Fantasy Hockey: Jack Johnson, Olli Maatta becoming must-add defensemen

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As we approach the Olympic Break in the NHL season, Fantasy Hockey owners can use this time to make some creative upgrades to their teams.

Today I will focus on a pair of blue liners and a pair of forwards that can offer immediate dividends.

Jan 11, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game versus the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets

The first should be a familiar name around the league in Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenseman Jack Johnson.

Johnson is out to prove a point after being left off of the Team USA roster and has been out to prove people wrong. He’s a guy that is being scooped up left and right as just a couple of weeks ago he was owned in only 11 percent of ESPN leagues. Now he is almost owned across the board. If Johnson is available in your league, snatch him up immediately.

Columbus is finding the net far more often as a team and Johnson’s name has been finding the score sheet quite often. Johnson has racked up only 19 points on the season, but eight of those have come in Columbus’ last nine games as Johnson has recorded at least a point in six of those contests.

Johnson has a track record of production and is in the process of turning around his season.

Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins

Maatta is another one of the Penguins young stars in the making.

He has only 19 points on the season, but seven have come in the month of January, as Maatta had five points over four games this past week, including a pair of two-point games, most recently notching a goal and an assist in Thursday’s win over the Islanders.

The impressive part about Maatta’s recent run is that he’s putting up these numbers with little to no time on the power play, generally the primary bellwether for production. His stat line is a little deceptive, as it sits at 19 points through 50 games, yet 14 of those points have come in 22 contests since the end of November.

Maatta is available in 90 percent of ESPN leagues and could turn into a nice addition for the long haul.

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