NHL DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, April 17

NHL DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, April 17

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Wednesday marks the penultimate night of the NHL regular season, with four games on the docket after 7:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for crafting an effective DraftKings DFS lineup. All game lines and odds used below come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.


The 16-team field for the Stanley Cup playoffs has been finalized after Tuesday's wild night of action, but the five playoff teams in action Wednesday will be looking to build momentum ahead of the postseason, while two of the other three teams were among the last ones eliminated. The Stars are heavy home favorites against the Blues, and the Oilers are substantially favored in Arizona. Oilers-Coyotes is tied with Maple Leafs-Lightning for a slate-high over/under of 6.5 goals. Penguins-Islanders rounds out the action, and that game is much less important than it would have been had Washington or Detroit left the door open for Pittsburgh to get into the postseason.


Jake Oettinger, DAL vs. STL ($8,300): The Stars need a point out of Wednesday's game to lock up the top seed in the Western Conference regardless of what the Canucks do Thursday, so Dallas should be fully motivated in this game. Oettinger has been key to Dallas' climb to the top of the Conference standings, as he's surged to a 9-1-0 record with a 1.61 GAA and .939 save percentage over his last 10 starts.

Stuart Skinner, EDM at ARI ($8,200): Edmonton finishes the season with a back-to-back set, so we're likely to see both Skinner and Calvin Pickard ($8,200) once more apiece prior to the playoffs. This matchup in Arizona is far easier than Wednesday's trip to Colorado. The Coyotes have the fifth-fewest standings points (75) in the league, and they are the only team with fewer than 88 points taking the ice Wednesday. Skinner's 36-15-5 with a 2.57 GAA and .907 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. PIT ($7,600): The Islanders are locked into the third seed in the Metropolitan Division, so it will be interesting to see what they do in net once the playoffs begin. Ilya Sorokin ($7,600) had a down year, and Varlamov's surge down the stretch is what got the Islanders into the playoffs, as Varlamov won his last five starts, allowing just eight goals over that span. Against a Penguins team that will be demoralized after they were eliminated from playoff contention by other teams' results last night, either Varlamov will get a chance to add to his hot streak or Sorokin will get an opportunity to bolster his case for regaining the starting job come playoff time.


Auston Matthews, TOR at TB ($10,200): The Leafs are already locked into the third spot in the Atlantic Division and a first-round date with the Bruins, so Toronto's main motivation in this game will be to get Matthews to the 70-goal mark. Matthews failed to score in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Panthers, keeping him at a league-leading 69 goals. If he reaches the 70-goal threshold, Matthews would be the first player to get there since Teemu Selanne (in his rookie year, no less) and Alexander Mogilny potted 76 apiece in 1992-93.

Wyatt Johnston, DAL vs. STL ($5,600): Johnston hasn't gone three-plus consecutive games without a point in over three months, so the outstanding young forward will look to get off the schneid before the postseason after having been blanked in the last two games. He has a 32-33-65 line overall, including a 6-5-11 output over the seven games preceding the two-game mini-slump.

Brock Nelson, NYI vs. PIT ($5,400): Nelson's playing his best hockey heading into the playoffs, with a 3-3-6 line during his current four-game point streak. Overall, he has a 33-34-67 line, so Nelson needs a hat trick to reach 36 goals for a third consecutive campaign. It's a longshot, but you can't rule it out completely given Nelson's recent form and Pittsburgh's shoddy goaltending.

Josh Doan, ARI vs. EDM ($4,400): Josh has looked like his father Shane Doan (982 points in 1,540 NHL games) to begin his NHL career, posting a 5-4-9 line in his first 10 games. The younger Doan's production includes an active two-game goal streak, which started with a two-point effort in this past Friday's 3-2 overtime win in Edmonton.


Oilers at Coyotes

Connor McDavid (C - $9,800), Zach Hyman (W - $8,000), Adam Henrique (W - $3,900)

McDavid's 10 points back of Nikita Kucherov in the Art Ross Trophy race, so you can probably count him out, though you can't completely rule out the superstar center channeling his inner Sam Gagner and closing the gap with an eight-point night. As things stand, McDavid's 32-100-132 line has come in just 75 appearances. Hyman's third in the NHL with 54 goals, and Henrique's a nice value play, as the versatile trade acquisition has been bumped up to the top line and is coming off a three-point performance ahead of this matchup with a Coyotes team that's surrendering 3.36 goals per game. If you're going for an Oilers stack, don't forget about Leon Draisaitl ($8,000) as well.

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs

Brayden Point (C - $7,500), Nikita Kucherov (W - $9,600), Anthony Duclair (W - $4,200)

This will be Kucherov's last chance to add to his 43-99-142 line and get some separation from Nathan MacKinnon (138 points) in the race for the league points lead. Both Kucherov and Point are in the top 10 in the NHL in goals, as Point ranks ninth with 45. Duclair has thrived on this line since coming over from San Jose via trade, as the talented winger has seven goals and six assists in 16 games with the Lightning. Both of these teams are locked into their current playoff positions, and Toronto's coming off a 5-2 shellacking in Florida on Tuesday.

Penguins at Islanders

Sidney Crosby (C - $7,800), Bryan Rust (W - $6,600), Drew O'Connor (W - $3,700)

It's possible the Penguins phone it in with nothing to play for, but this line's contributions down the stretch almost got Pittsburgh to the playoffs. At the end of the day, the Penguins stuck with struggling goalie Tristan Jarry for one game too long before turning to Alexander Nedeljkovic, who went 8-0-3 down the stretch. Crosby remains one of the top centers in the NHL, and his 42-50-92 line includes a 9-14-23 output over the last 12 games. Rust has stepped up as Crosby's top winger after the Penguins traded Jake Guentzel to Carolina, posting a 7-8-15 line in the last 12 games. O'Connor's a nice value play in a top-line role, and he had a three-game goal streak snapped Monday by the Predators.


Evan Bouchard, EDM at ARI ($6,700): Bouchard ranks fourth among defensemen with 81 points, and he'll be motivated to add at least one over the final two games to secure a point-per-game season. That total includes 35 power-play points, and Edmonton should thrive on the man-advantage against a Coyotes team that has the league's sixth-worst penalty kill at 76.1 percent.

Erik Karlsson, PIT at NYI ($5,400): Karlsson is operating on Pittsburgh's top power-play unit over Kris Letang ($4,600), and that role could prove fruitful against the Islanders' league-worst penalty kill (72.2 percent). It has been a disappointing season overall for the Swede, but he's finishing strong with a 3-6-9 line over the last seven games.

Mike Reilly, NYI vs. PIT ($3,400): Reilly has assumed a spot on the Islanders' top power-play unit with Noah Dobson (upper body) banged up. The Islanders have little reason to rush Dobson's return with the playoffs around the corner, so Reilly should continue to see elevated usage in the team's regular-season finale. Reilly has picked up a point in four of the last five games.

Matt Kessel, STL at DAL ($2,800): With Torey Krug and Justin Faulk both sidelined by upper-body injuries, the Blues have plenty of minutes available on the blue line to get a look at some younger options ahead of next season. One such player is Kessel, who has made the most of the extra opportunities with a point in three of the last four games. The 23-year-old blueliner has exceeded 21 minutes of ice time in each of the last three games, giving him decent upside relative to his modest valuation.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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