Fantasy Hockey Values: Sean Monahan is bouncing back, plus other risers/fallers

By Jan Levine, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

In this space, we'll look at which NHL players are seeing their fantasy hockey values rise or fall on a week-to-week basis.

This week's article includes a pair of veteran pivotmen rolling, a Sabre winger on fire, two hot Western Conference blueliners and a Cup-winning winger scuffling.

First Liners (Risers)

Sean Monahan, C, MTL

Monahan is centering the Habs' third line but is also seeing time on the first power-play unit. His two assists Friday extended his active point streak to four games, and he's collected eight points (three goals, five helpers) over the last eight contests. Monahan, after a slight bobble in early November, appears to be inching closer to the form he flashed with the Flames in 2018-19, when he set a career-high by racking up 82 points in 78 games.

Max Domi, C, CHI

Domi continues to be quietly productive in the Windy City, raising the return Chicago could receive for the center who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. He's hit the scoresheet in five of his last nine contests and sits with five goals, nine assists and a minus-seven rating in 21 games. After posting 72 points in 2018-19, Domi's production cratered the next two seasons before he rebounded last season with 39 points. He's on an early pace to far exceed that mark while centering the second line.

Kent Johnson, RW, CBJ

Johnson, the fifth overall pick in 2021, earned the first multi-point game of his 27-game career Friday, notching a goal and an assist. Those two points gave the young pivotman 11 points — five goals and six assists — in 18 games. With Patrik Laine (ankle) out, Johnson has moved up to the first power-play unit while also skating at right wing on the second line. The talent is certainly there for the production to remain constant throughout his rookie season.

Alex Tuch, RW, BUF

Buffalo has several players who are finding their stride. Tuch, acquired in the Jack Eichel deal, is clearly one of those whose game has taken a massive step forward this season. Tuch had three goals and 10 points during his five-game point stretch that ended Friday, and on the season he's up to 10 goals and 22 points through 22 contests. The only question still to be answered is whether Tuch can stay healthy, as that was not the case in Las Vegas for the scoring winger.

Jakob Chychrun, D, ARI

Chychrun has seemingly been on the trade block forever. Signed to a six-year, $27.6 million contract extension with the Coyotes in November 2018, Chychrun has missed time due to injury and has underperformed for much of that deal. He gave a hint as to what he possibly could produce in 2020-21 when he scored 18 goals and added 23 assists in 56 games. Chychrun didn't make his season debut until Nov. 21 because of a wrist injury but has scored a goal and added two assists in his four games played to date.

Josh Morrissey D, WPG

Many experts thought last year was going to be Morrissey's big breakout as he looked to rebound from a so-so 2020-21 campaign. While he did manage career highs in goals with 12 and points with 37, we were still expecting more overall. We may have just been off by one season, as Morrissey is putting it all together in 2022-23. Morrissey has points in 10 of 11 games in November, including four straight contests, and he's at four goals, 19 helpers, 37 shots on net, 24 hits, 26 blocked shots and a plus-6 rating in 20 contests on the year.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey is a riser in fantasy hockey as he appears to finally be breaking out.

Darcy Kuemper, G, WSH

Kuemper's inclusion here is based on the belief that his last two starts, and not his play the prior few weeks, are a closer reflection of what we should expect this year. Prior to last Wednesday's start and win against the Flyers, Kuemper had dropped three straight decisions, yielding 12 goals during that skid, and was 1-6-0 with a 3.39 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in his last seven starts. He righted the ship by allowing two goals in 23 shots for that win and followed that up with a 32-save shutout — his second of the season — Friday against the Flames.

Akira Schmid, G, NJD

The Devils' ridiculous hot streak has been spurred by the play of Vitek Vanecek in net, but he hasn't done it all by himself, as Schmid has also been a stalwart between the pipes. Granted all this is in a small sample size, but Schmid's fine numbers are hard to ignore. Schmid, taken in the fifth round (136th overall) in 2018, has allowed just four goals in four games this season and never more than two in a single game. He's delivered a .953 save percentage and 3.99 goals saved above expected (GSAx) so far while going 4-0-0.

Others include Brock Nelson, Brayden Point, Matty Beniers, Jack Quinn, Luke Kunin, Pavel Buchnevich, Jason Robertson, Ilya Mikheyev, Blake Wheeler, Timo Meier, Justin Schultz, Aaron Ekblad, Filip Hronek, Alex Pietrangelo, Karel Vejmelka, Tristan Jarry, Ville Husso and Ilya Sorokin.

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)

Wyatt Johnston, C, DAL

Johnston's placement here is due more to his usage than his skills and talent. The upside in Johnston is still large, but he may not realize it for a few years, making him a risky bet in single-year leagues. Johnston's goal Friday was his first since Nov. 3; he'd been limited to one assist in nine games since that date. Deployed on the third line, Johnston is seeing about 14 minutes of ice time nightly, including 1:35 on the man-advantage. He will produce a little but don't look for a major spike in output this season, though he has scored in two of the last three games, which could be a sign of things to come.

Corey Perry, LW, TBL

Perry's production has completely hit the skids. After getting off to a quick start with four points in his first six games, his offense has all but dried up since. Perry had just one assist and no goals in his last 14 games before lighting the lamp Monday against Buffalo. Perry turned back the clock with 19 goals and 21 assists in his first year in Tampa last season, his highest output since the 2017-18 campaign. Don't expect a massive rise in output going forward, though he clearly won't remain goalless the remainder of the season.

Jared Spurgeon, D, MIN

For those who play in leagues with blocks, Spurgeon still has value, as he's parried away 44 shots in 21 games. But beyond that stat, Spurgeon has been a major disappointment after posting 10 goals and 30 assists last season. Spurgeon has just two goals and five assists to date, and while his time on ice is relatively static compared to last year, the material change is that he's seeing almost two fewer minutes on the man-advantage on average. Unless that changes, look for his output to remain so-so.

Others include Cole Sillinger, Adrian Kempe, Alexander Holtz, Nick Robertson, Evgenii Dadonov, Torey Krug, Noah Hanifin, Joonas Korpisalo and Jake Allen.