Special to Yahoo Sports
You loved your team after the draft, but now it's time to revisit your roster and get rid of struggling players in exchange for players who are actually contributing. The beauty of an NHL pool is that there are so many good players who never get drafted, as most fantasy leagues select less than 200 players in a league that has over 700 players active or injured. Let's consider some players who are rostered in ample Yahoo leagues but could be easily dropped.
Hampus Lindholm, D, Boston Bruins (54% rostered)
Lindholm was drafted based on an outstanding 2022-23 campaign in which he managed 10 goals and 43 assists. But this season has been very different as he has only two assists (one with the man advantage) in 14 games. His hits are way down as well, as he managed 78 last year, but has only three in the first month of this season. Lindholm is no longer on the first power play, as Charlie McAvoy has taken over, which has hurt his cause as the Bruins' second unit has done little with the man advantage.
Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks (45% rostered)
Zegras has been a star in the making over the last two years with 23 goals and over 60 points in each season. He has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, but Zegras was struggling mightily before that as he had only a goal and an assist in 12 games. While you have to figure that Zegras has the talent to return to form, there are still so many good centers who should be available in most pools, making him expendable. He had 17 power-play points in each of the last two seasons, but he has only one thus far in 2023-24. Zegras is still day-to-day at this time.
Logan Couture, C, San Jose Sharks (42% rostered)
Couture has yet to play this season, is still not skating and has no timetable for his return. Making matters worse, Couture is a member of the lowest-scoring team in the NHL. The Sharks have scored only 18 times in 15 games, 14 goals behind the Islanders and Capitals, who each have played two fewer games. They also traded their best offensive weapon in the offseason — Erik Karlsson — after doing the same with Timo Meier last February. The 34-year-old Couture will have little to work with if and when he returns to NHL action. Couture had 27 goals and 67 points in 82 games last season. Don't expect anywhere close to the .82 points per game that he averaged last season with a much better lineup.
Adam Larsson, D, Seattle Kraken (43% rostered)
Larsson had the best offensive season in his career in 2022-23 with eight goals and 25 assists in a full season. He also had 222 hits and 173 blocked shots with a plus-27 rating. That was last season. He has only two assists in 15 contests to date, with 35 hits, 30 blocked shots and a minus-six rating. The fourth selection in the 2011 Draft, Larsson has never seen any real power-play time in his career, picking up four assists with the man advantage in his rookie season and then managing only one assist in the last 12 years. He is seeing a career-high in minutes this season, but it hasn't translated into much fantasy value.
Akira Schmid, G, New Jersey Devils, (31% rostered)
Schmid came into this season with a lot of pundits loving him. There was plenty to like after he went 9-5-2 with a 2.13 GAA and .922 save percentage in the 2022-23 regular season. He followed it up with some great play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as he started and won the final three games of the opening round, eliminating the Rangers in five games. He then struggled against the Hurricanes as he was bombed the first two games before he was replaced for Games 3 and 4 by Vitek Vanecek. He once again replaced the shaky Vanecek partway through Game 4 and started Game 5, looking good in both games. This season has been troublesome, as Schmid is only 1-2-1 with a 3.08 GAA and .898 save percentage. He's started only one of the Devils' last seven games.