Skip to main content

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 21 (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Mar 4, 2022
Mikael Backlund

March has arrived, meaning the NHL postseason is only a month away! The sixth month of league play began earlier this week, and there has been no shortage of quirky and wild outcomes. Arizona beat Colorado, Montreal defeated Calgary, and Pittsburgh routed Tampa Bay on Thursday night. This time of year also means that intensity ratchets up a level, which means points will be flowing in abundance across fantasy hockey leagues.

Numerous talented prospects are sitting on league waiver wires entering Week 21. Add depth or upgrade a position within your lineups by targeting any of these high-value players. Securing one of these players, who all have established momentum, is advantageous because it eliminates league managers from having access to them. If this means dropping a player you’ve been waiting to pop or returning to higher production, so be it. Making the fantasy playoffs often require some roster shuffling. These are a few of the best prospects to add before the regular season concludes.

Rostered percentages courtesy of ESPN. 

View our expert consensus fantasy hockey rankings >>

Center

Mikael Backlund (C – CGY): 5.4%
Getting a piece of one of the best teams in the league is always a good decision. Skating on the Flames’ second-line attack, the 32-year old center has spent his entire career in Calgary. He’s seventh in total points (26) and has four assists and a goal across his last five games played. He’s only been held without a point once during this stretch, and the consistency is what makes Backlund so appealing. He’s available to roster nearly everywhere, so hit the waiver wire and upgrade your lineups with a player who stays involved within a good offense like Backlund.

Robert Thomas (C – STL): 14.8%
St. Louis is another team with a lot of juice heading towards the postseason. One of their rising stars is second-line center Robert Thomas, who earns additional minutes on the Blues’ top powerplay unit and ranks fifth in total points (41), including 34 assists. The 22-year old was drafted in the first round by the Blues four years ago, and he’s on the brink of setting a new career-high in points across the next week, giving Thomas extra incentive to keep his production up. In his last five games, he has five assists, countering his lack of hits, blocked shots, and shots on goal. Vladimir Tarasenko (RW – STL) has scored 19 goals for St. Louis this season, and he is linemates with Thomas, allowing the young center to be the definitive assist-leader. Add Thomas and deploy him into lineups as needed.

Wing

Jakub Voracek (LW – CBJ): 16.4%
One of the Columbus front office’s moves this past offseason was acquiring veteran Jakub Voracek to lead the youngest team in the league. The former Blue Jacket has found his role in Columbus for a second stint, racking up 38 assists on their first-line attack. Voracek attempts anywhere from two to four shots on goal per game. Still, he’s an asset on fantasy depth charts due to his ability to navigate the offensive zone and set up scoring opportunities. He has five assists in his previous four games played and has only been held without an assist once twice since the end of January. This type of production often makes the difference between a win and a loss in fantasy hockey. He’s not a flashy name, but Voracek is an absolute difference-maker. Stash and deploy as a high-floor asset in lineups when necessary.

Yegor Sharangovich (LW- NJ): 9.3%
New Jersey is likely done for the season already, but they have a ton of fight and have upped their offensive production in recent games. As a result, 23-year old Yegor Sharangovich earns minutes on the Devils’ first-line attack and additional time on the second powerplay unit, affording him quality opportunities to score. Sharangovich has scored four goals in his past five games and has 15 assists, half of which occurred in February. Talk about a player hitting his stride. This young winger possesses the talent and opportunity to warrant permanent residence in fantasy lineups. He’s widely available but won’t be for long, so beat your fantasy managers to the waiver wire and add a young prospect with significant upside.

Defense

Justin Holl (D – TOR): 13.3%
Toronto is one of the strongest teams in the league this season, so it makes sense to add second-line defenseman Justin Holl onto fantasy benches. The 30-year old adds a couple of hits and blocked shots per game, which means you’re always going to have a decent floor in any matchup. Holl has 11 assists and just scored his second goal of the season against Washington, meaning he’s heating up at the right time. Before scoring, Holl produced a three-assist outing in a 10-7 win against Detroit and notched assists leading up to that production surge. He takes anywhere from one to three shots on goal per game and stays involved without needing to be featured on either powerplay unit. He’s not flashy, but Holl packs a solid floor and is heating up, so stash him off the waiver wires before someone else does.

Ben Chiarot (D – MTL): 9.9%
Montreal has had a forgettable season, but they’re still battling into March, earning a 5-4 overtime win over Calgary on Thursday night. The star of that game was Canadiens’ first-line defenseman, Ben Chiarot, who scored two goals and netted an assist to deliver a three-point outing. Chiarot also had assists in three straight games at the end of February, where he manufactured a +2 rating in every matchup. He also earns early 25 minutes average time on ice, so he is frequently hovering around scoring opportunities. It’s important to note that Montreal is 6-1 in their last seven games played, so don’t dismiss Chiarot. Instead, add him off the waiver wire and treat him as a plug-and-play option in lineups.

Goalie

Pavel Francouz (G – COL): 15.1%
31-year old reserve netminder Pavel Francouz is coming off a tough showing in a 2-1 loss to Arizona on Thursday. He played well, but the Avs could only muster one goal in a game where they were -400 betting favorites. This will lead to Francouz being dropped onto fantasy waiver wires if it hasn’t already happened. He’s started ten games and earned nine wins, so don’t let this blip on the radar fool you. Instead, take advantage of the knee-jerk reactions and add him onto your fantasy bench as a valuable asset down the stretch. After all, Francouz does have a 2.38 GAA and .922 save percentage this season. While defending the crease, these are quality numbers, so add Francouz if you need a quality goaltender.

View daily consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL at BettingPros >>

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

Featured, Featured Link, NHL