Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3 (2022)
Teams and players show their consistency or lack thereof when it comes to finding ways to achieve production three weeks into the National Hockey League season. Returning to play all 32 franchises in the regular season has brought new energy to the game, resulting in many high-scoring contests, while several goalies are elevating their play in the net to keep their team competitive within the division. Florida and Carolina remain undefeated in the Eastern Conference. In addition, surprise teams such as Calgary and Winnipeg have rattled off four to five consecutive wins apiece to emerge as early contenders in the Western Conference.
Of course, the inverse is just as prominent, with Arizona dwelling at an 0-7 record and the Chicago Blackhawks unable to manufacture a win amidst the scandal playing out within their organization. I’ve identified some players to target available on most league waiver wires that will help strengthen rosters with players valued as potential Utility options. There’s quite a bit of underrated or overlooked talent on second or third-line units across the league, so make sure to prioritize adding a couple of these players off of waivers.
Yanni Gourde (C – SEA): 20.6%
Returning from shoulder surgery, 29-year old Yanni Gourde finds himself anchoring the first-line of the league’s brand-new expansion team in Seattle. What’s more exciting is the four points Gourde has totaled in four games back, including a two-point game that featured a score against the struggling Montreal Canadiens. Averaging over 21 minutes of time on ice and skating on the Kraken’s top powerplay unit, Gourde is an excellent add from waivers to get an assist or more in most games.
Ryan Johansen (C – NSH): 12.2%
Nashville has a lot of areas to improve upon but seeing veteran center Ryan Johansen find his rhythm as the first-line center is an excellent start. Johansen netted two goals against a talented Minnesota Wild team and continued his point streak with another assist in a 3-1 loss against San Jose. He also has five blocked shots, which adds a layer of insurance for a decent floor if he can continue getting three shots on goal per game. The offense isn’t necessarily the problem for the Predators, but it will need to continue scoring as Juuse Saros (G – NSH) has looked vulnerable at times to start the year. Nevertheless, Johansen is worth a stash and has the momentum from previous good games to be a viable Utility play on Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Victor Olofsson (RW – BUF): 23.7%
Buffalo has risen from the ashes like a Phoenix, with players like Victor Olofsson helping achieve that feat. The 26-year old enters his fourth year with the Sabres and has been an integral piece of the offense, entering the weekend with consecutive double-point performances against the Lightning and Ducks. Prime scoring opportunities arise on the top powerplay unit, Olofsson is also featured on, as he has 17 percent of the team’s goals this season. Grab him off of waiver wires before it’s too late!
Jakub Voracek (RW – CBJ): 19.6%
The veteran winger has been a massive upgrade in a reunion with his former team, producing an assist in three consecutive games ahead of Friday’s contest against the New York Rangers. He is earning minutes on the first-line and top powerplay unit boost Voracek into Utility relevancy, as Columbus has surprised with a plus-four goal differential that has led to a 4-2 record. Rostering a gritty veteran with an eye for setting up scoring plays is a great decision to make, even if it’s only to add depth on the bench.
Artem Zub (D – OTT): 10.4%
Yes, teams struggling to win and find offense still have players worth stashing. Such is the case for Artem Zub, the second-year defenseman for the Ottawa Senators. While the team has only scored 15 goals, Zub averages a whopping 23:36 time on ice and has a season plus-minus of four, reflected in the 19 blocked shots he has already piled up this year. In addition, three of Zub’s last four games have yielded an assist, including a four-shot performance against the New York Rangers. As the Senators continue to find ways to grind out wins, Zub will be a crucial piece of the puzzle to stifle opposing offenses and set up scoring opportunities.
Moritz Seider (D – DET): 22.6%
Moritz Seider is one of the most fun rookies in the league at the moment. Helping get Detroit off to a 4-2-1 start to their season, the 20-year old defenseman has three consecutive games with an assist and has only finished two of eight contests without an assist. Minimal shots do not decrease the value of rostering Seider as a high-floor play that gives more scoring chances on a talented top powerplay unit for the Red Wings. While most teams that have allowed 23 or more goals have a losing record, Detroit has matched this amount of goals on offense, with Seider benefitting despite his inexperience. He’s a rising talent that should be rostered in most leagues.
Craig Anderson (G – BUF): 13.4%
To fully cover the spectrum, let’s hop back to Buffalo to marvel at the excellent netminding produced by 40-year old Craig Anderson. Leaving Washington’s backup job for starting duties between the pipes in upstate New York, Anderson has seemingly revived his career and found the fountain of youth. Anderson has a 1.98 GAA and a.939 save percentage; both ranked inside of the top-12. He’s allowed a couple of games with three goals scored but went 1-1 in those games, meaning there is a minimal downside to stashing Anderson and even starting him in lineups due to the talent surrounding him offensively.