NHL Stock Report for November: Buy, Sell or Hold on 25 Top Players

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IDecember 1, 2011

NHL Stock Report for November: Buy, Sell or Hold on 25 Top Players

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    With two months of the 2011-12 NHL season over, it's now time to look at the 25 best players thus far and determine if they will keep up their hot start or cool off.

    Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel leads the NHL in points and is tied for first in goals scored this year, but typically gets off to good starts. Can he keep up his strong play?

    What about St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott? Can he keep up his league-leading save percentage and GAA?

    Let's find out whose stock you should sell, hold and buy.


    Author's Note: I chose five goalies, five defensemen and 15 forwards for this list. They are in no particular order.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

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    Henrik Lundqvist is the best goalie in the NHL and is once again leading the New York Rangers with his superb play.

    The Rangers allow the fewest goals per game in the league, and Lundqvist is the major reason for that. He has a 2.10 GAA and a .933 save percentage with 10 wins this season.

    King Henrik will get nominated for the Vezina this season.

    Buy, Sell or Hold November stock: Buy

Nikolai Khabibulin, Edmonton Oilers

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    Nikolai Khabibulin has played very well this season for the surprising Edmonton Oilers and was an integral part of their fast start to the year.

    Khabibulin is fourth in the NHL with a 1.88 GAA and also has an impressive .935 save percentage. Khabibulin is a good goalie with Stanley Cup winning experience, but I need to see more from him, especially on a young and inexperienced team.

    Buy, Sell or Hold November Stock: Hold

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

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    Jimmy Howard has become a real star in the NHL, and his play this season has been so vital to the success of the Detroit Red Wings.

    Howard is third in the NHL with a 1.87 GAA and has a .929 save percentage. He leads the league with 14 wins thus far.

    Howard is relied on so much by the Red Wings, and he continues to prove he is dependable and can play night after night.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

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    Tim Thomas has not regressed from last year's historic season in which he set the single-season record for save percentage and won the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies.

    Thomas is fourth in the NHL in wins with 12 and save percentage (.936). He also has a GAA of 1.93.

    Thomas and the Bruins did not lose a game in regulation in November and are looking even better than they did last season when they won the Stanley Cup.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

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    Brian Elliott has been the reason for most of the St. Louis Blues success this season, and he is having a fantastic year.

    Elliott leads the NHL in save percentage (.951) and GAA (1.31). Elliott's career high in save percentage is 9.09, and his best GAA in a year he played at least 40 games in was 2.57.

    He needs to show us much more before we believe he's a real Vezina candidate.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Sell

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Dion Phaneuf has played well for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season and is looking like the stud offensive defenseman that he was with the Calgary Flames.

    He has scored three goals with 18 assists this year and has played well in his own end. 

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

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    Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara leads the team in assists with 13 and has added three goals too. Chara is once again a force in front of the Bruins goal, and his defensive play has made him a Norris Trophy candidate.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

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    Nicklas Lidstrom's leadership during the Detroit Red Wings' slump after their hot start was so important to get the team back to their winning ways.

    The Red Wings are currently tied with the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division, and Lidstrom is a major reason why.

    Lidstrom's six goals this season rank second among defensemen, and he's added 11 assists.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

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    Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future with the Nashville Predators, team captain Shea Weber has been a rock-solid defenseman this season and has excelled in his own end.

    He's added four goals and 12 assists this season, and has remained a top candidate for the Norris Trophy.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

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    Young Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the NHL in assists with 21 and leads defensemen in points with 22.

    His plus-minus rating of minus-two is a concern, and he has not been as dominant in his own end that he can be. Still, though, Karlsson leading the NHL in assists as an inexperienced kid is pretty special.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Hold

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

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    Claude Giroux has massive expectations to lead the Philadelphia Flyers on offense this season due to the summer departures of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, and he's performed exceptionally thus far.

    Giroux is third in the NHL in points, having scored 13 goals with 16 assists in 23 games. He will average a point-per-game this season and become a legitimate superstar.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins

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    Tyler Seguin has been a point per game player for the Boston Bruins this season, scoring 12 goals with 12 assists.

