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Fantasy Adds & Drops: Splurge on Spurgeon

Every week, PHT will aim to help its readers by providing some fantasy hockey advice. This column will try to help you navigate through the rough waters of your league’s waiver wire.

We’ll tell you which players owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues need to be added and we’ll also look at players it’s time to cut ties with.

Here we go:

Adds:

Jared Spurgeon-D- Minnesota Wild (owned in 44 percent of leagues)

The Wild blue liner has been out with a groin injury for the last couple of weeks, but head coach Bruce Boudreau mentioned that he’s already started skating. Despite missing the last six games, he’s still on pace to hit the 50-point mark this season. Even if he misses another game or two, he’s certainly worth adding off the waiver wire. Pick him up before someone else does.

Tom Wilson-LW/RW- Washington Capitals (44 percent)

Wilson has been putting up points lately, as he has seven points during a three-game point streak. I don’t expect that type of offensive output to continue, but he’s certainly worth adding if you play in a league that awards points for penalty minutes.

Reilly Smith-LW/RW- Vegas Golden Knights (35 percent)

Somehow, the Golden Knights and their players continue to get the job done. Smith was an afterthought when Vegas acquired him from the Panthers, but he’s been terrific so far. He has 22 points in 29 games this season, which puts him on pace to surpass the 60-point mark. Smith doesn’t have a high ceiling, but his floor appears to be pretty stable.

[More Fantasy: Check out RotoWorld’s Waiver Wired column]

Tyler Johnson-C- Tampa Bay Lightning (32 percent)

While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov were getting off to ridiculous starts, Johnson came out of the gate pretty slowly. On the bright side, he seems to have woken up. Johnson is currently riding a four-game point streak and he’s picked up points in six of his last seven games. Can he keep it up though?

Tomas Hertl-C/LW- San Jose Sharks (27 percent)

For the first time this season, Hertl has collected at least one point in three straight games. It’s probably still a little early to trust him with an add, but I just wanted to make sure he popped up on your fantasy radar. He’s currently on pace to hit the 20-goal plateau for the second time in his career. Hertl is also seeing plenty of ice time, so this could be the start of a good scoring run for him.

Kyle Connor-LW- Winnipeg Jets (17 percent)

I’ve mentioned Connor’s name in this column a couple of times, but he continues to be under-valued in fantasy. The 21-year-old is on pace to score over 30 goals and almost 60 points this season. He appears to be over the lower-body injury that cost him a game last week, so there’s no reason not to pick him up.

[RotoWorld’s In the Crease column has all your fantasy goalie advice]

Drops:

Cam Atkinson-RW- Columbus Blue Jackets (62 percent)

After he scored 35 goals last year, nobody could have predicted the meteoric slide that Atkinson has been on this season. The Jackets still rewarded him with a contract extension a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t woken him up from his slumber. Finally, on Saturday night, head coach John Tortorella decided to make him a healthy scratch. Atkinson has no points in his last six games and just two goals (in the same game) in his last 15.

Brendan Gallagher-RW- Montreal Canadiens (59 percent)

Gallagher has had a terrific season for the Canadiens, but there’s no way he’s going to be able to hit the 35-goal pace he’s currently on. The Habs winger hasn’t picked up a point in three games and he’s carried a minus-5 rating during that stretch. Gallagher is the heart-and-soul of the Canadiens, but that doesn’t translate into fantasy points.

Malcolm Subban-G- Vegas Golden Knights (46 percent)

Now that Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) has been activated off the injured list, Subban won’t see as much action. In fairness to Subban, he’s been really good when called upon this season, but he simply doesn’t need to be owned in any fantasy leagues unless Fleury is injured again.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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    2018 NHL Draft Tracker: Rounds 2-7

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    After a lengthy first round on Friday, NHL teams are tearing through rounds 2-7 in a blur on Saturday. Not every name will stand out as of this writing, but GMs often unearth their biggest, franchise-turning bargains when they get in the weeds.

    Before we get to today’s picks, let’s review some of the earlier action revolving around the top 31 selections.

    This post will be regularly updated with picks coming in rapidly.

