Well, we are officially a month into the season. As the dust begins to settle, we are presented with a good idea of how each team will stack its lines, dress its power-play units and manage ice time. With that in mind, here is a look role shuffling and the fantasy impact for each of the 31 teams.
Anaheim Ducks: Injury woes continue for the Ducks, as Ryan Getzlaf is sidelined after he was hit in the face with a puck. It means fantasy owners will have to wait, yet again, for the Ducks offense to really start kicking into gear. Rickard Rakell still deserves to be on more rosters in ESPN leagues, as he'll be a staple with Getzlaf and Corey Perry when everyone is finally healthy.
Arizona Coyotes: Having their new No. 1 goaltender play all of 90 minutes in October was a recipe for a historic losing streak. But the streak is over, and the Coyotes enter November with a presumably healthy Antti Raanta, who could start Thursday. Raanta, who boasts a strong career save percentage of .917, should be a stabilizing factor for a Coyotes team that has already gone through a carousel of three other goaltenders -- all with a save percentage this season of .900 or less.
Boston Bruins: With David Backes opting to go under the knife and miss eight weeks, the Bruins are really being tested for their depth at center. David Krejci remains out with a back injury (and doesn't have a fantastic injury history in the NHL), while Ryan Spooner is out until mid-November with a groin injury. As we saw a little on Monday, the Bruins might be forced to go top-heavy on offense in the interim. It could be very good for a slow-starting David Pastrnak to see time with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Buffalo Sabres: Sam Reinhart's fantasy value is essentially nonexistent, as the Sabres boast Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly ahead of him on the depth chart at center. However, it's not like coach Phil Housley is forgetting he exists in the bottom six. Reinhart is fifth on the Sabres for power-play ice time per game. If Eichel or O'Reilly were to ever clear a path for him, Reinhart is being kept warm enough to contribute right away with a bigger role.
Calgary Flames: Jaromir Jagr is considered day-to-day in his return from a groin injury, and while Micheal Ferland has been more productive since Jagr was hurt than before his arrival, he's not blowing anyone's socks off while skating with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. Jagr should get another extended shot on the top line when he's healthy.
Carolina Hurricanes: Just like last season, the Hurricanes are being paced in fantasy value by a bottom-six forward. Jeff Skinner, as he did last season, is leading the charge for offense, despite playing on the third line. It's a strange situation: Why should the depth chart be changed if he can contribute in that role? However, make sure you remember that Skinner is doing this scoring from the third line. It means that a theoretical line shuffle putting him in a prime spot could potentially push his already decent fantasy value even higher.
Chicago Blackhawks: Looking to spark the offense, the Blackhawks moved Alex DeBrincat to a line with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik, while Brandon Saad skated with Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz. DeBrincat has points in two straight games and could be in for a short-term fantasy run. If both lines end up performing while he's in the top six, that run could be extended.
Colorado Avalanche: Sliding Gabriel Landeskog to the top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen paid immediate dividends for the Avalanche. The line combined for seven points and 11 shots on goal in beating the Blackhawks on Saturday. Landeskog and Rantanen are available in close to 70 percent of ESPN leagues.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Don't sleep on Josh Anderson. Even before Cam Atkinson was sidelined with an illness, Anderson was playing with Artemi Panarin and Nick Foligno. All six of his points have come in the past eight games, and he's spiked past 19 minutes of ice time in the past two contests.
Dallas Stars: There's Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov and John Klingberg, and then there's everyone else. No other skater has made a push to be worthy of rostering in fantasy leagues this season. Even Jason Spezza has seen his reduced ice time push him into irrelevance. Really, the only skater with an outside shot of relevance at this point is Devin Shore, who gets to join the aforementioned foursome on the top power-play unit.
Detroit Red Wings: With 10 shots and two points in three games, Andreas Athanasiou has looked strong in his return from a contract holdout. He's playing with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha on a youth line of sorts, and he's also getting power-play time with the aforementioned linemates. Athanasiou had a modest 18 goals last season, but an increase in both ice time and responsibility should allow him to push into low-end fantasy relevance this season.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers power play needs to be way better than 29th, considering the players deployed on offense. There have been no indications that it might happen yet, but the Oilers might need to consider changing things up at some point. Right now, Oscar Klefbom and Matthew Benning are the leading defensemen for power-play time, but they have one power-play assist between them. Keep an eye on Darnell Nurse, who is slowly earning more responsibility with the team and only trails Klefbom by five shots on goal, despite playing five fewer minutes per game.
