Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 11 (2019)
Hockey is definitely a sport where teams are not afraid to make a coaching change during the season. John Hynes from the New Jersey Devils is the latest casualty, as his team was sporting the second-worst record in the league. Their roster has some legitimate talent so the move was expected by many and it will be interesting to see if there is a bump in production from some of the top-line players. As I was writing this article, news hit of the Dallas Stars firing coach Jim Montgomery for unprofessional conduct. Many of the Stars’ players were thought to be underachieving this year, so this is another team to keep an eye on.
As for who’s hot and who’s not, here are the teams with seven or more wins in their last 10 games (all with seven):
Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Colorado, Winnipeg, Minnesota
Teams with three or fewer wins include Montreal, Detroit (zero), New Jersey, Chicago, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some waiver options this week.
Jack Hughes (NJ): 41% Owned
With a new coach behind the bench and Nico Hischier under the weather, Hughes has an excellent opportunity to hit the reset button on his rookie season. Most people were probably expecting more than 12 points in his first 26 games, but playing with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri can’t hurt. With a goal and an assist in his last game, Hughes may be ready to break out.
Anthony Cirelli (TB): 12% Owned
A third line center on a team as talented as the Lightning can be a solid contributor to your team, especially if they are on the second power-play unit. While Tampa Bay isn’t running away with the top seed like they did last year, they are fourth in scoring and Cirelli is posting a healthy 18:20 in ice time. With 20 points in 27 games, he has been a consistent producer to date.
Chris Kreider (NYR): 46% Owned
The Rangers are a somewhat disappointing team this year, as there was quite a bit of optimism surrounding them. The additions of Kaapo Kakko, Artemi Panarin, and Jacob Trouba represent a significant talent boost, but the Rangers currently sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division. Kreider is a guy that has all the tools to be a premier power forward, but often leaves you wanting. That being said, he’s hit 21 goals or more four times and surpassed 50 points twice. He can be really streaky and is definitely due for a hot streak. Plus, he is averaging almost 18 minutes in ice time. He’ll also typically post a couple of shots and hits per game.
Roope Hintz (DAL): 39% Owned
If you watched Dallas in the playoffs last year, you could see why the Stars are so excited about this young player. Arguably their best forward in the postseason, Hintz has been up and down this year. He’s currently sixth in scoring on the team, but the good news is he’s now on the second line with two skilled veterans, Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov. This has the makings of an excellent line and Hintz has the talent to explode under a new coaching staff.
Sam Reinhart (BUF): 55% Owned
I’m surprised Reinhart’s ownership isn’t approaching 80% as he’s on the top line in Buffalo (with Jack Eichel) and averaging over 20 minutes in ice time per game. His +/- mark has improved greatly over the last couple of years and he is averaging over two shots per game over his career. He posted 65 points last year, has hit 22 goals or more three times in a four-year career, and plays with one of the most dynamic young stars in the league.
Clayton Keller (ARI): 46% Owned
Arizona has quietly moved into second place in the Pacific Division and many of their talented young players are currently hitting their stride. With 11 points in his last seven games, Keller is again showing the form he displayed in his rookie season when he posted 65 points. He is averaging almost 17 minutes in ice time, close to three shots per game, and is on the top power-play unit (11th best in the league). Keller has been a prolific scorer at all levels and this could be his year he hits that level in the NHL.
Alex Goligoski (ARI): 57% Owned
Another Coyote, Goligoski became somewhat of a forgotten man in the desert as Arizona struggled on the ice. After an awful -31 mark two years ago, Goligoski is currently +9 and has posted 17 points in 32 games. He is paired with rising star Jakob Chychrun and is averaging almost 24 minutes per night. He’s hit the 30-point mark nine times in his career, but looks to be on his way to a 40-point season this year.
Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI): 28% Owned
“The Ghost” is enduring another tough season after breaking out for 65 points in 2017-18. Having said that, this is a guy that’s scored at least 37 points in each of his four seasons. His name has popped up in trade rumors and that may actually be the best route for him, as he’s currently playing less than 20 minutes per game. Many teams would love to have him quarterback their power play, but he has the talent to turn things around in Philly if given the opportunity.
Alexandar Georgiev (NYR): 25% Owned
Georgiev has been one of the top prospects in the Rangers’ system for several years and has been allowed to develop his game behind the stellar Henrik Lundqvist. The starter is now 37 years old though, and Georgiev has played only three fewer games this year while sporting better stats (one more win, a 2.67 GAA, and a 0.926 save percentage). Georgiev’s ascension to the top job may happen as soon as this season.
Zach Hyman (TOR): 10% Owned
Hyman was a Mike Babcock favorite, so it will be interesting to see how he fares under new coach Sheldon Keefe. He currently is holding down one of the best jobs in hockey, playing with John Tavares and Mitch Marner (here’s where you say “I could score 40 goals on that line”). Hyman has only played 12 games this year, but already has five goals and is playing close to 18 minutes per night.