2017 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Report: November 23
Each week The Sports Forecaster-Gabriel Farnesi will bring you the top players available on the waiver wire for your fantasy hockey league.
Each week of the National Hockey League regular season, we will take a look at some of the most interesting names that may appear on the waiver wire in various fantasy leagues. It may be NHL players whose situation has improved because of injury, minor-league players recently recalled (or on the verge of a recall) or off to fast starts in the AHL. Here is this week's batch:
1. Jakub Vrana, LW/RW, Capitals
He has been in the organizational dog house at times, but it seems Vrana is on the verge of a breakthrough with Washington--finally. The 13th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft appeared in 21 games with the Capitals last season, which means he is still a rookie (technically) this year. Recently, Vrana was moved onto the second line next to Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie. It has the makings of an excellent scoring line for the Caps.
2. Anton Khudobin, G, Bruins
In a lot of fantasy hockey leagues, goaltending is critical. Therefore, shrewd fantasy owners pick up quality backups as soon as they start seeing a little more action than usual. Such is the case with Russian veteran Khudobin, who has struggled with injuries at the NHL level. When healthy, however, he has also been the type of No. 2 netminder to push the starter. It seems to be happening again in Boston, subbing in for Tuukka Rask.
3. William Karlsson, C/LW, Golden Knights
In his first two full NHL seasons in Columbus, the Swedish center produced a total of 15 goals and 45 points (while being used largely in a checking role). However, Karlsson is shining as a member of the upstart expansion franchise. With 10 goals and 18 points in 20 games, the 24-year-old is on pace to shatter all previous career marks. Playing between Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, Karlsson is worth owning in most leagues.
4. Adam Henrique, LW/C, Devils
With four points in his last two games, Henrique seems to be enjoying his new role as a winger in New Jersey. The return to health of two-way centers Travis Zajac and Brian Boyle, plus the emergence of rookies Nico Hischier and Blake Coleman, provide Devils coach John Hynes with the luxury of utilizing Henrique as more of a scorer now. The 27-year-old veteran is currently on pace to match his career high in points (51, 2011-12).
5. Joonas Donskoi, RW/LW, Sharks
There are several Sharks forwards who tend to run hot and cold. Donskoi is certainly among them, and he is certainly warming up as 2017-18 progresses. The Finnish sniper is now up to seven goals in his first 20 games, and has a chance to hit the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career--if he continues on a prolonged hot streak. Fantasy leaguers should pick him up now, while fully expecting a letdown in production later on.
6. Samuel Girard, D, Avalanche
A true fantasy keeper, Girard may not be owned in all year-to-year leagues because of the possibility that he could be sent back to the junior ranks at some point this season. He is also eligible to play for Canada at the upcoming 2018 WJC tournament. That said, the Avs appear committed to keeping their newly-acquired teen. Therefore, he is definitely worth a shot in deeper leagues that require a certain amount of defensemen.
7. Dylan Strome, C, Coyotes
Speaking of keepers, Strome should still be one in most leagues. However, he has likely been dropped in a lot of year-to-year leagues after his early-season demotion to the AHL. Well, the third overall pick in 2015 is starting to figure out the pro game down on the farm. Strome is currently ranked second in the AHL scoring race with 22 points (16 assists) in just 13 contests with the Tucson Roadrunners. His return to the NHL is imminent.
8. Mathieu Perreault, LW/C, Jets
He has yet to emerge on a line above the fourth unit since returning from Injured Reserve, yet Perreault continues to produce anyway. The versatile veteran has points in all four games since coming back from a 12-game absence due to a lower-body issue. His minutes are down since his return, but he continues to be a force on the power play. It is only a matter of time (and conditioning) before Perreault moves back up in the lineup.
9. Loui Eriksson, RW/LW, Canucks
The Swedish veteran was left for dead after his miserable first season in Vancouver in 2017-18. Then, a sprained knee kept him out of action for a dozen games in Year 2. However, Eriksson has bounced back and, with five points in three games, is starting to look like the Eriksson of old. The 32-year-old winger could be worth another look in several league formats. The only caveat here is his frequent bouts with various injuries.
10. Paul Stastny, C, Blues
Somewhat of a forgotten man in St. Louis, Stastny is the team's two-way center these days. He does a lot of the dirty work that goes unnoticed in fantasy leagues. That said, the Blues are scoring goals in bunches this season. Therefore, even their secondary scorers have more fantasy value than normal. Stastny, who turns 32 in December, could be worth a look in deep, year-to-year leagues for as long as he stays hot offensively.