Florida Panthers: With nine points in his past five games, it's pretty clear Evgeni Dadonov is settling back into North American hockey just fine. With his chemistry on full display with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, fantasy owners still have a small window to get him on rosters. He jumped from being on 69 percent of fantasy teams in ESPN leagues on Monday to 76 percent as of Thursday.
Los Angeles Kings: While Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have earned fantasy attention early in the season, the third member of the Kings top line has not. But, as both Kopitar and coach John Stevens suggest, it's only a matter of time before Alex Iafallo starts contributing. Iafallo was among the top-15 scorers in the NCAA last season.
Montreal Canadiens: Charles Hudon's three-point night on Monday didn't come out of nowhere. He's actually tied with Shea Weber for second on the Canadiens for shots on goal, despite averaging fewer than 14 minutes per game. Hudon was on a line with Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec for his offensive outburst and could secure low-end fantasy value until we see the Habs get their house in order. Jonathan Drouin and Alex Galchenyuk both played in the bottom six on Monday, so this is clearly not the depth chart that will be used in the long term going forward.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild are starting to get healthier, but that's a relative term for a squad challenging the Ducks for the most impactful injuries so far this season. Charlie Coyle is still gone another month, and Zach Parise is still gone another two. Nino Niederreiter made his return from an ankle injury on Tuesday and notched an assist while skating with Eric Staal. Mikael Granlund has looked unproductive in four games since a return from injury, though. The Wild have the pieces, but they just don't have the right combinations on the ice yet. Have some patience with Staal, Granlund, Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu as they get a late start on settling in together.
Nashville Predators: Set a reminder in your calendar now that you have about one more month before it's time to start playing waiver-wire chicken with your league mates for Ryan Ellis. Expected back in late December or early January, Ellis will be a fantasy-relevant defenseman for the final three-plus months of the season. If you can afford the dead weight on your roster now, there's no harm in stashing him. Just be wary that if you grab him now and have to drop him again before his return, you're signalling to your fellow fantasy players that you are on to him.
New Jersey Devils: It's not unusual to see a goaltender contributing in only one or two categories, but it is somewhat unusual to see success in wins and save percentage, but not in goals-against average. Cory Schneider has a 6-1-0 record with a sterling .921 save percentage, yet his GAA stands at a less than ideal 2.84. It's a sign of an improved Devils offense at the expense of the team's defense. They are scoring enough goals to get him the wins, but also allowing the fourth-most shots per game. This improved showing by Schneider is for real, though. His .921 save percentage is actually lower than his career .922 save percentage.
New York Islanders: John Tavares either fits with a winger, or he doesn't. Unfortunately for Jordan Eberle, things don't look as splendid as they did in the offseason. The pair were broken up midway through a game with the Wild on Oct. 26 and have stayed apart since then. During those three games, Tavares has five goals and Eberle's replacement, Josh Bailey, has seven assists. Bailey, as he has in the past, can ride with Tavares and contribute enough for fantasy relevance. Eberle, meantime, should have his expectations significantly downgraded.
New York Rangers: With minimal ice time, Pavel Buchnevich is quietly having himself a great start to his sophomore campaign. More often than not, he's playing on the top line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. So far, he has five goals and five assists in 13 games, fueled by 31 shots on goal in just 14:47 of average ice time.
Ottawa Senators: Chris DiDomenico already had five points in four AHL games before he was called up to the Senators to replace an injured Bobby Ryan. Then he got himself a depth-chart promotion when Kyle Turris fell ill. During the past three games without Ryan or Turris, DiDomenico has two goals and three assists playing with Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Here's hoping than even with Turris' imminent return, DiDomenico keeps getting time in the top six.
