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Fantasy Hockey: Early Season Line Beneficiaries

A few players who are in the right circumstances

NHL: Preseason-Ottawa Senators at Chicago Blackhawks Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

You have the core talented guys, they have all been drafted and if you are in a half way competent league no one is moving anyone anytime soon as they wait to see how this season unfolds. One advantage you can have and utilize with an open bench spot is to grab someone who joins these top lines and becomes a beneficiary of the aforementioned talent. Below are five players who started the season alongside some stars and are under 50% owned. (all stat references were before Fridays games)

  • Elias Lindholm (Calgary, 43% owned). I highlighted this in the forecaster article but he’s on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Moynihan. He is also on their top power play unit and has 2 power play points already.
  • Conor Sheary (Buffalo, 16% owned). He is sitting on the top line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. It’s not quite like playing with Sidney Crosby as he did in Pittsburgh but he’s doing well. Through four games he has two goals and three points including two power play points. They are testing him on the top line and it remains to be seen if he wins the audition but he’s certainly off to a good start.
  • Dominik Kahun (Chicago, 2% owned). He is now sitting on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat and it is working well. He has 3 points in four games, he’s a +3 and if he stays in this this spot he will be a great deep league pickup. This is his first stint in the NHL, he had 41 points in 42 games in the German league last year.
  • Alex Iafallo (LA, 7% owned). Four points and a +5 in four games, Alex has two things helping him. First he’s on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Ilya Kovalchuk (who just got his first goal back in the NHL the other night) and second he is a grinder who brings hits and blocked shots with the production. He’s in his second season with the Kings and it’s fair to say that prolonged time on the top line will allow him to top the 25 points and 9 goals he had last season.
  • Nikolay Goldobin (Vancouver, 3% owned). Sitting on the second line with Loui Ericsson and Elias Petterson who is the early favorite to win the Calder, Nikolay has a goal and two assists in four games. I’m not very optimistic about Nikolay but he definitely caught my gaze with the early production.

Line combinations are very fluid and will be subject to change. These five guys are definitely benefiting from their situation, for now. I would not recommend dropping any player who is more than 90% owned for one of these players but feel free to reach on the deeper leagues for these players and reap the short term (and hopefully long term) success.