Waiver Wednesday is back, ready to help you make moves for the stretch run. It is important to note that not all waiver acquisitions are made the same. Unless your league is ultra-restrictive with moves, you should be able to make an addition or two every couple of weeks to fill in some holes.
Maybe your last forward has gone ice cold. Drop him and grab someone hot. Or perhaps you’ve got one of the latest injured stars, like Rick Nash. Once again, the waiver wire is your friend. Here are six widely available players (all ownership figures based on Yahoo! leagues) who can help you right now and perhaps in the future.
Brayden Schenn – C/LW – 37 per cent owned
Skating on the second line as well as the top power-play unit in Philadelphia, Schenn is in a great spot. He has points in four straight games and 13 points in 12 games since the calendar flipped to 2016. Sean Couturier’s return against Montreal after nearly two weeks off will help Schenn sustain his scoring. That second line with Couturier was one of the hottest in the league before he went down. Still, it’s the power-play time that is Schenn’s bread and butter. Six of his 13 points in these past dozen games have come with the man-advantage.
Jordan Staal – C/LW – 19 per cent owned
Another one of the league’s hottest players, Staal scored 12 points in 13 games in January, placing him in the top 15 scorers that month. We are now into February so we’ll have to wait and see if he can sustain this pace. One thing working in Staal’s favour: he’s finally getting power-play time. He only gets to skate on the second unit, but some power-play time is better than none. Also, watch for Staal if brother Eric is dealt at the trade deadline. That could mean an even greater opportunity.
Nikolaj Ehlers – LW/RW – 17 per cent owned
The Winnipeg Jets are back to full strength with both Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele back in the lineup post-All-Star break. Ehlers still managed to skate over 17 minutes and notch an assist to extend his scoring streak to five games. He had capitalized on injuries to grab top-six minutes in getting this streak going, but he proved enough to hang onto those minutes now that the team is healthy. Using our Frozen Pool tools, you can see that Ehlers was lined up with Scheifele and Blake Wheeler last night at both even strength and on the power play. That sort of favourable deployment will continue as long as he produces, and maybe even beyond if Andrew Ladd is indeed traded at the deadline.
Brandon Dubinsky – C/LW – 28 per cent owned
Dubinsky has 14 points in his last 14 games while centering a second line comprised of streaky scorers Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner (both of whom could easily appear on this list themselves). Dubinsky gets the nod because of what he does beyond scoring. He is tied for 73rd in the league with 39 PIM, which is low by his standards. Dubinsky also ranks 20th in the league in hits with 134 and 19th in faceoff wins with 432. Depending on your league settings, Dubinsky might be a diamond in the rough.
Andre Burakovsky – LW – 5 per cent owned
Burakovsky’s ownership has nearly doubled from last week, when we trumpeted him in this space, but he is still available in the majority of pools. With a goal last night, Burakovsky is up to 10 points in his last seven games and has demonstrated that the time off isn’t slowing him down.
Petr Mrazek – G – 80 per cent owned
Mrazek is owned in most leagues, but it is silly that he isn’t owned in every league. He has started 14 of the last 17 games for Detroit, laying claim to the No. 1 spot. Mrazek is no mere No. 1 starter, however. He is also producing top-five fantasy numbers among goaltenders. How a top-five goaltender remains available in 20 per cent of leagues is beyond me.
Steve Laidlaw is the managing editor of Dobberhockey. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.