NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

We are reaching the final weeks of the regular fantasy season. It’s time to prepare for the playoffs or build for next year. Either way, you should at least try to compete. Tanking is reserved for actual NHL teams.

Unless your rosters are stacked, there’s always room for new recruits. So if you’re looking for a couple of extra pieces, here are some recommendations.

(Rates recorded as of February 17)

Forward

Roberto TomasSTL (Yahoo: 53%): With Vladimir Tarasenko already gone and Ryan O’Reilly rumored to be next, St. Louis will lose a great deal of talent and leadership up front. Based on pedigree and production, Thomas could be in line to inherit even more responsibilities. That would suit the 23-year-old well, considering he racked up 77 points last season and has 48 in 51 games, with 16 of his goals coming on power plays. It’s amazing to think that someone so valuable could be available in almost half of the Yahoo leagues.

nick schmaltzIRA (Yahoo: 36%): Just because a club ranks 29th in goals per game doesn’t mean we should avoid all their forwards. And when it comes to Arizona’s options, Schmaltz is the clear choice. He was first mentioned in late November at 15 percent and since then his coverage has skyrocketed after he posted 13 goals, 21 assists and 69 shots in 36 games. He is skating in top scoring situations while averaging over 20 minutes per

We are reaching the final weeks of the regular fantasy season. It’s time to prepare for the playoffs or build for next year. Either way, you should at least try to compete. Tanking is reserved for actual NHL teams.

Unless your rosters are stacked, there’s always room for new recruits. So if you’re looking for a couple of extra pieces, here are some recommendations.

(Rates recorded as of February 17)

Forward

Roberto TomasSTL (Yahoo: 53%): With Vladimir Tarasenko already gone and Ryan O’Reilly rumored to be next, St. Louis will lose a great deal of talent and leadership up front. Based on pedigree and production, Thomas could be in line to inherit even more responsibilities. That would suit the 23-year-old well, considering he racked up 77 points last season and has 48 in 51 games, with 16 of his goals coming on power plays. It’s amazing to think that someone so valuable could be available in almost half of the Yahoo leagues.

nick schmaltzIRA (Yahoo: 36%): Just because a club ranks 29th in goals per game doesn’t mean we should avoid all their forwards. And when it comes to Arizona’s options, Schmaltz is the clear choice. He was first mentioned in late November at 15 percent and since then his coverage has skyrocketed after he posted 13 goals, 21 assists and 69 shots in 36 games. He’s skating in top-scoring situations while averaging over 20 minutes a night.

Philip DanaultLos Angeles (Yahoo: 30%): Danault debuted in the same column as Schmaltz, although the former has been more widely available ever since. That seems a little puzzling, as Danault has continued to contribute in multiple categories with 24 points, 64 shots, 37 PIM, 33 blocks, 32 hits and 296 matchup wins. He even achieved 11 PPPs during those two and a half months. Maybe it’s down to Danault’s poor plus-minus or the fact that he’s second in line for both even strength and man advantage, though all the other stats should convince you otherwise.

anthony beauvillierVAN (Yahoo: 10%): Yet another returnee, and our first team of two! On Long Island, Beauvillier recorded 20 points in 49 outings. And he’s already had two goals, both PPG, and two assists with the Canucks after arriving in late January. That will happen when you’re paired with Elias Pettersson in five-on-five and Vancouver’s massively talented leadership power play. Beauvillier could end up dropping to the bottom half of the depth chart, but he’s currently someone you should add.

kyle palmieriJNI (Yahoo: 9%): Palmieri missed eight weeks and only returned on January 23, but has recorded two goals, five assists, 23 shots and 15 hits since then. He may not be with either Mathew Barzal or Bo Horvat, although Brock Nelson is a respectable “consolation.” The Isles backup PP is nothing to laugh about with veterans Josh Bailey and Zach Parise, however the first unit has been dominating of late.

robby fabriDET (Yahoo: 6%): Fabbri’s NHL career started off well, but injuries would cause him to miss more games than he actually played. This season was no different, as he underwent ACL surgery in March and didn’t make his debut until shortly after New Year’s Day. Three goals out of Fabbri’s first four looked promising, but then he had just two points in the next 10. He’s been very kind to him this past week through three goals and five assists, where six (!!) of the eight combined They were scored on Detroit’s top power play.

Alex KerfootTOR (Yahoo: 5%): After producing 51 points last year, Kerfoot has half that total. Ice time is similar, but perhaps the quality of lane partners has dropped… until now. Thanks to a recent shakeup, Kerfoot finds himself on the wing alongside John Tavares and Mitch Marner on equal footing. That seems like the perfect tonic to turn things around, and he’s gotten a helper in each of the past two. Keep an eye on Kerfoot’s situation to see if he stays with the dynamic duo or returns to his usual spot as a third-string center.

