2023-01-15 · 3 min read · NHL/Hockey
Matty Beniers, Erik Gustaffson and Pheonix Copely

Quebecor | @CapitalsPR Twitter | David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire

Hello there fantasy GMs, let’s do our first 2023 check in on guys that are being overlooked in many leagues and could be a boon to your squad.
Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken, C)
  • The Kraken youngster leads all rookies in points and it isn't very close. Beniers has 17 goals and 36 points in 42 games, 10 more points than the next rookie. The young centre is getting hot with six goals and 11 points in his last seven games, go ahead and scoop him off the wire if you need a centre.
Mason McTavish (Anaheim Ducks, C/LW)
  • Second in points among rookies and with eligibility at centre and left wing, McTavish is a solid wire play, if only the Ducks could score more goals. Last year's WJC tourney MVP has been a steady part of Anaheim's top six and centres their first powerplay unit. McTavish has five goals in his last ten games and is tied for the lead in power play points for the Ducks.
Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals, C)
  • After making his season debut Jan 7th, Backstrom is strong add given his past chemistry with elite left wing and goal scorer Alexander Ovechkin. For his career Backstrom is nearly a point-per-game player (1,011 in 1,059 games) and a fixture on the first power play.
Evan Rodrigues (Colorado Avalanche, C/LW/RW)
  • Thrust into a top role and consistently playing on the Avs top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Arturi Lehkonen, Rodrigues has thrived. Rodrigues has a point in seven straight games and 10 in his last 10 games. The Canadian journeyman is eligible at all three forward positions and has been playing on the Avs top powerplay unit alongside Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar, a great spot to be.
Vince Dunn/Justin Schultz (Seattle Kraken)
  • I'm cheating a little here as Vince Dunn is a very popular pickup right now but for good reason. Dunn has a point in six straight games and 13 in his last 10 games, He is up to 30 points in 41 games this season. Schultz is also a solid wire play with four points in his last five games. While he doesn’t see the ice time Dunn does, he has managed to match last season's total of 23 points, he is on pace for his best season since he scored 56 for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17.
Erik Gustafsson (Washington Capitals)
  • The 30-year-old is having a breakout season for the Capitals with 25 points so far this season in 43 games. Gustafsson has been picking it up as of late with nine points in his last 10 games, the Caps offence seem to be getting better partially due to the recent return of multiple players. Gustafsson plays on the top blueline pairing and quarterbacks the team’s first powerplay unit.
Martin Jones (Seattle Kraken)
  • Jones can be streaky, but it's been worth riding it out this season, especially as the Kraken only seem to be improving as a team. The 33-year-old has two shutouts in his last three games including against the league leading Boston Bruins. Even though he can be aggravating to owners at times Jones is often worth a play as he is the workhorse for a surprisingly good Kraken team.
Pheonix Copley (Los Angeles Kings)
  • Heading in a matchup with the New Jersey Devils Saturday night, Copley has posted a .902 save percentage in his last five starts, but he's posted a 4-1-0 record during that stretch. Copley has secured the no.1 netminder role for a talented Los Angeles Kings team and has been consistently good if not great in net this season and seems to be improving as the campaign rolls on.
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By: Chase Howard


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