Fantasy NHL – Young forwards dominate this week’s list of best waiver-wire finds

NHL News


Every week we’ll mine the waiver wire for widely available assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the re-draft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued — in the short or long term — for one reason or another.


Forwards

Danton Heinen, C/LW/RW, Boston Bruins (rostered in 36.5 percent of ESPN leagues)

If needing another reason to add the productive rookie forward — in addition to his current cluster of 33 points in 43 games — how about a temporary gig on the Bruins’ top line? Subbing in for the suspended Brad Marchand alongside Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, Heinen has up to four contests to make the most of this golden opportunity. While league managers invested in the 22-year-old should ensure he’s active until Feb. 7, Marchand’s first game back, daily fantasy competitors should also hold Heinen in higher regard through the next week.

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, Buffalo Sabres (13.7 percent)

The 22-year-old third-year player finally appears to be emerging from his unproductive haze, collecting three goals and four assists in his most recent five games, including four points with the man advantage. The 2014 second-overall draft pick is better than this season’s earlier pace of 0.29 points per game, especially considering he racked up nearly 50 in 2016-17. Skating on the Sabres’ top power play and a scoring line with center Ryan O’Reilly, Reinhart is in position to finish stronger down the stretch.

Nolan Patrick, C, Philadelphia Flyers (8.3 percent)

The Flyers are offering their rookie center the chance to strut his stuff on a scoring line aside Jakub Voracek, along with Wayne Simmonds, beginning Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. That’s quite the opportunity for this past summer’s second-overall draft selection, who has impressed coach Dave Hakstol of late despite contributing little to the scoreboard. Here’s Patrick’s chance to really showcase his scoring talents. Fantasy managers who have teetered on the edge of investing in the 19-year-old now have cause to go all in.

Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, Chicago Blackhawks (8.3 percent)

Following a less-than-remarkable five-game warmup with his new club, the former Arizona Coyotes winger made his first significant scoring impression with a goal and two assists (plus-four) in the Blackhawks’ last game before All-Star weekend. While this Chicago squad may well not make the playoffs this season, don’t expect them to go down without a fight. As for heading the charge, look no further than the club’s leader and Duclair’s top-line centerman, captain Jonathan Toews. In addition to the forward pair of Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz, the new No. 1 trio of Toews, Duclair and rookie Alex DeBrincat intrigues with a look ahead to the spring.

Paul Byron, C/LW/RW, Montreal Canadiens (5.1 percent)

Filling in for a concussed Phillip Danault on a top line with a sizzling Max Pacioretty (eight goals in nine games) is working out well for Byron, as demonstrated by the center’s run of seven points in six contests. Even once Danault is ready to return, and there’s no clear timetable laid out as yet, Byron might not immediately lose that coveted spot. The 28-year-old’s multi-positional eligibility only adds to his fantasy value as provisional roster sub or daily fantasy asset.

Mikkel Boedker, LW, San Jose Sharks (1.2 percent)

The domino effect stemming from the loss of Joe Thornton (arthroscopic knee surgery) sees Joe Pavelski shift from the wing to center a scoring line with Boedker and Chris Tierney. It presents a ripe opportunity, however temporary, for Boedker to add to his recent run of four goals in seven games. Furthermore, sophomore Kevin Labanc, already skating on Logan Couture‘s wing, slides in on a Sharks’ top power play in place of Jumbo Joe. Rostered in 5.8 percent of ESPN leagues, Labanc has 26 points in 43 games to date this season.

Denis Malgin, C/RW, Florida Panthers (0.3 percent)

Following the latest shuffling in Florida, Malgin finds himself again in the top six, this time alongside center Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau. As a young winger, you can’t really ask for a greater opportunity than that. Still in the infancy of his NHL career, the 21-year-old has demonstrated the ability to score at the AHL level, averaging nearly a point-per-game since arriving from Switzerland in 2016. The Panthers continue to hope that talent translates to the next stage.

Jack Roslovic, C, Winnipeg Jets (0.0 percent)

Just nine games into his NHL career, Roslovic is earning the chance to skate on a Winnipeg top line with Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine in place of Kyle Connor. Drafted 25th overall in 2015, the 21-year-old has 35 points in 32 games with the AHL Manitoba this season. He also scored his first NHL goal last week in Anaheim just ahead of the All-Star break. The unproven rookie merits some attention as a long-shot DFS asset, in any case.


Defensemen

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks (28.3 percent)

The 30-year-old veteran, more treasured for serving as a well-rounded defenseman, is running abnormally hot at present, with four goals and five assists in eight games. If available, consider exploiting Vlasic in all fantasy realms until this productive run grinds to a halt.

Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues (1.9 percent)

Back in the fantasy mix after a short stint in the minors, the rookie defenseman has four points in five games, including two assists with the man advantage. Anchoring a top power play that includes Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and an again-healthy Jaden Schwartz, Dunn presents as a valuable dark-horse commodity for as long as that prestigious assignment lasts. Beyond the here and now, the promising 21-year-old offensive-defenseman also shouldn’t be overlooked in deeper keeper/dynasty leagues.


Goaltenders

Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers (21.2 percent)

While we’re still likely a week or so away from seeing Luongo back between the pipes for the Panthers, fantasy managers in the market for goaltending help may want to get a jump on securing Florida’s No. 1. Luongo was solid to the tune of a .928 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average before suffering a lower-body injury in early December. Now with James Reimer dealing with his own groin issue, there’s little question of who will start day-to-day again once Luongo is ready. Until then, the Panthers’ goaltending job falls to third-stringer Harri Sateri and, if necessary, an untested Samuel Montembeault.

Darcy Kuemper, Los Angeles Kings (6.8 percent)

No. 1 Jonathan Quick is nursing an undisclosed injury, which means Kuemper takes over the reigns in net for at least a game or two. After spelling Quick last Tuesday in Vancouver, Kuemper was outstanding the following evening, stopping all but one of 31 shots in a tight 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. At minimum, L.A.’s backup merits daily fantasy consideration when the matchup appears favorable.

Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs (1.3 percent)

No NHL goaltender has started more games than Frederik Andersen of the Maple Leafs (42), which is why we expect to see a little more McElhinney over the next couple of months. Already rumored to start Thursday against the New York Rangers, the Leafs’ backup was superb in last week’s 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, stopping 39 of 40 shots. As with Kuemper, the veteran backup has appeal in a wide range of DFS competition when in position to start.


Lowered expectations

Jacob Trouba, D, Winnipeg Jets (57.8 percent)

Six-to-eight weeks brings us well into March, which is when Trouba is expected back on the ice following his fresh ankle injury. That’s quite a while from now. Unless decked out with an excess of IR spots, fantasy managers in re-draft leagues may choose to cut the prominent defenseman loose and invest elsewhere. As for additional fantasy fallout, expect even more from blueliner Tyler Myers in replacing Trouba on Winnipeg’s top pair for the Jets.



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