Working the waiver wire is a crucial part of any championship fantasy hockey season. Finding players to work into your lineup every single week who can add points to your total is the number one way you can control the outcome of your matchup. In this article every week, I’ll be going over players at every position and at different levels of rostership so that you can fill out your fantasy squad with the best players available in your league. Let’s dig in:
Rostered in 41-50% of Leagues: Logan Couture, C - SJS (48% rostered)
Couture has hovered around the 50% rostered mark for much of the season. Well, it’s time to push him back over that line as the Sharks have an enticing 3-game, 2-off night schedule this week. Given that Tuesday’s “heavy” night is only 10 teams playing, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ll get all three games Couture plays into your starting lineup this week. Couture has been a reliable option since the Christmas break, with five points in six games while filling the stat sheet with fifteen shots, six hits, and eight blocks. Couture is the definition of an all-around asset that makes a lot of sense as a streaming option for almost any squad this week.
Honourable Mentions: Andrei Kuzmenko, LW - VAN (44%) and Brock Boeser, RW - VAN (45%)
Rostered in 31-40% of Leagues: Ryan Hartman, C/RW - MIN (40% rostered)
Hartman has been a bit up and down since returning to the Wild lineup after a lengthy injury absence, but he does have three goals and five points in his last four games and one has to take note of that type of production, particularly after the kind of season Hartman put up last year. Crucially, Hartman has not seen top power play or top-line exposure since his return, but that hasn’t slowed him down of late. Sam Steel has not inspired a ton of confidence in his role as top-line center, so the hope for Hartman is that he could eventually reprise his role between star wingers Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello en route to a big second half. It’s a speculative move in that regard, but Hartman’s play of late makes him an easy add in the interim.
Honourable Mentions: Phillip Danault, C - LAK (33%) and Matty Beniers, C - SEA (37%)
Rostered in 21-30% of Leagues: Nick Schmaltz, C/RW - ARI (23% rostered)
I guess we have to have the Nick Schmaltz talk again, as he remains rostered in less than a quarter of Yahoo leagues. Schmaltz has only failed to register a point twice across his last eleven games, consistently averaging more than 19 minutes a night in that span. Sure, he’s not going to add anything for you in the banger categories, but every team should have room for a point-per-game player and that’s exactly what Schmaltz is at the moment. Arizona has a four game, one off-night schedule this week but Schmaltz is also dual-eligible at C and RW so you should be able to get him into your lineups. Let’s make this the last time we have to have "the talk," alright?
Honourable Mentions: Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW - LAK (29%) and Seth Jarvis, LW/RW - CAR (26%)
Rostered in 0-20% of Leagues: Cole Perfetti, C/LW/RW - WPG (14% rostered)
No doubt about it, Perfetti has not lit it up upon returning from injury with just three shots on goal and no points to show for his first two outings back in the Winnipeg lineup. But Perfetti remains a top-six fixture in Winnipeg and the Jets’ schedule this week is too juicy to pass on. Winnipeg plays four games with two off-nights this week, and is crucially the only team in the league to play both Friday and Sunday as the weekend off-nights.
Planning ahead to get those games played in a tough weekend for streaming is the type of move that can get you a step ahead of your opponent this week. Prior to injury, Perfetti had been starting to gain some consistency in terms of production, so I’m bullish on him to return to form and start filling the net once again.
Honourable Mentions: Kirby Dach, C/RW - MTL (16%) and Nino Niederreiter, LW (15%)
Rostered in 26-50% of Leagues: Ivan Provorov - PHI (43% rostered)
Provorov’s rostership has taken a bit of a dive of late, but I’m still very interested in the Philadelphia defender because when he’s on his game, he’s a consistent producer of peripherals and always has some points upside to boot. In categories leagues, Provorov should absolutely be rostered, and given that the Flyers have been a surprisingly decent offensive squad I think Provorov should be in line for his fair share of points as well. With solid defenseman adds tough to come by this time of year, Provorov makes for a very solid (if unexciting) addition to your fantasy roster. Philadelphia starts the week with Monday and Tuesday off-nights so you can give Provorov a two-game trial run before deciding if he’s a long-term hold for your roster.
Honourable Mentions: John Klingberg - ANA (41%) and K’Andre Miller - NYR (39%)
Rostered in 0-25% of Leagues: Calen Addison - MIN (14% rostered)
It may be time to open our minds to Addison once again. Early in the season Addison was a trendy add because of his role on Minnesota's top power play, but his ice time declined and he was even scratched for a game. Recently, however, Addison has begun to shoot more (11 shots in his last three games) and the results have been promising (5 points in those three games). It’s tough to expect Addison to provide consistent production considering that his time on ice remains in the 16-17 minute range for the most part, but clearly there is some offensive upside here with Addison. He’s not going to be helpful in bangers categories leagues (just 3 hits and 7 blocks over his last 12 games), but Addison may be worthwhile if you’re scrounging the waiver wire for a defenseman in a deeper league.
Honourable Mentions: Colton Parayko - STL (15%) and Cam Fowler - ANA (12%)
Rostered in 26-50% of Leagues: Pheonix Copley - LAK (40% rostered)
Copley has been a revelation in net for the Kings and frankly should be rostered in far more than 40% of leagues at this point. Fresh off an outing where he held the high-flying Vegas Golden Knights to a single goal against, Copley has been remarkably consistent for a Kings team that was desperate for some stability in goal. It may not last forever, but Copley has certainly bought himself a lot of rope with seven straight wins before losing to the top team in the league in Boston last Thursday. Re-establishing himself with a big win in Vegas, Copley appears primed to run with the Los Angeles net for as long as he’s able to keep the Kings in the win column.
Honourable Mentions: John Gibson - ANA (37%) and Filip Gustavsson - MIN (44%)
Rostered in 0-25% of Leagues: Eric Comrie - BUF (9% rostered)
Comrie is back with the Sabres and likely to return in the very near future. When healthy, Comrie was given every opportunity to be the Sabres’ starting goaltender. While that didn’t go very well, the Sabres have improved as a team since that time and it’s fair to say that the Buffalo net is now very much of interest to fantasy managers everywhere. With Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen still very easy to bury in the minors despite a solid stretch of play recently, keep a close eye on what the Sabres do with their goaltending situation over the next few days. If Luukkonen gets sent down, Comrie should definitely be of interest as he is likely to see at a minimum 50% of the Buffalo net and quite possibly could turn into a 70%-plus start share goaltender on a rising team.
Honourable Mentions: James Reimer - SJS (23%) and Joonas Korpisalo - CBJ (8%)
Nate Groot Nibbelink is the creator of Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey and the originator of the #ZeroG draft strategy. You can find him pontificating about obscure fantasy hockey strategy topics in the Apples & Ginos Discord Server or on Twitter @applesginos.
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