Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 25
Once again, congratulations if you are still alive and looking to tweak or supplement your roster for a playoff run. Besides the obvious teams to load up on (Tampa Bay, San Jose, Toronto, and Calgary) and the train wrecks to avoid (Los Angeles, Anaheim, and New Jersey), let’s dig deep and see what might be out there for waiver pickups this week.
Lars Eller (WAS): 7%
Eller is a solid third line center on a top-five Eastern Conference team. The Capitals are currently fifth in goals scored, and Eller is logging a respectable 16:35 in ice time to date while posting nine points in his last 13 games. Washington is as deep at forward as any team in the league, so Eller should always be playing with legit talent. He is also centering the second power-play unit.
Mathieu Perreault (WPG): 4%
The Jets are perking up lately, and Perreault has contributed to their resurgence with six points in his last 10 games. He bounces around the lineup but can often be found in a top-six role. Perreault tends to be streaky, so you may catch the tail end of his current hot streak.
Ryan Strome (NYR): 5%
Strome is back in New York, this time with the Rangers and with a bust label circling around his head. After a disastrous stint in Edmonton (the disaster capital of the NHL), Strome is suddenly a guy who has posted a career-high 50-point season, but has not exceeded 34 points otherwise in six years). More was expected from a top-five pick, but he may be finding his scoring touch again with seven points in his last 11 games. Playing on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider should help.
Conor Sheary (BUF): 4%
Buffalo is playing some bad hockey right now, but Sheary is pulling his weight. He’s slotted on the second line and is averaging 14:44 of ice time to date. With seven points in his last 10 games, he could see an increased role down the stretch.
Brett Connolly (WAS): 5%
With seven points in his last nine games, Connolly is playing his best hockey at a great time. He might be a great sleeper pick for your playoff pool, but he could also produce for you down the stretch. The 26-year-old is only clocking 13:18 in ice time, but he may get some extra shifts if the coaching staff decides to rest some of their top six forwards for the playoffs.
Roope Hintz (DAL): 12%
Hintz is currently slotted as the second-line center (but has left wing eligibility), as Jason Spezza has won a free ticket to watch the next game (or more) from the press box. A second-round pick of the Stars, Hintz has developed steadily and is on fire lately, recording seven goals in his last 11 games. He should receive more ice time as the Stars make a desperate bid for a playoff spot.
Matt Benning (EDM): 1%
Although probably best described as solid, Benning does have three goals and two assists in his last 10 games. Everyone is on trial in Edmonton these days, so he has the chance to increase his ice time from the current 14:32 mark down the stretch.
Ben Chiarot (WPG): 5%
Because of recent injuries to Winnipeg’s defense corps, Chiarot has bounced around with an increased role lately. He’s responded by potting six points in his last 10 games while posting a +4 rating. He’s also a decent hitter with 147 to his name, which helps in leagues that include it as a scoring category.
Aaron Dell (SJ): 6%
The Sharks are having another great season, currently sitting second in the West. Their goaltending has been suspect at times though, so as the trusty backup, Dell has a legitimate chance of being the guy down the stretch. His .890 save percentage isn’t far behind that of starter Martin Jones (.898). He’s a guy who could steal a few games for you.
Richard Panik (LW – ARI): 2%
On his fourth team in seven years, Panik has bounced around a bit despite starting to produce decent offensive numbers a couple of years ago. He might not hit 40 points this season, but he’s making a late push with eight points in his last 10 games. He plays on the second line with talented youngsters Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller and is averaging a solid 16:33 in ice time.