Fantasy hockey rankings: Three post trade deadline power play QBs

Evan Bouchard of the Edmonton Oilers had three assists, including two on the power play, in his most recent game. Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

This will be a two-part rankings column, as there is a heck of a lot to digest after trade deadline week.

Here's a quick road map for what's coming. In this article, I'll start with the three players most-impacted by the deadline (spoiler: it's three power-play quarterbacks). The rest of the ranking notes here will be all about players who were NOT traded, but have value adjustments because of the deadline deals.

Tuesday's column will be Part 2 of this look at the post-deadline rankings, focusing only on players who were traded.

So, for the first step, there are three defensemen that look to be the biggest winners of the trade deadline from a fantasy perspective that we need to highlight -- especially because they are available to some extent in most leagues.

The Edmonton Oilers trade of Tyson Barrie for Mattias Ekholm does a lot for their team, but does not replace Barrie's role on the power play. The Washington Capitals jettisoning Erik Gustafsson and Dmitry Orlov, plus the questionable return of John Carlson this season, leaves the door open on the point for their advantage. And the Minnesota Wild have been running Calen Addison out as almost an exclusive power-play specialist all season, but now have a tried and tested alternative.

Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers (enters top 250 at No. 63): I can't remember the last time a player re-entered the rankings at such a high ranking. But the Oilers power play is the best unit the NHL has seen in years and the quarterback position has been handed to Bouchard on a silver platter with the departure of Barrie. Bouchard has the pedigree for it and has had turns there off and on in recent seasons, so he has the experience. He's had three games there since the trade and clearly has won the job, especially after posting two power-play points on Saturday. The added bonus here is that Bouchard will get better at five-on-five now too, with the ever-responsible Ekholm as his new partner.

Rasmus Sandin, D, Washington Capitals (enters top 250 at No. 95): With other potential power-play quarterbacks traded away and Carlson under no pressure to return from his injury this season, Sandin could end up with the blue-line role on the advantage for the remainder of the season. At the very least, he has it until April, when Carlson could potentially come back after getting re-evaluated at the end of the month. Sandin was the Maple Leafs second option on the advantage this season and he covered the top unit when Morgan Rielly was injured. The Capitals still have a very good team -- especially on an advantage that still has the ever-dangerous Alex Ovechkin.

John Klingberg, D, Minnesota Wild (up 63 spots to No. 114): The Wild power play needs a boost and Klingberg has the chops for it. Addison, a rookie, has held down the post on the blue line all season with mixed results. On the positive side, he's been good enough on the power play, tied for 14th among defensemen with 18 power-play points. On the negative side, the Wild are barely able to use him at five-on-five, with his 3.3 goals against per 60 easily the worst mark on the Wild this season. Klingberg has some questions to answer, as his defensive metrics have been troubling the past two seasons, but that could be a matter of usage and surroundings. We should know in short order if he's up to the job, but his resume prior to the 2021-22 season is good enough to take a chance on him.

Now, let's get into notes on some players who were not traded and how the wheeling and dealing has affected them.

Forward notes

Nikolaj Ehlers, W, Winnipeg Jets (down 40 spots to No. 122): The acquisition of Nino Niederreiter doesn't bump Ehlers from a scoring line, but it does look like it will keep him off the top power-play unit for the Jets going forward. That, in addition to how listless Ehlers has looked without Pierre-Luc Dubois around (day-to-day), brings down Ehlers outlook.

Dawson Mercer, C/W, New Jersey Devils (up 104 spots to No. 132): The goal-scoring streak ended Sunday, but Mercer kept what is now a point streak alive at nine games. Mercer's performance on Nico Hischier's wing leading up to the trade deadline might be the main reason Timo Meier lined up with Jack Hughes in his debut instead of Hischier. Overall, the arrival of Meier makes all the Devils better, including the top line by further dividing the focus of opposing defenses. But if you take 10 shots a night, like Mercer did on Friday, the amount of focus is incidental.

Robby Fabbri, C/W, Detroit Red Wings (up 22 spots to No. 190): The departure of Tyler Bertuzzi gives Fabbri a reason to be on the top power-play unit even when everyone is healthy. Eight of his 15 points this season (in just 27 games) have come on the advantage.

Tommy Novak, C, Nashville Predators (enters top 250 at No. 196): With the Preds selling at the deadline, the door will remain open for Novak to continue his push as a top-line and top-power-play asset for the stretch run. Since working into the top six, first thanks to injury to Ryan Johansen and now solidified with the trade of Mikael Granlund, Novak has posted 12 points in nine games.

