Alexis Lafreniere, NYR (Yahoo: 22%)

Things haven't gone as the 2020 first-overall pick probably would have expected, considering his 52 combined points in his first two seasons or his five points from his first 14 appearances this year. Lafreniere may be on the other end of the age spectrum from Oshie, but both are actively firing pucks on net and dishing out hits. The ice time may not be great, though a move alongside Mika Zibanejad at even-strength has led to two goals and an assist in two games.

If that partnership continues, Lafreniere may be in for improved numbers and more fantasy appreciation.

Jack Quinn, BUF (Yahoo: 20%)

It's probably not a shock Quinn is doing well in his first extended taste of NHL action, as he dominated the AHL last season with 61 points in 45 contests. It didn't immediately click though, with nothing from his first four, but he's posted five goals, five helpers and 21 shots in his nine most recent matchups. Quinn has developed chemistry with fellow first-rounder Dylan Cozens during five-on-five and has managed five PPPs on Buffalo's second unit. His minutes have increased of late, and he'll only get better.

Jack Quinn #22 of the Buffalo Sabres has fantasy value
Consider adding Jack Quinn in fantasy hockey leagues. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Jared McCann, SEA (Yahoo: 17%)

McCann led the expansion franchise in scoring with 50 points and came into Year Two with similar expectations after the organization added a few forwards during the offseason. He notched a four-game goal streak later in October and then briefly sat with a minor lower-body problem. McCann is currently riding another scoring surge with seven tallies and two assists across nine contests to go with 24 shots. He also lines up with Matty Beniers at even-strength and is technically on Seattle's lead power play, though both groups are relatively even in talent.

J.T. Compher, COL (Yahoo: 16%)

As if the Avs weren't already depleted up front, Nathan MacKinnon left Monday's game and is set to miss four weeks. With a number of regulars out, the lines have been reshuffled and Mikko Rantanen has shifted to top-line center. Compher is currently listed as the second pivot, though he's also been on the first power play for two weeks and registered four PPPs with that group. He's also skated over 21 minutes a night during that stretch, including 25:34 on Monday. Expect those numbers to remain high until others return.

Alex Newhook, COL (Yahoo: 8%)

We're doubling up on Colorado with an up-and-comer who's slotting higher in the lineup. Newhook was brought along slowly as a rookie and still managed to record 13 goals and 20 assists. He was held without a point for the opening eight games before going on a solid stretch of seven in 11. As more teammates dropped out, Newhook jumped straight to the first line and man-advantage, logging 20:50 a night and potting a pair of goals. That prime placement may end once Artturi Lehkonen and/or Valeri Nichushkin make it back, but you have to think Newhook should receive a longer look soon enough.

Adam Ruzicka, CGY (Yahoo: 6%)

After a number of scratches to start the year, I was hesitant to highlight Ruzicka's initial run until more data was provided. Here we are three weeks later, with the 23-year-old back on another upswing, having netted another seven points in six appearances to take his total to 15 in 16. Ruzicka's third-line placement may be turning off poolies from bringing him aboard, though a spot on Calgary's backup power play and his consistent production should make him a more attractive addition.

Christian Dvorak, MON (Yahoo: 1%)

Remember when Dvorak pulled off a hat trick against the Blues in October? Doesn't ring a bell, but the box score says he really did it. He's been mainly quiet otherwise, with 11 points overall and not much in the way of other contributions besides a 52.9 percent faceoff percentage. Sean Monahan is day-to-day, leaving Dvorak to patrol the Habs' first power play, joining forces with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. That's not a bad position to be in, albeit one that seems short-term.


Shayne Gostisbehere, ARI (Yahoo: 46%)

We're all familiar with Gostisbehere's renaissance in Arizona, beginning with last year's 51 points. There was a dry spell spanning nearly a month where he only found the scoresheet in one of 11 games, but he's back on track with two goals and six assists since Nov. 23. Ghost Bear shares the lead pairing at even-strength and on the power play with Jakob Chychrun and has averaged over 23 minutes the last two-plus weeks. He'll net you some shots and a handful of blocks, but you're ultimately adding him for the offense and power-play prowess.

Alec Martinez, VGK (Yahoo: 26%)

Martinez is only two seasons removed from a standout fantasy performance in which he accumulated 32 points, 85 shots, 168 blocks and a plus-26. He'd go on to miss most of 2021-22 and only has four assists in the current campaign, yet recent events could potentially yield more points. With Alex Pietrangelo out for the last five contests and set to be gone for at least a few more, Martinez has joined the second man-advantage. Nothing there yet, though he's lapping the league in blocked shots with a whopping 115 so far.

Colton Parayko, STL (Yahoo: 12%)

Like Martinez, Parayko holds a bit power-play role and supplies stats in supplemental areas. The difference is Parayko receives more minutes and has recently contributed to the attack with a goal and three helpers over five outings. He also averages around two shots, two hits and two blocks a night while leading the Blues' penalty-killing crew. There's not a lot of upside with Parayko, but he can contribute sufficiently if your league uses more categories.

Vladislav Gavrikov, CLS (Yahoo: 3%)

Gavrikov was mentioned last week when discussing the merits of Marcus Bjork amid Columbus's many blueliner absences, and the situation for the former has since improved with Jake Bean sidelined until March following surgery and Adam Boqvist not yet back at practice. Not that the Blue Jackets have been helping themselves on the defensive end, though Gavrikov is logging heavy ice time and is involved in all situations. He's probably not going to hit his peak of 33 points from last year, but three assists, seven shots and 11 blocks from five games are at least worth a look.


Dan Vladar, CGY (Yahoo: 36%)

As someone who has Jacob Markstrom in an important fantasy league, it's tough to watch him struggle for much of this season. At the same time, he was only provided a combined one goal of offensive support in his last two appearances. Vladar has stepped in and impressed with a 2.15 GAA and .915 save percentage while covering six of the last eight starts for the club. Markstrom should see action again either Friday or Saturday, but he looks to be Calgary's second option unless he recovers form or Vladar falters.

Philipp Grubauer, SEA (Yahoo: 17%)

Since praising the Kraken attack last week, they've only scored six times across three matchups. Grubauer was the beneficiary of three last Thursday during a 3-2 win and previously came out on top in Vegas after being sidelined for a month. Martin Jones has taken three of four decisions but has accompanied that with a 5.27 GAA and .802 save percentage. His most recent performance saw him let in four goals on 16 shots, leaving the door open for Grubauer to reclaim the No. 1 spot. Let's see if he can do it.

Players to consider from past columns: Logan Couture, Martin Necas, Dylan Cozens, Joel Eriksson Ek, Gabriel Vilardi, Blake Wheeler, Boone Jenner, Jeff Skinner, Andrei Kuzmenko, Matty Beniers, Phillip Danault, Dylan Strome, Kevin Hayes, David Krejci, Trevor Moore, Nick Schmaltz, Max Domi, Kent Johnson, Alex Killorn, Jake DeBrusk, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Brandon Hagel, Kirby Dach, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jordan Eberle, William Karlsson, Viktor Arvidsson, Jason Zucker, Nick Paul, Seth Jarvis, Alexander Barabanov, Brandon Montour, Jake Sanderson, Calen Addison, Noah Hanifin, Cam Fowler, Sean Durzi, Vince Dunn, Janis Moser, Rasmus Sandin, Justin Schultz, Vitek Vanecek, Martin Jones, Karel Vejmelka, Pyotr Kochetkov, Stuart Skinner, Spencer Martin, Jake Allen, Craig Anderson