Fantasy Hockey Trade Analyzer: Pair of Penguins make for perfect targets

Carolina Hurricanes Goalie Antti Raanta (32)
It hasn't been an ideal start to the season for Antti Raanta. (Photo by Katherine Gawlik/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By Corey Abbott, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

When making roster changes, it is usually beneficial to take advantage of injury situations. Several players could be making the most of increased responsibilities, while others could have their roles reduced once a player returns to action.

It could also be time to start moving away from some struggling talents, especially if you can land an upgrade.


Antti Raanta, G, Hurricanes (53% rostered)

Raanta entered Tuesday night's action with a 3-1-0 record, a 3.03 GAA and an .870 save percentage in five appearances. Except for the win total, those numbers are nothing to write home about. However, the 34-year-old netminder has a big opportunity in front of him as Carolina's new No. 1 netminder even though he could face some competition from Pyotr Kochetkov or Jaroslav Halak, who has joined the Hurricanes on a professional tryout.

It's unclear at this time when Frederik Andersen will be able to return to the lineup after it was discovered that he has a blood clotting issue. He could be out for weeks or it could be months. Raanta has filled in before during Andersen's previous absences and has performed very well. In 55 games over the previous two campaigns, he has a 34-8-7 record with six shutouts, a 2.34 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Raanta for Philipp Grubauer

Reilly Smith, LW/RW, Penguins (58% rostered)

Smith has proven to be a great addition for Pittsburgh after he spent the previous six seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. Surprisingly, he isn't rostered in more leagues, which could make him ripe for the taking on the trade market.

He has notched six goals, 11 points and 24 shots on net through 10 games. He has been held off the scoresheet on just four occasions while collecting three multi-point performances. During even-strength situations, he plays alongside Evgeni Malkin. Smith also has exposure to Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the top power-play unit.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Smith for Jared McCann

Bryan Rust, RW, Penguins (51% rostered)

Rust finds himself in a similar situation to Smith, as a productive member of Pittsburgh's top-six forward group. He has amassed six goals, 11 points, 33 shots on target and 11 blocked shots through 10 outings this campaign. He's failed to pick up a point in only three contests thus far. Rust is shockingly rostered by fewer managers than Smith despite his cushy spot alongside Crosby and Guentzel at even strength.

Rust has rebounded in a big way after posting 20 goals and 46 points over 81 appearances in 2022-23. It was believed that he would easily be able to improve upon his disappointing 9.5 shooting percentage, and that has been the case so far. Rust has displayed in previous seasons that he is capable of operating at a point-per-game pace. If he manages to stay healthy, he could be in store for a career year.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Rust for Kevin Fiala

Pavel Zacha, C, Bruins (61% rostered)

Zacha has heated up after a sluggish start to the season, and his roster percentage has been on the rise. He has plenty of long-term upside despite having his six-game point streak snapped in Monday's 3-2 win over Dallas. Zacha had four goals and three assists during his scoring spree.

He set new personal bests in 2022-23 in goals (21), assists (36) and points (57) during his first season as a member of the Bruins. Zacha is back alongside David Pastrnak again this campaign, but now his average ice time per contest is up to a career-high 19:24. Zacha stands a very good chance of establishing new highs offensively this season.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Zacha for Evan Rodrigues


Patrik Laine, C/LW/RW, Blue Jackets (73% rostered)

Laine compiled 22 goals and 52 points in 55 games last campaign. Two years ago, he had 26 goals and 56 points over 56 appearances. Missing large chunks of the season is nothing new for him. Laine hasn't played since Oct. 20 due to an upper-body injury, and it's unclear when he will be available to return. He is currently considered to be week-to-week.

Laine's point production is great, and having eligibility at all three forward positions is a tremendous asset, but he may not be worth the headache. If you have the roster flexibility to keep him on injured reserve, then waiting for him to return may not be much of a problem. However, he could fetch you a very good return in a trade.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Laine for Pierre-Luc Dubois

Matty Beniers, C, Kraken (44% rostered)

Beniers has plenty of work to do if he's going to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx. After generating 24 goals and 57 points in 80 games during his rookie campaign in 2022-23, the 21-year-old center has contributed just four assists through 12 outings this season.

Beniers has registered 20 shots on goal without lighting the lamp. His ice time per game is up from 17:06 last year to 18:27, but the production hasn't been there. You should not be considering a trade involving Beniers if you're in a keeper league, but in redraft formats, a deal could be in your best interest.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Beniers for Teuvo Teravainen

Tyler Bertuzzi, LW, Maple Leafs (29% rostered)

Bertuzzi's fantasy stock has been plummeting following a lackluster start with Toronto. He only has two goals, one assist, 24 shots on net and 14 hits across 12 contests this campaign.

Bertuzzi could figure it out eventually, but patience is clearly running thin in fantasy circles, so the time to act for a trade is probably now. Still, he could be an attractive option for other managers. Playing alongside William Nylander and John Tavares puts him in a great spot to succeed despite his struggles.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Bertuzzi for Joonas Korpisalo

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Panthers (24% rostered)

Ekman-Larsson has been a popular waiver wire addition recently, which could make him an attractive trade consideration. He has been logging big minutes for Florida this season due to the absences of Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. However, there is a chance that Ekblad and/or Montour could be ready to return from offseason shoulder surgeries shortly after the team's California road trip, which runs from Nov. 14-17.

Ekman-Larsson has accounted for two goals, three assists, 26 shots on net, 19 blocked shots and eight hits in 11 appearances. That includes one goal and two helpers on the man advantage. Time is running out to try to sell high on him.

Example of a deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Ekman-Larsson for Mark Scheifele