Fantasy hockey waiver watch – Pay attention to these hot streaks


Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-rostered assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued – in the short- or long-term – for one reason or another.


Forwards

Jaden Schwartz, LW, Seattle Kraken (46.1%): Better (a little) late than never. Projected this preseason to serve as one of the expansion squad’s top producers, Schwartz stumbled out of the bench door with one assist in his first six contests. But since that sluggish start, the former Blues forward has resembled his old productive self with three goals and seven assists in nine games. Shooting the puck more often on net has helped. A collection of twenty-nine shots over his past seven match-ups strikes stark contrast to the average of one/game through his first eight. Now the Schwartz/Alex Wennberg/Jordan Eberle top line is ambling along nicely. While Eberle isn’t likely available in your fantasy league (please check though), Schwartz might be.

Adrian Kempe, C/RW, Los Angeles Kings (39.8%): Alongside current linemates Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and member of the Kings’ top power play, Kempe deserves a greater share of fantasy respect in conventional leagues. Since Halloween, the versatile forward has four goals and three assists, including two helpers with the extra skater. He’s also averaging nearly 19 minutes and 3.4 shots/game over that span. Six seasons in, Kempe has made perceptible improvement his past two campaigns. Watch that trend continue. The just-turned 25-year-old is worth a thought in deeper fantasy leagues.

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Adrian Kempe tallies goal vs. Canadiens

Ryan Hartman, RW/C, Minnesota Wild (16.9%): Whether he’s centering a top unit with Kirill Kaprizov or playing further down the lineup, the versatile forward is finding ways to contribute with reassuring regularity. As illustrated by Saturday’s three-assist performance in support of Rem Pitlick‘s hat-trick against the Kraken. Leading the Wild in both shots (47) and goals (7), Hartman’s also playing more minutes than ever before, averaging 16:53 a game. A role on Minnesota’s secondary power play will only help the 27-year-old enjoy the most productive season yet of his eight-year career. Since first puck drop mid-October, no Wild forward has served as a more valuable and consistent fantasy assist. Odds are he’s easily obtainable your league.

Kevin Hayes, C, Philadelphia Flyers (8.0%): He’s back. After missing 12 games to launch 2021-22 following offseason abdominal surgery, Hayes made his debut with a power-play assist, three shots, and a two-minute spell in the penalty box in Saturday’s loss to Dallas. On a scoring line and power play with Cam Atkinson and Joel Farabee, the 29-year-old center appears in good position to produce at an impressive pace. One of your streakier fantasy assets, Hayes shouldn’t be ignored when warmed up and in rhythm.

Jesper Bratt, RW, New Jersey Devils (4.7%): In a scoring groove of late, Bratt has four goals and seven helpers in his past nine games, averaging 2.4 fantasy point per contest. Not bad. Developing palpable chemistry with rookie center Dawson Mercer – another great under-radar fantasy asset in deeper leagues – at even-strength, the 23-year-old winger also has a pair of power-play assists to show for this past week. He leads all Devils forwards in shots on net.

See also: Jordan Kyrou, C/LW, St. Louis Blues (46.2%); Mikael Granlund, C/LW, Nashville Predators (20.8%)

Defenders

Mario Ferraro, San Jose Sharks (24.2%): Even with Erik Karlsson (COVID-19 protocols) back in the lineup, Ferraro skated more than 27 top-pair minutes and contributed an assist in Saturday’s loss to Colorado. Quickly emerging as a rich fantasy commodity in leagues that reward blocked-shots – he leads the entire NHL with 43 – hits, and average-time-on-ice, the 23-year-old is also demonstrating the ability to contribute to the scoresheet. Ferraro seems ready to bust out as a prized well-rounded defender. The third-year skater is also poised to become a restricted free agent following this season, which can only serve as additional incentive to bring it every night.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes (24.0%): Hey, at least one Coyotes skater can’t be faulted for the club’s collective inability to put the puck in the net. Of the team’s total 23 goals in 15 games, Gostisbehere has played a part in more than half of them (two goals, 10 assists). Leading his team in overall scoring, and it isn’t even close, the former Flyers defenseman has assisted on four of Arizona’s total five power-play goals. Relative to most teammates, his minus-one rating positively sparkles (Jakob Chychrun is minus-22). Clearly enjoying his fresh slate in the dessert, Gostisbehere is the one and only Coyotes fantasy asset worth serious consideration at present.

See also: Nate Schmidt, Winnipeg Jets (29.1%); Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (18.8%)

Goaltenders

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (47.8%): If not now – or at least very soon – when? Reports out of Montreal suggest the elite netminder could begin skating soon. While “soon” is impossible to precisely define from the outside, and there’s no knowing how long Price will need before feeling game-ready, this is progress. Any fantasy manager with at least one IR spot, and disappointing goaltending otherwise, shouldn’t hesitate to get ahead of the game. Once the Canadiens release a more definitive timetable on Price’s anticipated return – and doesn’t look ahead to weeks and weeks from now – he’ll be scooped up instantaneously. Underperforming to date, the rest of the club should experience a significant boost in having their No. 1 back and enjoy more overall success moving forward.

Jonathan Bernier, New Jersey Devils (5.6%): Subbing in for an injured MacKenzie Blackwood, Bernier was perfect before the shootout against the Rangers on Sunday. If Blackwood ends up missing time with a suspected concussion, Bernier will be saddled with starting duties game in and game out. New Jersey’s next back-to-back isn’t until December. Aside from one dud versus the Ducks and not the best outing against the Bruins, the club’s No. 2 has been altogether solid when given the opportunity. And the Devils are establishing themselves as a relatively competitive force, with only four regulation losses.

See also: Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings (45.2%); Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (22.5%); Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings (15.5%)

Lowered expectations

Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver Canucks (76.8%): The Canucks’ best player in the season’s earlier stages has taken a severe tumble of late, allowing a total of 13 goals through two games on the road in Colorado and Vegas. While Demko’s teammates deserve their share of the blame for the combined onslaught, Vancouver’s No. 1 appeared shaky in his own right. (To be fair, backup Jaroslav Halak only fared a bit better and still lost in Anaheim on Sunday.) Vancouver doesn’t look great in giving up too many quality chances this campaign, helping to account for their dismal 5-9-2 record. If unable, or yet unwilling, to replace Demko, at least sit him for a bit. Beginning with Wednesday’s tilt against the Avalanche.



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