Rankings update: Who will step up with Kirill Kaprizov out?

It’s a fair argument to say that the only reason any forward wearing a Minnesota Wild jersey is on fantasy teams is because of Kirill Kaprizov. The only forwards to crest past 1.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) on the Wild are his fellow winger, Mats Zuccarello (2.2 FPPG), and the center that joins Kaprizov and Zuccarello on the power play, Joel Eriksson Ek (2.1 FPPG). Ryan Hartman, Kaprizov’s center, would be there too if he had played in the role all season; he has 2.0 FPPG in the past month.

I often use 1.7 FPPG as the threshold for fantasy relevant, as that is usually the right number to get enough fantasy players to fill rosters. But, without direct access to Kaprizov, no other Wild forward can claim they are relevant. Matt Boldy isn’t there, though he is right on the threshold. Marcus Foligno isn’t there after posting 1.8 FPPG last season. Sam Steel didn’t get there despite playing center for Kaprizov most of the season.

With Kaprizov out three to four weeks with a lower-body injury, we may be into April before we see him again. There are few players that act as such a solitary catalyst for their team. Only Kaprizov, Connor McDavid, Erik Karlsson and Nikita Kucherov have earned a point on at least 40% of all their team’s goals this season. He’s also been on the ice for 53% of the Wild’s total goals.

Furthermore, the Wild currently rank only better than the Chicago Blackhawks for goals per 60 at five-on-five as a team this season and are dead last by a significant margin since Jan. 1. Even if you include all strengths, the Wild rank 32nd since Jan. 1.

Kaprizov’s absence is going to be felt in fantasy circles.

Zuccarello drops 62 spots to No. 121 in the rankings this week after Sam Steel joined the top line on Saturday in place of Kaprizov. That isn’t going to get things done though. Boldy is up 32 spots to No. 167 because I think he is ultimately the solution for more goals here. Maybe he moves up to the top line with Hartman and Zuccarello, or maybe Zuccarello replaces Marcus Johansson with Eriksson Ek and Boldy. Either way.

As for Kaprizov, don’t drop him. This is what injured reserve spots are for. Even if he only comes back for a handful of games, it’s at a key juncture in the season and you certainly don’t want any of your competitors getting him for the final push.

Forward notes

Timo Meier, W, New Jersey Devils (down eight spots to No. 24): Is five games enough time to find your footing? Probably not. Meier and Jack Hughes have now had that many games together with little to show for it for Meier. Jesper Bratt was the other member of the line at first, but he was replaced by Jesper Boqvist, and then the Devils used both of them interchangeably on Sunday. The Devils keep winning, so they can afford to wait. Even with the three goals by Bratt and Hughes on Sunday, Meier was only on the ice for one of them. Maybe it’s time to try him with Nico Hischier?

Pavel Buchnevich, W, St. Louis Blues (up 31 spots to No. 75): Buchnevich is relishing his role with the Blues following the personnel movement of the past month. In a realm without Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly, Buchnevich has been on fire. He missed two games shortly after the O’Reilly trade, but since Feb. 23, Buchnevich has 15 points in nine games. He’s sharing the ice with the new guys, Kasperi Kapanen and Jakub Vrana.

Bo Horvat, C, New York Islanders (down 22 spots to No. 101): Of course, a drop in production was expected with Horvat moving to the Isles. But it was only supposed to be a slight one. Instead, Horvat has posted 1.6 FPPG over the past month. A lot of the blame for that can rest with the injury to Mathew Barzal, who was supposed to line up with Horvat on a pretty dangerous top line. With no timetable yet on Barzal’s injury, the rest of the season doesn’t look hopeful.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Winnipeg Jets (down 27 spots to No. 115): This injury is really dragging. Dubois missed three games, suited up Feb. 6 against the San Jose Sharks, then missed another three games with expectations he’ll miss a fourth on Tuesday. On the plus side for the Jets, and maybe even for fantasy managers, Vladislav Namestnikov has stepped into a role on the second line since arriving via trade and is putting up points. He has five points in five games since arriving with the Jets. We are supposed to get an update on Dubois around Thursday after the Jets road trip is done, so stay tuned.

Andrei Kuzmenko, W, Vancouver Canucks (up 20 spots to No. 147): With 10 goals in his past 11 games, Kuzmenko is riding high on the Canucks top line. Anthony Beauvillier has been a near-perfect replacement for the season-ending injury to Ilya Mikheyev on the unit. He’s been hot and cold this season, which is probably why he’s only rostered in 67.2 percent of leagues, but he’s on pace to approach 40 goals this season.