Peyton KrebbBUF (Yahoo: 2%): Although Krebs never lived up to his potential in Las Vegas, he, along with Alex Tuch, were part of the package that landed Jack Eichel. Krebs was too good for the AHL, so a regular role in the bigs was inevitable. 22 points in 48 meetings after his move to Buffalo heralded a bright future, but the Sabres’ young depth has kept him in the bottom half of the lineup. That hasn’t deterred Krebs, as he’s still been able to impress, recording seven points in the past month on 14 shots, 13 PIM and 12 hits.

defenders

juuso valimakiIRA (Yahoo: 11%): Janis Moser reappeared in this column two weeks ago after the fall of Shayne Gostisbehere. And with Jakob Chychrun still under trade protection protocol, Valimaki has ascended to the Coyotes’ top power play. He has built on the big momentum in ice time with six assists in the last five games, with four coming Sunday, including a pair of PPAs. Gostisbehere is reported to be back within the next week and could push Valimaki to second man advantage or remove him entirely, but with Chychrun set to leave at any moment, Valimaki should at least retain a significant role.

Rasmus RistolainenPHI (Yahoo: 11%): Of all the miracles John Tortorella has pulled off over the years, getting Ristolainen to potentially finish with the first positive plus-minus of his career might be his greatest achievement. Ristolainen used to be more active offensively, but that area has sagged significantly. He has always been a competent hit producer, however, his current average is low compared to previous seasons. Despite those drawbacks, Ristolainen has left since Jan. 17 with nine points, 13 shots, 28 hits and 16 blocks. If at least some of that production can be sustained, it will still be useful.

erik brannstromOTT (Yahoo: 0%): Brannstrom has never been able to get him going on the scoresheet, though he’s getting more opportunities to correct that with Jake Sanderson out. His minutes are up, which includes a place in the second Ottawa PP. Brannstrom has responded by recording a goal and an assist in three games. Sanderson is scheduled to return in the next two weeks, so Brannstrom will need to keep up the momentum in the meantime.

justin barronMON (Yahoo: 0%): After being traded by the Avs last year as part of the Artturi Lehkonen deal, Barron rose to prominence in the minors to earn a shot with the Habs. The 2020 first round has registered a respectable six points in his last 11 outings, a stretch in which he has only averaged 15:28. On Tuesday, he scored the winner in PPG form. Barron wasn’t the top scorer in youth hockey, though Montreal’s current blue line staff lacks potential. As long as he can continue to develop and stay on special teams, he’ll have some fantasy value. Barron was forced out of Thursday’s contest with a shoulder injury, so he’s going to check on him before adding him.

goalkeepers

Phoenix CopleyLos Angeles (Yahoo: 54%): Despite a lofty position in the standings and a deep attack, the Kings are not good at the back, sitting 22nd in GAA. Cal Petersen struggled early on and was demoted in December. Jonathan Quick has produced even worse stats, which is probably why he has only received eight caps over the past two months. Copley’s 2.74 GAA and .903 save percentage may seem mediocre, but LA’s D is pretty good at limiting the number of drives in the net. The offense has provided him with plenty of firepower, as his 17-3-1 record shows.

Jason StauberCHI (Yahoo: 2%): Chicago’s blue line may be a disaster, but there are four other clubs with more atrocious defensive records. Petr Mrazek came in during the offseason and hasn’t fared well, posting a 4.00/.884 line while he suffered two different lower-body injuries. Stauber was called up from the AHL in January and had victories in St. Louis and Calgary before being cut. The 23-year-old got the call again more than a week ago after Alex Stalock suffered a concussion and continued to impress with another win against Arizona last Friday. The Blackhawks saw their playoff hopes disappear a long time ago, so they may be more inclined to provide more starts for Stauber.

Players to consider from previous columns: Martin Necas, david kreji, dylan cozens, Matty Beniers, Joel ErikssonEk, jeff skinner, andrei kuzmenko, dylan strome, logan couture, kevin hayes, trevor moore, mason mctavish, Lucas Raymond, brock boeser, Filip Quitil, bryan rust, JT Compher, Owen Tippet, Jared McCann, Oliver Bj√∂rkstrand, Conor Sheary, adam henrique, boone jenner, perfect school, scott laughton, Jack Roslovic, Brandon Hagel, Gabriel Vilardi, Max Domi, sam steel, jordan eberle, evan rodrigues, william karlsson, Viktor Arvidson, Eeli Tolvanen, anton lundell, Ondrej’s Palat, jason zucker, Nick Paul, seth jarvis, tyler bertuzzi, taylor radish, Kirill Marchenko, seth jones, brandon montour, Cam Hunter, brady skjei, Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, vince dunn, Bowen-Byram, erik gustafsson, calen addison, adam larson, jeff petry, samuel girard, K’Andre Miller, janis moser, Mark Giordano, Sean Durzi, sebastian now, mike mateson, janis moser, Vitek Vanecek, martin jones, Karel Vejmelka, Dan Vladar, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, antti raanta, adin hill, Stuart Skinner, casey smith, Semion Varlamov

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