Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 9 (2021)
Last week I opined that we were likely to see general managers making moves to either salvage a season or push all their chips in, but I wasn’t expecting a Darryl Sutter hiring. It may actually be a good fit, and the Flames had to try something, as their window to make the playoffs is closing fast. With highly respected bench bosses in Gerard Gallant and Bruce Boudreau available, we may see some more moves soon. Typically, a new coach will inspire a team out of the gates, which may be another factor you want to consider when hunting for waiver pickups. 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:
- Winnipeg / Edmonton / NY Islanders / Washington / Pittsburgh / Tampa Bay / Carolina / Vegas / Minnesota
Teams with three or fewer wins in their last 10 games include:
- Montreal / Calgary / Boston / New Jersey / Buffalo / Columbus / Dallas / Detroit / Anaheim
Kirby Dach (CHI): 13%
An excellent dynasty stash, Dach hurt his wrist at the World Junior Tournament but may be able to suit up in the next couple of weeks. Chicago won’t rush him into the lineup, but once you hear reports about someone’s rehab coming along nicely, it’s time to pounce. With Jonathan Toews’s mysterious illness keeping him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Dach has a chance to finish strong this season.
Yanni Gourde (TB): 34%
Gourde is centering the second line in Tampa Bay between Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos, which is reason enough to consider picking him up. Since his 64 point season three years ago, he has regressed statistically but is on pace this year for a 50 point season. He’s averaging over 17 minutes per game and is on the second power-play unit on a powerhouse team.
Alex Killorn (TB): 32%
Killorn’s stats are very similar to Gourde (both have 15 points in 24 games and have 25 and 21 hits, respectively). It’s hard to go wrong with a top-six forward on the Lightning, and his ice time is even higher, at 18:39 per game. Another edge for Killorn is his posting on the top power-play unit.
Andre Burakovsky (COL): 30%
Burakovsky sometimes gets buried on a talent-laden Avalanche squad, but he is playing on the second line with Nazem Kadri and Brandon Saad. He’s seventh in team scoring with 14 points in 20 games and is playing just over 15 minutes per night. He’s also listed on the top power-play unit, and that’s prime real estate.
Mats Zuccarello (MIN): 37%
Zuccarello has only played 12 games to date and has 13 points already. He’s on the top line with the young phenom, Kirill Kaprizov, and the two players seem to complement each other’s style. The Wild are still finding their identity as a team, but Zuccarello looks to have cemented a role as one of the primary offensive catalysts this year.
Pavel Buchnevich (NYR): 29%
Buchnevich has developed nicely for the Rangers as a third-round pick and currently leads the team with 20 points in 24 games. He’s logging close to 19 minutes of ice time per game and is on the top power-play unit for New York. He’s solid in the plus-minus department (plus one on a team that’s plus one) and also good for a few hits (16 to date).
Alexander Romanov (MTL): 14%
This is more of a dynasty stash, as Romanov has just five points in his first 23 games. He was highly touted, and although prospects in markets like Montreal tend to receive more hype, he has looked the part of a great young player. He is active and a willing hitter (55 already) and is already logging 17:31 in ice time per night.
Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI): 9%
The Ghost has been an enigma the last couple of seasons after a breakout 65 point season in 2017-18. He actually has only 55 points since that season but is showing signs of life lately. His ice time is also up over 20 minutes now, and he is manning a point on the top power-play unit. If he can recapture his offensive prowess, he could be a great pickup for your team.
Cal Petersen (LA): 22%
With Jonathan Quick‘s recent upper-body injury, Petersen has a great chance to seize the top job in Los Angeles and run with it. His stats are superior this season (2.74 GAA and .914 save percentage to 2.87 and .898 for Quick), and the Kings may be looking to the future, as they have a boatload of young talent. Petersen may be a better dynasty pickup, but could also pay off handsomely this season.
Andrew Mangiapane (CGY): 8%
Mangianpane has been a draft-and-develop success story for the Flames the last couple of seasons. Picked 166th overall, he’s paid his dues in the minors and has the look of a 40-50 point player at the NHL level. His intense style may mesh well with his new coach, Darryl Sutter, and he is the kind of player that can break out with a coach in his corner. He’s second on the team in goals with eight and is playing close to 18 minutes per night.