Special to Yahoo Sports
Before we dive into the player recommendations, let's give thanks to the top fantasy producers from the first two months of the seasons. No superstars are mentioned, as their excellent efforts would be expected. Many could have been included here, but we've limited this to resemble an NHL starting lineup:
F: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT: Probably the biggest surprise, thanks to 13 goals, six assists and a plus-17 rating. Due to his outstanding two-way play and recently added power-play duty, it'll be tough to slow Pageau.
F: Andrei Svechnikov, CAR: Still a teenager, Svechnikov has gone off for 27 points, including 10 on the man-advantage. The 63 shots on goal and 43 hits round out a balanced resume.
F: Evander Kane, SJ: Guess we shouldn't necessarily be shocked Kane has started so well based on back-to-back 50-point seasons, but we'll take the 12 goals, nine assists, nine PPPs, 51 hits and 24 PIM any time.
D: Dougie Hamilton, CAR: With 10 goals, 15 assists, eight PPPs, 82 shots and a plus-15 through 26 contests, Hamilton's on pace to destroy multiple career-highs.
D: Cale Makar, COL/Quinn Hughes, VAN: Have to include both rookies, as Makar is tied for second in the league with 25 points while Hughes leads all rearguards with 13 PPPs.
G: Darcy Kuemper, ARI: Even though Antti Raanta is taking enough starts, Kuemper — in tandem with the Arizona D — is proving last year's numbers were no fluke.
And now, back to the standard material:
(Yahoo rostership rates/stats as of Nov. 28.)
Mikael Granlund, Nashville Predators (29 percent rostered)
After posting back-to-back 60-plus-point campaigns in Minnesota, it seemed shocking when Granlund was traded to Nashville last season. When he arrived in Music City, he only registered seven points in 22 games. It appeared Granlund was set to turn it around with two goals and two assists in his first five outings, but he'd go scoreless over the following 12. Fortunately, he's back on track with five points from his last six to go with 20 shots and a spot on the Preds' top power play.
Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay Lightning (23 percent)
Gourde produced a goal and three assists from the opening 12 appearances while averaging 14:04. The stats significantly increased with additional ice time, to the tune of five goals and five assists across the next nine. Gourde remains on Tampa Bay's second man-advantage unit but has already recorded five points during that situation. On a deep offense, he should continue to score given the 112 points accumulated in his first two full seasons.
Alex Galchenyuk, Pittsburgh Penguins (17 percent)
Much was expected from Galchenyuk after he came over from Arizona in the Phil Kessel deal. Unfortunately, an injury sidelined him for nine games in October. The ex-Hab could only muster an assist from the next six but still directed 19 shots on net during that span. In his most recent six, Galchenyuk has racked up six points with three on the power play. He's looked more like his old self since partnering with Jared McCann and should keep scoring unless another physical problem should arise.
Mats Zuccarello, Minnesota Wild (14%)
After six years of offensive consistency, Zuccarello began his Wild tour with a measly assist and a minus-4 in seven matchups. Things started to click with a five-game point streak, but he immediately regressed with nothing in four. However, Zuccarello's fortunes recovered lately with four in four — including three PPPs averaging almost four minutes per outing. The nimble Norwegian might not reach the 50-point plateau, but he's gotta at least be reliable for something in the 40s.
Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (12%)
Now that Hyman has returned from offseason knee surgery, I can finally include the only notable pro athlete who ever attended my high school. In six games, he's fired home two goals and added an assist. One of those tallies marked his first NHL PPP, but don't expect that role to last. What you can count on Hyman to do is shoot the puck (15 SOG), get a little gritty (eight hits, five blocks) and eat up a nice chunk of ice time (18:26). His place beside John Tavares — or in the top-six, for that matter — might not remain after Mitch Marner rejoins the squad, but he'll produce enough in the meantime.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, Columbus Blue Jackets (6%)
The Blue Jackets might not qualify as an offensive powerhouse, but it's amazing to see someone with seven points in his last four games remain available in more than 90% of leagues. Not only has Bjorkstrand accomplished that, but he's also averaged nearly three shots a game this season while mainly occupying a place on Columbus' first power play. If the Dane can at least perform at a serviceable level from here on in, he's sure to eclipse his career-high 40 points.
