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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 10 (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Dec 17, 2021
Lars Eller

Teams are beginning to establish their identity ten weeks into the 2021-22 NHL season. Thanks to an impressive blend of offensive firepower and stalwart goaltending, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Minnesota, and Anaheim sit atop their respective division. In addition, the return of interdivisional play has breathed new energy into games this season, while fans create a sorely missed competitive environment during the 2020-21 season.

The Seattle Kraken, the league’s latest expansion team, have fared miserably in a highly competitive Pacific Division. The Montreal Canadiens, who found themselves competing against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup last year, have been caught in a vicious downward spiral with star goaltender Carey Price (G – MTL) dealing with his issues off-the-ice. Arizona and the New York Islanders are two disappointing teams that perpetually lose due to their failure to score enough to compete.

Regardless of the current state of most NHL franchises, there are dozens of players that have found success on the ice this season. Many of these players are household names amongst casual and passionate hockey fans alike. However, enough talented players evade the spotlight but warrant stashing in fantasy hockey leagues. I’ve gathered a few of my favorite waiver wire prospects entering Week 10 and will explain why each one deserves consideration for a roster spot.

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Center

Lars Eller (C – WAS): 4.2%
A stint on the league’s COVID-19 protocols has left one of the best centers in the league available on nearly all league waiver wires. Lars Eller is now in his sixth year with the Washington Capitals and benefits greatly from skating on their first-line attack alongside Alex Ovechkin. Eller has notched either a goal or an assist in his last four games and wound up with two points against the Chicago Blackhawks earlier in the week. He is given great opportunities and possesses the skill set required to be considered a safe floor play in fantasy lineups. Grab Eller off of the waiver wire as either a high-floor stash or a high-floor Utility option, depending upon the depth of your roster.

Nicolas Roy (C – VGK): 1.6%
Last week, I was on Nicolas Roy after two consecutive multi-point outings for the Vegas Golden Knights. Unfortunately, Roy proceeded to go three straight games without a point, including two without a shot on goal. However, his ability to find the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season against New Jersey this week was tremendous for his confidence moving forward. The third-line center gets reps on the second powerplay unit for the Golden Knights but fluctuates with his usage in the offensive zone. Treat Roy as more of a wait-and-see stash prospect that benefits from playing on a talented offensive team.

Wing

Connor Brown (RW – OTT): 23.9%
27-year old Connor Brown has been contributing heavily on offense for the Ottawa Senators lately. In his third year with the Senators, Brown has solidified a role as the right-winger on their second-line while also earning additional minutes on their second powerplay unit. The Senators have not had any luck with their goaltenders, allowing 97 goals while only cashing in on 76 of their own. Brown tends to disappear in stretches along with the rest of Ottawa’s offense, yet he showed his ability to return immense value against the Panthers in an 8-2 rout with three assists. He is fifth in total points (16) for Ottawa and is a quality stash that can be deployed as a solid floor play, depending on the matchup.

Jeff Skinner (LW – BUF): 5.4%
Sticking with the underperforming teams, let’s look at 29-year old Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jeff Skinner. He is now in his third season with the Sabres and skates on their first-line while earning prime minutes on their top powerplay unit. As a result, Skinner balanced his scoring, notching nine goals and eight assists across 29 games. A three-game point drought lowered his value and increased his availability, making Skinner an excellent prospect to roster moving forward. He ended the drought with a goal against Connor Hellebuyck (G – WPG) and the Winnipeg Jets, showing that he has the skill to overcome a deficient offense. It isn’t the most attractive name or team, but Skinner’s opportunity is the primary reason for acquiring him off of the waiver wire.

Defense

John Marino (D – PIT): 6.6%
John Marino has been an excellent fit with the Pittsburgh Penguins since joining the team in 2019. The defenseman skates on their second-line and second powerplay unit, averaging a healthy 22 minutes of time on ice. His limited shot total in games is countered with a consistent ability to earn one or two blocked shots per game, raising Marino’s floor when he cannot rack up an assist. He has 11 assists and only one goal through 28 games. Still, an upcoming schedule includes Buffalo, New Jersey twice, and Philadelphia means Marino is a great temporary plug-and-play defenseman in lineups.

Dmitry Kulikov (D – MIN): 0.9%
Third-line defensemen are usually not ideal candidates to target off the waiver wire, but occasionally, there will be one that warrants consideration. This is the case for 31-year old Dmitry Kulikov, who earns zero time on Minnesota’s powerplay units but maintains 18 minutes average time on ice. Kulikov attempts few shots on the goal due to his situation but often dives in front of a few shots from opponents to salvage his floor. He just ended a three-game point drought against the Buffalo Sabres, netting his tenth assist of the season on Thursday. As long as Kulikov is on the Wild, he will be placed in frequently favorable return value positions. This makes him a worthwhile stash off of virtually every league’s waiver wire.

Goalie

Petr Mrazek (G – TOR): 15.1%
After missing nearly 20 games due to a groin injury, goaltender Petr Mrazek made his Toronto Maple Leafs debut against Chicago last weekend. The 29-year old netminder secured the win thanks to his potent offense, which scored five goals to overcome the four goals he allowed in during his first start of the season. Mrazek was involved with the trade that sent Frederik Andersen (G – CAR) to be the primary goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes this offseason after playing well for Carolina the previous three seasons. His healthy return on a stacked team like Toronto makes it imperative for you to acquire him off of waiver wires. Jack Campbell (G – TOR) has been fantastic and won’t get usurped. However, Mrazek is fresh enough to be the relief for significant stretches. It is enough to make a roster spot for a quality goaltender.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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