Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 14
As we enter a new year, it’s time to find those gems that are shedding an unimpressive 2018 and bursting out of the gates in the new year. Some players are able to reset, forget and go get (in the NHL in particular). There are always a few players out there worth a roll of the dice so let’s take a look at some of them.
Brandon Pirri (VGK): 18%
Pirri is twenty-seven now and has already played for five NHL teams. He’s also played over 300 games in the minors so I doubt if anyone needs to tell him this might be his last real shot at staying in the big leagues. He’s been a consistent point producer in the AHL, and so far with Vegas has posted nine points in his first seven games. He’s currently slated on the second line with talented linemates in Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch and the Golden Knights may be the best fit for his talents.
Phillip Danault (MTL): 10%
With 12 points in his last nine games (including five goals), Danault has been heating up for the Habs. He is a former first-round pick of Chicago and was a prolific scorer in junior, but has been somewhat quiet in his professional career to date. Now in his fourth season, the twenty-five-year-old pivot may be ready to break out as he tallies an average of 17:34 of ice time on Montreal’s top line.
Tyler Toffoli (LA): 24%
This is a bit of nostalgia for sure, as Toffoli has never become the consistent scorer many thought he’d be by now. He did hit 31 goals in 2015 and has hit 23 goals or more three times, but his stats this year are really bad. That he’s at 24% ownership attests to his former credibility, but he could be a decent stash play if he is traded. The Kings are thought to be mulling some offers and Toffoli could follow Tanner Pearson out of town and find himself on a line with a guy like Evgeni Malkin.
Joonas Donskoi (SJ): 4%
It may have just been a good week in the life of Joonas Donskoi, but he did post three goals and two assists in his last three games. He was firing at about a 40 point pace last year and is scoring at a similar rate this season, but if he can carry that last week into the new year, he may be a breakout candidate. He’s currently playing with Thomas Hertl and Evander Kane which has the makings of a very productive line.
Bryan Rust (PIT): 28%
Rust is currently day to day with a lower-body injury, but is listed on the top line in Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. He’s not that talented on his own, but you can’t ignore the fact that Crosby is his center. He may get dropped by a few owners with this recent injury and there’s always the chance he develops into another Jake Guentzel.
Alex Killorn (TB): 17%
Killorn is another winger with average offensive skills that plays on the top line for a high scoring team. In fact, Killorn is on Steven Stamkos‘ top line in Tampa Bay. He’s never reached the twenty goal mark, but has done reasonably well with his opportunity, averaging 16 goals and 41 points over the last three years. He’s on pace to hit 20 goals this year as well as 44 points, so he’s not a bad depth option.
Martin Marincin (TOR): 24%
I am totally throwing a dart here, but Marincin was a second round pick and had a couple of really productive years in junior. He’s been in and out of the lineup for the Leafs, but they are the second highest scoring team in the league and despite Morgan Rielly‘s breakout, could use some more offense from the back end.
Brad Hunt (VGK): 0%
I’m really throwing darts now, but Hunt may have a chance (much like Brandon Pirri) at latching onto an NHL role in Vegas. At thirty years of age, he’s only played 90 NHL games, but has been a consistent scorer in the AHL (0.73 points per game), which is a good league. Some guys can translate that to the show and some can’t, but he has six points in twelve games now and is the definition of a sleeper.
Collin Delia (CHI): 20%
Delia has come out of left field recently for the Blackhawks, playing extremely well (3-0, 1.67 goals against average, 0.957 save percentage). Signed as a free agent he framed a poor sophomore season in college with two very strong ones and has been solid in the minors this year. With another scary concussion to Corey Crawford, the crease is wide open in Chicago and Delia looks to be a contender.
Brett Connolly (TB): 4%
Connolly is probably most associated as being a top ten bust (one of Steve Yzerman’s few mistakes), but is quietly stepping up his game in D.C. After averaging 25 points per season during the last three years, he already has 22 to his name this year. Currently slotted on the third line for the powerhouse Caps, he’s posting close to 14 minutes of ice time per game and could even be a breakout candidate through the rest of the season.