Danton Heinen, Boston Bruins (2%)
Heinen burst onto the scene in 2017-18 with 47 points, including 12 PPPs. These numbers dipped last year and continued to stagnate at the start of this schedule. The University of Denver product hovers around the middle of the Bruins' depth chart, but he's getting an opportunity on their elite man-advantage and notched two PPAs last Thursday. That situation probably won't last long, but Heinen qualifies as a solid lower-roster addition.
Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues (2%)
As a teenager, Thomas picked up right where his impressive junior career left off by recording 33 points in 70 games in his Blues' debut. He's shown spurts of scoring at different times this season, but the results have fallen considerably short of expectations. However, since fantasy transactions are sometimes justified by the "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" rule, Thomas clearly fits the part with five assists over his last four outings. He's listed as St. Louis's third center, but moved to the No. 1 trio for part of their last contest and could see added action there if he keeps up this pace.
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild (49%)
Sixteen points in 25 games sound like a decent haul, so it's tough to figure out why Suter is available in roughly half of Yahoo leagues. He may be 34, but he's still skating 25 minutes a night and patrols the point on the Wild's top power play. Need any more incentive? How about Suter's seven points from the last five, including a 29:40, two-assist performance at Boston on Saturday? The minus-9 might be a deterrent, but you're not going to find similarly producing D-men available for free.
Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (12%)
Chiarot has gone from relative unknown in Winnipeg to the bright lights of Montreal. His career in La Belle Province started with a goal and an assist in his opening 14 outings but was supplemented with 27 shots, 34 hits, and 18 blocks. In the 10 games since, Chiarot has maintained the secondary stats while exploding for eight points. As long as he's paired with Shea Weber, he's going to keep assuming a major role — albeit one without man-advantage minutes.
Joel Edmundson, Carolina Hurricanes (11%)
He's never exceeded 17 points over a full campaign, yet Edmundson has somehow struck for eight in his last seven matchups. The Canes are loaded with D talent, but the former Blue has more closely been associated with non-attacking areas. When the offense inevitably disappears — as it did during the first 17 encounters — Edmundson will at least be able to build upon his 32 PIM, 36 hits and 35 blocks.
John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins (2%)
When one gets picked 154th overall and then goes to Harvard, professional hockey might become an afterthought. But not for Marino, who plugged away and got his chance when the Penguins signed him in August after acquiring him from the Oilers. The lanky blueliner wasn't the biggest scorer in college, but he's sure to come alive in the NHL with two goals and seven assists in 13 games — including a run of points in five straight. If Marino can add some power-play time during Justin Schultz's absence, then his rostership numbers should skyrocket.
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators (12%)
The Preds have endured a rough stretch the last few weeks, with their No. 1 goalie suffering the worst of it. Pekka Rinne was pulled from three of his last four starts while compiling a 5.34 GAA and .806 save percentage across six appearances. That's opened the door for fellow Finn Saros. And all he's done in four is win both ends of a home-and-home against the Blues and manage a 1.78/.926 line. You'd figure Rinne will eventually reclaim the top spot, but you'd also have to believe they're gonna keep running with Saros while he's hot.
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins (10%)
Like Saros, Jarry has capitalized on a teammate's recent misfortunes. With Matt Murray allowing nine goals over two outings versus the Islanders, the 24 year old has stepped in and taken the last two. He's been sparingly used this season but has posted a 1.81 GAA and .945 save percentage in seven games. Murray's most likely going to return to his rightful place, but Jarry serves as an excellent cover.
Players to consider from past columns: Brock Nelson, Bo Horvat, Zach Parise, Kaapo Kakko, Victor Olofsson, Joonas Donskoi, Nazem Kadri, Derek Stepan, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tyler Bertuzzi, Zach Parise, Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn, David Krejci, Andre Burakovsky, Ryan Strome, Martin Necas, Eric Staal, Travis Konecny, Jaden Schwartz, Jared McCann, Oscar Klefbom, Devon Toews, Filip Hronek, Adam Fox, Alex Goligoski, Esa Lindell, Anthony DeAngelo, Cam Fowler, Antti Raanta, Anders Nilsson, Mikko Koskinen, Jonathan Quick, Jaroslav Halak, Linus Ullmark.