    ***

    Round 2
    32. Buffalo – Mattias Samuelsson, D, NTDP
    33. Detroit (from OTT via NYR) – Jonatan Berggren, W, Sweden
    34. Florida (from ARI) – Serron Noel, W, OHL
    35. Montreal – Jesse Ylonen, W, Finland
    36. Detroit – Jared McIsaac, D, QMJHL
    37. Vancouver – Jett Woo, D, WHL
    38. Montreal (from CHI) – Alexander Romanov, D, Russia
    39. NY Rangers – Olof Lindbom, First Goalie Taken, Sweden
    40. Edmonton – Ryan McLeod, C, OHL
    41. NY Islanders – Bode Wilde, D, NTDP
    42. Carolina – Jack Drury, C, USHL
    43. NY Islanders (from CGY) – Ruslan Iskhakov, C, Russia
    44. Dallas – Albin Eriksson, W, Sweden
    45. St. Louis – Scott Perunovich, D, NCHC
    46. Washington (from FLA via NJD) – Martin Fehervary, D, Sweden
    47. Colorado – Kody Clark, W, OHL
    48. NY Rangers (from NJD) – Jonathan Tychonick, D, BCHL
    49. Columbus – Kirill Marchenko, W, Russia
    50. Philadelphia – Adam Ginning, D, Sweden
    51. Los Angeles – Akil Thomas, C, OHL
    52. Toronto (from SJS)
    53. Pittsburgh
    54. Anaheim
    55. Arizona (from MIN)
    56. Montreal (from TOR)
    57. Boston
    58. Colorado (from NSH)
    59. Tampa Bay
    60. Winnipeg
    61. Vegas
    62. Montreal (from WSH)Round 3
    63. Minnesota (from BUF)
    64. Pittsburgh (from OTT)
    65. Arizona
    66. Montreal
    67. Detroit
    68. Vancouver
    69. Chicago
    70. NY Rangers
    71. Edmonton
    72. NY Islanders
    73. Arizona (from CAR)
    74. Arizona (from CGY)
    75. Dallas
    76. St. Louis
    77. Boston (from FLA)
    78. Colorado
    79. Anaheim (from NJD)
    80. Columbus
    81. Detroit (from PHI)
    82. Los Angeles
    83. Toronto (from SJS)
    84. Detroit (from PIT)
    85. Anaheim
    86. Minnesota
    87. Chicago (from TOR via NJD and WSH)
    88. NY Rangers (from BOS)
    89. Nashville
    90. Tampa Bay
    91. Winnipeg
    92. Minnesota (from VGK)
    93. WashingtonRound 4
    94. Buffalo
    95. Ottawa
    96. Carolina (from ARI)
    97. Montreal
    98. Detroit
    99. Vegas (from VAN via PIT)
    100. Dallas (from CHI)
    101. NY Rangers
    102. Montreal (from EDM)
    103. NY Islanders
    104. Carolina
    105. Calgary
    106. Dallas
    107. St. Louis
    108. Calgary (from FLA)
    109. Colorado
    110. New Jersey
    111. Nashville (from CBJ)
    112. Philadelphia
    113. Los Angeles
    114. San Jose
    115. Vegas (from PIT via TBL)
    116. Anaheim
    117. Buffalo (from MIN)
    118. Toronto
    119. Boston
    120. Chicago (from NSH)
    121. Tampa Bay
    122. Montreal (from WPG)
    123. Florida (from VGK)
    124. WashingtonRound 5
    125. Buffalo
    126. Ottawa
    127. Philadelphia (from ARI)
    128. Montreal
    129. Pittsburgh (from DET)
    130. Vancouver
    131. Nashville (from CHI)
    132. NY Rangers
    133. Edmonton
    134. NY Islanders
    135. Vegas (from CAR)
    136. New Jersey (from CGY via ARI)
    137. Dallas
    138. St. Louis
    139. Florida
    140. Colorado
    141. New Jersey
    142. Chicago (from CBJ)
    143. Philadelphia
    144. Los Angeles
    145. San Jose
    146. Pittsburgh
    147. Anaheim
    148. Minnesota
    149. Toronto
    150. Winnipeg (from BOS)
    151. Nashville
    152. Tampa Bay
    153. Winnipeg
    154. Vegas
    155. Minnesota (from WSH)Round 6
    156. Buffalo
    157. Ottawa
    158. Arizona
    159. Detroit (from MTL)
    160. Detroit
    161. Vancouver
    162. Chicago
    163. NY Rangers
    164. Edmonton
    165. Los Angeles (from NYI)
    166. Carolina
    167. Calgary
    168. Dallas
    169. St. Louis
    170. Florida
    171. Colorado
    172. New Jersey
    173. Columbus
    174. Philadelphia
    175. Los Angeles
    176. San Jose
    177. Pittsburgh
    178. Anaheim
    179. Minnesota
    180. Vegas (from TOR)
    181. Boston
    182. San Jose (from NSH)
    183. Tampa Bay
    184. Winnipeg
    185. Vegas
    186. WashingtonRound 7
    187. Buffalo
    188. Ottawa
    189. Arizona
    190. Philadelphia (from MTL)
    191. Detroit
    192. Vancouver
    193. Chicago
    194. Ottawa (from NYR)
    195. Edmonton
    196. NY Islanders
    197. Carolina
    198. Calgary
    199. Dallas
    200. St. Louis
    201. Florida
    202. Colorado
    203. New Jersey
    204. Columbus
    205. Philadelphia
    206. Tampa Bay (from LAK)
    207. San Jose
    208. Pittsburgh
    209. Toronto (from ANA)
    210. Minnesota
    211. Toronto
    212. Boston
    213. Nashville
    214. Tampa Bay
    215. Winnipeg
    216. Carolina (from VGK)
    217. Washington

