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.
Now that the post-trade deadline dust has settled, a healthy-again Kreider seems fixed on a top line and power play with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. After sitting out since Dec. 27 with blood clot issues that required surgery, Kreider is now two games into a hoped-for strong comeback campaign. The 26-year-old winger scored 28 goals and 25 assists in 75 contests in 2017-18. He’s in great position to do some real scoring damage in the Rangers’ final stretch of 19 matchups.
Instead of keeping up with whichever young forward is the latest to rotate onto Sidney Crosby‘s left wing, maybe instead drop your attention to the Penguins’ second scoring line, where Hagelin is producing at a steady rate. Competing with Evgeni Malkin — a key selling factor here — and Patric Hornqvist, the speedy winger has 17 points in 20 games since Jan. 7. The only downside is he isn’t a power play guy. Still, in his current role, Hagelin has something to offer in deeper fantasy hockey leagues.
Skating on a scoring line with Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov, as well as the Panthers’ secondary power play, Bjugstad is enjoying a fairly impressive February with nine points in 11 games, while averaging nearly three shots per contest. Since more managers are finally piling onto Dadonov’s fantasy bandwagon, it might not be long before Bjugstad seizes the baton from his linemate as Florida’s most underrated fantasy producer.
Ruled out for a couple of weeks with a fractured foot, Patrice Bergeron leaves big skates to fill on a Boston’s top line, a void Nash appears first called upon to fill. This also suggests the Bruins prefer to leave their newly-formed second line of Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci and ex-Ranger Rick Nash intact. Forward David Backes also sees a boost in fantasy value as Bergeron’s sub on the B’s top power play.
This could become interesting. Plucked off waivers, Stewart is pegged to make his Flames debut on Tuesday with a top line including Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Generally a disappointment since his early days with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, the well-traveled 2006 first-round draft pick still attracts the interest of coaches and managers around the NHL. Fantasy managers are advised to at least check out what Stewart makes of this rich, new opportunity in Calgary.
The 23-year-old has a goal in each of his past two games and is currently skating on a top line with Connor McDavid and Milan Lucic. At minimum, Slepyshev merits monitoring as a potential injury plug or dark-horse daily fantasy asset.
Anthony DeAngelo, D, New York Rangers (1.9 percent)
As outlined by Sean Allen in this week’s rest-of-season rankings, DeAngelo has four power-play assists in nine games, while firing five shots on net in three of those contests. Already in reset mode for next season, the retooling Rangers can comfortably offer their sophomore offensive-defenseman ample opportunity to make additional noise down the stretch. Why not? Drafted 19th overall in 2014, the 22-year-old has averaged 0.59 points per game through 123 AHL contests.
After denying all 18 shots faced in Monday’s relief effort versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, Grubauer is tapped to start 24 hours later against the Ottawa Senators. Perhaps a curious move, since the Capitals could have offered No. 1 Braden Holtby the chance to rebound against a less-imposing Ottawa squad. But Holtby has been generally awful and winless in six straight, and Grubauer has been superb since early February (.957 save-percentage). Perhaps not that curious at all.
If nothing else, the rookie netminder should play a lot. With Carey Price out indefinitely (concussion) and Antti Niemi serving as little more than a warm body for the short term, Lindgren will get a regular shot at proving he has a role to play at the NHL level. The 24-year-old has been solid more often than not though nine appearances this season, most recently delivering a 33-save 1-0 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. A looser Canadiens lineup out front might also help work in the club’s favor.
Jon Gillies, Calgary Flames (3.5 percent)
The towering rookie has been the much better of the two backups working in relief of No. 1 Mike Smith, who remains sidelined with a groin injury. While David Rittich surrendered seven goals in his last start, Feb. 21, versus the Vegas Golden Knights, Gillies is coming off back-to-back wins over the Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes, giving up a total of just three goals. The 24-year-old is slated to start again against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Matt Murray, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (93.7 percent)
This has been a rough campaign for Pittsburgh’s No. 1. Losing time to injury earlier this season, then missing the majority of January to deal with a personal matter, Murray is now ruled out indefinitely with a concussion. Hopefully he’s able to return before the end of the regular season. Backup Tristan Jarry, who has been at times great for the Penguins this season, and less so at others, is at the front of the line to sub in between the pipes. Jarry is rostered in 8.9 percent of ESPN leagues.
Alexander Steen, LW/RW, St. Louis Blues (55.1 percent)
With the Blues dealing Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets, Steen lost his best friend and regular centerman in one transaction. While the veteran winger can still keep in touch with his off-ice buddy over FaceTime, skating on a forward line with substitute center Patrik Berglund won’t feel the same on-ice. Struggling to produce these past couple of weeks, Steen was still on pace for a 50-plus-point season. That stride will be more difficult to maintain now.