The 11-game NHL slate tonight provides us with plenty of options on the draft board. Like most Tuesdays, there is a bevy of elite talent and plenty of value plays to choose from. I will be identifying both in today’s DraftKings NHL picks. Let’s get to it!
C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $8,500
Seeing as he is the top player on the draft board, there are nights to draft him and nights to fade him, and tonight I’m drafting him. Pittsburgh is too good of a team on home ice as their 108 goals at home easily lead the NHL and amount to a whopping four per game. With Evgeni Malkin still nursing an injury it is Crosby’s line that will do most of the heavy lifting again tonight after the world’s top player was involved in three of Pittsburgh’s four goals in Saturday’s win over the Blues. He averages 1.22 points and 3.83 shots per game at home this season.
C – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,700
I am going with the heavy artillery down the middle tonight as Tyler Seguin visits the Maple Leafs this evening. While they have snuck their way into a playoff spot for the time being, Toronto’s defense and goaltending have been putrid lately, having surrendered at least five goals in four straight games. One of those games was against these Stars when Dallas mauled the Leafs for five first period tallies in a 6-3 win last Tuesday. Seguin has 24 points in 25 road games an averages 3.48 shots per game away from home. He is a solid play once again tonight against a suspect Leafs back end.
W – Chris Kunitz (PIT) – $3,900
Thanks to Conor Sheary’s injury Kunitz is once again riding shotgun next to Crosby. It didn’t take long for the two to regain their chemistry after years of playing together as Kunitz tallied two assists in Saturday’s win while skating over 17 minutes, a 4-5 minute increase over his ice time from when he was playing on the Pens’ third line. Kunitz won’t get to see the Penguins’ top power play unit, but he does appear on the second group and remains a solid play at this price so long as he sticks on the top line next to Sid.
W – Mats Zuccarello (NYR) – $6,200
Pittsburgh and the Rangers are two of the five highest scoring home teams so it’s prudent to get some exposure to that tonight. My choice of Ranger is Zuccarello who has been a key member of a potent Rangers’ attack for most of the season. He scored his 10th goal of the season a couple of games ago and the fact he had just four goals in his previous 40 games despite 107 shots tells me the goals should start coming more frequently. His current shooting percentage of 7.4% is well under his 11% career mark, so despite still recording 0.75 points per game this season, more of those points should come in goal form as he builds on his impressive 136 shots on the season.
W – Alex Tuch (MIN) – $2,600
One of two extreme value plays tonight, I feel very fortunate to have Tuch at this price. He made his NHL debut on Saturday in Vancouver and recorded two shots and two blocked shots on the night. What those stats don’t tell you is the fact he skated with Eric Staal and Zach Parise on the Wild top line. The 20-year-old appears set to remain on that line tonight in Winnipeg against a Jets team that ranks 27th with 3.11 goals against per game. They also have surrendered at least three goals in a whopping 12 straight games. Tuch is a very intriguing value play tonight.
D – Erik Karlsson (OTT) – $7,000
Karlsson is having another elite offensive season and would be the top offensive d-man in the league once again if it weren’t for the MVP season Brent Burns is crafting in San Jose. Regardless, Karlsson is second in points among defenseman and has posted an impressive 120 shots on goal and 135 blocked shots as well. His 27:03 average ice time is 5th in the league. The Senators will face a Blues team that is playing on back-to-back nights and despite posting a shutout last night, St. Louis had allowed at least four goals in three of their previous four games and rank 26th with 3.04 goals against per game.
D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $4,400
Gardiner is having a nice season offensively, and although he has been held pointless in seven straight, he has a solid opportunity to get back on the scoresheet tonight against the visiting Stars. Dallas enters play tonight having surrendered 3.71 goals per game on the road. They also kill penalties at a brutal 68.2% on the road, by far the worst road penalty kill in the NHL. The Maple Leafs have the NHL’s second best power play at 23.4% and Gardiner is the lone defenseman on the Leafs’ top unit. He is a solid play at a reasonable price tonight.
G – Anders Nilsson (BUF) – $7,100
While Nilsson and the Sabres face the first place Sharks tonight, I actually like the matchup. The Sabres yield just 2.25 goals against per game at home and Nilsson has been brilliant at the KeyBank Center this season. He sports a .946 save percentage and a 1.84 goals against average on home ice. The Sharks are a middle of the pack offensive team this season and could certainly struggle to score against a confident Sabres bunch on home ice this evening.
UTIL – Kenny Agostino (STL) – $2,600
The second extreme value play this evening, Agostino scored a goal in his season debut for the Blues last night in Philadelphia. The rookie also recorded a solid four shots on goal and also saw almost two minutes of power play ice time. He currently leads the AHL in scoring with 60 points in 48 games and has plenty of offensive upside. The Blues could use a bump in production with Robby Fabbri out for the season with a torn ACL and it appears Mike Yeo is going to give Agostino every chance to fill that void.