There are seven games on the NHL slate with some marquee teams to look at Thursday. The Penguins are on the road in Tampa Bay taking on the Lightning, and the Blackhawks, Predators and Stars are all in action. Those teams have a lot in common in that a lot of their top players are pricey. Here are some value options to considerÖ
Martin Jones, SJ vs BUF ($8,600): Jones has gotten off to a very poor start and tonight at home is a prime spot for him to bounce back. The Sabres have averaged 33 shots on net this season. Allowing four goals in each of his first two games, both at home, Jones is due for a good effort as the Sharks should be energized after not playing since Saturday.
Vincent Trocheck, FLA vs STL ($5,200): As a shoot-first type center, Trocheck averaged almost three shots on goal per game last season. In two games thus far, he has one goal, one assist, and five shots, averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. He skates on the second forward line and mans one of the points on the Panthersí top power-play unit. He should see plenty of opportunities tonight against a Blues team that is allowing opponents an average of 37 shots on goal per game over its first four games of the season.
Brayden Point, TBL vs PIT ($4,600): The marquee center for the Lightning is Steven Stamkos, but Point is a nice salary-saving pivot. In three games, Point has three goals and four assists while seeing around 20 minutes of ice time per game. Heís been centering a productive second line and is seeing time on the second power-play unit. The Penguins have had some defensive woes so far and will be playing their second game on the road in as many nights.
Richard Panik, CHI vs MIN ($5,100): The Blackhawks have been scoring goals in bunches, and most of the damage has been done by the first line. Panik, along with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad have combined for seven goals as a unit in the teamís first four games. Panik alone has accounted for three of those tallies, one of which has come on the power play.
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG at VAN ($5,500): After the Jets struggled out of the gate, head coach Paul Maurice decided to juggle the lines before last games and it benefit Ehlers right away. He had three goals and one assist against the Oilers skating on the top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. Ehlers has fired 13 shots on goal in the teamís first three games and gets even more upside on a very dangerous Jets power play.
Scott Hartnell, NSH vs DAL ($3,800): Hartnell has three goals in total, two of which have come on the power play where he skates with the top unit. He has nine shots, too, and faces a Stars team that still has some holes on defense.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI vs DET ($5,100): In three games, OEL has just one assist but does have six shots on goal and is seeing the ice for over 23 minutes per game. He mans the point on the top power-play unit and has two goals, six assists, and 35 shots on goal in 18 career games against Detroit.
Jacob Trouba, WPG at VAN ($4,600): Trouba is way too cheap here, especially with Dustin Byfuglien confirmed to be out for the Jets again. With 11 shots on net and a lone assist, the offensive production is bound to come, and Trouba has rewarded on the defensive end in averaging over three blocked shots per game The absence of Byfuglien boosts Troubaís upside, as he saw over 26 minutes of ice time in his last game against the Oilers with Big Buff sidelined.