A new topic that I thought would be interesting is comparing two players and asking you, who would you rather add. I’ll look at four forwards and two defensemen, and give my opinion on that matter but I’m interested to see what you all think!
Brian Boyle (C, LW) vs J.T. Miller (C, LW, RW)
This is a tough one because Boyle has been great over the last two weeks, and JT Miller has also been doing his fair share in the lineup. Boyle has 5 goals, 4 assists, 2 power play points and 1 game-winning goal. While Miller has 3 goals, 1 power play point. I like Miller because he has that flexibility of the C, LW, RW position and plays nearly 16 plus minutes game, plays power play two and also we know he will always be in the mix during the season. Boyle is hot right now and I don’t think he is going to keep this up all season, with his recent production he does play now the power play unit, but this will slow down for Boyle and he does only play anywhere from 12 minutes to 15 minutes a game. Long term, I think Miller makes sense, short-term Boyle is a good choice right now.
Erik Haula (C, LW) vs David Backes (C, RW)
I like this one a lot as both players are very different players and have very different roles on their team and both have that RW, LW flexibility. Haula plays top-six minutes for Vegas, has 2 goals, 3 assists, 2 power play points and 15 shots on goal over the last 14 days. I like Haula because he plays the power play, plays alongside red-hot Jonathan Marchessault, and is always in the mix for Vegas. He plays big minutes, anywhere from 17 minutes to 20 minutes a game. The TOI(time on ice) is there and Vegas is hot. Backes, now since coming back has been playing really well alongside Bergeron, he has 2 goals, 3 assists, 2 power play points and 8 shots on goal over the last 14 days. Backes plays nearly 15 plus minutes a game, top-six role, power play unit and is on a very hot Boston team right now. Similiar to Haula both teams are hot and either or would provide fantasy value. But I think long term, we have to think Haula, he is a younger, more skilled player that plays with a goal scorer and a team that is rolling. Backes is solid but not someone I can really see providing a lot of fantasy value and produce week after week.
Noah Hanifin (D) vs Hampus Lindholm (D)
Hanifin was one of my early sleepers, over the summer I raved about this guy, I really believed he was going to have a bounce-back year and really excel on the blue line on this young Carolina team. Hanifin stumbled in the beginning of the season but so did Carolina, but as their play turns around and they get above .500, Hanifin’s game has been much better. Over the last 14 days, Hanifin has 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 power play points and 26 shots on goal. Hanifin plays top-four minutes, and the second power play, has 7 goals, 12 assists thus far, definitely on pace to topple his numbers last year(already more goals) and will continue to see more minutes and production. Now, Lindholm has been on and off the IR this season and with the play of Josh Manson and Brandon Montour, Lindholm has not seen the time he should be seeing. But he still does play anywhere from 19 plus minutes a game and when he is healthy he is a solid presence out there for Anaheim, and over the last 14 days, he has 3 goals, 1 game-winning goal, 15 shots on goal. The only thing that concerns me about Lindholm, is that if his play ever decreases someone is there to step up and take his job. Lindholm does play second power play and will continue to be a consistent force on this Ducks blue line. Long term, I think I like Hanifin just because no one else on that Carolina blue line(besides Faulk) really possess the offensive ability and Hanifin will continue to progress and his spot will never be taken.