Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3
Another great start to the NHL season has fantasy owners in a flurry of activity as is often the case. Many familiar faces are exploding out of the gate like Leon Draisaitl (with 11 points in five games) and John Carlson (10 points in six games), but I didn’t hear anyone (including myself) predict that James Neal and Mathieu Perreault would already have seven goals each. One of the reasons I love fantasy hockey is that it is so fluid and dynamic, forcing you to stay on top of who’s hot and who’s not. Let’s look at some waiver options for this coming week.
Kyle Turris (NSH): 2%
Turris currently seems to be in the doghouse in Nashville. The signing of Matt Duchene meant a move to the third line was pending, but Turris may have to work his way up to the third line this season. That is what a 23-point season (in 55 games) gets you after a team trades valuable assets for you and signs you to a lucrative deal. He has four seasons of 51 points or more (including his first year in Nashville), and at the age of 30 should have more production to offer. It may take a few weeks, but if he regains more ice time there are plenty of talented wingers to play with on the Predators.
Alexander Wennberg (CBJ): 2%
If anyone has had an opportunity for more ice time to open up this year, it’s Wennberg. With the departures of three top-six forwards in the offseason, Wennberg has found himself centering the second line between promising wingers Oliver Bjorkstrand and Alexandre Texier. Wennberg looked like a young star during the 2016-17 season with 59 points in his third year in the league. He scored less than that number during the next two seasons combined but has a fresh start and ample talent. He was a highly touted first-round pick and will be given every chance to get back on track this year.
Ilya Mikheyev (TOR): 7%
Mikheyev may turn out to be a sneaky good signing by the Leafs. He posted 45 points in 62 games during his last season in the KHL, which are pretty impressive numbers for that league. He’s currently posted on the third line, but with his hot start (five points in six games), he may find himself receiving top-six minutes and power play opportunities. Regardless, even a third line assignment could be enough to justify at least a bench spot on your team with the scoring potential in Toronto.
Maxime Comtois (ANA): 4%
Comtois is listed on the first line with the Ducks alongside Sam Steel and Andrej Kase. This is the future of the team upfront along with other promising youngsters such as Troy Terry. As a power forward that should pile up hits and PIMs (if your league includes that in your scoring setup), Comtois was also an established scorer in junior (48 points in his last 25 games).
Martin Necas (CAR): 2%
Necas has been viewed as a top-10 prospect and was given the chance to develop in Charlotte of the AHL last year, a move that should reap rewards for the young forward. He scored an impressive 52 points in 64 games there and has started this NHL season with four points in his first six games. The Canes have quietly developed three good forward lines, and even if Necas stays on the third unit, he can be very productive. If he gets a chance to play with Sebastian Aho, the sky’s the limit.
Jack Roslovic (WPG): 2%
Roslovic is currently slated as the third-line center in the ‘Peg (with right-wing eligibility), but possesses the talent to take over the second-line duties. A former first-round pick, he’s displayed steady development after a year in college and two years in the AHL. After scoring 35 points in his last 32 games in the minors, Roslovic has retained his standing with the Jets and should be earning more ice time as the season progresses.
Colin Miller (BUF): 16%
Miller displayed his offensive potential in Vegas with a 41-point season in 2017-18. He has an excellent opportunity with a great young Buffalo squad and just happens to have Rasmus Dahlin as his defense partner. He is also slated on the second power-play unit and the Sabres are already firing on all cylinders as the fourth highest-scoring team in the league.
Dmitry Orlov (WSH): 5%
When you watch Orlov play, you just feel that he’s ready to take the next step statistically. He seems to have plateaued in his young career scoring 29, 33, 31, and 29 points in the last four seasons, but he’s still just 28 years of age and many defensemen take this long to fully develop. He is on the second power-play unit and is on the ice for over 21 minutes per night. On a very talented Capitals team, that could pay off this year.
Aaron Dell (SJ): 3%
Dell is slated to be Martin Jones‘ backup this year, but has only played one less game than Jones to date. The stats of both goalies are pretty bad so far (as they were last year), so this is a situation that could go either way. The Sharks should right their ship at some point, as they always seem to do, and you could have a monster on your side if Dell does take over the number one job.
Eeli Tolvanen (NSH): 2%
Tolvanen was the hottest prospect outside of the NHL two seasons ago, but came down to earth somewhat last year. He scored a couple of points in four NHL contests and then a solid, but unspectacular 35 points in 58 AHL games. Nashville is a deep team so Tolvanen will have to give the team a solid reason to let him take someone’s job, but if the scouts were right, it’s only a matter of time.