Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire: These players could help to ice the competition


Casey DeSmith #29 of the Vancouver Canucks.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Special to Yahoo Sports

The trade deadline revealed the intentions of most NHL contenders and sellers, though a couple clubs either didn’t do enough or made some questionable moves. But hey, there’s always the offseason to fix that.

Based on all the deals, it would appear we’re headed for a Cup rematch between Vegas and Florida. Or any one of 10 other teams. Let’s enjoy the rest of the regular season and see where they’re headed. And in the meantime, grab a few players off the wire.

(Rostered rates as of Mar. 15)

Forwards

Yegor Sharangovich, Calgary Flames (Yahoo: 45%)

When Sharangovich was first mentioned in mid-December, he was starting to heat up. Three months later, and he’s still on fire. Sharangovich went on to rack up 13 points in 13 January games, dipped a bit through February, and has come roaring back this month with seven goals from seven outings in addition to three assists, 19 shots and 11 blocks. He mainly operated on the wing but has recently moved to centering the third line. That shouldn’t be an issue for Sharangovich as he’s logging significant minutes and still participates on the Flames’ top power play. Pick him up now before you get burned.

Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (Yahoo: 38%)

Consistency can be key when evaluating scorers, though that doesn’t work for everyone. DeBrusk is about as streaky as you can get when it comes to fantasy forwards, and he’s currently on one of his upswings, having posted seven points over five contests. He’s also enjoying favorable placement on the top trio alongside Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle, with all three together on the lead power play, joining David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy. Even when DeBrusk isn’t finding the scoresheet, he’s busy in other areas with 153 shots and 82 hits. But you’re ultimately adding him for his offense, like the OT winner he potted on Thursday.

Casey Mittelstadt, Colorado Avalanche (Yahoo: 30%)

When Mittelstadt was traded to Colorado last week, he was leading the Sabres in scoring. That’s impressive when you consider Rasmus Dahlin was a point behind at the time with both Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch much further back and not having missed too many matchups. Mittelstadt moves to a club clearly going for it and he’s immediately been installed as the second center. He didn’t register a point in his debut, but produced a goal and two shots while winning nine of 11 faceoffs next time out and then skated 19:37 on Wednesday while notching an assist. There’s a chance Mittelstadt could be pushed down the Avs’ depth chart, yet the current lineup is carrying a few casualties up front and all of them regularly play on the wing.

Nick Schmaltz, Arizona Coyotes (Yahoo: 28%)

The Coyotes have only won four of their last 22 contests, though that slump apparently hasn’t affected a couple of their bigger names. Over that span — the start of which just happens to coincide with Schmaltz coming back from a three-game absence — he’s gone off for six goals, 11 assists, and 46 shots with seven of those 16 points coming while up a man. There’s an inherent risk taking someone from the Coyotes due to their weaker attack and horrible plus-minus, but he represents an above-average producer who can help right away. And with the team only having to go on the road once in the next three weeks, Schmaltz and others should be able to increase their numbers.

Nils Hoglander, Vancouver Canucks (Yahoo: 7%)

Vancouver has struggled to find a stable duo beside Elias Pettersson at five-on-five. Both Ilya Mikheyev and Sam Lafferty briefly impressed, though neither could do so on an extended basis. And Elias Lindholm needed a change as he was struggling following a quick start. The current alignment has Pius Suter and Hoglander as the latest wingers-of-the-week. The latter potted his 20th goal of the year on Saturday, with the other two assisting. Hoglander doesn’t get much in the way of ice time, but he’s collected three goals, three assists, and 15 shots across seven appearances and would be able to maintain a decent haul as long as he’s supplied with capable linemates.

Philipp Kurashev, Chicago Blackhawks (Yahoo: 8%)

Kurashev appeared here at the beginning of 2024, a week after teammate Nick Foligno was first discussed. We’re repeating that trend, and it’s well-deserved as the two have been enjoying their time next to Connor Bedard. Kurashev only recorded six points while the young star was out from Jan. 7 to Feb. 13, though it could’ve been worse had he not skated over 18 minutes a night. Enter Bedard again, and the Swiss winger has since tallied 12 over 13 matchups, with five on the man-advantage. On 20:04 per game. If your league counts negative numbers, maybe steer clear of Kurashev. But if you’re searching for potential quick scoring at a miniscule roster rate, there aren’t many better candidates.

Tommy Novak, Nashville Predators (Yahoo: 4%)

This column loves players who can compile sufficient stats in relatively low minutes because they’re widely overlooked. Novak is yet another name to add to that pile. After being selected at the 2015 Draft and spending the next seven years in the collegiate/minors, he broke out in Nashville last season with 43 points in 51 contests. Novak has been working on topping that total as he’s reeled off five goals and 11 assists over his last 18. This run also covers five PPPs and an overall average of 13:58, including over two of those on the power play. Novak’s time is relatively low. Maybe not in the Daniel Sprong range, yet small enough where one might not even take a chance on him, or at least wonder why he’s still available in over 95% of Yahoo formats.

