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Fantasy Hockey Trade Analyzer: Buy low on Elias Lindholm before he breaks out

Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the Ottawa Senators
Vladimir Tarasenko has seen his shots on goal and ice time diminish this season, and that makes him a target to trade away in fantasy hockey leagues. (Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) (Andre Ringuette via Getty Images)

By Corey Abbott, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

With the March 8 NHL trade deadline fast approaching, Vancouver and Winnipeg got an early start with a couple of big moves during the All-Star break. The Canucks landed Elias Lindholm from Calgary, while the Jets acquired Sean Monahan from Montreal. For fantasy purposes, both players make for intriguing pickups on their new teams. Andrei Kuzmenko, who was shipped to the Flames in the Lindholm deal, could be worth targeting in your fantasy league as well.

We also have an emerging talent for your consideration as well as a couple of players who could be moved to bolster your roster for the home stretch.

TRADE FOR

Elias Lindholm, C, Vancouver Canucks (77% rostered)

Lindholm has been a disappointment in 2023-24 following three straight seasons of steady production. He only has nine goals and 32 points through 49 appearances this campaign despite averaging a career-high 20:45 of ice time per outing. Even if Lindholm doesn't return to the point-per-game form he displayed in 2021-22, he should get an offensive boost following the trade. Vancouver has been firing on all cylinders, and Lindholm will occupy key roles in the Canucks' lineup. That should help him rebound from a discouraging 6.9% shooting rate, which has dropped significantly from his 14.7% success rate over his previous six seasons.

Lindholm is projected to work on the top power-play unit and skate alongside Elias Pettersson during even-strength situations. Lindholm has been skating on the wing in practices, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he took the majority of the faceoffs, which have been an area of strength for him over the years. He will also likely continue to have a big role on the penalty kill with the Canucks after he ranked second on the Flames in short-handed ice time. Fantasy managers patiently waiting for Lindholm to get a change of scenery should work quickly to scoop him up. He has the potential to be a great fit for Vancouver.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Lindholm for Ryan O'Reilly

Andrei Kuzmenko, LW/RW, Calgary Flames (52% rostered)

Kuzmenko appeared as a trade-away option earlier this season due to his offensive struggles. After bursting onto the NHL scene with 39 goals and 74 points across 81 outings in 2022-23, he had only eight goals and 21 points through 43 contests this campaign. The 28-year-old winger should benefit from a fresh start in Calgary.

Kuzmenko picked up four goals and two assists while averaging just 13:15 of ice time during his final 20 appearances with the Canucks. He went through stretches when he was a healthy scratch and couldn't seem to get out of the doghouse, but he should get a chance to make a bigger impact with the Flames. Kuzmenko is slated to play on a new-look top line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Yegor Sharangovich, who is trending toward a career year offensively. Kuzmenko is worth pursuing due to his offensive upside and increased role.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Kuzmenko for Pavel Zacha

Wyatt Johnston, C/RW, Dallas Stars (32% rostered)

Johnston accounted for 24 goals and 41 points in 82 games last season during a strong rookie showing. He has taken steps forward this campaign while compiling 14 markers and 32 points through 49 appearances. Johnston has also upped his shooting in 2023-24, improving from 1.95 shots per game to 2.24 shots per contest.

Johnston has been taking advantage of his promotion to Dallas' top line alongside Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz, generating three goals and five helpers in seven outings going into Tuesday night's action. The 20-year-old Johnston hasn't moved up to the first power-play unit, which holds back his fantasy value a bit, but he stands a good chance of being a valuable offensive contributor to fantasy squads in the second half of the season. As a result, he is worth targeting either on the waiver wire or through a trade.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Johnston for Adam Lowry and Josh Norris

Sean Monahan, C, Winnipeg Jets (29% rostered)

Monahan has put together an impressive season so far, earning 13 goals and 35 points over 49 outings. He has done a great deal of damage on the power play, collecting six goals and 10 assists. Monahan has also netted two shorthanded tallies this campaign. He isn't rostered in many leagues, so he could be sitting on the waiver wire. If he isn't available via that route, Monahan's upside with Winnipeg makes him an intriguing trade candidate.

Monahan is slated to center the second line of the Jets between Nikolaj Ehlers and Cole Perfetti. The 29-year-old Monahan is also projected to work on the first power-play combination, which will grant him valuable exposure to Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele. Monahan stands to gain a great deal from the trade, and he should be able to provide the Jets with a lift in secondary scoring.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Monahan and a 14th-round pick for Johnny Gaudreau and a ninth-round selection

TRADE AWAY

Vladimir Tarasenko, LW/RW, Ottawa Senators (51% rostered)

Tarasenko has contributed offense in bunches in 2023-24 while accumulating 13 goals and 33 points in 45 games. He is on pace to finish just below the 60-point plateau, but there have been some red flags that fantasy managers should take note of which could make the decision to move him easier.

Tarasenko's shots per game (1.98) are his lowest since his rookie season (1.97) from 2012-13. Additionally, his 15:50 of ice time per game is the lowest it has been since his 2013-14 sophomore campaign (15:10). Tarasenko has been skating on the third line recently and has been working on the second power-play unit. He has been mentioned in trade speculation, which could provide his fantasy value with a boost, but that shouldn't stop you from seeking an upgrade if there's one out there.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Tarasenko for Jordan Kyrou

Gustav Nyquist, LW, Predators (31% rostered)

Nyquist has been a productive player for Nashville this season, registering 12 goals and 38 points through 51 games. However, he has cooled off considerably after a red-hot stretch from Dec. 12 to Jan. 12 in which he compiled eight markers and eight helpers in 14 matches. Nyquist has earned a mere four points, including three assists, across his past nine appearances.

Nyquist's rostered percentage has been on the decline, but you still might be able to get something for him rather than dropping him outright. He has recorded point streaks of nine and 10 games this season, but that level of consistency could be difficult for him to find again.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Nyquist for Nick Suzuki