Josh Anderson, W, Montreal Canadiens (up 40 spots to No. 201): The Canadiens not selling off some players at the deadline actually works in favor of wingers like Anderson, who was actually among the trade targets discussed at some points. He's on a line with Mike Hoffman and Jonathan Drouin, which may get upgraded with Sean Monahan for Drouin when the former is healthy. The Habs also kept some of their high-impact blue line that, in combination with the youngsters on the team, is keeping them competitive in games. All told, it means the team has upside for goals and fantasy points down the stretch and Anderson looks like a key cog on both a scoring line and the first power-play unit. His 1.9 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the past month is in the respectable range.

Kasperi Kapanen, W, St. Louis Blues (enters top 250 at No. 210): The results since the Blues claimed Kapanen off waivers: three games and 7.9 fantasy points, not only on the back of two goals, but nine shots, five hits and four blocked shots. That's a fantastic array of counting stats out of Kapanen, who has been buried on the Pens depth chart this season. He'll have to fight to maintain top-six status once Jakub Vrana is in the mix, but the early returns on a line with Brayden Schenn and Brandon Saad are extremely positive.

Eetu Luostarinen, C/W, Florida Panthers (up 23 spots to No. 227): Everyone is back to health and Luostarinen is still on the top line. Opting to keep rolling the winger with Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair is a show of confidence in response to Luostarinen's 12 points in his past 12 games. This move punts Sam Reinhart down to the third line, but Reinhart is still the one to join Matthew Tkachuk and Barkov on the top power play.

William Eklund, W, San Jose Sharks (enters top 250 at No. 228): Once the dust settled on the deadline, top prospect Eklund got the call from the AHL. He made his debut on the top line with Tomas Hertl and newcomer Fabian Zetterlund, while also rolling out on the top power-play unit. Eklund posted 17 goals and 41 points in 52 games as a 20-year-old AHL rookie. He netted an assist in his season debut and has a ton of potential down the stretch on a Sharks team awash in opportunity.

Seth Jarvis, W, Carolina Hurricanes (up 12 spots to No. 232): He hasn't moved in the lineup and the Hurricanes didn't really get anyone at the deadline to compete for his spot. But there are two things pushing Jarvis in two different directions in the rankings. On the positive side, despite his 1.4 FPPG for the season suggesting otherwise, Jarvis has 2.1 FPPG in the past four weeks. On the negative side, one narrative that won't go away until they try it is Jesse Puljujarvi's national team experience with fellow Swede Sebastian Aho. Puljujarvi's stock was never higher than when he led the World Juniors in scoring on a line with Aho in 2016. You have to think the Canes at least try it at some point, especially with no other holes in the lineup in which to insert Puljujarvi to give him a chance.

Mark Stone, W, Vegas Golden Knights (enters top 250 at No. 242): There's no question the Golden Knights need another winger to pump up their top six. By not getting one at the deadline, is it a signal that Stone's back is healing up? His injury timetable is coming to it's original end, so it's time to keep an eye out for him. With the way the team is playing, it'd be just right to have Stone back with Jack Eichel and newcomer Ivan Barbashev.

Defense notes

Dougie Hamilton, D, New Jersey Devils (up 11 spots to No. 14): As mentioned when discussing Mercer, the Devils got better all around with the addition of Meier, but especially on the power play. If this unit clicks, it could be one of the best in the NHL and Hamilton will be there to quarterback it. And he's coming into this new Meier world on a streak: He's 12th among skaters in fantasy points in the past four weeks.

Seth Jones, D, Chicago Blackhawks (down 14 spots to No. 75): I suspect there are more than a couple AHL teams that could take down the post-deadline Blackhawks. That was their goal all along, so kudos. But it doesn't bode well for Jones finishing strong.

Erik Gudbranson, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (enters top 250 at No. 230): Early returns suggest Gudbranson is picking up some of the slack left by the departure of Vladislav Gavrikov. His ice time has creeped up a touch and his counting stats are coming along for the ride. Gudbranson is up to 1.8 FPPG for the past month.

Goaltender notes

Cam Talbot, G, Ottawa Senators (up 66 spots to No. 156): First off, he's healthy again. Secondly, the Senators victory in the Jakob Chychrun sweepstakes improves them defensively by a leap and a bound. Talbot has a three-game win streak going and the Sens have won 12 of their past 16 and five straight.

Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver Canucks (up 48 spots to No. 157): It's only been three games back for Demko, but he looks like a different player than he did back at the start of the season, prior to his long injury absence. Most importantly, those three games back have not been easy ones: Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs. His .937 save percentage and two wins in those contests suggest Demko could salvage this season as a fantasy asset down the stretch.

