Minutes increasing for these key players

By Jason Chen, RotoWireSpecial to Yahoo Sports

Traditionally, January and February are when teams go through a bit of a trough. The season starts to feel like a grind; injuries start to happen more frequently, and travel days get tougher.

But this is also the time when players who didnt get much of a chance early in the season start getting opportunities, and astute fantasy owners may find the midseason pickup that could be the difference between championship or bust.

Here are some skaters and goalies who could continue to get more opportunities this week.

Acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade, Balcers has a goal and an assist in five games in his rookie season. After being eased into the lineup he has now played at least 11 minutes in each of his last two games. The former fifth-round pick is known as a capable goal scorer, though hell need more time to develop.

Hell get limited minutes for the time being, but his role is projected to increase if the Sens move their veterans at the trade deadline. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the pesky center who just returned to the lineup, will also see increased minutes as he gets back into game-shape. Hes already averaging close to 18 minutes per game since making his season debut.

Hes scored four points in his last five games, and through 44 games is just two points shy of tying last years career-high 25 points. The Texas-born winger is one of the Devils best players at even strength, and a big reason for an uptick on offense is his shot rate. After....

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