Alexander Kerfoot, C/W, Toronto Maple Leafs (enters top 250 at No. 190): He’s not picking up any points … yet. But Kerfoot has been slotted into the Maple Leafs top six since the injury to Ryan O’Reilly. Playing with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, Kerfoot has some explosive potential if he can keep the job.

Alex Chiasson, C/W, Detroit Red Wings (enters top 250 at No. 215): The definition of a power-play specialist, Chiasson earned a contract at the deadline to join the Red Wings and ply his trade for yet another team. He has made a career out of standing in front of the net on the advantage and burying loose pucks. His arrival coincides with the Red Wings trailing only the Oilers and Lightning in power-play goals since Feb. 1. There could be some deep-league value here.

Defense notes

Josh Morrissey, D, Winnipeg Jets (down 12 spots to No. 25): Missing Sunday’s game with an injury, we don’t have clarity on what is ailing Morrissey at this stage. But every missed game matters a lot in the rest-of-season rankings when the rest of the season is only 14 games.

Erik Karlsson, D, San Jose Sharks (down nine spots to No. 43): It should come as no surprise that the Sharks trading away Meier has an impact on Karlsson’s production. While he still has 2.6 FPPG on the season, Karlsson only has 2.1 FPPG since Feb. 20, which is the first game following Meier’s last with the Sharks. That’s a 10-game sample, which isn’t huge, but it shouldn’t be ignored.

Adam Boqvist, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (up 29 spots to No. 171): Don’t look now, but a power play that was a joke at the start of the season sits third in conversion percentage in the past month. With Boqvist established as the quarterback and the Jackets willing to give Kirill Marchenko a permanent role on the unit, the Blue Jackets are finally making some noise when they get a power-play opportunity. Boqvist has turned that into 2.1 FPPG during the past month.

Goaltender notes

Alexandar Georgiev, G, Colorado Avalanche (up 15 spots to No. 9): I will explain this more on Tuesday in another supplementary look at the rankings. Without giving away too much for what Tuesday’s article will focus on, I’ll mention that, at this particular moment in time, Georgiev has the best remaining schedule of all goaltenders and has an 82 percent crease share in the past month.

Pyotr Kochetkov, G, Carolina Hurricanes (enters top 250 at No. 210): He needs to be back on the radar because he’s with the Hurricanes again while Antti Raanta is injured. But I wouldn’t put too much stock into him. Kochetkov posted a shutout in his return, but was beaten handily by the Devils on Sunday. Unless Raanta stays out for an extended stretch, this should be a short-lived call-up.