Thomas Bordeleau, San Jose Sharks (Yahoo: 1%)

Preseason projections had the Sharks finishing last in the NHL, and they so far haven’t disappointed (though those pesky Blackhawks keep hanging around). They’ve shed some contracts while increasing the use of their youth. The latest beneficiary has been Bordeleau, who had previously received brief stints with the parent club while starring in the AHL. In between making the team for Opening Night and a promotion last week, he registered 25 points across 35 minor-league appearances. Bordeleau would make an instant impact with San Jose by scoring three times in his first two, and all of them coming on the lead power play. We’re once again going to repeat the plus-minus warning. But other than that, the reward significantly outweighs the risk as Bordeleau appears more than capable of taking on a larger role.

Defensemen

Justin Faulk, St. Louis Blues (Yahoo: 47%)

The scoring may have dipped for Faulk compared to previous totals, but he’s helped elsewhere and holds down a top-four placement on the Blues’ blueline. The veteran has recently teamed up with Scott Perunovich at both five-on-five and the second man-advantage, with the latter situation yielding an assist on Monday. Faulk followed that with a solid effort Wednesday where he recorded another helper alongside two shots, four blocks and a hit. He’s not going to net you the 40-50 points he managed at his peak, yet there’s bound to be enough across multiple categories to fit him into your lineup.

Matt Roy, Los Angeles Kings (Yahoo: 31%)

Roy’s specialty is his ability to accumulate secondary stats and — like the last two entries — log lots of ice time. Going back nine contests, he’s produced 29 blocks and 24 hits while chipping in four assists. And in the outing before that stretch, Roy fired 10 (!) pucks on net against Anaheim, which seems to be an outlier based on his average of just under two shots. If he can get back to providing more in that area and post the odd point here and there while maintaining high levels elsewhere, he’ll increase his chances of attracting additional fantasy attention.

Daniil Miromanov, Calgary Flames (Yahoo: 0%)

Noah Hanifin leaving for Vegas created a vacancy on Calgary’s first power play, which was initially assumed by MacKenzie Weegar. And then on Tuesday, Miromanov led the line while tallying an even-strength assist and a whopping eight shots. He was regularly scratched by the Golden Knights this season, yet managed six points in five AHL appearances while looking dangerous during a brief NHL stint last year with six in 14. As Weegar and Rasmus Andersson boast previous man-advantage roles and share duties on the second unit, let’s see if Miromanov can remain in the preferred position. But even if he slips down, there’s enough offensive upside to at least consider him as a flier.

Goaltenders

Casey DeSmith, Vancouver Canucks (Yahoo: 38%)

Thatcher Demko will be out for at least a couple weeks, leaving DeSmith as Vancouver’s de facto No. 1 in net. Even though he lists a 2.91 GAA and .899 save percentage this season, he’s performed decently overall. DeSmith may have allowed four goals on Wednesday, but let’s consider they were against the Avs’ league-leading offense and he wasn’t at fault for any of them (poor D coverage, two-man advantage, great initial save with rebound narrowly crossing the line, really bad bounce for OT winner). With the Canucks at home for the rest of the month while boasting their own top-five attack, expect DeSmith to pick up a few wins.

Calvin Pickard, Edmonton Oilers (Yahoo: 12%)

The Oilers have been excellent since Dec. 21 with a 27-6-2 record where they’ve only given up a total of 76 goals. During that period, Stuart Skinner has assumed the bulk of the appearances with a 2.18/.924 line while Pickard has been just as outstanding at 2.01/.926. With the schedule winding down and Edmonton facing four back-to-backs, Pickard will at least operate as a suitable streaming option by earning a few more starts — and possibly more if the coaching staff decides to rest Skinner more down the stretch should the team clinch home-ice advantage for the playoffs.

Players to consider from past columns: Seth Jarvis, Juraj Slafkovsky, Ryan O’Reilly, Mason McTavish, William Karlsson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dylan Cozens, Johnny Gaudreau, Wyatt Johnston, Quinton Byfield, Boone Jenner, Gustav Nyquist, Troy Terry, Robert Thomas, Sean Monahan, Anthony Duclair, Nazem Kadri, Andrei Kuzmenko, Lucas Raymond, Artturi Lehkonen, Nikolaj Ehlers, Chandler Stephenson, Dylan Strome, Brayden Schenn, Ivan Barbashev, Charlie Coyle, Mason Marchment, Pavel Zacha, Adam Henrique, Shane Pinto, Morgan Geekie, Jake Neighbours, Jonathan Drouin, Anthony Mantha, Nino Niederreiter, Marco Rossi, Jack Roslovic, Nick Foligno, Scott Laughton, Trevor Moore, Sam Bennett, John-Jason Peterka, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Tyler Bertuzzi, James van Riemsdyk, Kyle Palmieri, Bobby McMann, Blake Coleman, Yegor Sharangovich, Logan Stankoven, Ross Colton, David Perron, Matias Maccelli, Mathieu Joseph, Alex Killorn, Daniel Sprong, Jake Sanderson, Mike Matheson, Seth Jones, Brock Faber, Bowen Byram, Noah Hanifin, Filip Hronek, Thomas Harley, Travis Sanheim, Owen Power, Torey Krug, Mattias Ekholm, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Cam Fowler, Neal Pionk, Pavel Mintyukov, Ivan Provorov, Darren Raddysh, Cam York, Pyotr Kochetkov, Marc-Andre Fleury, Alex Lyon, Anthony Stolarz, Joey Daccord, Ilya Samsonov, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Jonathan Quick, Samuel Ersson, Philipp Grubauer, Laurent Brossoit, Elvis Merzlikins, Justus Annunen, Cayden Primeau



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