Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 11 (2021)
No coaches lost their job this week, but a referee did. In a revealing hot mic incident, Tim Peel admitted that he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators (a so-called “even-up call”), and the NHL felt they had to pull the plug. Anyone who’s watched hockey has probably witnessed several hundred calls that would qualify as this type (in their opinion), but microphones are everywhere now, and it’s one of those things you can’t admit out loud. This is the same referee who once had a goal scored off his genitals (not making this up), so he’s had an interesting career end in an unfortunate way.
I honestly thought we would have some legitimate trade activity by now (or at least some juicy rumors). It’s looking more and more like the Canadian teams may stand pat, even if the quarantine period is reduced from 14 days to seven. In a condensed season where you are typically playing four games per week, that is a long time to wait for anyone to help your team down the stretch. I would keep an eye on American teams loading up, though, and plenty of players could get hot for their team (and yours). 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:
- Edmonton / Vancouver / NY Islanders / Washington / Pittsburgh / Tampa Bay / Carolina / Vegas / Colorado / Minnesota
Teams with three or fewer wins in their last 10 games include:
- Philadelphia / Buffalo (zero) / Chicago / Dallas / Detroit / Anaheim
Sam Reinhart (BUF): 42%
Reinhart was off to a solid start this year and is currently leading the team in scoring with 20 points in 28 games. A couple of injuries and a raging dumpster fire around him have dampened his output somewhat, as has the loss of his line-mate Jack Eichel. If plus-minus is a scoring category, he may not be worth the effort but should average close to 20 minutes per game and has the talent to score 70 plus points in a regular season.
Kirby Dach (CHI): 14%
Dach has been practicing this week and may slot into the starting lineup in the next few days. He was the third overall pick in 2019 for a reason, and Chicago has some talented players around him to help him find his offensive game over the next few weeks. He might even end up on the top line between Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat.
Jack Hughes (NJ): 43%
It’s been another tough year in New Jersey, and Hughes has not yet broken out offensively, but there have been glimpses. He’s currently centering the second line between Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt and has posted 16 points in 30 games. He’s an excellent stash in dynasty but has been a phenomenal scorer at every level, so the payoff could be immediate.
Christian Dvorak (ARI): 29%
The first three guys strike me as untouchables, but Dvorak may be a very enticing trade piece if Arizona feels this is not their year. He scored 244 points in only 158 games in the OHL but hasn’t hit his stride yet in the NHL. With 17 points in 33 games, he’s a borderline depth guy on most fantasy teams but has the talent to erupt on a more talented team.
Nikita Kucherov (TB): 40%
I know he’s supposed to be out until the NHL playoffs, but he’s already skating, and he’s Nikita Kucherov. He’s purely a luxury stash if you’re not decimated with injuries and covid lists, but is obviously the kind of addition that could put you over the top if he does lace them up during your league’s playoffs.
Evgenii Dadonov (OTT): 20%
Another potential trade target, Dadonov has been a quietly productive forward (until this year). He enjoyed back-to-back seasons of 65 and 70 points before injuries limited him to 47 points last year (in 69 games). This season’s total of 11 points in 34 games is off-brand, and he could be a key pickup for a contending team. If he stays in Ottawa, you’ll probably want to throw him back in the lake, but he could be a key addition for you and a contending NHL squad.
Colton Parayko (STL): 40%
Parayko is currently on IR (apparently with a back injury), so he’s a roll of the dice at this point. It’s been reported that he has been skating, which is a great sign, and he can be a force when healthy. He’s hit 10 goals twice, is a consistent hitter, and typically has a strong plus-minus mark on an excellent Blues team.
Jared Spurgeon (MIN): 18%
Spurgeon may be the defensive equivalent to Evgeny Dadonov, quietly producing in a quiet market. He’s posted at least 32 points in each of the last four seasons but has been scoring below that pace this year ( seven points in 29 games). He scored a couple of goals tonight, so that may ignite his game down the stretch.
Filip Gustavsson (OTT): 8%
Winning your first two starts as the fourth goalie on the 27th ranked team in the NHL is pretty impressive. The Calgary Flames are clearly struggling right now, so it remains to be seen how this plays out, but we’ve all watched a guy come out of nowhere and catch fire. He was a second-round pick of the Penguins and had solid stats in Sweden, so this may simply be the opportunity he needed.
Eeli Tolvanen (NSH): 8%
Tolvanen was one of the most hyped prospects in the NHL a couple of years ago, and he did not deliver. The Predators sent him to Milwaukee to find his game, but his AHL stats aren’t impressive either. He looks to have cemented a role on the Preds this year at least, and there have been glimpses of the talent that had scouts drooling. He’s currently playing on the top line with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg and is well worth a roll of the dice.