NHL Barometer: Risers and Fallers

NHL Barometer: Risers and Fallers

This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.

This week's article includes a return to form in the Windy City, a hot winger in Cali, Power-ing up in Buffalo, Detroit's new number one goalie on a roll, a huge injury for Ottawa and Edmonton's netminder scuffling. 

First Liners (Risers)

Jonathan Toews, C, CHI – Toews took the criticism sent his way after a rough 2021-22 campaign to heart. After notching just 12 goals in 71 contests last season, Toews already has seven in 12 games this year. Part of last year's poor output was due to a exceedingly low 9.6 shooting percentage, but he also lacked his usual jump after missing all of the prior year due to injury, Toews' goal production is bolstered by an unsustainable 30.4 percent shooting success rate, but he looks to have regained his form on the ice, which bodes well for him maintaining a semblance of his current output. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, WPG – Dubois is making a strong case early on that he is deserving of a long-term deal. Dealt from Columbus to Winnipeg as part of the Patrik Laine trade, Dubois initially struggled in his new surroundings. Dubois took a step forward last season, posting a new career high in goals with 28, while his 60 points were just one behind his previous high-water mark. Working on a one-year deal, Dubois notched a goal and an assist Saturday, improving his season tally to five goals and as many assists in 11 contests. 

Victor Olofsson, LW,

This week's article includes a return to form in the Windy City, a hot winger in Cali, Power-ing up in Buffalo, Detroit's new number one goalie on a roll, a huge injury for Ottawa and Edmonton's netminder scuffling. 

First Liners (Risers)

Jonathan Toews, C, CHI – Toews took the criticism sent his way after a rough 2021-22 campaign to heart. After notching just 12 goals in 71 contests last season, Toews already has seven in 12 games this year. Part of last year's poor output was due to a exceedingly low 9.6 shooting percentage, but he also lacked his usual jump after missing all of the prior year due to injury, Toews' goal production is bolstered by an unsustainable 30.4 percent shooting success rate, but he looks to have regained his form on the ice, which bodes well for him maintaining a semblance of his current output. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, WPG – Dubois is making a strong case early on that he is deserving of a long-term deal. Dealt from Columbus to Winnipeg as part of the Patrik Laine trade, Dubois initially struggled in his new surroundings. Dubois took a step forward last season, posting a new career high in goals with 28, while his 60 points were just one behind his previous high-water mark. Working on a one-year deal, Dubois notched a goal and an assist Saturday, improving his season tally to five goals and as many assists in 11 contests. 

Victor Olofsson, LW, BUF – It's been feast or famine for Olofsson this year, but the overall total has been more than solid. Olofsson had four multi-goal efforts and six scoreless outings entering Friday's game. In that contest, he scored once, but followed that up with a goose end Saturday. On the year, Olofsson has nine goals in 12 games, putting him on very early pace to easily exceed the 20 markers he notched both last season and as a rookie in 2019-20. Entrenched as the second-line right winger, Olofsson should benefit from the extra talent around him and should remain productive. 

Troy Terry, RW, ANA – Terry is showing that last year's breakout campaign was no fluke. He finished with career-best marks in goals (37), assists (30), points (67), shots on goal (192), power-play points (15) and average time on ice (18:14). Terry is on pace to exceed all those marks, as he's up to five goals and 12 assists through his first 13 games, notching points in five straight contests. Terry is skating on the top line in all situations and is benefitting from the improved talent in Anaheim. 

Owen Power, D, BUF – Last week, Rasmus Dahlin was highlighted. This week, it's Power's turn. Power, the first-overall pick in 2021, got off to a slow start this season, notching just two assists — both in a single game — in his first seven contests. Since then, he looks to have settled in and appears a bit more comfortable on the ice, which has shown through in his performance on both ends. Power assisted on a pair of goals Saturday, giving him five helpers in his last four games. He is still looking for his first goal of the season, but his 23+ minutes of ice time nightly, including nearly two minutes on the man-advantage, should enable Power to light the lamp before too long. 

Justin Faulk, D, STL – Faulk continues to produce from the backline somewhat quietly for St. Louis. After a rough first two seasons as a Blue, Faulk exploded with 16 goals and 31 assists last season. Faulk is showing that his rise in output last year was no fluke, as he's up to three markers and seven helpers in 10 games. The Blues' defense in their own zone as well as their netminding have left a lot to be desired and Faulk is minus-two after posting a plus-41 last year, so not all is copacetic. but he's producing offensively. 

Ville Husso, G, DET – Husso was dealt to Detroit to St. Louis this past offseason and signed a three-year, $14.25 million extension with the Red Wings in July. He has taken over as the No. 1 netminder ahead of Alex Nedeljkovic, who had a okay first year with the Winged Wheel after coming from the Hurricanes but has struggled so far this season. Husso pitched a 24-save shutout against the Islanders on Saturday, improving his season numbers to 5-1-1 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. He will come back to earth but should still post solid numbers on an improved Detroit team. 

