Welcome to another edition of the Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Report. The NHL season has just begun, which means we need to start looking at the waiver wire. This part of the year is critical to be able to claim players that might have been missed in drafts. Some of these players will help you win a championship, so make sure you aren’t asleep at the helm of your fantasy team. Let’s take a look at some players worth targeting this week.


Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Carolina Hurricanes - Centre

Are we finally seeing the Jesperi Kotkaniemi who can dominate and contribute on a regular basis? The talented centreman has seven points and 15 shots on goal in six games this season and is seeing a healthy amount of ice time over the last three games. Sebastian Aho has been out of the lineup, so that’s probably the main reason for his bump in ice time, but still, he’s making the most of his opportunity. If he can continue at this pace, he will flirt with an 80-point season. Not bad for a player that is only 14% owned in Yahoo! leagues.

Matthew Knies - Toronto Maple Leafs - Winger

Matthews Knies finally had himself a good game. The youngster had a tremendous training camp, but he came out to start the season flat. The Toronto Maple Leafs need their depth players to contribute on a nightly basis if they want to have any kind of sustained success this season and Knies is one of those players. He scored two goals against the Lightning on Saturday, and while it is just one game, sometimes that’s all it takes for a player to get going. If he can stick in the top-6, he should have no problem producing points. 

Nick Schmaltz - Arizona Coyotes - Winger/Centre

Arizona has so many young, talented players that we sometimes forget just how good Nick Schmaltz is. He has six points in five games and is averaging close to 20 minutes per night. That is an elite amount of ice time for any player to see. On top of it, the Coyotes power play has been fantastic to start the season and Schmaltz is part of that unit. He’s a good player who can certainly produce offence. It may be early in the season, but he deserves to be on a fantasy roster.

Mario Ferraro - San Jose Sharks - Defence

In fantasy hockey, it’s not always about the goals and assists. Sometimes, you need a player who does other things and Mario Ferraro is one of those players. He’s not going to wow you by racking up points, but so far this season, he has 14 shots on goal and 16 blocked shots. The shot volume is what really stands out here because San Jose is just an awful hockey team. Of those 14 shots, 11 of them have come in the last two games against Boston and Nashville. He’s not going to maintain this pace all season long, but right now, as a player who is 1% owned, he can help a fantasy team dealing with injuries on the back end. He’s not going to hurt your chances and he’s only going to continue to see heavy minutes. 

Karel Vejmelka  - Arizona Coyotes - Goalie

Listen, Karel Vejmelka is elite and I don’t think the world is ready to accept that. The undrafted goalie is 2-1 this season with a ridiculous 1.65 GAA and a .951 SV%. Those are some elite numbers for any goalie, let alone one who plays for the Arizona Coyotes. He’s 49% owned in Yahoo! leagues, so there’s a chance he’s just sitting on the waiver wire in shallow leagues. There’s no reason for him to not be on a team right now. He’s elite and is clearly the reason why the Coyotes are having success. His numbers are going to come down to earth at some point, but he’s not going to be terrible. It might feel like a trap to have Vejmelka on your team, but this is the kind of move that could help you win a championship. Don’t sleep on him anymore.


 All stats provided by NHL.com