DraftKings NHL Picks – December 28th

Welcome back from the Christmas break! Hopefully everyone had a great holiday as we ease back into action on tonight’s seven-game slate! Let’s go!

C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $7,900 vs. ARI

Matthews is the most expensive pivot on the board, but his matchup is a good one tonight against his hometown Arizona Coyotes. Matthews returned from a six-game concussion-related absence to notch a goal and an assist on four shots in the Leafs’ final game before the break. He was clearly a much healthier player than before and he should start dominating games immediately as per his pre-injury self.

C – Aleksander Barkov (FLA) – $6,500 vs. PHI

The Panthers are a run-and-gun team on home ice as they rank sixth in home offense and last in road defense across the NHL. Barkov is having a big season in Florida as he has 33 points in 35 games to go along with 97 shots on goal. Interestingly, he has racked up four shorthanded goals this season. Nonetheless, he and Jonathan Huberdeau are a lethal combination and will be dangerous tonight against the visiting Flyers.

W – William Nylander (TOR) – $5,200 vs. ARI

I truly believe we are getting Nylander at a nice discount tonight. It was clear the lethal Matthews/Nylander combination was back in the aforementioned final game before the break where Nylander also tallied a goal and an assist. He has now tallied two goals and two assists over his last four contests and should see his production increase with the return one of the NHL’s best players tonight.

W – Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) – $6,400 vs. PHI

As mentioned, the Barkov/Huberdeau connection has been dynamite this season despite the Panthers’ overall struggles. For his part, Huberdeau has racked up 12 goals and 35 points in 36 games to go along with 96 shots on goal. He has scored three goals over his last two contests after going four straight without a point. It looks like we have Huberdeau while he’s hot so let’s roll him out in a game I believe will be high scoring.

W – Travis Konecny (PHI) – $3,500 vs. FLA

Konecny usually wouldn’t be on my radar when it comes to the Flyers, but it appears he has moved onto their top line with Couturier and Giroux, so there is value to be had here. This is especially true with the Panthers boasting the league’s worse home defense. Konecny doesn’t have a point over his last six, but it looks like the Flyers are trying to get him going by moving him up the depth chart. Tonight is a good opportunity for the young forward.

D – Keith Yandle (FLA) – $4,700 vs. PHI

Yandle is the Panthers’ top offensive defenseman as he has racked up 21 points and 70 shots across 36 games this season. He is the anchor of the top power play unit as well, a group that goes up against the Flyers and their sub-80% penalty kill tonight. The veteran defenseman has points in back-to-back contests and makes a fine three-man stack with Barkov and Huberdeau.

D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $4,000 vs. ARI

Another three-man stack is complete here with the addition of Gardiner. His 17 points and 49 shots aren’t quite as high as you would like to see from an offensive defenseman, but with Matthews back this is a three-man power play stack. Gardiner is the lone defenseman on the power play unit that contains Matthews and Nylander as the Maple Leafs sport the league’s seventh best power play overall at 22.2%. Look for them to capitalize against the Coyotes this evening.

G – Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $8,300 vs. MON

As far as safety goes on this slate, Vasilevskiy has to be right up there. He has a home game where he is 14-1-1 on the season and will take on the NHL’s 25th ranked offense in the form of the Montreal Canadiens. He gets plenty of goal support as the Lightning lead the NHL with 3.79 goals per game, but they also rank third with 2.46 goals against per game. Lock the Russian netminder into your DraftKings lineup tonight.

UTIL – Michael Raffl (PHI) – $3,300 vs. FLA

Like Konecny, Raffl is in a nice spot tonight in Florida. He skates on the Flyers’ second line with Jakub Voracek while he also gets second line power play minutes as well. He has scored all six of his goals over his last 15 games and is getting an increased amount of ice time as per the second line and second power play unit duties. Against a poor defense, Raffl is a nice value play on this slate.

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