    He has already eclipsed his goal total from last year (11) and has been one of the Bruins best players. His improvement on defense has really taken his game to a new level.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers

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    Ryan Smyth is the elder statesman on the young Edmonton Oilers, but he is having a fantastic season, scoring 12 goals and 12 assists thus far.

    Smyth is a very good left winger and will keep this pace up because of his own talent and the skills of the young players around him.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

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    Jonathan Toews has led the Chicago Blackhawks this season with 25 points on 13 goals and 12 assists. He is on pace for a 40-40 season, and I think he will get there.

    Toews is one of the best players in the NHL, top seven in my opinion, and will carry the Blackhawks deep into the playoffs.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals

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    Nicklas Backstrom is one of the better playmakers in the NHL and currently leads the Washington Capitals in points this season with 25.

    We all know Backstrom dominates in the regular season; the real question is, will he do this in the postseason when the pressure's on.

    We'll have to wait and see on that, but for now, he is playing fantastic.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres

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    Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville is having a great season thus far, having scored nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 24 games.

    Pominville has been a very good playmaker for the Sabres this season and is likely to reach 80 points by April.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers

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    Jordan Eberle is one of the better young forwards in the game and has met expectations thus far for the Edmonton Oilers.

    He has nine goals and 17 assists for 25 points this season and has really been an offensive spark for the team.

    Eberle is still developing as an NHL star, and it will be fun to watch if he can remain in the top 10 in points when the season concludes.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Hold

Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers

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    Kris Versteeg has played with a couple teams since leaving the Chicago Blackhawks after winning the Stanley Cup with them in 2010, but he seems to have found a good fit with the Florida Panthers.

    The Panthers have the third best record in the Eastern Conference and lead the Southeast Division by five points, and Versteeg's 12 goals and 14 assists are a big reason why.

    Still, though, Versteeg is on pace for 89 points, which would shatter his career high of 53. It's too early to think he can do that.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Sell

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Steven Stamkos is tied for the league lead with 16 goals this season and has also added 10 assists for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Stamkos is on pace to score 55 goals this season, and there's no reason why he couldn't reach that mark. He has become the elite young offensive player in the game.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers

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    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, and he has lived up to expectations with the Edmonton Oilers.

    Nugent-Hopkins is tied for fourth in the league with 27 points, 11 goals and 16 assists. He is a superstar in the making and is the real deal.

    He likely has the Calder Trophy won already, and we just moved into December.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

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    Last year's scoring leader, Daniel Sedin is once again having a great season and currently has seven goals with 20 assists. His 20 assists rank second in the NHL.

    Sedin is once again having an MVP-caliber season and is a major reason the Vancouver Canucks remain a dangerous offensive team and a squad capable of beating anyone.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins

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    James Neal has started the season off spectacularly and has 14 goals with 11 assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins in points with 25.

    With the return of Sidney Crosby to the Penguins lineup, Neal's stats may dip a bit, but he will still have a solid season.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Hold

Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres

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    Thomas Vanek leads the Buffalo Sabres with 27 points on 12 goals and 15 assists. Vanek is one of the more underrated players in hockey, and when he's healthy, he is an elite player.

    His goal scoring is so vital to the success of the Sabres, and he will once again reach 30 goals this season.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Buy

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel is tied for the NHL in goals (16) and leads the league in points with 32.

    He is off to an amazing start, but he usually starts of the season in fine form. He's looked better this year than he did last season, but Kessel must prove he can perform like an elite player for an entire season.

    I think he will, but it remains to be seen.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Hold

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Joffrey Lupul is having an amazing season and has exceeded expectations thus far for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in second place behind the Boston Bruins in the Northeast Division.

    Lupul has scored 12 goals with 18 assists this season and is second in the league in points.

    He's on pace for 98 points, but has not scored more than 53 in his career; expect him to cool off a bit in the next few weeks.

    Buy, Sell, Hold November Stock: Sell