ESPN fantasy NHL top-250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (F1)
2. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (F2)
3. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D1)
4. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (F3)
5. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (F4)
6. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (F5)
7. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (F6)
8. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (F7)
9. Alexandar Georgiev, G, Col (G1)
10. Cale Makar, D, Col (D2)
11. Tage Thompson, C, Buf (F8)
12. Tim Stutzle, LW, Ott (F9)
13. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G2)
14. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D3)
15. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TB (F10)
16. Linus Ullmark, G, Bos (G3)
17. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (F11)
18. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (F12)
19. Jake Oettinger, G, Dal (G4)
20. Brayden Point, C, TB (F13)
21. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G5)
22. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D4)
23. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D5)
24. Timo Meier, RW, NJ (F14)
25. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G6)
26. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ott (D6)
27. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (F15)
28. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Fla (F16)
29. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G7)
30. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (F17)
31. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (F18)
32. William Nylander, RW, Tor (F19)
33. Nico Hischier, C, NJ (F20)
34. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgk (D7)
35. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D8)
36. Moritz Seider, D, Det (D9)
37. Jack Eichel, C, Vgk (F21)
38. Jason Robertson, LW, Dal (F22)
39. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D10)
40. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (F23)
41. John Tavares, C, Tor (F24)
42. Filip Gustavsson, G, Min (G8)
43. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D11)
44. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (F25)
45. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (F26)
46. Joonas Korpisalo, G, LA (G9)
47. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D12)
48. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (F27)
49. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (F28)
50. J.T. Miller, C, Van (F29)
51. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D13)
52. Brent Burns, D, Car (D14)
53. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D15)
54. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (F30)
55. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (F31)
56. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (F32)
57. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G10)
58. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G11)
59. Claude Giroux, LW, Ott (F33)
60. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (F34)
61. Vitek Vanecek, G, NJ (G12)
62. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D16)
63. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (F35)
64. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (F36)
65. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (F37)
66. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Bos (F38)
67. Evan Bouchard, D, Edm (D17)
68. Darcy Kuemper, G, Wsh (G13)
69. Patrick Kane, RW, NYR (F39)
70. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (F40)
71. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (F41)
72. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (F42)
73. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (F43)
74. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G14)
75. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, StL (F44)
76. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (F45)
77. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Col (F46)
78. Dawson Mercer, C, NJ (F47)
79. Dmitry Orlov, D, Bos (D18)
80. Jesper Bratt, RW, NJ (F48)
81. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D19)
82. Alex Tuch, RW, Buf (F49)
83. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (F50)
84. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (F51)
85. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (F52)
86. Rasmus Sandin, D, Wsh (D20)
87. Jared McCann, LW, Sea (F53)
88. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Ott (F54)
89. Jeremy Swayman, G, Bos (G15)
90. Vincent Trocheck, C, NYR (F55)
91. Ilya Samsonov, G, Tor (G16)
92. Thatcher Demko, G, Van (G17)
93. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (F56)
94. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (F57)
95. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (F58)
96. Frederik Andersen, G, Car (G18)
97. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (F59)
98. Martin Necas, C, Car (F60)
99. Seth Jones, D, Chi (D21)
100. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, NYR (F61)
101. Bo Horvat, C, NYI (F62)
102. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D22)
103. Kevin Fiala, C, LA (F63)
104. Stuart Skinner, G, Edm (G19)
105. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D23)
106. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (F64)
107. J.T. Compher, RW, Col (F65)
108. Philipp Grubauer, G, Sea (G20)
109. Zach Hyman, LW, Edm (F66)
110. Shea Theodore, D, Vgk (D24)
111. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (F67)
112. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (F68)
113. Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Col (F69)
114. Jeff Petry, D, Pit (D25)
115. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (F70)
116. Ville Husso, G, Det (G21)
117. Bowen Byram, D, Col (D26)
118. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D27)
119. Rickard Rakell, C, Pit (F71)
120. Dylan Cozens, C, Buf (F72)
121. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (F73)
122. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D28)
123. Adam Larsson, D, Sea (D29)
124. Logan Couture, C, SJ (F74)
125. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D30)
126. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Min (G22)
127. Devon Toews, D, Col (D31)
128. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (F75)
129. Brandon Hagel, LW, TB (F76)
130. David Savard, D, Mon (D32)
131. Mike Matheson, D, Mon (D33)
132. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D34)
133. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (F77)
134. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Car (D35)
135. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Bos (F78)
136. Vince Dunn, D, Sea (D36)
137. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (F79)
138. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (F80)
139. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (F81)
140. Brandon Montour, D, Fla (D37)
141. Brayden Schenn, C, StL (F82)
142. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (F83)
143. Evander Kane, LW, Edm (F84)
144. Rafael Harvey-Pinard, LW, Mon (F85)
145. Tommy Novak, C, Nsh (F86)
146. John Klingberg, D, Min (D38)
147. Andrei Kuzmenko, LW, Van (F87)
148. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (F88)
149. Ryan Graves, D, NJ (D39)
150. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D40)
151. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (F89)
152. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Cgy (F90)
153. Juuso Valimaki, D, Ari (D41)
154. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D42)
155. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (F91)
156. Lawson Crouse, LW, Ari (F92)
157. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (F93)
158. Robert Thomas, C, StL (F94)
159. Adin Hill, G, Vgk (G23)
160. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (F95)
161. Ivan Barbashev, C, Vgk (F96)
162. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (F97)
163. Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg (F98)
164. Hampus Lindholm, D, Bos (D43)
165. Pheonix Copley, G, LA (0)
166. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D44)
167. Matt Boldy, LW, Min (F99)
168. Matty Beniers, C, Sea (F100)
169. Trevor Zegras, C, Ana (F101)
170. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D45)
171. Adam Boqvist, D, Cls (D46)
172. Owen Tippett, RW, Phi (F102)
173. Torey Krug, D, StL (D47)
174. Sam Bennett, LW, Fla (F103)
175. Anthony Beauvillier, LW, Van (F104)
176. Ben Chiarot, D, Det (D48)
177. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (F105)
178. Tyson Barrie, D, Nsh (D49)
179. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cls (F106)
180. Jake McCabe, D, Tor (D50)
181. Alec Martinez, D, Vgk (D51)
182. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, LA (F107)
183. Ondrej Palat, LW, NJ (F108)
184. Sam Reinhart, RW, Fla (F109)
185. Jason Zucker, LW, Pit (F110)
186. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D52)
187. Brayden McNabb, D, Vgk (D53)
188. Jake Walman, D, Det (D54)
189. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D55)
190. Alexander Kerfoot, C, Tor (F111)
191. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D56)
192. Troy Terry, C, Ana (F112)
193. Ryan McDonagh, D, Nsh (D57)
194. Kirill Marchenko, LW, Cls (F113)
195. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D58)
196. Nazem Kadri, C, Cgy (F114)
197. Phillip Danault, C, LA (F115)
198. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (F116)
199. Andrew Peeke, D, Cls (D59)
200. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G24)
201. Jake Sanderson, D, Ott (D60)
202. Trevor van Riemsdyk, D, Wsh (D61)
203. Mikael Backlund, C, Cgy (F117)
204. Seth Jarvis, C, Car (F118)
205. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Sea (F119)
206. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Wpg (F120)
207. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D62)
208. John Gibson, G, Ana (G25)
209. Eetu Luostarinen, C, Fla (F121)
210. Pyotr Kochetkov, G, Car (G26)
211. Jordan Eberle, RW, Sea (F122)
212. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (F123)
213. Josh Anderson, RW, Mon (F124)
214. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgk (F125)
215. Alex Chiasson, RW, Ari (F126)
216. Tony DeAngelo, D, Phi (D63)
217. Akira Schmid, G, NJ (G27)
218. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G28)
219. Kaiden Guhle, D, Mon (0)
220. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (F127)
221. Sean Durzi, D, LA (D64)
222. David Krejci, C, Bos (F128)
223. Erik Gudbranson, D, Cls (D65)
224. K’Andre Miller, D, NYR (D66)
225. Jonathan Quick, G, Vgk (G29)
226. Cam Fowler, D, Ana (D67)
227. Jakub Vrana, C, StL (F129)
228. William Eklund, LW, SJ (F130)
229. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (F131)
230. Frank Vatrano, LW, Ana (F132)
231. Vladislav Namestnikov, C, Wpg (F133)
232. Max Domi, C, Dal (F134)
233. Logan Thompson, G, Vgk (G30)
234. Scott Laughton, C, Phi (F135)
235. Matt Roy, D, LA (D68)
236. Matt Murray, G, Tor (G31)
237. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, StL (F136)
238. Luke Evangelista, RW, Nsh (F137)
239. Mikael Granlund, LW, Pit (F138)
240. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Phi (D69)
241. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (F139)
242. Reilly Smith, RW, Vgk (F140)
243. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LA (F141)
244. Marcus Pettersson, D, Pit (D70)
245. Philip Tomasino, C, Nsh (F142)
246. Travis Hamonic, D, Ott (D71)
247. Connor Mackey, D, Ari (D72)
248. Tomas Tatar, LW, NJ (F143)
249. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D73)
250. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, Dal (F144)

