2017 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Report: April 5
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. Dylan Strome, C, Coyotes
There may have been a few concerns about Strome earlier this season, especially after he was demoted to the American Hockey League two games into the regular schedule. However, the 21-year-old center dominated the minor-league level in 2017-18 (50 pts in 47 GP) and has produced four points in his last two games with the Coyotes down the stretch. He should be a keeper in deeper formats and a consideration in shallower leagues.
2. Anthony Beauvillier, LW/C, Islanders
Could Beauvillier be the Islanders' next second-line center? With captain John Tavares facing an uncertain future with the club (he will become a UFA on July 1), the 20-year-old Beauvillier might surface as the most obvious replacement down the middle (with likely NHL rookie of the year Mathew Barzal moving into the top-line center role next season). Beauvillier has the speed, versatility, two-way ability and hockey sense to make a big impact.
3. Adam Gaudette, C, Canucks
With the announcement that the Sedin twins will retire at the end of the season, it is time to look at the next wave of talent in Vancouver. Swede Elias Pettersson is the obvious choice to be the team's next superstar, but Gaudette could also make an impact in the NHL next season. After turning pro last week, Gaudette has already appeared in three NHL contests (but is still looking for his first point). He should be on the keeper radar now.
4. Ondrej Kase, RW/LW, Ducks
The talented, shifty winger is starting to garner a reputation for scoring clutch goals for the Ducks. After scoring an overtime winner against Colorado in a huge game earlier in the week, Kase scored the game-winning goal against Minnesota (which secured a playoff spot for the Ducks). Still only 22, the Czech dangler has great moves and one-on-one skills. There is a strong chance that Kase breaks out with 65-75 points next season. Get him.
5. Lias Andersson, LW/C, Rangers
Most fantasy leaguers have already picked up Filip Chytil of the Rangers, but Andersson is not far behind. Both Chytil and Andersson were first-round draft picks in 2017 and both provide good upside. Both are expected to play in the NHL next season for the rebuilding Rangers, either at wing or center. While Chytil may be the more offensive-minded of the two, Andersson's all-around ability should also serve him well. He is a keeper candidate.
6. Dylan Sikura, LW/C, Blackhawks
Speaking of keeper candidates, Chicago's Sikura is certainly in the mix. The 178th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft has already amassed three assists in his first three NHL appearances. A quality playmaker who can play both wing and center, Sikura is a strong candidate to make the Blackhawks out of training camp next fall. Sikura enjoyed his four-year stint at Northeastern University before signing with Chicago last month. Pick him up now.
7. Alexander Nylander, LW/RW, Sabres
The brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander has had his ups and downs in 2017-18. The highlight, so far, was his point production (7 pts in 7 GP) for Sweden at the 2018 WJC. However, he has endured some growing pains with the Rochester Americans (AHL). In 48 games in the 'A', Nylander produced just seven goals and 26 points. Still, his immense talent should get him in the keeper conversation by the end of this week.
8. Sami Niku, D, Jets
In most fantasy leagues, it is important to own good defensemen from good teams (if the plus/minus category is utilized). Niku just might be the next good one for Winnipeg, one of the best and deepest teams in the NHL this season. Despite his recall to the NHL earlier this week, the 21-year-old Finn is still tied for the AHL lead in defenseman scoring (52 pts in 71 GP). It is hard to imagine a scenario without Niku in Winnipeg next season.
9. Quinn Hughes, D, eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft
While Hughes is good (and should already be on the fantasy radar in all keeper leagues), his younger brother Jack could be the best player available in the 2019 NHL Draft. The elder Hughes skates exceptionally well and has adjusted quickly to the NCAA ranks as a freshman at the University of Michigan (one of the participants in the 2018 Frozen Four tournament). There is a chance that Hughes may jump directly to the NHL next season.
10. Dan Vladar, G, Bruins
For those fantasy leaguers looking for a deep keeper in goal, Vladar could be a solid consideration. The 20-year-old Czech has great height (6'5”) and a lot of puck-stopping talent. After a strong ECHL campaign, Vladar is finishing up 2017-18 with the AHL's Providence Bruins. While veteran Tuukka Rask remains entrenched as Boston's starting goaltender, top backup Anton Khudobin is scheduled for unrestricted free agency on July 1.