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Fantasy hockey picks: The top 6 to watch and skip

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking for fantasy hockey tips for the games ahead, you have come to the right place.

As the 2021 NHL season rolls on, fantasy hockey leagues are underway, with many looking to make the right moves to improve in the standings. Checking spreadsheets, comparing stats and deciding how to build a lineup comes with challenges and hiccups, especially with news that certain players–like Nikita Kucherov–are out with injuries.

While there are surprises in every season, each competitor puts forth their best effort to pick the surefire winners, who put up points across all categories. More than that, though, deciding who to skip can be equally as valuable, dodging the spectacular failures that result in goose eggs across categories and cost precious victories.

Check out our list of which players to pick–and skip–in fantasy hockey below.

Fantasy hockey picks

Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks

fantasy hockey picks: trevor zegras
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie forward is now just one point behind the Detroit Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond for the rookie point lead, netting 21 points in 24 games. He recently became the fourth rookie in 25 years to score multiple assists in consecutive games, joining Mathew Barzal, Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane.

On the season, Zegras has six goals and 15 assists, adding 24 penalty minutes and five power play points. He has three straight multi-point nights (hence that record) and, with Ryan Getzlaf on IR and Adam Henrique out, Zegras is making the most of his opportunity, making him a worthy addition to any fantasy hockey roster.

Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals

fantasy hocket picks: dmitry orlov
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the Capitals streaking, Dmitry Orlov is reaping the benefits. He’s the fifth leading scorer on the team, and the second-highest scoring defenseman, behind only John Carlson. Orlov is particularly beneficial in fantasy hockey leagues that count secondary scoring. In addition to his 14 points in 26 games, he is an impressive +19, adds 38 shots on net, 22 penalty minutes, 46 hits and 28 blocks.

As the Caps continue to surge, Orlov will definitely continue to be a valuable asset in fantasy hockey leagues.

Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames

fantasy hockey picks: dan vladar
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

As the Flames continue to dominate their division, Dan Vladar is only adding to their surprising success. Through each of his appearances, he has yet to record less than a .900 save percentage, adding to a total save percentage of .939 through six matchups. His 1.78 goals against average is equally as impressive, and both he and starter Jacob Markstrom have been carrying the Flames and, if he keeps playing like this, he will earn himself more ice time, which is only more attractive for fantasy hockey managers.

Fantasy hockey skips

Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings

For starters, Bertuzzi is currently in Covid protocols for his club, and is expected to miss five games as a result.

Secondly, Bertuzzi has not scored a goal in his last ten contests, adding only three assists in that time frame. He adds only two penalty minutes in that time frame, too, despite eating pretty heavy minutes for his club. Made worse, he cannot play any games in Canada because of his decision not to get vaccinated, giving him a disadvantage in terms of stats against other fantasy hockey players. He’s not performing well enough to make those missing games worth it, and is therefore a fantasy hockey skip.

Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes

fantasy hockets skips: jakob chychrun
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chyrchrun, just last season, was touted as one of the most effective blueliners with the man advantage. The young defenseman showed serious promise just last season, when he notched 41 points in 56 games, 14 of which were on the powerplay. He has a lethal shot from the point but, sadly, he’s not able to use it this season, with his team struggling heavily.

Chychrun is an eye-popping -29, and has only seven points in 25 contests this season. Only one of those seven points is on the power play. He’s hardly playing to his capability–though handicapped in part by his bottom-skimming team, and his fantasy hockey value has dropped significantly as a result.

Philipp Grubauer, Seattle Kraken

Last season, Grubauer stole games for the Colorado Avalanche, recording an absolutely wild 1.95 goals against average and .922 save percentage. This season, though, he’s just not that guy for his new team, the Seattle Kraken, who have not come into the league with gusto. Both he and Chris Driedger have over 3.00 goals against averages, and Grubauer has a pretty dismal .886 save percentage. Unless the Kraken can figure it out quickly, Grubauer’s value has decreases significantly and, therefore, he’s a big name that’s a pass on the fantasy hockey list.