Fantasy Hockey: Waiver Wire Wednesday

Patrick Kane and Vladislav Namestnikov both had a memorable night, achieving a milestone neither had done before, while Connor Hellebuyck was perfect for the second time in his young career.

Another one bites the dust… Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, owned in 75 per cent of Yahoo leagues, will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a hand injury. How will you replace Nugent-Hopkins or some other injured/slumping starter? Waiver Wire Wednesday has you covered with six players widely available in fantasy leagues (all ownership figures based on Yahoo leagues).

We have made the case for grabbing Aleksander Barkov for two straight weeks. We won’t repeat that information, just know that after having gone scoreless in three straight games his ownership has fallen to 50 per cent. How many players have had a three-game scoreless draught? All players. Barkov remains a great option but here are six others:

Vladislav Namestnikov – C – 26 per cent owned
Centring Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos on the top line, Namestnikov makes an excellent option. Add in that he is skating on the top power-play unit and you’d almost be foolish not to grab Namestnikov. He has 10 points in the last six games for a Lightning club that is scoring three goals per game since Dec. 1st.

Anton Stralman – D – 57 per cent owned
Along similar lines as Namestnikov, Stralman is also benefitting from the Lightning getting healthy and kicking their scoring up another level. Stralman runs the point on the Lightning’s top power-play unit and has 12 points in his last 16 games, making him one of the best fantasy defencemen of the past month.

Ryan Spooner – C/LW – 40 per cent owned

Spooner’s numbers since David Krejci went down with an injury: 11 points, 33 SOG in 10 games. He has taken full advantage of Krejci’s absence. Be forewarned, Krejci is due back shortly, which would push Spooner back to the third line but Spooner will remain on the top power-play unit even when Krejci returns, which makes him a solid option for the rest of the season.

Tomas Hertl – C/LW – 25 per cent owned
In six games since jumping back onto the Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, Hertl has scored four goals and seven points. The Sharks play four games between Thursday and next Tuesday meaning Hertl offers a favourable schedule if you make him a temporary pick up.

Shea Theodore – D – 1 per cent owned
This is reaching deep for those of you in larger leagues. Theodore has been skating on the top power-play unit for the Ducks, and while that power play has not been very productive, the opportunity is nevertheless intriguing.

Theodore has points in three straight games and certainly has potential to put together an extended run of relevance.

Cam Talbot – G – 40 per cent owned
A fat new contract extension affirms Talbot’s status as the No. 1 goalie in Edmonton after a sizzling run of play since mid-December. Talbot’s numbers in December and January? Six wins, 1.99 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

Goalies go on hot runs all the time. For instance, Talbot’s teammate Anders Nilsson had a nice run of his own earlier this season. But beggars can’t be choosers and there are certainly many fantasy owners looking for goaltending help. Talbot could provide that help.


Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of Dobberhockey. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw. For more help in your fantasy league, pick up the Dobberhockey Mid-Season guide filled with over 600 player projections for the second half of the season.