Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Gustav Forsling, Max Domi, Anthony Cirelli (Week 10)
We’re approaching the Christmas roster freeze in the NHL, but what we don’t freeze is our dedication to the waiver wire. The wire is paramount in building a winning fantasy hockey team, so let’s get into some names that can help your team take down a league championship.
*Rostered percentage courtesy of ESPN
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NHL Fantasy Hockey Week 10 Waiver Wire Advice
Gustav Forsling (D – FLA): 46.5% rostered
It’s rare to see three fantasy-worthy defensemen skating on the same blueline, but that’s the case in Florida. The Panthers already have Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour as full-fledged fantasy d-men (Montour was mentioned in Week 3 waiver wire advice), but you can now add Forsling to the mix. He needs to be rostered in more than 46.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
I mean, what’s not to like about this guy? A waiver claim from the Blackhawks, Forsling has blossomed into a top-pairing defender and owns four goals, 20 points, a plus-12 rating, 91 shots, 39 blocks and 24 hits. I guarantee you he’s more available than a defender on your blueline right now. That’s just how much Forsling has flown under the radar.
Maybe we should have seen this coming for the 2022-23 campaign. After all, he collected 10 goals, 37 points, a plus-41 (!!!) rating, 145 shots, 86 blocks and 45 hits a season ago. Heck, Forsling even tallied a rock-solid 17 points across 43 games in his first season with the Panthers in 2020-21.
Forsling is going to get snatched up at some point soon. It needs to be by you.
Max Domi (C, LW, RW – CHI): 16.3% rostered
Full disclosure: I’ve actually never been a fan of Domi in fantasy hockey. He’s been a frustrating player throughout his NHL career, seemingly never able to reach his potential outside of the 72 points he notched with the 2018-19 Montreal Canadiens.
However, he’s worth a look right now as a multi-positional player skating alongside Patrick Kane on the Blackhawks’ top line. Despite Chicago sporting a -36 goal differential on the season — second-worst in the NHL –, Domi is actually a palatable minus-four on the season, so that’s a start. However, he’s been rock-solid across the board.
Domi has a healthy 10 goals and 20 points in 27 games, but he’s also delivering with 33 penalty minutes and 10 power-play points. He doesn’t shoot the puck much with 56 shots in those 27 contests and has dished out nine hits, so I could see why some potential owners would be hesitant. However, skating alongside Kane at 5v5 and on the Blackhawks’ top power-play unit has Domi worth watching.
He’s notched three goals and four points over his last five games so he’s certainly trending upward at the moment.
Anthony Cirelli (C – TB): 19.2% rostered
This is one that I may not advise pulling the trigger on quite yet but Cirelli is a name to watch as he eases back into game action.
Due to a shoulder injury, Cirelli made his season debut on Dec. 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite skating less than 13 minutes in his season debut, Cirelli recorded a pair of helpers in the win. Through five games, Cirelli has notched six assists, a plus-five rating, 19 shots on goal and a pair of hits. He recorded a solid 75 hits in 76 games last season but it’s not a surprise to see him easing into that department — for now at least — following shoulder surgery.
Cirelli is averaging just 15:25 of ice time in his five games, but after skating 18:19 per game last season, it’s only a matter of time until he starts skating serious minutes for this Lightning club. At the moment, he’s the club’s third-line center and isn’t skating on either power-play unit. That should change, at least on the power play where he should enter the second unit and while Nick Paul is having a nice season as the 2C alongside Steven Stamkos, don’t be surprised if Cirello moves his way into the spot at some point.
He’s not going to keep up a point-per-game pace on the third line and without power-play time, but he’s off to a hot start and is shooting the puck plenty. His plus-minus will be an asset moving forward as well not only due to his strong team but his elite two-way abilities at the center-ice position.
Maybe hold off for now, but add Cirelli to your player watch as he should be a fantasy asset at some point moving forward.
Rasmus Sandin (D – TOR): 10.7% rostered
Have a short-term hole on your blueline? Give Sandin a look as he’s in an optimal spot in the Leafs’ pecking order with injuries on the blue line.
With Morgan Rielly sidelined, Sandin is getting first-unit power-play reps alongside Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares. That in itself makes him an attractive option and while Sandin has five power-play points on the season, three of those have come over the last seven games. He’s averaging 18:16 of ice time per game but has blown that total away with at least 20:34 of ice time in nine of his last 10 games, all of which have been since Rielly was injured.
He has two goals and 13 points in 30 games, but also two goals and nine points over his last 12 games. He’s notched four assists over his last two games and five over his last four contests.
Sandin has also delivered with a fantastic plus-10 rating and a massive 73 hits on the season alongside 34 blocks and 15 penalty minutes.
Rielly is close to on-ice activities, but head coach Sheldon Keefe said he’s “aways away from returning. In other words, Sandin will keep churning nice minutes and a fantastic opportunity on the power-play while delivering a mass amount of hits and an impressive plus-minus rating.
His role when Rielly returns is unclear, but I’m not ruling him out of PP1 reps when that happens. Regardless, Sandin is a really nice short-term option for now who is contributing gracefully across the board in an elevated role.
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