DFS NHL Opening Night


DFS NHL Daily Plays

Welcome to Daily Fantasy Hockey with RotoMinds. Many of you know that I (Mike5754) have enjoyed a decent amount of success in NHL over the past two seasons where NHL was actually my most profitable sport last season in terms of ROI %. We will use FanDuel positions and pricing in the analysis unless otherwise noted.

So the most important note for tonight is to make sure you do NOT over extend yourself because it’s new and exciting. The slate tonight really isn’t a great slate because these games are relatively evenly matched and everyone is well rested. The second thing to note is future write-ups will be much longer when we have more than 4 games to analyze.

You can view our DFS NHL Projections here and check back closer to lineup lock for optimal lineups.

Left Wing

  • Max Pacioretty – Max is our top overall play tonight in our projection model despite the road game. Montreal is currently a moderate road favorite tonight against the Leafs. Pacioretty is your best bet for scoring a point tonight in Toronto.
  • Rick Nash (only on sites that reward heavily for SOG and don’t award +/-. Rick Nash is an elite winger but the matchup on the road in Chicago is one of the worst in the NHL. Nash is an excellent contrarian play on a site like DarftKings that really rewards shots and blocked shots. Nash should approach 5 shots on goal tonight which gives him a nice floor on a short slate.
  • Johnny Gaudreau – The Flames are one of the teams you will want to target tonight and it starts with Johnny Gaurdeau who is poised to have a big year this year after a great season last year. Gaudreau is skating on the top line and the Flames top power play unit.
  • Alexander Semin – Semin is finally out of the situation he wanted out of. He is playing with Montreal this year where he will skate 2nd line and 2nd power play with Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. This 2nd line has big upside tonight.

Right Wing

  • Marian Hossa – I will admit that I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan and I watch all of their games. This might feel like a homer pick tonight against one of the better goal tenders in the league, but I really like Hossa tonight. This Blackhawks top line and top power play is one of the best, if not the best in all of hockey. Hossa is a dynamic player who can score and share the puck very well. Hossa is the best way to get exposure to the Blackhawks offense tonight.
  • Tyler Toffoli – Toffoli is a member of a line we will reference often this year called “That 70’s line” Each of the 3 forwards on this line have a Jersey number in the 70’s. Toffoli is a sharp shooter who can really rack up the shots on goal to provide value on all sites. One thing that we like about the 70’s line is they are almost always together whether it’s even strength or on the power play.
  • Radim Vrbata -Vrbata had a nice season last year making the move to the Canucks. Vrbata is a pure scorer who will lead the 2nd line and spend power play time on the top unit with the Sedin twins. Vrbata is one of the better plays with a low floor on sites that don’t award +/- points.
  • Brendan Gallagher – Another Montreal player that provides a nice combination of floor and ceiling tonight where he will stake top line and top power play.


  • Jonathan Toews – I have a Jonathan Toews jersey on as I write this article so I won’t deny there is a little homer in me with this pick. Good thing we use a model to generate projections to help confirm by love for Jonathan Toews. Toews is a top 5 overall player tonight (and most nights). Toews will skate with Hossa and Teravainen to start the season and play on the teams top power play unit where we will also get exposure to Patrick Kane.
  • Tomas Plekanec – Plekanec is another top play at center tonight. Plekanec will skate with our top play, Max Pacioretty on both even strength and power play units.
  • Jeff Carter – That 70’s line shows up again tonight with Jeff Carter. The Kings are an interesting team because we almost always end up targeting their 2nd line over their 1st line and tonight is no different. We like the 2nd line with Carter and the 2nd power play. The Kings split the power play units up fairly evenly where some teams force the top unit in a little more.
  • Teuvo Teravainen – Teravainen is young player that gets to skate with Toews and Hossa. Teravainen is an excellent play on a site like FanDuel where you get +/- points and exposure to Toews and Hossa. It;s hard to argue with the price tag for someone on this line…


  • Kris Russell (DK ONLY) – This guy is a blocked shot machine. DraftKings only play.
  • Mark Giordano – Giordano is a very offensive minded defenseman. Look for Giordano to be heavily involved in any Flames scoring tonight. Giordano has a very high floor.
  • Dougie Hamilton – Dougie is significantly cheaper than Giordano but they are paired together on the 1st defensive pairing and top power play unit. Hamilton definitely isn’t Giordano, but he is in play in all formats at the current price tag.
  • Jeff Petry


  • Carey Price – We don’t typically recommend many goalies on the road. Part of the reason is there are usually enough games to find a +EV situation with a home goalie. Tonight we only have 4 games to pick from so Carey Price is the top play despite the road game in Toronto. Price is one of the safest goalies in daily fantasy hockey. If you’re a MLB player you know how important a pitcher win is on sites like FanDuel…. NHL is no different, lock in that goalie win and move on.
  • Jonathan Quick – Quick is easily the next in line option and perhaps the best option when you consider salary and the home matchup. The Kings are a very good defensive team that should get and hold the lead allowing Quick to pick up a win tonight.
  • Corey Crawford – The Blackhawks are similar to the St. Louis Cardinals in baseball… the win probability is typically pretty high relative to the rest of the league.
  • Karri Ramo – Many of the flames rank well for us tonight so it’s reasonable to trust the model which says the Flames win this game.

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