Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 22
The always anticipated trade deadline has now come and gone, and there are definitely some fantasy implications. Sellers (Ottawa in particular) will have some players with lower expectations going forward, as the talent around them has depleted. This dynamic will also open up opportunities for younger players to earn more ice time and maybe get their shot at a top-six role. Buyers (Columbus in particular) could have a few players affected by some added firepower.
Kevin Hayes (WPG): 34%
Hayes is the favorite to secure the second line center role for the Jets, a team with formidable offensive firepower. With 42 points in 51 games, Hayes brings in some legitimate stats and should pad them in Winnipeg. He might get a shot at jump-starting Patrik Laine‘s season, and he could also spend time with players such as Kyle Conner and Nikolaj Ehlers.
Ryan Donato (MIN): 10%
Another player on the move before the deadline, Donato could see a significant increase in ice time with the Wild. This is suddenly a young team up front with talent, speed, and an offensive-minded head coach. Donato can play wing or center and already has six points in his first four games with Minnesota.
Danton Heinen (BOS): 12%
Heinen, who has bounced around the Bruins’ lineup, is currently slated to fill in for the injured David Pastrnak on the top line with offensive stalwarts Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. You may only squeeze a couple of weeks of production out of him, but he has the chance to really light it up in this role.
Vladislav Namestnikov (NYR): 4%
This is mostly a hunch, but Namestnikov did produce 48 points last year for the Rangers. He’s struggling offensively to date this season but should see a large increase in ice time (from only 15:13 per game) now that New York has moved two of the top minute-munchers in Hayes and Mats Zuccarello.
Marcus Johansson (BOS): 6%
I suggested Johansson recently, but am more bullish with his trade to Boston. Currently slated to line up with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, he has a chance to really show his true offensive capabilities again. He notched 58 points in his last season in Washington, and Boston’s talent more closely resembles the Capitals than the Devils.
Ryan Dzingel (CLS): 34%
Another talented forward on the move, Dzingel escaped the train wreck in Ottawa along with his buddy Matt Duchene. It looks as if he will start on a line with talented young forwards in Pierre-Luc Dubois (53 points) and Oliver Bjorkstrand. Dzingel has 22 goals and 23 assists to date and should see his plus/minus score improve substantially in Columbus.
Colin Miller (VGK): 18%
Miller was one of the many breakout players for Vegas last year, posting a 41-point season (25 more than his previous high). The Golden Knights aren’t lighting the lamp like they did last year, but adding Mark Stone should help the offense a great deal. Although recently a healthy scratch, Miller is due to return to the lineup and may benefit from the added talent up front.
Brandon Montour (BUF): 42%
The Sabres gave up a first-round pick and promising prospect Brendan Guhle for Montour, an indication of their respect for his talent. With great skating ability and a developing offensive game, Montour is joining a Sabres team that could soon be an offensive powerhouse. His ownership level is pretty high, but he may turn out to be a star.
Mackenzie Blackwood (NJ): 9%
The Devils recalled Blackwood earlier this week, and trading Keith Kinkaid opens the door for the 22-year-old to become the starter down the stretch. Blackwood’s stats so far are very impressive (6-4 record, 2.37 goals against average, 0.926 save percentage) on a really bad team, so he may turn into a bright spot moving forward.
Anthony Duclair (OTT): 1%
Duclair is only 23 years of age and is already on his fifth NHL team. He’s not exactly Shane Doan, but the Senators have stated he has a clean slate with them and look to give him an honest shot at stabilizing his career. After posting 44 points in his second season, he looked like a young star on the rise. He had the junior career to indicate as much, once scoring 50 goals in 59 games and averaging well over a point per game in the QMJHL. If he stays on the top line with Colin White and Brady Tkachuk he could be well worth a waiver pickup.