Friday’s NHL Player Props: Trevor Zegras Among Top Picks

Friday’s NHL Player Props: Trevor Zegras Among Top Picks article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Anaheim Ducks standout Trevor Zegras.

  • With six NHL matchups on Friday night, our hockey analyst, Nicholas Martin, has found value on three intriguing prop bets.
  • He's eying a trio of overs, including a play on Trevor Zegras.
  • Find his picks and analysis below.

Friday's six-game NHL slate features a number of the league's more talented skaters offering value in prop betting markets.

Let's dive into my favorite NHL angles and the logic behind each one.

Filip Forsberg Over 2.5 Shots (-140) & Anytime Goalscorer +205

Predators vs. Capitals, 7 p.m. ET

Filip Forsberg entered the NHL as the 11th overall pick by the Capitals and was ultimately dealt for Martin Erat in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.

Since entering the league, Forsberg has made a point of sticking it to the Capitals in every matchup. He has recorded eight goals and 16 points in 14 career games against Washington.

That's far from the most important logic here, as previous NHL head-to-head matchups are not necessarily a significant indicator.

What is important is that Forsberg enters this matchup in the midst of some really strong play, which is far from surprising considering he is one of the more talented forwards in the league.

Forsberg has recorded six goals and eight points over his last five games and has been a huge reason the Predators are in the midst of a surprising upswing.

During that span, Forsberg has averaged just 2.6 shots on goal and cashed over 2.5 in two of five games.

However, when you are considering a player's recent shot on goal averages (or any prop) for a bet, it is always to consider whether or not his playing style and role suggests an average should hold or trend upwards/downwards.

Saying player "X" has hit a line in 7/10 games and is therefore a good bet is not just a blanket rule; the arguments that suggest that trend should continue must be in place.

Forsberg's recent shot on goal average is well below his season mark of 3.13 and his mark of 3.27 last season. Considering he has been extremely impactful of late and is a proven shooter/scorer, we will likely see his shot on goal average rise moving forward. I see value backing that to happen tonight and would split half my bet on Forsberg to record three shots.

The other half would go on Forsberg anytime goalscorer, which is priced at +205.

Pick: Filip Forsberg Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-140)

Carter Verhaeghe To Record A Point (-125)

Panthers vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m. ET

Florida's top unit of Carter Verhaeghe, Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov is likely flying a little under the radar entering this matchup and could realistically be one of the better five-on-five units in the entire league moving forward.

Among units that have skated over 125 minutes together at even strength, the Barkov-Verhaeghe-Tkachuk line has generated 4.92 xGoals For per 60 minutes, which is the highest mark of any line by 0.15.

Since Barkov's return from injury, these three have combined to score 16 points in four games and are in a great spot to do some damage tonight.

Detroit has allowed four or more goals against in each of its last eight contests, for a goals against average of 4.37. During that span, the Red Wings' xGA/60 of 3.39 is the 12th-worst mark in the league, which has only been half of the concern.

The other half being that the play in goal from Ville Husso has fallen off badly, and Detroit has confirmed Husso will start Friday. He has allowed five or more goals in five consecutive matchups and has played to a save % of just .849.

Verhaeghe could realistically play at a point-per-game pace the back half of this season, and in this elite matchup for goal production, he is more likely to record a single point than a price of -125 suggests.

Trevor Zegras Anytime Goalscorer (+210) 

Sharks vs. Ducks, 10 p.m. ET

Neither of these teams' fanbases will even be cheering for a win at this point, but that will not stop each side's top skaters from competing as hard as possible. It also won't stop me from placing a wager on this lottery-bowl.

San Jose's once-respectable defensive play has fallen off of a cliff over the last month, as the Sharks have allowed 4.15 goals against per game since the beginning of December.

Kaapo Kahkonen's poor play in net has been a significant reason for this as he has been far worse than any other Sharks netminder. Kahkonen has saved just .872% of shots faced this season and owns a -16.6 Goals Saved Above Expected rating in just 15 appearances.

That sets up our guy Trevor Zegras extremely well to snap his 11-game goalless drought.

The fact that Zegras is on such a drought is notably shocking, as he is continuing to create a wealth of opportunities and is likely to finish his career as a significantly better than average finisher of scoring chances.

Anaheim's top line of Troy Terry, Adam Henrique,\ and Zegras has actually played to a 52.7% Expected Goals Rate at five-on-five, which is incredibly impressive looking at the rest of the team and the average defenders accompanying them on the ice.

Over the last four games, Zegras has clearly pressed for a breakthrough and has averaged 4.75 shots on goal and 6.75 attempts on goal.

Targeting Zegras to record over 2.5 shots in this matchup would be very reasonable, but versus Kaapo Kahkonen and the Sharks, I love the price of Zegras breaking through with a goal at home.

Pick: Trevor Zegras Anytime Goalscorer (+210)

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