This article is part of our NHL Waiver Wire series.
More games generally yield better analysis. Trying to extrapolate player statistics from initial results doesn't seem like a reliable process, though it may help identify early trends. It could take a while to complete a proper individual assessment, but the problem is you really need that information now to evaluate available options.
Take James Neal, for example. After struggling last season in Calgary, he was dealt to Edmonton this summer. The former Star, Penguin, Predator and Golden Knight potted two goals last Friday versus Los Angeles in his second game as an Oiler. The Kings can't boast a reputation for their defensive strength, so perhaps people hesitated to pick up Neal heading into Tuesday's matchup against the usually stingy Islanders. Well, we all know how that turned out as he struck for four goals — including a natural hat-trick — and increased his ownership by more than 20 percent overnight. (In the highly-competitive Yahoo Friends & Family League with daily transactions, I opted for Ondrej Kase at Detroit. And of course, Neal was gone mid-game.)
With that case in mind and the need to always stay on top of events, may we present the latest crop of lesser-owned NHLers for your weekly perusal (and check the bottom for previous recommendations).
Ownership rates as of Oct. 10.
Sammy Blais, STL (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 10%, CBS: 22%): You may not remember Blais from the Blues' Cup-winning run, probably because he didn't do much offensively. Thanks to a lack of