Fantasy hockey forecaster: March 21 to March 27

The Winnipeg Jets have the best schedule next week, but will center Andrew Copp still be there? Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Not all trades are going to have fantasy consequences. Take Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers or Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche. Stalwart moves. Not fantasy moves.

Chiarot should stay on the edge of relevancy, where he's averaged 1.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) this season, but isn't a lock to do so with the Panthers. Manson has 1.2 FPPG and won't be a fantasy factor.

Some trades, however, are more about the role than the player. The New York Rangers immediately slotted Frank Vatrano onto the wing spot with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome that has been a desert for fantasy points this season. Vatrano has always had some scoring upside (I'll never forget his 36 goals in 36 games rookie AHL campaign in 2015-16), but it's been buried behind the Panthers deep depth chart of late. He may not be the final answer for the Rangers before the deadline, but it goes to show how a role can dictate potential; Vatrano wasn't on anyone's trade radar for fantasy.

In an attempt to get a big picture look at the landscape before Monday, here's a summary cobbled together based on the various trade boards and depth charts.


Where is a fantasy-relevant role possible? Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets.

Who is a possible fantasy-relevant target? Claude Giroux, Paul Stastny, Andrew Copp.

What to look for on deadline day? If team's are doing a good job, they don't have a center role open. So this isn't a spot to usually look. That said, the Bruins could stand to upgrade Erik Haula, who is between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak on the second line. And if the Blue Jackets get into the trade action with some kind of hockey deal that nets a pivot, the newcomer will surely get a chance alongside Patrik Laine right out of the gate. While I have the two Jets listed here, I don't buy that they are going anywhere. I think the center position on deadline day is all about whether the Bruins go after Giroux (as Giroux would likely play wing in a different destination).


Where is a fantasy-relevant role possible? New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins, Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils ... Really, almost any team has some wiggle room for a top-six winger when push comes to shove.

Who is a possible fantasy-relevant target? Giroux (fits here too), Rickard Rakell, Phil Kessel, Max Domi, Jake DeBrusk, Dominik Kubalik.

What to look for on deadline day? As mentioned, the Rangers got Vatrano already, but Rakell would be a further upgrade, for example. The Avs and Panthers would use Giroux on the wing, further elevating the status of their superstars. If Nathan MacKinnon or Aleksander Barkov get Giroux as a linemate, I'd take either one as second to Auston Matthews for most remaining fantasy points. ... While not buyers, the Coyotes, Hawks and Devils would have prime roles available for any NHL-ready returns on deals. The Penguins might be the sleeper spot here, as any winger coming in would get to play with Evgeni Malkin and potentially have a shot at getting some power-play time over Bryan Rust, depending on the chemistry.


Where is a fantasy-relevant role possible? Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, maybe the Maple Leafs.

Who is a possible fantasy-relevant target? Mark Giordano, Jakob Chychrun, Hampus Lindholm, John Klingberg, Jeff Petry.

What to look for on deadline day? The fantasy-relevant openings listed above don't matter as much for defensemen. Particularly when it comes to one the caliber of Chychrun or Klingberg, who will make a role for themselves regardless of landing spot. That said, the Canes would probably cede some power-play time from Tony DeAngelo to another offensively minded blue-liner. Same with the Leafs, who might try another newcomer over Morgan Rielly on the power play. Petry is also an interesting case, as his numbers have improved under new coach Martin St. Louis, while still not being used on the power play. A change of scenery could further improve his performance and the Habs could easily make room for an incoming defenseman on the top unit.


Where is a fantasy-relevant role possible? Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs.

Who is a possible fantasy-relevant target? Marc-Andre Fleury, Braden Holtby.

What to look for on deadline day? There are plenty of other goaltenders being discussed as potential movers, but none would offer an upgrade over what teams already have. The fantasy-relevant tag is exclusive to the battled-tested Fleury and Holtby. Fleury especially has a very recent track record of elite play with a quality team in front of him.

Fantasy Forecaster: March 21 to March 27

A few additional rescheduled games from earlier this season make this a very busy week. A whopping 13 teams play four games and the only two-game club is the fantasy-irrelevant Seattle Kraken. You should have no fantasy lineup concerns when it comes to game volume.

Team notes

Winnipeg Jets: The Jets play all four of their games at home next week. As expected, Nikolaj Ehlers was moved back into the top six with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, though he's still not getting time on the top power play. Regardless, he's averaged 2.1 FPPG and should be locked into lineups again. Josh Morrissey still isn't universally rostered despite quarterbacking the power play here, so it's worth checking to see if you are in one of the 25 percent of leagues that has him on the wire.

Florida Panthers: Of note for the Panthers is that they have three games but don't play until Wednesday. That gives a big enough window for a traded player on Monday to potentially be in the lineup all week. If the team makes a move for a forward, you can get them into your lineup, too.

Calgary Flames: It should be a high-scoring week for the Flames, who take on the Sharks, Coyotes and Oilers. It might even be enough to give newcomer Calle Jarnkrok enough juice for deep leagues in his first week with the Flames - especially if the team decides to use him down the middle between Tyler Toffoli and Andrew Mangiapane.

Player notes

Erik Kallgren, G, Toronto Maple Leafs: We've seen this show before, with the NHL team rallying to play better defense in front of the rookie goaltender that has a hot streak when he gets called up to the show. The vast majority of the time, the result doesn't hold up. Kallgren currently sits 37th out of 42 qualifying goaltenders for goals-against average in the AHL this season, with a 3.02 mark. That said, the win against the Carolina Hurricanes was particularly impressive, with the Leafs posting -14 in Corsi for. The desperate fantasy clubs in need of goaltending could do worse than to stash him and hope he pulls a Binnington.

John Klingberg, D, Dallas Stars: With Miro Heiskanen sidelined indefinitely, the likelihood of the Stars trading Klingberg is much lower and the likelihood of more nights like his three-point showing against the Habs on Thursday is much higher.

Erik Brannstrom, D, Ottawa Senators: This is Brannstrom's long-awaited chance to showcase some of his offensive prowess that made him a top prospect for a long time. Thomas Chabot is done for the year with a broken hand, so Brannstrom inherits the advantage. And that advantage will only improve when the Sens get Drake Batherson back in the next couple weeks.