    Ilya Kovalchuk, LA Kings agree to three-year deal

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    DALLAS — The Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes has come to an end and the Los Angeles Kings are the big winners.

    As the second day of the 2018 NHL Draft got under way, the Kings announced they’ve agreed to terms on a three-year contract which carries a $6.25 million cap hit per season.

    “We are excited to add Ilya to the LA Kings organization. He gives us an added element of skill and scoring along with a desire to win. We will withhold further comment until July 1,” said Kings general manager Blake.

    Kovalchuk last played in the NHL during the 2013 season before retiring to go play in the KHL. While he was “retired” the Devils still held his rights until his 35th birthday this past April. Any attempts to make a comeback prior to turning 35 meant that teams would have had to go through the Devils to make a deal.

    After leaving New Jersey, Kovalchuk spent the last four seasons with SKA St. Petersburg helping them win two Gagarin Cups. This past February, he lead the Olympic Athletes From Russia to a gold medal at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

    It was eight years ago that the Kings tried to acquire Kovalchuk from the Atlanta Thrashers before the Devils stepped in with a better offer. According to ESPN, the Thrashers GM wanted Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds in return, but then-Kings GM Dean Lombardi refused to give up those young pieces in return.

    There were a number of teams in the Kovalchuk hunt this time as well, with many pegging the San Jose Sharks as favorites. GM Doug Wilson did a good job of clearing cap space in order to present an enticing offer for the Russian forward, but now the can shift their focus to John Tavares, if he decides to explore the market.

    ————

    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    Boynton, Carcillo sue NHL over head injuries, brain damage

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    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Former NHL players Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are suing the league, alleging it failed to warn players about the long-term risk of brain damage from fighting.

    The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota says Boynton and Carcillo continued to play hockey despite head injuries. They now both suffer from long-term, degenerative brain damage.

    Carcillo, a forward whose nickname was “Car Bomb” for his penchant for delivering hard hits, skated for five NHL teams over nine seasons. He won a Stanley Cup in 2013 with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Boynton, a defenseman who totaled 862 penalty minutes over 605 career NHL games, skated for six teams over 12 years.

    Dozens of former players are already part of a similar lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota.

    For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

    2018 NHL Draft Tracker – Round 1

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    Once you moved beyond the premium picks, the 2018 NHL Draft became “The Year of the Mobile Defensemen.” Almost half of the first round featured defensive picks, most of whom fit the mold of the modern, attacking NHL.

