Tim Connolly, C, BUF – The Sabres’ leading scorer is on a tear right now, putting together six goals and 15 assists for 21 points on a current 13 game point streak. Surprisingly, he’s owned in just 62 percent of leagues, so it wouldn’t hurt to take a quick scan of your league’s waiver wire.
Kurtis Foster, D, TB – Foster is a solid pick up right now for those in need of production from a defender. Foster is a great come back story, showing that the severely broken leg he suffered a couple seasons ago has more than healed. He’s the closest thing the Tampa Bay Lighting have to a powerplay quarterback.
Bryan Little, RW, ATL – After a 31 goal campaign last season, the youngster has more than disappointed this year with just six goals through 46 contests. During the next month however, the Thrashers are likely to move 2010 unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk, and they’ll be forced to look to their future stars for offensive support – Bryan Little and Evander Kane. If you’re in a deeper pool, keep yourself informed heading toward trade deadline day so you can grab him when the time comes.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, TOR – Pony’s in a similar boat to Kovalchuk – the 2010 UFA will likely be on the way out of Toronto on or before deadline day. A change of scenery could be a boost to the big winger’s production, much as it was for Nik Antropov last year when he was traded to the New York Rangers. Never underestimate a player’s added incentive to perform during a contract year.
Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT – His 47 points in 44 games are nothing to laugh at, but they’re not the Alexander Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby-like numbers we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Geno. After being held scoreless for 11 straight, he has four goals in his last two games. Hang on to Malkin – he’ll probably be up there with the other upper echelon studs when all is said and done mid-April.
Thomas Vanek, LW, BUF – With just 13 goals and 30 total points, Vanek’s been somewhat of a disappointment so far this season. He probably won’t put up his usual 40 goals, but he’s still the Sabres top winger and best goal scorer and he’s been known to finish the season strong.
Josh Bailey, C, NYI – With John Tavares struggling, the 20-year-old Bailey has elevated his game recently, with 13 points over the Islanders’ last 10 games. His +12 rating is an added bonus for those in plus/minus leagues, but the Islanders inconsistency often leads to bumpy trends in their players’ production.
Alexander Steen, C, STL – The former first round draft pick is having a streaky season. After missing 14 games over October and November with a broken wrist, Steen returned to the Blues’ lineup and has been a regular contributor. After posting just four points in his first 19 games, he’s tallied 17 points in his last 16. If he keeps up the success for another week or so, he might be a worthy add.
Scott Niedermayer, D, ANA – Could Scott Niedermayer’s career finally be winding down to an end? He’s an abysmal -17 this season and is on pace for his lowest goal total since 2000-01 when he was limited to just 57 games. He has one of those names that will draw attention on the trade market, so put his name out there and wait for the right offer.
Matt Carle, D, PHI – Carle is presently owned in a ridiculously high 69 percent of pools. Offensive defenseman do a large portion of their scoring on the powerplay, which is ice-time the Flyers are more likely to give to Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Of Carle’s 24 points this season, 12 were accumulated in October. Trade or drop him.
Kris Letang, D PIT – Letang isn’t getting the offensive opportunities that fellow Penguins’ defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Alex Goligoski are getting this year. If you’re in a keeper league, hang on to Letang for the long run, otherwise cut him loose.
Steve Mason, G, CBJ – Treat Mason the same as you’d treat Letang – let him go unless you’re in a keeper league. The Blue Jackets are amid some horrific struggles, and are turning to journeyman backup Mathieu Garon for starts more often than Mason.