This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday’s NHL slate consists of 10 games after 7:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for creating an effective DFS DraftKings lineup. All hog lines and odds used below are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Thursday is usually one of the busiest days on the NHL schedule, and the first Thursday of the season is no exception, with 10 games on the schedule. Two teams stand head and shoulders above the others as home favourites. They are the Penguins (-365) against Arizona and the Golden Knights (-350) against Chicago. The Coyotes-Penguins and Blackhawks-Golden Knights both have over/under 6.5 goals, as do the Senators-Sabres, but the game with the highest/lowest is Capitals-Maple Leafs at 7.0. On the other end of the spectrum, Stars-Predators come in with a low/under 5.5 goals.
Tristan JarryPIT vs. ARI ($8,500): Jarry is coming off a terrific season in which he established himself as an above-average starter with a 34-18-6 record, 2.42 GAA and .919 save percentage. He should be worth paying against a Coyotes team that averaged 2.51 goals per game last season.
Sergei BobrovskyFLA to NYI ($7,900): The Islanders snuck into the bottom 10 with 2.79 goals per game last season and parted ways with coach Barry Trotz after missing the playoffs. The move was puzzling to say the least, considering Trotz’s defensive system was arguably the main reason New York’s mediocre roster made a pair of recent playoffs to begin with. Playoff success is something that eluded Bobrovsky and the Panthers, but Florida finished atop the regular season standings last season thanks in large part to Bobrovsky’s 39-7-3 record, his average of 2.67 and his save percentage of .913.
Igor ShesterkinNYR to MIN ($7,700): Shesterkin was game-tested last season en route to a 36-13-4 record, 2.07 GAA and .935 save percentage. Things don’t look any different a game into 2022-23, as he made 25 saves in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay to open the season on Tuesday. If given the nod on Thursday, Shesterkin should hold up just fine, even on the road against a Wild offense that ranked fifth with 3.72 goals per game last season.
VALUE GAMES / ONE-OFFS
Mikko RantanenCOL to CGY ($7,400): The Flames were the third stingiest defensive team in the league last season, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Calgary was slow to gel in 2022-23 after an offseason personnel overhaul. As Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri learn to play together in Calgary, Colorado’s top forwards already have built-in chemistry after a Stanley Cup run, and that chemistry was on full display in Wednesday’s season opener. The Avalanche scored four power-play goals in a dominating 5-2 win over Chicago, and Rantanen assisted on all four power-play goals.
Alex De BrincatOTT at BUF ($6,900): DeBrincat is one of the most prominent familiar faces in new places, as the rebuilding Blackhawks traded the 5-foot-7 winger to Ottawa after his 41-goal second season. It may not take long for DeBrincat to show off his scoring prowess on what should be a much-improved Senators team against a Sabers team that is still behind in its rebuild and was one of eight teams to be allocated. at least 3.50 goals per game last season.
Yevgeny KuznetsovWAS at TOR ($5,300): Kuznetsov is a nice value at $5,300 in what should be Thursday’s highest-scoring game. He plays center Alex Ovechkin ($8,100), even-strength and on the power play, and Kuznetsov was within one point of a point-per-game average last season. Kuznetsov was kept off the scoresheet in Wednesday’s loss to Boston but compiled five shots on goal to provide fantastic value.
James van RiemsdykPHI vs. NJ ($3,500): Van Riemsdyk missed a goal to score at least 25 for the sixth time last season. The 33-year-old forward doesn’t have much foot speed left, but his hand-eye coordination and ability to carve out space up front has kept JVR a productive goalscorer. Philadelphia is expected to finish near the bottom of the standings, but a home date with a Devils team that allowed the fourth-most goals (3.68 per game) last season should see van Riemsdyk start his 14th NHL campaign on the right foot.
