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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice: Oliver Bjorkstrand, JJ Peterka, Kyle Palmieri, David Rittich

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice: Oliver Bjorkstrand, JJ Peterka, Kyle Palmieri, David Rittich

The longest week of the fantasy hockey season is in the books, which means the stretch run is upon us. There are still plenty of names on the waiver wire that can have an impact on a potential playoff push or even a deep playoff run.

Let’s have a look at the top names worth considering this week!

NHL Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice (Week 18)

(Rosterships courtesy of ESPN)

Oliver Bjorkstrand (RW – SEA) | 30.4% Rostered

Make no bones about it:  Oliver Bjorkstrand is a better option than plenty of players currently residing on fantasy rosters.

The 28-year-old has tallied 13 goals and 40 points across 52 games on the season, with a solid 132 shots on goal. Additionally, he had laid 42 hits, and perhaps his most attractive asset is the 17 points he’s recorded on the power play.

At this pace, Bjorkstrand is on pace to set a new career-high with 63 points. If he continues to record 42.5% of his points on the power play, he could finish with a whopping 35 power-play points. It’s unlikely, but it’s possible.

To be completely transparent, Bjorkstrand’s two penalty minutes and minus-nine rating are no good. On the bright side, his 9.8% shooting rate would be the second-lowest mark of his nine-year career if the season ended today. He could very well find the back of the net more moving forward.

You could do much worse at right wing than what Bjorkstrand is bringing to the table.

JJ Peterka (RW – BUF) | 13.5% Rostered

This one caters more to dynasty league managers looking for a long-term piece, but JJ Peterak is certainly doing enough to warrant consideration in redraft leagues.

The German forward has notched 18 goals and 16 points across 51 games on the season, while his 142 shots on goal is just about as many as you will find on the waiver wire. He is also a rock-solid plus-five on a Sabres team sporting a minus-12 overall goal differential.

There are, of course, downsides to a play rostered in under 14% of leagues. Peterka has just 11 hits, three power-play points and 12 penalty minutes. He’s not doing anything in those areas.

At the same time, the massive step forward taken this season should attract dynasty managers. In 26 fewer games, Peterka already has six more goals, two more points and 17 more shots on goal than he did as a rookie last season. His ice time has skyrocketed from 13:39 per game last season to 16:01 per contest. Sabres brass and faithful should be incredibly happy with what they’ve witnessed from the 22-year-old this season.

Fantasy managers might want to take notice before it’s too late.

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Kyle Palmieri (RW, LW – NYI) | 9.2% rostered

It’s fairly criminal that veteran winger Kyle Palmieri sports a sub-10% rostership.

He has a decent 14 goals and 31 points across 52 games, but it’s what he is doing on the whole. In addition to a near 50-point pace, Palmieri has 132 shots, 43 hits, 20 penalty minutes and a hefty 14 power-play points. The one big knock is an ugly minus-14 rating, but other than that, he has contributed solidly across the board.

He is certainly getting a shot to stay hot at the moment. He’s currently skating on the second line with Brock Nelson and captain Anders Lee, but Palmieri is also a valued member of the top power-play unit. His 17:02 of average ice time has been exceeded in each of his last two games, while he has three goals and six points over his last five.

Perhaps it’s the Patrick Roy effect, but Palmieri is currently playing the best hockey of his season.

David Rittich (G – LA) | 7.4% Rostered

This week’s suggested goalie is someone I never thought I would suggest again in the form of veteran David Rittich.

At the same time, we have to focus on the situation and results and make an informed decision. Considering that, it’s tough to deny what he has done for these L.A. Kings this season.

The 31-year-old has posted a 1.90 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage across 12 outings (10 starts) on the season, going 6-1-3 in the process. His 8.23 goals saved above average ranks 11th in the league in that time, according to Hockey Reference.

The fact is that Cam Talbot is slumping, and Rittich is hot, rattling off back-to-back wins and allowing just two goals over his last two outings. Talbot has allowed five goals in each of his last two. As a result, it’s been Rittich between the pipes for six of the team’s last eight games, with two goals or fewer allowed in four of those six outings.

At this point, ride the hot hand, even if it’s for the short haul.

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