Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire: No trades, no problem — there’s pickups to be made
TO Evan Berofsky, RotoWire
Special for Sportzshala Sports
More NHL players continue to change places, which ultimately changes team lineups and situations. And there is still time for contenders to add depth to their stretch marks as the trade-in deadline is a week from now. Fantasy is different.
You want to find the right add-ons to move on to the next part of the season, although it’s likely that you can no longer make deals. It’s good that your leagues have this free talent pool that doesn’t require any negotiation, contract renewals or player names. Just a couple of clicks completes the transaction.
Sounds like magic, but the wiring for failure is real. And it’s impressive.
Let’s welcome the latest harvest of offerings.
(Registered rates as of February 24)
Ryan O’Reilly, TOR (63% of participants)
This column usually never includes anyone with a reach above 50 percent, and those with a reach of 60 or more are unheard of. But in O’Reilly’s case, his inclusion is justified. Because anyone who was already experienced and then joins the Leafs in the center Mitch Marner And John Tavares should not be available in 37 percent of the leagues. Oh, and did you hear that O’Reilly scored a hat-trick in his second game for his new club? The fact that he’s in Toronto’s second game might prevent some people from adding him, but come on, that’s not a valid excuse.
David Perron, DET (45% of participants)
Since we just mentioned the former Blue, who used to be more appreciated in fantasy, let’s also mention Perron. The Wings are gaining momentum trying to claim the wild card spot, and their powerplay has really helped. Perron has scored nine points in his last eight games and five of them have been in draws. He averages more than two shots, hits enough and is guaranteed to keep a place in the top six.
Seth Jarvis, CAR (28%)
Jarvis is still scoring unevenly, although this can usually be overlooked as he also has a knack for recording attacking bursts – like his goal and two assists last time or his hat-trick against Montreal last Thursday. Jarvis remains active when it comes to shots, having hit at least three out of six in a row. Riding on the understudy-advantage may not be ideal, but the usual place is nearby Sebastian Oh sounds like something that can boost a fantasy profile.
JT Compher, COL (27%)
For the previous six seasons at Colorado, Comper has mostly been a sideline, scoring 33 points last year. It wasn’t until a few injuries up front that he saw his time on the ice increase significantly. Since Comper was first mentioned here in early December, he has scored eight goals, 17 assists, 73 shots and 39 blocks in a stunning 9:40 pm overnight. Against Edmonton on Sunday, he played a decisive role in the Aws’ 6-5 return win, finding the back of the net and playing assists in the last three goals.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard, MON (10%)
When you’re 5’8 and just starting out in the NHL, few people will respect you. Just ask Martin St. Louis. So it’s probably good that he’s the head coach in Montreal when another hitter of his size is trying to find his place in the league. Harvey-Pinar burned the AHL with 25 points in 37 games, so it was inevitable that he would make the leap soon. And after the Habs lost a number of key players in mid-January, RHP went on to score seven goals – including two PPGs and one shorthanded – three assists, 22 hits, 28 hits and 19 blocks while playing on the front line in all situations.
Matthias Macchelli, ARI (2%)
A month-long lower body injury halted McChelli’s early momentum after a run in which he scored 22 points – eight of those PPPs – in an average of 15 minutes. He initially struggled to get back on track after returning on January 26 with just one assist in five games, but he got back on his feet with six points from his last five, including two PPAs. McChelli doesn’t do much in other departments, although offensive activity alone is sure to get more pools interested.
Jacob Pelletier, CGY (1%)
Like the RHP, Pelletier was clearly too good for the minors, scoring 98 points in 99 matches. Despite a significant catch and pedigree in the first round, he was not immediately given many opportunities upon his arrival in Calgary, leading to nothing in his first six contests. Pelletier had chances but needed to be patient and it eventually paid off with a pair of PPPs on Wednesday and two more points on Thursday. Now he spends more time on the ice and looks great next to him. Nazem Kadri And Jonathan Huberdeau with equal strength.
Philip Kurashev, CHI (0%)
be in line with Patrick Kane should be enough to earn more fantasy player support. But when you’re playing in Chicago and could soon be without Kane and a couple of other talented forwards, there may be less hope. Kurashev hasn’t been terrible this season, with 23 points and 98 shots at a career-high 17:21, but it’s hard to ignore that dreadful minus 28. He still has a bright future even though he’s only 23 and currently can help until the talent disappears.
Eric Gustafsson, WHAT (45%)
John Carlson played two separate offside spells for a total of 29 games. This allowed some of his teammates to take on larger roles, including Gustafsson. As an integral part of Washington’s first power play, he amassed 10 PPAs. Gustafsson is still busy with eight assists, 19 shots and 10 blocks in his last eight games. Carlson is scheduled to return sometime in March, although there is no specific schedule yet. And with Dmitry Orlov heading to Boston, Gustafsson should continue to act as the Caps’ main hitter.
Alexander Romanov, NYI (17%)
Romanov has already achieved a personal best in points with 17 points, but you don’t rely on him for scoring. His best quality – or at least what makes him the most valuable in fantasy – will be his physical form. Or, more accurately, Romanov’s 157 hits and 105 shots blocked this season. Lately, he’s been especially busy pitting opponents with multiple hits in each of his last 13 matches (and 42 overall). Romanov may be a niche performer, but he’s damn good.
Jake McCabe, CHI (7%)
We stick with defenders who are mostly known for their defensive work. Since February 10, McCabe has had five assistants and 12 throws. During the same time, he scored 19 hits and 17 blocks, 17 of them and 11 in the last five games. McCabe plays an important role in penalties and is regularly paired with Seth Jones with equal strength. It’s not going to find results regularly, but it’s decent enough to fit somewhere on the back of your lineup.
Alex Goligoski, MIN (2%)
Kalen Addison he based much of his fantasies this season on his role as Minnesota quarterback, where he scored 18 of his 27 points. That first place has disappeared as he has not competed in the last four competitions. Goligoski spent most of the campaign as a healthy scratch but was given a chance to lead the powerplay line before moving to the second group on Thursday. The 37-year-old is already getting more minutes with Jonas Brodin landing on injured reserve too.
Philip Grubauer, SEA (34%)
Martin Jones has been the toast of the Pacific Northwest for most of this season. Although his GAA and save percentage were low, he won many games. Those stats have recently caught up with Jones as he has lost the last four, conceding a total of 17 goals while the Kraken’s usually solid offense has only brought in five. Meanwhile, Grubauer was stellar in 2023, hitting 1.97/.920 in nine games before dropping six to the Bruins on Thursday. Even with that flash, he still has to compete with Jones for the No. 1 spot.
Mads Sogaard, OTT (10%)
The Senators were wiped out by a goaltender’s error, with Cam Talbot missed a month Anton Forsberg done in a year. Sogaard and Kevin Mandolez were recalled in recent weeks, and the latter was demoted as Talbot was expelled from the IR. Ottawa will play seven games over the next 11 days, including a couple of back-to-back games and a couple of weak defensive opponents. Talbot may not be ready to handle a heavy load right away, so Sogaard could get most of the starts.
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