Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups & Advice (Week 22)
We’re getting down to the final weeks of the fantasy hockey regular season and for leagues that freeze the waiver wire come the postseason, It’s now or never.
Let’s dive into some names that can help toward your playoff push and beyond!
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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire (Week 22)
Rosterships courtesy of ESPN
Rasmus Sandin (D – WSH) 12.6% rostered
Sandin is delivering some serious early returns for the Washington Capitals following a trade-deadline deal from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In six games with the Capitals, Sandin has tallied one goal and eight helpers for nine points in that time. Sandin is also a plus-one with 12 hits and two power-play points in that time. Sandin has seen his ice time increase from 17:59 with the Maple Leafs to a hefty 25:34 with the Capitals.
He’s certainly getting an increased opportunity on a Capitals defense that traded away Dmitry Orlov while John Carlson remains out of the lineup after taking a shot to the face in late December. He’s quarterbacking the club’s top power-play unit while seeing top-pairing minutes for his new club.
For the season, Sandin has tallied five goals and 29 points in 58 games. He’s a plus-11 and has laid 125 hits along with 65 blocks. He doesn’t shoot the puck much with just 67 shots on the season but clearly, his situation in Washington offers far more fantasy value than the 17:59 he averaged with the Maple Leafs in 52 games this season.
For leagues that count hits, Sandin could be a legitimate difference-maker for your fantasy hockey team this postseason.
Jakub Vrana (C,LW – STL) 30.2% rostered
It’s been a tough season for Vrana who entered the NHL’s player assistance program after just two games earlier in the year with the Red Wings and was sent to the American Hockey League upon his return. He was briefly called up by the Wings prior to a trade-deadline deal to the St. Louis Blues where he has thrived in the early going of his Blues tenure.
Vrana has tallied four goals in five games with his new club along with an average of 3.80 shots per game in that time. The former Washington first-round pick has gone from 12:05 of average ice time with Detroit to 15:01 per game with the Blues where he skates on the second line and top power-play unit. That power play time has been the key to Vrana’s success as he’s notched three of his four goals with St. Louis on the man advantage.
Despite the rocky 2022-23 campaign, Vrana is a player who notched 25 goals and 52 points across 69 games as a 23-year-old with the Washington Capitals in the 2019-20 campaign. He was dealt to the Red Wings the following season and collected 11 points in as many games that year with Detroit.
Still just 26, there’s plenty of time to find his game and it appears he’s doing so with the Blues. Sometimes, it takes a change of scenery and an increased opportunity and Vrana is certainly getting both with his new club this season.
Josh Anderson (RW – MTL) 7.8% rostered
If your roster requires some sandpaper you could do a lot worse than Anderson who continues to blend physicality and goal-scoring touch.
Anderson has eclipsed the 20-goal mark for the second time in his career this season as he’s notched 21 tallies and nine helpers for 30 points in 66 games. He’s not contributing much in the assist department and is a minus-six on a weak Canadiens club, but he’s also thrown 133 hits and added 159 shots on goal on the campaign.
Additionally, Anderson’s 72 penalty minutes tie him for 19th in the NHL. Among the 20 players with at least 72 penalty minutes, Anderson’s 21 goals rank third behind only the Tkachuk brothers. If your league rewards game-winning goals Anderson has delivered a healthy five of those on the season.
He’s running hot right now with three goals and four points over his last four games with an average of four hits per game in that time. He has just eight power-play points on the season but he’s at least skating on the Habs’ top power-play unit at the moment.
He’s delivering solid returns in the goals, penalty minutes, shots, and hits categories as he could be an excellent addition to a fantasy roster in need of help in those departments.
Owen Tippett (RW,LW – PHI) 16% rostered
This add is aimed more at those in dynasty leagues, but Tippett’s game continues to trend in the right direction.
It’s been a trying season for the Flyers but Tippett should certainly hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career with 18 tallies across 62 games for the season. Furthermore, Tippett has fired 179 shots on the season, good for an average of 2.89 shots per game. Like Anderson and Sandin, his value in leagues that count hits increases as he’s thrown 107 of those on the campaign.
For context, Tippett recorded just 10 goals and 21 points in a nearly-identical 63-game season last year split between the Flyers and Florida Panthers. He’s also already put 53 more shots on goal in one less game than he did a season ago.
At 23 years of age, this is exactly the type of step forward you love to see in young players. As a result of his quality production, Tippett regularly sees first-line and top power-play duties for the Flyers. Philly might rank 30th in overall offense and dead last on the man advantage but Tippett has certainly been a bright spot in a dreadful season for the club.
Add it up and Tippett makes for a fine dynasty-league waiver-wire addition given the big leap he’s taken in his second full season in he NHL.
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