DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate offers no shortage of action, with 12 games on tap after 7:00 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


This slate's biggest favorites will be the Jets in Detroit given the Red Wings' awful recent play, but there's a number of other enticing sources of fantasy value. Those include the Predators in Buffalo and Penguins against Columbus on the offensive side, as well as a pair of intriguing goalies out West in Arizona and Anaheim.


Connor Hellebuyck ($8,400) should be worth paying up for against a putrid Red Wings team that's scoring a league-low 2.09 goals per game while allowing a league-high 4.00. Winnipeg handed Detroit its 12th consecutive loss Tuesday, and Hellebuyck brings a sparkling 15-7-2 record, 2.24 GAA and .933 save percentage into this one.

After backup Antti Raanta gave up five goals to Calgary in Arizona's last game, starter Darcy Kuemper ($8,200) will be tasked with getting the team back on track against a Blackhawks club that's averaging only 2.68 goals per game. Kuemper's 13-6-2 record, 1.96 GAA and .935 save percentage suggest he'll be up to the task.

The Kings are a 10-6-1 at home and a putrid 2-12-1 on the road. While Anaheim isn't too far from Los Angeles, a visit from the Kings nonetheless sets the table for a strong performance from Ducks netminder John Gibson ($7,900) against Los Angeles' bottom-three offense. Gibson has maintained a passable 2.82 GAA and .910 save percentage despite not getting much help from his teammates.

Jordan Binnington ($7,500) got the hook for the first time in his career in his last start, but this could be a nice buy-low opportunity on the young stud, who still has a 13-6-4 record, 2.45 GAA and .921 save percentage. The visiting Golden Knights put the seventh-most pucks on net (33.7 per game) but rank below average with 2.88 goals per game, so Binnington should provide plenty of saves in this one.


Brock Nelson ($5,300) is a notoriously streaky scorer, and it looks like he's heating up for the Islanders, having potted three goals in his past three games. The hulking center should keep rolling against a Panthers team that ranks among the league's five most generous with 3.27 goals allowed per game.

A three-assist effort Tuesday helped Connor McDavid ($8,400) recapture the league lead in points from teammate Leon Draisaitl. McDavid now has a 19-36-55 line through 33 games, and he's usually worth paying up for if you have the funds. Expect another strong performance from McDavid against a Wild team that's allowing 3.23 goals per game.

Calle Jarnkrok ($5,000) is enjoying a late breakout campaign for Nashville, and the 28-year-old winger is showing no signs of slowing down heading into a matchup with a Sabres team that's won only six of its past 20 games. He has five goals and nine points in his past nine games, bringing his season line to 11-10-21 through 29 contests.

Artemi Panarin ($6,900) has kicked off the Rangers' road trip out West with two goals and an assist through two games, raising his season line to 15-22-37 through 30 games. He's playing at a 101-point pace after watching his point total climb from 74 to 82 to 87 over the previous three campaigns, and Panarin's likely to keep rolling against a Sharks team that's surrendering 3.42 goals per game — third-most in the league.


Jets at Red Wings

Mark Scheifele (C - $8,200), Patrik Laine (W - $8,100), Kyle Connor (W - $7,500)

Both Scheifele and Laine lit the lamp while Connor added an assist in Tuesday's 5-1 win over the Red Wings, and all three members of this line are likely to mark the scoresheet in this rematch against the league's worst team. Scheifele's five goals in his past four games have propelled him into the team lead in both goals (14) and points (30). Laine is one point behind Scheifele, while Connor ranks third on the Jets with 27 points.

Penguins vs. Blue Jackets

Evgeni Malkin (C - $8,300), Jake Guentzel (W - $7,600), Bryan Rust (W - $6,700)

Guentzel leads the Penguins in both goals (17) and points (32) through 31 games, as he's on pace to score 40-plus goals for the second straight season. Malkin ranks second on the team with 27 points despite playing only 20 games, while Rust is tied for second in goals (nine) and third in points (18) in just 17 games played. This line of better than point-per-game performers should have its way with a Blue Jackets team that's been outscored 92-76 through 30 games.

Flames vs. Maple Leafs

Sean Monahan (C - $5,300), Mikael Backlund (W - $3,700), Dillon Dube (W - $2,800)

The Flames have caught fire of late, winning each of their past six games, and this line has played a major role in that recent success. Monahan has a seven-game point streak and four-game goal streak going, Backlund has three points in his last four games and five in the past seven, while Dube has a 3-4-7 line in his past seven games played. Their recent productivity should continue against a Maple Leafs team that ranks among the 10 worst defensively with 3.19 goals allowed per game.


Josh Morrissey ($4,800) dished out a helper in Tuesday's win over the Red Wings, giving him 18 points in 29 games. Winnipeg's top source of offense from the blue line is likely to get right back on the scoresheet in this rematch two days later.

Roman Josi ($8,000) has been Nashville's most dangerous option on the power play, as the point man is tied with Matt Duchene for the team lead with three power-play goals. He also has a team-high 11 points on the man advantage, while Ryan Johansen has eight and no other Predator has more than five. Josi's power-play prowess should be on full display against Buffalo's 74.0 percent penalty kill.

Erik Karlsson ($5,800) has racked up 24 points in 32 games, putting him in the league's top 10 for points by a defenseman. He has a good opportunity to add another productive performance against a Rangers team that's giving up 3.10 goals per game.

Cam Fowler ($4,400) is tied for the Ducks' team lead with four power-play points. If there was ever a time for Anaheim's anemic power play to break out, it's against a 73.5 percent Kings penalty kill that ranks ahead of only Detroit.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
Seattle Expansion Mock Draft: Central Division
Seattle Expansion Mock Draft: Central Division
Seattle Expansion Mock Draft: Pacific Division
Seattle Expansion Mock Draft: Pacific Division
Prospects Analysis: Risers and Fallers
Prospects Analysis: Risers and Fallers
NHL Season Suspended
NHL Season Suspended
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Picks