Daily Fantasy Hockey 2015: NHL DraftKings Primer for Feb. 18

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 18, 2015

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 08: David Desharnais #51 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on February 8, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

What a time to be an NHL fan, as Wednesday marks the seventh straight night in which five or more games are on the slate.

Six games are on tap with a heavy emphasis on the West Coast, as the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators face off, the Detroit Red Wings travel to face the Chicago Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames host the Minnesota Wild. At 10 p.m. ET, a trifecta of games will drop the puck as the Edmonton Oilers host the Boston Bruins, the Anaheim Ducks face the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche take on the Los Angeles Kings.

With 12 teams in action, often times a notable player with a great chance to impact the scoreboard can be snatched up on the cheap. Here's a primer for some of the players worth targeting on DraftKings for Wednesday evening.

NHL Daily Fantasy Players to Draft: Feb. 18
Pos.Player (Team)Opp (OPRK)Last 10 GamesSalary
CAnze Kopitar (Kings)COL (22nd)1 goal, 6 assists$5,400
CDavid Desharnais (Canadiens)OTT (18th)2 goals, 6 assists$3,600
WMike Hoffman (Senators)MON (11th)5 goals, 5 assists$4,500
WThomas Vanek (Wild)CGY (26th)3 goals, 4 assists$5,300
DTorey Krug (Bruins)EDM (28th)3 goals, 2 assists$4,600
DTom Gilbert (Canadiens)OTT (30th)2 assists$2,900
GJonas Hiller (Flames)MIN (20th)6-3-0, 228/246 saves$7,900

Centers: Anze Kopitar ($5,400) and David Desharnais ($3,600)

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Jan 31, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) carries the puck against the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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Kings top-line center Anze Kopitar broke his nearly month-long goal drought Monday, but he's shown an increased ability to create chances with six of his 30 assists coming in the last 10 games. He's nearing a pace to set a career high for assists and should help to create more opportunities against an Avalanche squad that has conceded 14 goals in its last four appearances.

Despite a lower price tag, David Desharnais might be a safer bet. The Montreal Canadiens center has broken out over the month of February, scoring twice and adding six assists to go along with a plus-eight rating on the month despite not notching a point in his last three games.

Desharnais' Wednesday night opponent, the Ottawa Senators, gave up six goals at home Monday night to Carolina, so the Canadiens should follow suit and put up plenty of goals.

Wingers: Mike Hoffman ($4,500) and Thomas Vanek ($5,300)

Feb 10, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators center David Legwand (17) takes a shot as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber (6) defends during the first period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

There aren't many players in all of the NHL hotter than Mike Hoffman at the moment. Ottawa's potent scoring winger has accrued five goals and added five assists in his last 10 games, and he has a great chance to make it three straight games with a goal Wednesday against Montreal.

Thomas Vanek is another good winger buy for Wednesday, as he looks to keep up the pace following a two-goal, one-assist performance on Valentine's Day. He has 12 goals and 24 assists on the season for Minnesota and has been improving game by game.

Defenseman: Torey Krug ($4,600) and Tom Gilbert ($2,900)

Feb 10, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47) skates with the puck during the third period against the Dallas Stars at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to defensemen in Daily Fantasy, targeting regular scorers is the way to go, and Torey Krug fits perfectly in that category. He has three goals and two assists in his last 10 games and is coming off a performance Monday night in which he tallied 23:56 of ice time.

Tom Gilbert is a less concrete selection, as he has been playing in replacement of Sergei Gonchar, who is day-to-day after suffering an upper-body injury but hasn't been in the fold in the last few games. If Gonchar doesn't go on Wednesday night, Gilbert will man the second defensive pairing again for the Montreal Canadiens and will be well worth the low price tag.

Goalie: Jonas Hiller ($7,900)

Feb 16, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goalie Jonas Hiller (1) makes a save as Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) tries to score and Calgary Flames defenseman Kris Russell (4) defends during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. C
USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller helped to save the day by coming on in relief of Karri Ramo in Monday's comeback over Boston, and he's set to get the start Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild, according to the team's Twitter account:

His season record (19-16-2) is more or less average, but the Flames have picked up their play with Hiller in net of late. He's 6-3-0 in his last 10 starts, notching a 2.07 goals-against average in that span with a .927 save percentage.