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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Reilly Smith, Filip Hronek, T. J. Oshie (2022)

Nov 11, 2022
Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith may not run away with one category, but he will contribute to many.

We’re in the second half of Week 5 of the NHL fantasy hockey season, so there are still plenty of players on that waiver wire worthy of adding for now and the long haul.

Let’s dive into some names that are worth considering this week.

*Rostership courtesy of ESPN

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NHL Fantasy Hockey Week 5 Waiver Wire Advice

Reilly Smith (LW, RW – VGK) 32.7% rostered

Given his production so far this season, I’m surprised to see just how low Reilly Smith’s rosterhip is.

In 14 games, Smith has collected seven goals and 12 points. He’s added 48 shots on goal (3.42 per game), a plus-two rating, and four power-play points. One reason Smith’s rosterhip remains low is that five of his seven goals have come over the last three games, as he had two goals and seven points through the first 11 games of the season.

Even with the recent outburst, Smith’s shooting rate remains level at 14.6%, not too far above his 12.2% career mark. Smith is currently skating on the Golden Knights’ second line with William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault, two well-above-average offensive players, while getting some second-unit power-platy reps where he’s been productive so far this season.

He’s not going to be your best offensive player but rather one that will rack up goals and points at a solid rate, get shots on goal, provide a solid plus-minus, and contribute to the power play. Now is the time to hop on board.

T.J. Oshie (RW – WSH) 36.3% rostered

Yes, I’m aware that T.J. Oshie resides on injured reserve at the moment, so this move only happens if you have an IR spot open and you believe Oshie is a superior player to a current player being rostered. That said, Oshie has returned to skating, and while he remains without a timetable to return, now might be the time to grab him off the wire.

Before his injury, Oshie notched two goals and five points in nine games, along with 12 shots on goal, six penalty minutes, two power-play points, and an even plus-minus rating. Oshie isn’t going to pile up points, and he doesn’t shoot the puck much, but he’s a solid contributor elsewhere. If your league credits hits, Oshie’s value takes a sizeable leap, as he had 22 hits in just nine games.

Oshie is going to be a key member of the Capitals’ power play once he returns. This guy scored 13 power-play goals in just 53 games in the 2020-21 season. He’s averaged 0.70 points per game for his career, and while he’s now 35 and seemingly injury-prone, his production has dipped some, including last season.

However, if you like solid offensive production, power-play points, hits, and a reliable plus-minus, Oshie could be a nice, quiet addition to your roster once healthy.

Filip Hronek (D – DET) 21.2% rostered

If you’re in need of some help on the back end, whether it be due to performance it injury, Hronek could make plenty of sense.

Through 13 games this season, Hronek has contributed everywhere except the goal column. He’s notched eight assists, a plus-five rating, seven penalty minutes, three power-play points, 27 shots, and 21 hits. I mean, there are plenty of rostered defenders with inferior cross-category stats than what the 25-year-old Czech has yielded to this point.

This production isn’t exactly out of nowhere. For his career, Hronek has notched 0.49 points per game, 1.83 shots per game, and 1.28 hits per game. These numbers are improving across the board on a much-improved Red Wings team this season, especially the plus-minus department as he’s a career -90 playing on some bottom-feeding teams in his young career.

Look for Hronek to continue to produce healthy numbers across the board in a potential career year.

Kevin Hayes (C – PHI) 18.4% rostered

Hayes is another player that’s been better than a wealth of players with superior rosterhip this season.

He has just two goals in 12 games but 10 helpers, giving him 12 points in as many games. Hayes also owns a plus-one rating with seven penalty minutes and a solid 29 shots on goal.

That’s a solid contribution to start, but Hayes is really delivering on the man advantage with five power-play points in the early going. For context, that’s the same number of man-advantage points as Boston Bruins center David Krejci while Hayes has out-produced Krejci in assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, shots, and hits. Krejci is 61.4% rostered at ESPN.

One area I see regressing for Hayes is plus-minus, as the Flyers’ poor defense is being masked by a wildly unsustainable start to the season from goaltender Carter Hart. Philly owns some of the worst numbers in the league regarding high-danger chances against/60 at 5v5 and expected goals against/60 at 5v5. Once Hart comes down to earth, the Flyers will certainly surrender more goals.

At the same time, Hayes’ 6.9% shooting rate is 5% below his 11.9% career mark, so he should see an increase in goals scored moving forward.

With Sean Couturier out for potentially the entire season, Hayes is the Flyers’ No. 1 pivot at 5v5. On the top power-play unit, so he should certainly be getting more fantasy love than 18.4% rosterhip.

Kyle Palmieri (RW – NYI) 1.8% rostered

Once a fantasy staple, Palmieri’s value has cratered of late, especially when he began this season with just one assist in the first six games. However, he should absolutely be on your radar despite a minuscule 1.8% rosterhip.

Don’t look now, but Palmieri is up to five goals and eight points across 14 games. Sure, not eye-popping production, but that’s also five goals and seven points over his last eight games. Furthermore, he’s put a healthy 31 shots on goal in that time while contributing quite well in the hits column, with 21 of those on the season.

Add in a plus-two rating and two power-play points on what’s been a quality Islanders team, and Palmieri has certainly clawed himself back into fantasy relevance, but few have taken notice.

He’s getting second-line minutes at 5v5 but also first-unit power-play minutes alongside the club’s best offensive players as part of his hefty 16:44 of average ice time per game.

Even at 1.8% rostered, I’d give him strong consideration for an add right here and now.

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