ESPN fantasy NHL top-250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (F1)
2. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (F2)
3. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D1)
4. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (F3)
5. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (F4)
6. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (F5)
7. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)
8. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (F6)
9. Tage Thompson, C, Buf (F7)
10. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (F8)
11. Linus Ullmark, G, Bos (G2)
12. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D2)
13. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (F9)
14. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D3)
15. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TB (F10)
16. Timo Meier, RW, NJ (F11)
17. Tim Stutzle, LW, Ott (F12)
18. Jake Oettinger, G, Dal (G3)
19. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (F13)
20. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (F14)
21. Cale Makar, D, Col (D4)
22. Brayden Point, C, TB (F15)
23. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D5)
24. Alexandar Georgiev, G, Col (G4)
25. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G5)
26. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D6)
27. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G6)
28. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Fla (F16)
29. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (F17)
30. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G7)
31. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ott (D7)
32. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgk (D8)
33. Moritz Seider, D, Det (D9)
34. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D10)
35. Nico Hischier, C, NJ (F18)
36. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (F19)
37. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (F20)
38. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (F21)
39. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (F22)
40. William Nylander, RW, Tor (F23)
41. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (F24)
42. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (F25)
43. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (F26)
44. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D11)
45. John Tavares, C, Tor (F27)
46. Jason Robertson, LW, Dal (F28)
47. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (F29)
48. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G8)
49. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D12)
50. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D13)
51. Vitek Vanecek, G, NJ (G9)
52. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D14)
53. Brent Burns, D, Car (D15)
54. Jack Eichel, C, Vgk (F30)
55. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (F31)
56. J.T. Miller, C, Van (F32)
57. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (F33)
58. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (F34)
59. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (F35)
60. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Bos (F36)
61. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (F37)
62. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G10)
63. Evan Bouchard, D, Edm (D16)
64. Claude Giroux, LW, Ott (F38)
65. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D17)
66. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Ott (F39)
67. Filip Gustavsson, G, Min (G11)
68. Darcy Kuemper, G, Wsh (G12)
69. Ilya Samsonov, G, Tor (G13)
70. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (F40)
71. Jesper Bratt, RW, NJ (F41)
72. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (F42)
73. Patrick Kane, RW, NYR (F43)
74. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (F44)
75. Seth Jones, D, Chi (D18)
76. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (F45)
77. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (F46)
78. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (F47)
79. Bo Horvat, C, NYI (F48)
80. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D19)
81. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (F49)
82. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (F50)
83. Kevin Fiala, C, LA (F51)
84. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, NYR (F52)
85. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G14)
86. Vincent Trocheck, C, NYR (F53)
87. Alex Tuch, RW, Buf (F54)
88. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (F55)
89. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (F56)
90. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (F57)
91. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (F58)
92. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (F59)
93. Zach Hyman, LW, Edm (F60)
94. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (F61)
95. Rasmus Sandin, D, Wsh (D20)
96. Dmitry Orlov, D, Bos (D21)
97. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (F62)
98. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D22)
99. Martin Necas, C, Car (F63)
100. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Col (F64)
101. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (F65)
102. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D23)
103. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (F66)
104. Jared McCann, LW, Sea (F67)
105. Ville Husso, G, Det (G15)
106. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, StL (F68)
107. Adam Larsson, D, Sea (D24)
108. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (F69)
109. Brandon Hagel, LW, TB (F70)
110. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D25)
111. Bowen Byram, D, Col (D26)
112. Joonas Korpisalo, G, LA (G16)
113. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D27)
114. John Klingberg, D, Min (D28)
115. Devon Toews, D, Col (D29)
116. Dylan Cozens, C, Buf (F71)
117. J.T. Compher, RW, Col (F72)
118. Jeremy Swayman, G, Bos (G17)
119. Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Col (F73)
120. Jeff Petry, D, Pit (D30)
121. Logan Couture, C, SJ (F74)
122. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (F75)
123. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (F76)
124. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (F77)
125. Shea Theodore, D, Vgk (D31)
126. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (F78)
127. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D32)
128. Rickard Rakell, C, Pit (F79)
129. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (F80)
130. Frederik Andersen, G, Car (G18)
131. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (F81)
132. Dawson Mercer, C, NJ (F82)
133. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D33)
134. David Savard, D, Mon (D34)
135. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D35)
136. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D36)
137. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (F83)
138. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Car (D37)
139. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Bos (F84)
140. Vince Dunn, D, Sea (D38)
141. Rafael Harvey-Pinard, LW, Mon (F85)
142. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Col (F86)
143. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Cgy (F87)
144. Philipp Grubauer, G, Sea (G19)
145. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (F88)
146. Ryan Graves, D, NJ (D39)
147. Evander Kane, LW, Edm (F89)
148. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D40)
149. Brandon Montour, D, Fla (D41)
150. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (F90)
151. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (F91)
152. Trevor Zegras, C, Ana (F92)
153. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (F93)
154. Ondrej Palat, LW, NJ (F94)
155. Stuart Skinner, G, Edm (G20)
156. Cam Talbot, G, Ott (G21)
157. Thatcher Demko, G, Van (G22)
158. Sam Reinhart, RW, Fla (F95)
159. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (F96)
160. Torey Krug, D, StL (D42)
161. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D43)
162. Matty Beniers, C, Sea (F97)
163. Hampus Lindholm, D, Bos (D44)
164. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (F98)
165. Juuso Valimaki, D, Ari (D45)
166. Adin Hill, G, Vgk (G23)
167. Adam Beckman, C, Min (F99)
168. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cls (F100)
169. Nazem Kadri, C, Cgy (F101)
170. Sam Bennett, LW, Fla (F102)
171. Mike Matheson, D, Mon (D46)
172. Ben Chiarot, D, Det (D47)
173. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (F103)
174. Lawson Crouse, LW, Ari (F104)
175. Pheonix Copley, G, LA (0)
176. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D48)
177. Tyson Barrie, D, Nsh (D49)
178. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Min (G24)
179. Jake McCabe, D, Tor (D50)
180. Sean Durzi, D, LA (D51)
181. Anthony Beauvillier, LW, Van (F105)
182. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (F106)
183. Ivan Barbashev, C, Vgk (F107)
184. Owen Tippett, RW, Phi (F108)
185. Robert Thomas, C, StL (F109)
186. Antti Raanta, G, Car (G25)
187. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, LA (F110)
188. K'Andre Miller, D, NYR (D52)
189. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D53)
190. Robby Fabbri, C, Det (F111)
191. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Sea (F112)
192. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D54)
193. Kirill Marchenko, LW, Cls (F113)
194. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D55)
195. Frank Vatrano, LW, Ana (F114)
196. Tommy Novak, C, Nsh (F115)
197. Tony DeAngelo, D, Phi (D56)
198. Phillip Danault, C, LA (F116)
199. Matt Boldy, LW, Min (F117)
200. Adam Boqvist, D, Cls (D57)
201. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (F118)
202. Alec Martinez, D, Vgk (D58)
203. Brayden McNabb, D, Vgk (D59)
204. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (F119)
205. Dillon Dube, C, Cgy (F120)
206. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (F121)
207. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (F122)
208. Jake Sanderson, D, Ott (D60)
209. Jordan Eberle, RW, Sea (F123)
210. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, StL (F124)
211. Troy Terry, C, Ana (F125)
212. Jake Walman, D, Det (D61)
213. Trevor van Riemsdyk, D, Wsh (D62)
214. Jakub Vrana, C, StL (F126)
215. Ryan McDonagh, D, Nsh (D63)
216. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Wpg (F127)
217. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D64)
218. Mikael Backlund, C, Cgy (F128)
219. Filip Chytil, RW, NYR (F129)
220. David Krejci, C, Bos (F130)
221. Cam Fowler, D, Ana (D65)
222. Jonas Brodin, D, Min (D66)
223. Ryan Hartman, RW, Min (F131)
224. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (F132)
225. John Gibson, G, Ana (G26)
226. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgk (F133)
227. Eetu Luostarinen, C, Fla (F134)
228. William Eklund, LW, SJ (F135)
229. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgk (F136)
230. Erik Gudbranson, D, Cls (D67)
231. Alexander Barabanov, LW, SJ (F137)
232. Seth Jarvis, C, Car (F138)
233. Andrew Peeke, D, Cls (D68)
234. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (F139)
235. Matt Roy, D, LA (D69)
236. Logan Thompson, G, Vgk (G27)
237. Matt Murray, G, Tor (G28)
238. Luke Schenn, D, Tor (D70)
239. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G29)
240. Kaiden Guhle, D, Mon (0)
241. Michael Bunting, LW, Tor (F140)
242. Mark Stone, RW, Vgk (F141)
243. Scott Laughton, C, Phi (F142)
244. Tomas Tatar, LW, NJ (F143)
245. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Ana (D71)
246. Tanner Jeannot, LW, TB (F144)
247. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Phi (D72)
248. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LA (F145)
249. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (F146)
250. Jake Allen, G, Mon (G30)

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