Fantasy Hockey Puck Drops: Time is running out for Dougie Hamilton

Justin Faulk #72 of the St. Louis Blues. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

With only two goals in 35 games and dealing with injury, Justin Faulk is definitely on the chopping block in fantasy hockey lineups. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

By Michael Finewax, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

As we enter Week 14 of the NHL season, there are still too many players being rostered who have little to no value at this time. This week there are four defensemen and one forward I consider droppable in most leagues. Let’s run down some players who are rostered in ample Yahoo leagues but who could be easily dropped.

Dougie Hamilton, D, New Jersey Devils (78% rostered)

Hamilton tore his pectoral muscle and had surgery Dec. 1. Christian Dvorak also underwent the same surgery this past week and was ruled out for five months. If the surgeries were exactly the same — and Hamilton is still “a long ways away” from returning, according to coach Lindy Ruff — that would put him out of action for the rest of the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs. In redraft leagues, that should be the death knell to get rid of him. Hamilton was having a great year, with five goals and 16 points in only 20 games. Don’t forget about him next season, as he had 22 goals and 74 points in 2022-23.

Mattias Ekholm, D, Edmonton Oilers (48% rostered)

Ekholm has four goals and 15 points in 35 games this season. He had a four-game point streak from Dec. 19-28, but it was sandwiched between a five-game pointless streak from Dec. 8-16 and his current four-game streak without a point. He does have a pair of goals and an assist on the power play, but that came early in the season, as his last point with the man-advantage was on Nov. 26. Ekholm chips in with some hits and blocked shots, but there are better choices available in shallow leagues.

Justin Faulk, D, St. Louis Blues, (69% rostered)

Faulk has only two goals and 17 points in 35 games. He is currently on injured reserve with a lower-body injury that has cost him the last three games, and while he could return as early as Thursday, his offensive output has not been great this season. The Blues are a low-scoring team with a poor power play, which doesn’t help his cause. He is always good in hits and blocked shots, as well as shots on goal, but Faulk’s lack of production should allow you to drop him in all but the deepest of leagues.

Tyson Barrie, D, Nashville Predators, (42% rostered)

Barrie was a star last season — that is, until he was dealt from the Oilers to the Predators on deadline day. With the trade, he lost his spot on the first power-play unit with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, where he had four goals and 28 points in 61 games, and went to a secondary role at best with the Predators. This season, he has been out for the last six games with an upper-body injury and has only one point in seven games since Dec. 7. Barrie has a goal and 11 points in 30 games this season and was given permission in early December to seek out a trade. It’s not a good situation for the veteran defenseman at this time.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/W, Los Angeles Kings (43% rostered)

Dubois is having a terrible season with only seven goals and 16 points in 36 games. He was dealt from the Jets in the offseason after back-to-back 60-plus point campaigns and given a huge eight-year, $68 million contract extension, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations at this time. Dubois has only two goals and three assists in his last 17 games, and despite averaging 2:45 of power-play time per contest, he has managed only one goal with nary an assist after picking up 23 power-play points with Winnipeg last season.