    The draft began with two predictable top picks, and then the drama escalated once the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators came into the mix. Maybe hockey fans should just get used to that, as those franchises stir things up more than any others?

    Early on, it seems like the Red Wings and Islanders rank among the biggest winners once you push beyond the slam-dunk picks. Time, of course, will tell if that’s even remotely accurate.

    Check out the first round results below, along with some early analysis. The remainder of the 2018 NHL Draft takes place early on Saturday.

    Round 1

    1. Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Dahlin, Defenseman, Frolunda (Sweden)

    “He is a terrific skater and stick handler who can rush the puck, or join the attack in a hurry. Impressive agility makes him a good one-on-one defender. He has fine passing ability, and although not a big-time bomber, he has an accurate shot from the point.” – Elite Prospects.

    Dahlin is the most hyped defensive prospect in years, if not decades. Some say we haven’t seen this kind of excitement for a defenseman since Denis Potvin. Yeah.

    2. Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov, Winger, Barrie (OHL)

    “Svechnikov has size, speed and skill. He can play a power game or a finesse game, make plays or score goals any way they can be scored – off the rush, one timers from far out, getting his nose dirty in front of the net or off the cycle.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.

    3. Montreal Canadiens – Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Center, Assat (Finland)

    “A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up. Positions himself well and often seems to be a step ahead of plays.” -Matias Strozyk, Elite Prospects.

    4. Ottawa Senators – Brady Tkachuk, W, Boston University (NCAA)

    “Tkachuk is a lot less refined and less polished than the other elite picks but the big raw-boned winger plays a hard driving, aggravating power and agitation game.” McKenzie, TSN.

    5. Arizona Coyotes – Barrett Hayton, C, S.S. Marie (OHL)

    “Very smart two-way centre who contributes in all areas of the game and has potential to be a very key player.” TSN.

    6. Detroit Red Wings – Filip Zadina, W, Halifax (QMJHL)

    “Filip Zadina is a dynamic offensive forward that plays a complete game. A deft and agile skater, he exhibits explosive mobility both up and down the ice. In all three zones, he proactively looks to create problems for the opposition.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    7. Vancouver Canucks – Quinn Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)

    “He plays a go-go-go offensive game, at times more like a rover than a defenceman. He’s fearless, not afraid to make high risk, high reward but also high danger plays.” TSN.

    8. Chicago Blackhawks – Adam Boqvist, D (Sweden)

    “A dynamic offensive defenceman that can carry plays with the puck on his stick. A highly mobile and nimble skater that moves with fluidity, balance, and confidence. Utilizes an active stick and creates turnovers frequently. Could be more proactive in his own end …” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    9. New York Rangers –  Vitali Kravtsov, W, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

    “A big, skilled winger that can play up and down the lineup and provide scoring in a number of roles. He brings grit and physical size, but could be more assertive in throwing his weight around more.” Elite Prospects.

    10. Edmonton Oilers – Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)

    “A highly intelligent all-around defenceman that plays with poise and can shift the pace of play in a multitude of ways. Showcases smooth four-way skating ability and loves to get involved in all situations – especially when that situation happens to be an up-ice rush.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    11. New York Islanders – Oliver Wahlstrom, W, NTDP

    “Offensively, he might be described as uncontainable: the confidence he has in his individual puck skill, paired with a high level of thinking, makes him a difficult cog to take out of alignment. He is able to create opportunities for himself, as well as teammates, out of nothing; this, in turn, translates to energy on the ice and in the building as a whole.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    12. New York Islanders (from Flames) – Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

    “Dobson is a strong skater with a high degree of creativity, vision and offensive prowess. Scouts feel we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.

    13. Dallas Stars – Ty Dellandrea, C, Flint (OHL)

    “Very strong two-way centre who plays all situations and can contribute offensively and defensively. Terrific improvement.” TSN.

    14. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blues) – Joel Farabee, W, NTDP

    “Plays all situations in the game with full understanding and has the skills to contribute offensively.” Craig Button, TSN.

