Fantasy Hockey Drop Candidates: Playoffs are almost here — it’s time to make some hard cuts

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55)

Colton Parayko has scored nine goals and 23 points in 69 games this season, making him a prime cut candidate for fantasy hockey managers looking to improve their rosters. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Michael Finewax, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Fantasy managers are heading into the playoffs next week in head-to-head leagues. Hopefully, your team has established itself as a top squad, or at least, a playoff entrant. Let’s consider some players who are rostered in ample Yahoo leagues and who could be easily dropped.

Dougie Hamilton, D, New Jersey Devils (62% rostered)

Hamilton is iffy at best to return to the lineup by the end of the season — and there is no reason why the Devils should rush him, as they are seven points out of a wild-card spot and must pass five teams to get into the postseason. Hamilton underwent pectoral surgery on Dec. 1 and has missed the last 49 games. He was very good offensively to start the season with five goals and 16 points in 20 games, but if you are in a redraft league, it’s well past the time to drop Hamilton from your roster.

Mikhail Sergachev, D, Tampa Bay Lightning (49% rostered)

Sergachev is another very good defenseman who is not returning for the regular season. He underwent surgery for a fractured tibia and fibula on Feb. 8 and is not close to returning to action. Sergachev had two goals and 17 assists in 34 games before he was hurt, including seven helpers on the power play. Sergachev will be a good pick next season, as he is likely to slide in drafts as most poolies will look at his 19 points and not the fact that he played in only 34 contests.

Colton Parayko, D, St. Louis Blues (36% rostered)

Parayko is worth keeping if hits and blocked shots are categories in your league. Parayko is not worth holding on to if points are your only consideration. Parayko has nine goals and 23 points in 69 appearances this season. He is tied for 65th among blueliners in points, which shouldn’t cut it in most leagues. He doesn’t see much action on the power play — he has only one assist — and doesn’t accumulate many penalty minutes, as he has only nine minor penalties. All in all, it doesn’t make sense to keep Parayko.

Hampus Lindholm, D, Boston Bruins (45% rostered)

Lindholm was a great fantasy player in 2022-23, scoring 10 times while adding 43 assists in 80 games. He also was a plus-49 and had 17 points on the power play. Unfortunately, that was last season. Lindholm has a goal and 24 points in 61 appearances this season, 59th among defensemen in points. That does not justify him being rostered in 78% of Yahoo leagues. Lindholm is a good blueliner, but he does not have a lot of value in fantasy leagues.

Tyson Barrie, D, Nashville Predators (35% rostered)

Barrie has played only seven games in the Predators’ last 33 contests. He missed 11 games with an upper-body injury and has been a healthy scratch in 15 games. It has been straight downhill for Barrie since he was dealt from Edmonton to Nashville at the 2023 trade deadline. He had 10 goals and 43 points in 61 games with the Oilers before the trade and managed only 12 points in 24 appearances the rest of the way for the Predators.

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It has been even worse this season, as he has a goal and 13 points in 37 outings. Barrie had been a power-play specialist most of his career — he had 31 points with the man-advantage last season — but has been a bust this season with only four assists.