Philadelphia Flyers: The Blackhawks dominated the Flyers on Wednesday, but check out Ivan Provorov's box score from Monday: Three assists, a plus-2 and seven shots on goal in 28:07. As you might have guessed, Shayne Gostisbehere missed that game, along with the Chicago contest in which Provorov played 29:51. The only thing standing in the way of Provorov becoming a fantasy monster is Gostisbehere, so be at the ready if anything happens here.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins continue to juggle lines while they wait for one or more units to really start clicking at even strength. Sixteen of the Penguins' 39 goals this season have come on the man advantage. Power-play points account for almost 60 percent of the points scored by Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang (30 out of 51 points). The latest moves have Crosby, Malkin and Kessel all playing on different lines. This throws the value up in the air for Conor Sheary, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust, who all need consistency with these superstars to achieve for their fantasy owners.
San Jose Sharks: Tim Heed put up 56 points in 55 games as an AHL rookie last season. Now he's getting first-unit power-play time alongside Brent Burns for the Sharks. The result has been seven points (three of them on the power play) in 10 games this season. He needs to be added to most fantasy rosters.
St. Louis Blues: Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn have only been together for four games as the top line. In that span, they've been on the ice together for six goals for and one against. The combination should stick, as the second line of Alexander Steen, Vladimir Sobotka and Paul Stastny have three goals for and one against during the same span. The two Vladimirs flipped lines partway through the Oct. 21 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Blues have won all four games since.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Only 34 players since the 1987-88 season have managed 24 points or more in the first 13 games of the season, which is an 82-game pace of 151 points. The last player to accomplish this before Steven Stamkos this year was Sidney Crosby in the 2014-15 season, which saw Crosby's pace slow to 84 points. Before that, Peter Forsberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Eric Staal, Jason Spezza, Simon Gagne and Dany Heatley all had at least 24 points in the first 13 games of the 2005-06 season. None of them finished with more than 103 points. The point here? If you have Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov on your team and you aren't winning your league so far, it's OK to start exploring a trade and selling high. If you aren't winning with them now, you need to make changes. Their scoring pace is going to slow down, probably a lot.
Toronto Maple Leafs: After being mixed back into a scoring line for a couple of games, Mitch Marner found himself back on the fourth line on Wednesday. Tyler Bozak found himself there with Marner. Both players are minus-9 and are finding themselves increasingly out of the mix for coach Mike Babcock's offense. Both are probably rostered in too many leagues (Marner at 89 percent, Bozak at 41).
Vancouver Canucks: It might not be worth a lot to fantasy owners in 2017-18, but it appears the patience with Jacob Markstrom by the Canucks is paying off. Once upon a time, the Canucks traded Roberto Luongo for Markstrom, and they've been playing the slow game with his development since then. Markstrom played his first NHL game in January 2011, but has still only started 104 games since then. Markstrom is still only 27 years old, and we are starting to see glimpses of his upside. So far this season, he's allowed more than two goals in only two of nine appearances and sports a relatively impressive .916 save percentage. Unfortunately, the wins have been -- and will be -- hard to come by for this Canucks team. But next year ...
Vegas Golden Knights: While it's tempting to spend time here discussing the improbability of the Golden Knights being down to their fourth-string netminder, the more pressing fantasy news is that Shea Theodore made his season debut on Tuesday. He skated only 16:06, yet led all defensemen in power-play time for the team. In the AHL this season, Theodore has five goals and 11 points in eight games, which are just silly numbers for a blueliner. Obviously, he has some significant upside on the Knights power play.
Washington Capitals: After Jakub Vrana was bumped from the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Caps tried Alex Chiasson in the role. He got only one game there before he was bumped by Devante Smith-Pelly. Smith-Pelly scored a goal in his first game in the role on Saturday, but was then bumped for Vrana by the third period against the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Vrana had five points in his first six games of the season in the top-line role, but cooled off since. Smith-Pelly appears to be back in for Thursday's game, and the carousel goes around again. Still, it's worth following, as any permanence on a line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov will breed points for the winger.
Winnipeg Jets: Kyle Connor has five points in six games, but his playing time in the top six comes at the expense of the injured Mathieu Perreault. Perreault skated on Wednesday as he rehabs an injured knee and could be back in less than two weeks time. Connor's fantasy value likely has an expiration date tied to Perreault's return. However, if he keeps up his pace in the meantime, the Jets will find him a role.