Alexandar Georgiev, G, COL – Acquired this offseason from the Rangers for a pair of picks, Georgiev was installed as his new team's #1 netminder after Colorado decided to let Darcy Kuemper walk. While a member of the Rangers, Georgiev struggled as a backup but played better with consistent time between the pipes. Georgiev continued his strong start to the season, notching wins in both Finland games this past weekend, upping his mark to 6-1-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.        

Others include Brock Nelson, Nick Suzuki, Dylan Strome, Anton Lundell, Jesper Bratt, Tim Stutzle, Alexander Barabanov, Reilly Smith, Mikko Rantanen, Erik Karlsson, John Klingberg, Quinn Hughes, Alex Pietrangelo, Adin Hill, Linus Ullmark, Vitek Vanecek and Darcy Kuemper.

Buy Low

Lawson Crouse, LW, AZ – Crouse is a name that those in deeper leagues know very well, but he might remain available in shallower leagues. The 2015 11th-overall draft selection finished 2021-22 with career-best marks in goals (20), points (34), and power-play points (7) while adding 180-plus hits (181) for the third time in four years. Crouse took advantage of the additional ice time and higher line placement to post those numbers. This season, Crouse is back on the third trio but is being used on the second power play. He already has five goals and 30 hits 11 games. 

Training Room (Injuries)

 Josh Norris, C, OTT – Norris, who injured his shoulder last Saturday, could require surgery and is in danger of missing the remainder of the season. After taking a major step forward with 35 goals and 20 assists last season in his second full year in the NHL, Norris signed an eight-year, $63.6 million contract with the Senators this past July. Expectations were high for Ottawa and Norris this season, so his absence will be a major loss. Without Norris in the lineup, Derick Brassard received the first crack at a second-line role, though a red-hot Shane Pinto, profiled as a Riser last week, will likely end up in that spot. 

Others include Jared McCann (lower body, missed second straight game Saturday), Brock Boeser (hand, missed sixth straight game Saturday), Jeff Carter (lower body, missed last three games, skated in a non-contact jersey Sunday), David Krejci (upper body, missed three games, played Saturday), Brandon Saad (upper body, missed six games, played Monday), John Carlson (lower body, injured October 29, skated before practice Saturday, sat Monday), Seth Jones (right thumb, out 3-4 weeks), Mackenzie Blackwood (sprained MCL, injured Thursday), Jake Oettinger (lower body, injured October 29, no timeframe for return) and Ilya Samsonov (knee, left Saturday's game, moved to injured reserve, week-to-week). 

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)

Ryan O'Reilly, C, STL – O'Reilly is normally the model of consistency. Since 2013-14, ROR has tallied between 54 and 78 points, and he's been in an even narrower band between 54 and 61 points in seven of those seasons. In order to reach that output this year. O'Reilly is going to need a major hot streak. Through 10 games, O'Reilly has just one goal with no assists along with an unsightly minus-12 rating. Centering the Blues' top line, O'Reilly is likely a buy-low candidate, but until you see some signs of life, anchor ROR to your bench. 

MacKenzie Weegar D, CGY – Weegar, traded to Calgary as part of the Jonathan Huberdeau-Matthew Tkachuk deal, signed an eight-year, $50 million extension with the Flames in October. After notching 36 and 44 points the past two seasons, Weegar has gotten off to a very slow start with his new team, posting just four points in 11 games. In addition, he was bumped from the second power-play unit in favor of Michael Stone in Tuesday's contest.

Jack Campbell, G, EDM – Campbell hasn't inspired confidence between the pipes for Edmonton. Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract by the Oilers in July, Campbell is 5-3-0 in net for Edmonton, but that record doesn't remotely tell the story of his season and struggles to date. Campbell's save percentage by games in Edmonton is ugly: .917, .636, .900, .952, .915, .861, .826 and .833. With Campbell, more times than not, his issues are more mental than physical, as once it starts going bad, he has a difficult time righting the ship or correcting his mistakes, allowing them to compound. Stuart Skinner could continue to see more time between the pipes for the Oilers. 

Others include Sean Monahan, Rasmus Kupari, Marco Rossi, Mike Hoffman, David Perron, Jacob Trouba, Torey Krug, Alex Nedeljkovic and Jordan Binnington

Sell High

Jamie Benn LW, DAL – Benn has found the Fountain of Youth over the past week. His hat trick Saturday extended his point streak to four games, a run in which he's notched four goals and four assists. After a slow start, Benn is now up to four lamplighters and seven helpers in 12 games. Benn is skating on the third line and seen his ice time – at least at regular strength – decline for the second straight season, though he is seeing an uptick in power play time on ice. Enjoy the hot stretch and expect season output in the 35–45-point range, so be careful not to overrate.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
NHL Playoffs Bets: Expert Picks and Props for Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 1
NHL Playoffs Bets: Expert Picks and Props for Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 1
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Plays and Strategy
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Plays and Strategy
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown
Paul on The Gambler: Betting Preview for Stanley Cup Finals (Audio)
Paul on The Gambler: Betting Preview for Stanley Cup Finals (Audio)