Gabriel VilardiLAK vs. SEA ($2,600): Vilardi hasn’t lived up to his high draft mark since being selected 11th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, but the game finally seems to be slowing down for him. The affordable winger opened the season Tuesday with a goal and an assist against Vegas, showing the scoring touch that helped him post a 15-23-38 line in 39 AHL-level appearances last season. If you need a cheap roster filler, Vilardi is an attractive option against a Kraken side that allowed five goals in their opener after giving up 3.46 per game last year.
FRONT LINE STACK
penguins versus coyotes
Sidney Crosby (C – $7,000), Jake Guentzel (F – $7,800), Rickard Rakell (F – $5,300)
Crosby and Guentzel are one of the toughest attacking duos in the league. Crosby has averaged more than a point per game every season since the Penguins powered up to first overall in 2005, and he’s just going 31-53-84 in 69 games. last season. Guentzel tied Crosby’s points tally in 2021-22 while scoring his second 40-goal season in the last four. Rakell makes an intriguing value play here, as Pittsburgh looks set to try him on the front row after deploying Rakell in a mid-six role last season after arriving from Anaheim at the trade deadline. A Coyotes team that allowed 3.77 goals per game last season shouldn’t have an answer for that line.
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks
Jack Eichel (C – $6,300), Reilly Smith (F – $4,200), Phil Kessel (F – $3,900)
This trio combined for 16 shots in Vegas’ season-opening win over the Kings on Tuesday, while the rebuilding Blackhawks were completely outplayed Wednesday by the Avalanche. Eichel scored one on seven shots in Los Angeles and has the skills to dominate against a Blackhawks team that is expected to be significantly worse than the 2021-22 version that allowed 3.52 goals per game. Smith had an assist and six shots against the Kings and Kessel had three shots. Both wingers should get their money’s worth while flanking Eichel against the Blackhawks, who were beaten 35-17 in a 5-2 loss to Colorado on Wednesday.
Devils at Flyers
Jack Hughes (C – $6,600), Ondrej Palat (F – $4,400), Dawson Mercer (F – $4,100)
The Flyers allowed 3.59 goals per game last season and aren’t expected to improve much, if at all, in 2022-23, so the Devils’ leading scorers are set for a productive game here. Hughes should be one of the most productive players in the league while still being healthy, as the 2019 first overall pick racked up a 26-30-56 line in just 49 games last season. Palat has excelled playing alongside skilled point guards in Tampa Bay and can bring those concepts to New Jersey, even though Hughes isn’t Nikita Kucherov. Mercer is coming off a promising rookie season in which he posted a 17-25-42 line.
Alex PietrangeloVGK vs. CHI ($5,500): Pietrangelo’s well-balanced game gives him a high floor, and facing the lowly Blackhawks raises his ceiling considerably. He dished out two assists on Tuesday, including one on the power play, and Pietrangelo should continue to bolster his stat line with solid totals in shots and blocks.
Tony DeAngeloPHI vs. NJD ($5,100): DeAngelo is from Sewell, New Jersey, so he grew up on the border of Flyers and Devils country. He joined his hometown team in the offseason and still produced against his home country team, albeit with better supporting casts around DeAngelo in the past. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fiery defenseman’s 6-8-14 line in 13 career games against the Devils.
Ryan McDonaghNSH vs. DAL ($4,500): McDonagh was the most underrated member of the Lightning dynasty, which could well crumble after the defenseman’s offseason departure. He was an elite defenseman in Tampa Bay and didn’t focus much on offense, but a Nashville team with less talent up front will ask McDonagh to join the rush more. McDonagh opened his tenure with the Predators with a two-game point streak and is expected to continue topping his stat line with plenty of blocked shots in his own end.
Owen PowerBUF vs. OTT ($3,900): Drafted first overall in 2021, Power didn’t join the Sabers until late in the season but managed to light the lamp twice in eight games. Although some growing pains are expected for the 19-year-old defenseman as he settles into life as a full-time NHL player, he has plenty of upside at $3,900. If things happen immediately for Power, its valuation could climb quickly.
The author(s) of this article may enter daily fantasy contests, including but not limited to games for which they have provided recommendations or advice in this article. By playing these games using their personal accounts, it is possible that they are using 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.