Welcome to another edition of the Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Report. The only way to win a championship in any fantasy league is to be active on the waiver wire. If you aren’t checking the wire at least once a week, then you’re doing it wrong. Each week, we’ll look at some players you should be adding to your watch list, or adding right away. Let’s take a look at who we are keeping an eye on for this week.
Fantasy Hockey Week 19 Waiver Wire Pickups
Ryan O’Reilly, Toronto Maple Leafs - Center
There is a 50% chance that Ryan O’Reilly is still on the waiver wire in your fantasy hockey league. In his first game with his new team, he skated on the second line with Mitch Marner and John Tavares. O’Reilly only has 12 goals on the season, but he’s moving from a terrible St. Louis offence to one of the best-scoring teams in the league. By default, he’s going to get more chances to rack up points, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him flirt with a point-per-game pace down the stretch.
Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis Blues - Center/Wing
There’s no question that Ivan Barbashev is having a season to forget, but there is still some hope for him to at least finish the year on a positive note. The Blues have moved on from O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, so there is more ice time to go around. Barbashev could see a bump in ice time, maybe see some extra minutes on the power play, or get traded to a better hockey team. The last option is probably the best, but in any case, things can’t get much worse for the Blues' wing.
Jake McCabe, Chicago Blackhawks - Defence
Don’t look now, but Jake McCabe is starting to make a case for being a player your fantasy hockey team needs full-time. He only has two goals on the season, but he has five assists in the last six games, can put up a few shots on goal, throws his weight around pretty well AND can also block shots. In short, he can help fill a couple of categories that other players may not be able. He’s 4% rostered in Yahoo! leagues and is worth taking a risk on, especially in a categories league.
Kevin Mandolese, Ottawa Senators - Goalie
Last week, it was Mads Sogaard and now, it’s Kevin Mandolese. The rookie goalie has been impressive in his two starts this season and he could at least earn a split share of the starts until the end of the season. He’s only an option in deeper formats because even if he does play enough, Ottawa is a below-average team that is going to lose more games than they win.
Adin Hill, Vegas Golden Knights - Goalie
I’ll add a second goalie this week because I don’t think enough people are talking about Adin Hill. Logan Thompson is still out due to injury and Hill has gone 4-0-0 in his past five games. He may be relegated back to the bench once Thompson is ready to return, but for now, he should be rostered closer to 80%, not 50% like currently. If he keeps up this strong play, he may even steal a few more starts down the line.
All stats provided by NHL.com