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NHL players to add for each statistical category

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Three Ducks and a Pair of Panthers headline this week's group of players to target in every category of fantasy hockey.  (Getty)

Three Ducks and a Pair of Panthers headline this week’s group of players to target in every category of fantasy hockey. (Getty)

In fantasy hockey, you may want to hold onto your Anaheim Ducks.

For the second week in a row, Anaheim has four games scheduled, meaning some of the team’s players will continue to be useful to fantasy hockey managers.

As #DuckSZN lives on, there are also players from other squads worthy of ripping out of your league’s waiver for week 3.

Here’s one player for each category that I recommend adding for your upcoming matchup.

Goals: C Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets (52% rostered on Yahoo)

I’m cheating a bit here because Pierre-Luc Dubois is in over 50 percent of Yahoo competitions, but listen to me.

The 2020-21 season has been an unusually bad year for the Jets centre, but his strong start to this season proves that last year was just an anomaly.

AN coaching conflict and mid-season trade are almost never the ingredients for a successful season, but now, in his second year at Winnipeg, Dubois seems to be getting it all done. Over five games, the third overall pick of 2016 has netted four goals and two assists, including two power play points. Posted on the second line of the Jets and the top PP unit, his 18:34 average time on the ice is a good indicator of continued production. He has also performed in the defensive categories, having made four blocks and five hits. Winnipeg has three games scheduled for the coming week, but Dubois looks set to be stuck for a season.

Assists: C/LW Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks (38%)

Some players are just too good to let them sit on the remote, and Trevor Zegras is one of those guys.

The youngster struggled to start the 2021-22 season, with just one assist in six action games. The thing with a player like Zegras, though, is that he can strike at any time, and if you don’t act now, you’ll probably be too late.

The thing that gives me more and more confidence in a Zegras breakout is that we’ve already seen him deliver strong results at the AHL and NHL level. Last year, Zegras scored a total of 10 goals and 21 points in 17 games with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego. At Anaheim, he scored three goals and 13 points in 24 games, which is quite impressive for a freshman.

With minutes on the first line and the best power play unit, the results will be out soon.

Plus-minus: LW/RW Anthony Duclair, Florida Panthers (28%)

If you get the chance to add a player who plays front-line for the best team in the NHL, take it.

That’s right, Anthony Duclair, who gets to play alongside Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe, is available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues, but that will change before week 3 ends.

The only reason Duclair’s roster percentage is lower than others is because of his ice age. The winger has an average of just 11:16, but that’s mainly because he doesn’t play in special teams.

But for plus-minus purposes, that doesn’t matter. He’s a real plus-six with three goals this year, and the Panthers have four games this week.

Powerplay Points: D Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks (12%)

Cam Fowler has racked up four points this season and they have all made it into the power play.

What makes this even more impressive, though, is that he did it while playing on the Ducks’ second power play unit. However, head coach Dallas Eakins has deployed both units fairly evenly in 2021-22, which is why it’s worth getting your hands on Fowler next week.

In addition to his production on the man advantage, Fowler has also delivered solid defensive category numbers. In six games, he collected three hits and 11 shot blocks.

Shots on Target: RW Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings (17%)

After a revival season in 2020-21, Dustin Brown has continued his success so far this year.

The Kings captain has two goals and five points to his name in five games. In addition, Brown has peppered puckstoppers this year, 17 shots in all. With a brisk stream of minutes coming his way as he served in Los Angeles’ frontline and top power play unit, there’s nothing to indicate his production will wane.

Brown has also racked up 11 hits this season, making him an increasingly valuable target in banger leagues. He and the Kings will play four games this week.

Faceoffs won: C/LW Christian Dvorak, Montreal Canadiens (20%)

While the Canadiens have become a foul that should be almost completely avoided, Christian Dvorak is a solid addition for managers who need some draw wins in week 3.

His 65 draws to start this season ranks sixth in the league, and it’s a continuation of the success he had last year. In 2020-21, Dvorak’s 553 wins ranked ninth in the NHL.

Although he has only scored one goal and two assists in six games, he averages 19:26 time on the ice as he sees the bet on the first PP unit. He also blocked seven shots, which isn’t bad for an attacker. He and the Habs will play four games this week.

Hits: D Radko Gudas, Florida Panthers (41%)

Radko Gudas, the NHL’s best bonebreaker, is the go-to option for those looking to score their hits.

Last season Gudas led the entire competition with 250 goals and in 2021-22 he will return to his old tricks. Over five games, the Panthers blueliner has handed out 24 body checks, including seven in his most recent appearance.

The physical rear has been a solid contributor to the start of this campaign in other respects as well, with two assists, nine blocks and a plus-six rating.

With four games in week 3, Gudas will move close to the top of the hit leaders this week.

Blocks: D Kevin Shattenkirk, Anaheim Ducks (55%)

Kevin Shattenkirk is the last Ducks player on the list, I promise.

It’s hard to find a lot of players blocking shots and doing other things, but Shattenkirk is doing just that this season. Over five games, the defender has blocked a respectable 12 shots, while also racking up three goals and six points, half of which were in the power play.

With an average TOI of 19:33, Shattenkirk is engaged enough to consider four matches in week 3.

Goalkeeping: G Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton Oilers (47%)

While Mike Smith’s lower body injury may have created a temporary opening for Mikko Koskinen to make some appearances, he has been shown well enough to believe he may be stealing some starts from Smith as the season goes on.

In his three appearances this year, Koskinen has racked up three wins, a save rate of 0.943, averaging 2.03 goals against average and 1.6 goals more than expected. per MoneyPuck.

The important thing to remember in all of this is that Smith is 39 years old. It’s unrealistic to expect a netminder, especially one at Smith’s age, to handle a full workload over an 82 game season. Edmonton will need Koskinen to mix quite often to keep Smith fresh. And if Koskinen can support a 1B job, that will be very imaginative for an Oilers team rolling.

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