n this weekly piece I will provide 5 players below 50% owned who should be looked into owning (Breakaways) and 5 players above 50% owned who are struggling (Benders). This doesn't mean you should drop the Benders but maybe they can ride the pine for a week to get their head back in the game. Generally, I am very skittish about dropping anyone above 90% owned unless they have shown 2+ months of really bad play. My rationale for the selections includes some looking through the box scores but a majority of it is with the eye test, watching the games.
Travis Konecny (C, Phi) 10% owned. He has not disappointed through 4 games, I think he will be a top 40 player in the NHL by the end of the year.
Tanner Pearson (LW, LA) 7% owned. Put him on the "watch list". The 24 year old is currently on the second line with Jeff Carter and Devin Setoguchi and has 3 goals in two games. He looks good on the line and he has the talent to put up sizeable numbers. The 30th overall pick in 2012 put up 91 points in the OHL over 60 games. It wouldn't be absurd to see him break 50 points if he can keep this composure up.
Mikko Koivu (C, Minn) 22% owned. He doesn't need to be 100% owned but I think he's primed for a solid year. 11 blocked shots in 4 games! 12th most faceoffs won! He'll probably net out to about 50 points and sneak in a few more PPP than he had last year (20 last year I think he gets 24-25 this year).
Troy Brouwer (RW, Cgy) 16% owned. Consider him like a seasonal stock. Buy in now - while the point production is there. The second line of Sam Bennet and Michael Ferland is working, he's on the top PP unit with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and he currently has 3 goals in 5 games (none on the power play - so there will be more coming). The hits will always be there with him, the points, not so much.
Jacob Markstrom (G, Van) 20% owned. I put heavy asterisk here. He's more of a watch and see. Two reasons to potentially be excited: 1. He filled in VERY admirably in Ryan Miller's absence. 2. The Canucks have shown in years past they will bench Miller if he is struggling. With this said - it was only three games and goalies get hot and cold all the time, Jacob is clearly hot right now.
Boone Jenner (C, CBJ) 73% owned. CBJ is looking like it's in store for another long year. Through 2 games, he's a robust -5 with 2 shots on goal. Granted it's just 2 games so I wouldn't blame you for holding on another week but initial views are not looking good.
David Krejci (C, Bos) 72% owned. I think I've said this in earlier articles but I'm not sold in Krejci having a good year. His shooting percentage was up 20% last year from the previous year. I think he sees a low 50 point year this year.
Jussi Jokinen (LW, Fla) 76% owned. I'm not sold on him from initial views, he doesn't look to be in 50+ point form. Shots are down, chemistry on that line seems off, only good part is his faceoff win percentage is up slightly.
Jake Muzzin (D, LA) 88% owned. Honestly - he's disposable at this point. You can find another 40 point defensemen if you look at the trends this year. 4 games in, 0 points, -3, 4 PIM and a paltry 5 shots on net, not worth it. If you think there is a market for him try to trade him but otherwise, I'm putting him in the Free Agent pool.
Brian Elliot (G, Cal) 86% owned. Don't drop him but DO bench him. He's clearly not fitting in well to Calgary's system right now. We will see over the next month how this all plays out.
**for anyone who does not know the term Bender: An ankle bender, a term for a player who bends their ankles when skating because they do not know how to skate. Obviously these guys know how to skate quite well, they are in the NHL. Furthermore, I hope they bounce back from what appears to be a short term struggle.