    15. Florida Panthers – Grigori Denisenko, (Russia)

    “Highly skilled, very dynamic offensive player who is a very dangerous player and capable of quick strike scoring.” Craig Button, TSN.

    16. Colorado Avalanche – Martin Kaut, W, Parduice (Czech Extraliga)

    “All the skill to be a top six winger who is capable of scoring and being a playmaker.” Craig Button, TSN.

    17. New Jersey Devils – Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL)

    “Elite skating defender whose upside is not far off from the top defenders in the 2018 class.” ISS Hockey.

    18. Columbus Blue Jackets – Liam Foudy, C, London (WHL)

    “Great speed that creates opportunities for his team and makes life uncomfortable for opponents. Catalyst type player.” Craig Button, TSN.

    19. Philadelphia Flyers – Jay O’Brien, C, Thayer (USHS)

    “Smart with a quick mind and very good hands where he can make a play or finish a play. Improvement as good as any player.” Craig Button, TSN.

    20. Los Angeles Kings – Rasmus Kupari, C, Karpat (Finland)

    “Slick Finnish forward, very dangerous with the puck on his stick, always a threat offensively.” – ISS Hockey.

    21. San Jose Sharks – Ryan Merkley, D, Guelph (OHL)

    “There is chatter that he’s a bad teammate/uncoachable. He’s also one of the most purely gifted playmaking defencemen not named Rasmus Dahlin that we’ve seen in recent years. None of Timothy Liljegren, Erik Brannstrom or even Cale Makar had his kind of creativity in 2017. Nor did Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev or Charlie McAvoy in 2016.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (paywall).

    22. New York Rangers (from Ottawa Senators, previously from Penguins) – K’Andre Miller, D, Wisconsin (NCAA)

    The Rangers traded up to make this choice.

    “Strong skating, puck carrying defenceman who can quickly get the play moving forward. Athletic with excellent potential.” Craig Button, TSN.

    23. Anaheim Ducks – Isac Lundestrom, (Sweden)

    “Very versatile and can adapt to different positions and play in different slots in the lineup. Very smart with good skill.” Craig Button, TSN.

    24. Minnesota Wild – Filip Johansson, D (Sweden)

    Some believe Paul Fenton made a reach with his first pick as Wild GM.

    25. St. Louis Blues (from Toronto Maple Leafs) – Dominik Bokk, W (Sweden)

    “A hungry scorer who likes to shoot the puck and gets himself into scoring spots and has a very good shot.” Craig Button, TSN.

    26. Ottawa Senators (from New York Rangers, previously from Bruins) – Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, North Dakota (NCAA)

    “Steady presence, never gets burned, headed the NCAA route out of the AJHL,” – Scott Wheeler.

    27. Chicago Blackhawks (from Predators) – Nicolas Beaudin, DDrummondville (QMJHL)

    “Nicolas Beaudin is a diminutive yet cunning defenceman that is able to use his size to his advantage. His mobility is all but elite at this point; he primarily uses his speed to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    28. New York Rangers (from Lightning) – Nils Lundkvist, (Sweden)

    “Acquitted himself very well in the Swedish top league as a 17-year old. Smart and knows how to take advantage of his skills.” Craig Button, TSN.

    29. Toronto Maple Leafs (from St. Louis Blues, previously from Jets) – Rasmus Sandin, D, S.S. Marie (OHL)

    “Not big in stature but he plays a strong game in all areas. Skates, thinks, makes plays with puck and competes.” Craig Button, TSN.

    30. Detroit Red Wings (from Golden Knights) – Joe Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)

    Veleno dropped in the first round after being one of the few players (along with the likes of John Tavares and Connor McDavid) of being granted “exceptional player” status.

    “The fleet-footed center is unselfish and will primarily look to make a play at top speed; however, when the chance arises to put it in the pot himself, he will capitalize. He sees the ice well and is rarely caught out of position. His defensive game is refined and he actively pursues puck control.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    31. Washington Capitals – Alexander Alexeyev, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

    “He’s a mobile puckmover in the mold of the modern NHL defenders.” Mike Vogl, Washington Capitals website.