Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks in February of 2011 in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth round pick,  no one in the hockey world could have imagined how one trade could turn out so one-sided just two years later.

Lupul, who signed a five-year, $26.25 million extension with the Leafs back on January 20th, has returned to the Toronto lineup after missing a significant portion of the season due to a broken forearm, as a man on a mission. Owners who decided to keep Lupul on their roster, or better yet, picked him up off waivers when he was placed on IR, have been rewarded this week with an incredible total of five goals, four assists, plus four rating and 12 shots, making him the hottest player in the league this week. His new linemate, Nazem Kadri, who is having a break out season to say the least, has recorded three goals and two assists over the week, making the dynamic duo two players putting fantasy owners over the top in their respective matchups this week.

In case you missed it, this was Lupul’s end-to-end goal against Carolina this week.

Lupul, the former first round pick of the Ducks in the 2002 draft, enjoyed his best season in the NHL last year when he recorded 25 goals and a career high 67 points, but Lupul looks better this season, making him a player you have to consider keeping for next season. Missing time with the injury will only help make him finish the season on a very similar run he’s on now, and playing along side Kadri boosts both their fantasy values going forward.

Kadri was fortunate enough to appear with Don Cherry in the broadcast booth for a post-game interview, where Grapes pulled a Doug Gilmour moment with a kiss for Kadri.

 

Who’s Hot List (other players point totals over the week starting March 25th)

Oilers forward Taylor Hall: 5 goals, 3 assists, +5, 14 shots

Wild forward Zach Parise: 3 goals, 3 assists, +5, 22 shots

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos: 4 goals, 2 assists, 14 shots

Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 0 goals, 7 assists, +5, 5 shots

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski: 4 goals, 2 assists, +3, 12 shots

Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata: 3 goals, 2 assists, +2, 11 shots

Panthers forward Shawn Matthias: 5 goals, 0 assists, 13 shots

Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun: 2 wins, 2 shutouts

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi: 4 wins, 1.22 GAA, 2 shutouts

Canucks goalie Cory Schneider: 3 goals, 1.60 GAA, 1 shutout

Top 5 pickups in Yahoo!

1. Jared Spurgeon (MIN)

2. Shawn Matthias (FLA)

3. Troy Brouwer (WAS)

4. Tomas Vokoun (PIT)

5. Mike Green (WAS)

Top 5 drops in Yahoo!

1. Paul Martin (PIT)

2. Jake Allen (STL)

3. Robin Lehner (OTT)

4. James van Riemsdyk (TOR)

5. Brenden Morrow (PIT)

Top 5 players traded in Yahoo!

1. Jarome Iginla (PIT)

2. Marian Gaborik (NYR)

3. Viktor Fasth (ANA)

4. Zdeno Chara (BOS)

5. Matt Duchene (COL)

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