Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 10 (2021)
Another coach has been relieved of his duties, somewhat mercifully, as Ralph Krueger had just endured a 12 game winless stretch with the Sabres. With no shot at the playoffs, it appears Buffalo will run out the clock with Don Granato as their interim coach. I’m not expecting to see any dramatic uptick in production from any Buffalo players (especially with Jack Eichel’s injury), but stranger things have happened.
The trade deadline is less than a month away (April 12th), and I continue to anticipate some frantic moves in the next two to three weeks. When you consider that Canadian teams need to have players from the U.S. quarantine for two weeks, it may limit cross-border trades or speed up the timeline for any player movement to those teams. 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 seven or more wins in their last 10 games:
- Washington / NY Islanders / Pittsburgh / Tampa Bay / Florida / Carolina / Vegas / Minnesota / Colorado
Teams with three or fewer wins in their last 10 games include:
- Ottawa / New Jersey / Buffalo / Columbus / Dallas / Los Angeles / Arizona / Anaheim
Adrian Kempe (LAK): 49%
After averaging around 32 points per season the last 3 years, Kempe is on pace for a 58 point season (82 games) this year and is playing on the King’s top line. Having Anze Kopitar as your center is a cheat code, and Kempe is developing his offensive game as a former first-round pick. While he’s only 24 years old, he may also be a candidate to be traded to a playoff team.
Scott Laughton (PHI): 20%
The Flyers have a deceptively strong lineup at forward, and Laughton’s ascension to the second line on this team is impressive. His current line-mates are Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny, and Laughton holds his own with 15 points in 23 games. He’s averaging almost three hits per game and is also plus eight. If he continues his strong play, he may increase his ice time from the current 15:34 per night and earn some power-play opportunities.
Yanni Gourde (TB): 31%
Gourde has also worked his way into the top six on a talented team, centering the second line between Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn. He’s not lighting it up with 16 points in 28 games but is a safe and solid depth player, posting 17:22 in ice time and playing on the second power-play unit. The Lightning are third in goals scored, so Gourde should have plenty of offensive opportunities down the stretch.
Andrew Copp (WPG): 27%
Copp has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets this year with 19 points in his first 29 games. Since he averaged 24 points per year up to this season, Winnipeg must be thrilled with his production, and he’s been rewarded with an increase in ice time (18:48 per night) and a posting on the second power-play unit.
Drake Batherson (OTT): 43%
The Ottawa dumpster-fire jokes have subsided this year, replaced by some grudging respect for the blueprint the Senators seem to be following now. At 22 years of age, Batherson looks to be one of the young foundational players Ottawa will lean on during the next few years. You may want to avoid him if plus-minus is a scoring category, but Batherson is second on the team in scoring with 21 points in 32 games. He should be a good depth player this year and an excellent dynasty stash.
Jordan Eberle (NYI): 25%
Eberle has had a slow start to the season offensively but has consistently produced at the 50+ point level the last few seasons. He has 19 points in his first 30 games but is also plus eight and plays over 17 minutes per night. Under Barry Trotz, you won’t typically see a high octane attack, but his players should give you solid production, especially in the plus-minus department.
MacKenzie Weegar (FLA): 52%
Weegar has already come close to matching last year’s point total, as he has tallied 17 points in his first 28 games this year (18 points in 45 games last year). He did display offensive skill in junior, with 103 points in 123 games, but has taken some time to develop that side of his game in the NHL. Joel Quenneville has Florida playing great hockey, and Weegar looks to be an integral part of this team going forward. He’s currently on the top pairing with Aaron Ekblad and is averaging 22:23 of ice time, so grab him while you can.
P.K. Subban (NJ): 5%
Subban seems to have fallen off a cliff since his move to New Jersey, although he is on a 41 point pace this year. A change of scenery may be a win-win scenario, and I could see him moving to a team and being a key offensive catalyst, especially on the power play. At 31 years of age, he should still have some gas in the tank (or electricity in the battery) and is only three years away from a 59 point season.
Cam Talbot (MIN): 49%
Minnesota is playing great hockey as of late, and Talbot is doing his part to help the team. He is considered the 1B right now, as Kaapo Kahkonen has better stats, but Talbot has shown in the past that he can get on a roll and take over the top job. He is currently 6-4-1 with a .246 GAA and .916 save percentage on a surging squad.
Kieffer Bellows (NYI): 11%
Bellows isn’t lighting it up yet but has an excellent opportunity down the stretch with the unfortunate injury to Anders Lee. He is already listed on the top line in New York with Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle and is also on the second power-play unit.