Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 6 (2021)
If you typically cannot get enough hockey, this condensed season is a sight for sore eyes. While continued postponements are frustrating, there are several games to choose from most days. While the NHL has not yet seen the litany of injuries to superstars the NFL suffered this year, the intense scheduling may lead to more players missing games (besides the ever-present Covid-19 risk).
It is essential this season to keep abreast of the top options for waiver pickups, and that knowledge could define some league winners. Let’s take a look at some current players with low ownership rates and high upside.
As for who’s hot and who’s not, here are the teams with a winning percentage of at least .750 this season:
- Toronto / Florida / Tampa Bay / Carolina / Boston / Vegas
Teams with a winning percentage of .400 or lower include:
- Vancouver / Ottawa (.265) / Nashville / Detroit / NY Rangers
Pius Suter (CHI): 17%
Six years ago, Suter had a 43 goal season in the OHL (in 61 games), but he has since played in his native Switzerland. It’s too early to tell if Chicago has pulled another Artemi Panarin out of a hat, but the diminutive center currently finds himself on the top line between elite wingers in Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. He has six points in 11 games but should see increased ice going forward.
William Karlsson (VGK): 43%
To say William Karlsson was a one-year wonder is not really fair, as he followed up his 78 point season with 56 points. The 43 goals do look to be an outlier, but if he continues to play in the top six on a talented Vegas team, the goals and points should come. He’s off to a slow start this year but has 55 point potential in a regular schedule.
Roope Hintz (DAL): 42%
Hintz burst onto the scene, as many young NHL players do, in the playoffs. Two years ago, he potted eight points in 13 postseason contests, gaining confidence and ice time. He is now centering the second line, and Dallas has shown the ability to run up the score on any particular night. Hintz has six points in his first five games and could break out this year.
Anthony Mantha (DET): 34%
If plus-minus is a stat in your league, you may want to avoid all Red Wings, but Mantha is a huge sniper entering his prime. He potted 38 points in 43 games last year and should see plenty of ice time (currently averaging 18:20 per night). He’s more of a dynasty stash until Steve Yzerman can right the ship, but he should be a solid start most weeks this year.
Jack Roslovic (CLS): 45%
The wild card in the recent blockbuster trade with the Jets, Roslovic has been dynamic to start his tenure with the Blue Jackets. He already has a couple of highlight-reel moments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isGfr30NlMA and looks to be playing with a great deal of confidence. He’s only played four games but can also line up at center and is on the top line with Patrik Laine and Cam Atkinson.
Kyle Palmieri (NJ): 44%
The Devils have only played nine games this year, and it would be hard to dismiss the effect of the many postponed games they’ve endured to date. Palmieri is off to a really slow start (three assists in eight games) but is typically good for 25-30 goals and 45-55 points in a regular season.
Ty Smith (NJ): 36%
This young Devil is off to a great start in his rookie season with eight points in his first nine games. Owners may have dropped him due to postponement frustration, but don’t wait long to snag him. He scored 59 points in 46 WHL games last year and has looked like the real deal in the NHL so far. He is already manning one of the points on the first power-play unit.
Matt Grzelcyk (BOS): 22%
Grzelcyk is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury but may get scooped up quickly once he returns. He is on the smaller side, but the Bruins have a large, physical roster that can allow smaller players enough room to play their game. Grzelcyk was close to a point per game player in college and should resume his spot on the top pairing with Charlie McAvoy once he returns.
Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR): 14%
This is a dart throw that could hit big for you. Carolina is off to a great start (10-3-1) and is fourth in goal differential with a +13 mark. Petr Mrazek may be out for some time, and while James Reimer is solid, a young goalie like Nedeljkovic could definitely stake a claim to the number one job in the interim. A high second-round pick, he’s logged over 150 games in the AHL and now has the perfect opportunity to prove he belongs in the show. Having the top goalie for the Hurricanes would be a valuable asset this year, and we’ve seen young guys come in and do this before.
Nils Hoglander (VAN): 10%
Another second-round pick, Hoglander has several years of seasoning in Sweden under his belt to help him transition to the NHL. He has impressed the Canuck’s front office to date and has already moved up to the top line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. He isn’t lighting it up yet with six points in 13 games but should see more ice time going forward, both at regular strength and on the power play.