Just missed

  • Martin Fehervary, D, Washington Capitals

  • David Perron, W, Detroit Red Wings

  • Andre Burakovsky, W, Seattle Kraken

  • John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals

  • Mathew Barzal, C, New York Islanders

  • Damon Severson, D, New Jersey Devils

  • Barrett Hayton, C/W, Arizona Coyotes

  • Shane Pinto, C, Ottawa Senators

  • Jaccob Slavin, D, Carolina Hurricanes

  • Lucas Raymond, W, Detroit Red Wings

  • Dylan Strome, C/W, Washington Capitals

  • Kailer Yamamoto, W, Edmonton Oilers

  • Filip Hronek, D, Vancouver Canucks

  • Casey DeSmith, G, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Connor Clifton, D, Boston Bruins

  • Erik Haula, C, New Jersey Devils

  • Brandon Carlo, D, Boston Bruins

Dropped out

  • Kirill Kaprizov, W, Minnesota Wild

  • Cam Talbot, G, Ottawa Senators

  • Antti Raanta, G, Carolina Hurricanes

  • Robby Fabbri, C/W, Detroit Red Wings

  • Dillon Dube, W, Calgary Flames

  • Filip Chytil, C, New York Rangers

  • Jonas Brodin, D, Minnesota Wild

  • Ryan Hartman, C/W, Minnesota Wild

  • Chandler Stephenson, C, Vegas Golden Knights

  • Alexander Barabanov, W, San Jose Sharks

  • Luke Schenn, D, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Michael Bunting, W, Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Mark Stone, W, Vegas Golden Knights

  • Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Anaheim Ducks

  • Tanner Jeannot, W, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Jake Allen, G, Montreal Canadiens

  • Gabriel Landeskog, W, Colorado Avalanche

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