Special to Yahoo Sports
The first week of the 2023-24 NHL season is in the books. Fantasy managers have already started fine-tuning their rosters based on early results, which can be very beneficial in the long run as long as you can avoid mistakes based on overreactions, which can set your team back.
In most circumstances, I recommend exercising patience, especially this early in the year. Sticking with the players you drafted and winning with the majority of that group intact is very satisfying, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seek outside improvements. The ability to augment your roster along the way with savvy waiver-wire additions or by jumping on trades for undervalued stars are important skills to have as well.
Tage Thompson, C, Sabres (100% rostered)
Tage Thompson of the Buffalo Sabres should be a top target for fantasy managers looking to make a trade. Although he hasn’t recorded a point in his first three games, he has shown promising numbers with 12 shots on goal and three hits. Despite a slight decrease in ice time, Thompson’s potential remains high.
In the previous season, Thompson had a breakout performance with 47 goals and 94 points in 78 games. However, he started slowly with only one goal and two assists in his first seven games. While it may not be easy to acquire him from another manager, offering a star player or strong assets could convince an impatient manager to make the trade.
Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Red Wings (60% rostered)
Shayne Gostisbehere has proven to be a productive defender in recent seasons, accumulating 27 goals and 92 points in 157 games for the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes. His addition to the Detroit Red Wings has provided an extra offensive threat from the blue line.
Gostisbehere, who plays alongside Moritz Seider on the top power-play unit, has already contributed with one goal, two assists, five shots on target, one block, and one hit in three games. Considering his current performance, it’s worth exploring the possibility of trading for him.
Noah Hanifin, D, Flames (54% rostered)
Noah Hanifin has had a strong start to the NHL season, recording at least one point in each of Calgary’s first three games. He has four assists, including two on the power play, as well as six shots on goal, six blocked shots, and two hits. Fantasy players would benefit from Hanifin’s multi-category coverage.
Playing alongside Rasmus Andersson on the Flames’ top pairing, Hanifin ranks second on the team in average ice time per game at 22:28. Although he currently has a minus-2 rating, his past performance suggests that it will improve. Hanifin finished the previous season with a plus-27 rating and concluded the 2022-23 season at plus-2.
Chandler Stephenson, C, Golden Knights (54%)
Chandler Stephenson had an impressive season last year with career highs in assists (49), points (65), blocked shots (56), and hits (74) over 81 games. He continues to show his potential with two goals, three assists, and five shots on goal in three games this season.
Playing in all situations for the Vegas Golden Knights, Stephenson has found success on the second line alongside Mark Stone and has been a dangerous presence on the power play. If Stephenson can maintain his performance and reach the 60-point mark for a third consecutive season, trading for him would be a wise investment.
Brock Boeser, RW, Canucks (76%)
Brock Boeser had an exceptional start to the 2023-24 season, scoring four goals on eight shots in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. However, it’s important to exercise caution as Boeser’s 44.4 shooting percentage is unsustainable and significantly higher than his career average of 12.9%. Consider trading him while his value is at its peak.
Although Boeser has come close to reaching the 30-goal and 60-point milestones in the past, injuries and inconsistent play have limited his success. While he is likely to improve upon his 18-goal output from last season, expecting a major breakout may be unrealistic.
Max Domi, C/LW, Maple Leafs (55%)
Max Domi has had a slow start to the season with one assist, four shots on goal, one hit, and one blocked shot in three games. With an average ice time of just 12:17 per game, he has fallen out of the top-six forward group. Despite his underwhelming performance, Domi may still have value in the trade market, particularly among Toronto Maple Leafs fans.
Last season, Domi racked up 20 goals and 56 points in 80 games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars, marking his highest point total since his breakout season in 2018-19. While he is likely to find his rhythm eventually, trading him now for an upgrade would be a wise decision.
Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, Hurricanes (54%)
Teuvo Teravainen has been a popular pickup on the waiver wire due to his strong start to the season. He has scored goals in each of the Carolina Hurricanes’ first three games, totaling four goals, five shots, and four hits. However, his staggering 80% shooting success rate is unlikely to be sustainable, making it a good time to trade him to another fantasy manager.
Teravainen is poised for a bounce-back season after a disappointing performance in 2022-23. He saw a significant drop in production, scoring only 12 goals and 37 points compared to 22 goals and 65 points the previous season. Once Andrei Svechnikov returns from injury, Teravainen may face competition for top-six forward minutes.
Sarah Anderson dives into the fast-paced world of NHL hockey. Her coverage includes game analysis, player spotlights, and the latest news from the ice. Sarah’s dedication to the sport ensures that hockey enthusiasts stay informed about the NHL’s thrilling action.