Detroit Red Wings v St. Louis Blues

Owners of both Vladimir Tarasenko and Cory Conacher have been left shaking their heads the last few weeks, after both rookies have gone completely ice cold. After the two forwards exploded onto the scene to start the 2013 season, both have left owners wondering what’s gone wrong.

If you traded either of them during that hot stretch, not only was that a gutsy move, but smart when you look back. Trading either player now may be tough, but it’s still worth investigating in non-keeper pools. These guys have talent, and it’s just a matter of time before we see the offensive production return for you patient owners.

Tarasenko, owned in 74 percent of Yahoo Leagues and 88.2 percent of ESPN Leagues, rewarded owners early, scoring five goals and adding four assists in January. Since that time though, the 2010 first round pick of the Blues has just one goal and one assist in seven games in February, and has just 9 shots on goal over that stretch. (He had 24 shots on goal in 7 games in January) If you’re in a keeper pool, he’s still untouchable, but if not, take a chance and explore the option of trading him, especially in points only pools. Still aim high on trade demands, and remember, it’s never a bad practice to explore the value of one of your players.

Players to target for Tarasenko include:

Phil Kessel (TOR)

Marian Hossa (CHI)

Tomas Plekanec (MTL)

Alex Semin (CAR)

Remember, Tarasenko can do this!

Conacher, owned in 63 percent of Yahoo Leagues and 88.6 percent of ESPN Leagues got off to a Lightning quick start! (no pun intended) In his first seven career games in the NHL, the 5’8, 180 pounder, scored five goals and added seven assists. Since that seven game mark though, the kid has just one assist in seven games. To say the least, he’s extremely cold, leaving owners in the dark on their next move. Personally, like Tarasenko, I would still hang on to him in a keeper league, but in a non-keeper pool, it may be tough to get any value for him at this point. I wouldn’t drop him just yet, although he’s ranked fifth in Yahoo drops on Sunday morning with 413. His 16 shots on net over the seven game cold stretch shows he’s still getting chances, but the truth is, the league has caught onto to him. The ball is now in his court to make the much needed adjustments to get back on track.

Players you can target at this point for Conacher include:

Brad Marchand (BOS)

James van Riemsdyk (TOR)

Andrew Ladd (WPG)

Matt Read (PHI)

Conacher may be small, but he’s got skill, as seen here against the Panthers on January 29th.

Rookies are going to get cold during the season, but when they start as hot as Tarasenko and Conacher, it’s frustrating to see them go so cold so quick. Don’t panic on either player just yet, especially when the other rookies in the league, Nail Yakupov (4 points in February), Damien Brunner (6 points in February), Jonathan Huberdeau (5 points), and Alex Galchenyuk (3 points) are outscoring them this month. Both are talented players that will figure this out, but again, it’s still not a bad practice to explore their value, even through this bad stretch.

Top 5 pickups on Yahoo:

1. Ben Scrivens (TOR)

2. Ray Emery (CHI)

3. Alex Steen (STL)

4. Rene Bourque (MTL)

5. Brad Boyes (NYI)

Greatest Change in percentage owned on ESPN:

1. Jiri Tlusty (CAR) 70.8 %

2. Francois Beauchemin (ANA) 59.1 %

3. Troy Brouwer (WAS) 47.9 %

4. Slava Voynov (LA) 45 %

5. Andy Greene (NJ) 43.9 %

If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.