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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice: Tyler Bertuzzi, Shane Pinto, Jeremy Lauzon, Sean Monahan

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice: Tyler Bertuzzi, Shane Pinto, Jeremy Lauzon, Sean Monahan

We are in the midst of Week 20 of the fantasy hockey season, with the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline rapidly approaching.

This is a key time to zone in on some names that could be on the move, which obviously could have a sizable effect on a given player’s fantasy value.

Whether the names below are about to be on the move or not, let’s check out this week’s top waiver wire targets as we continue our push toward the fantasy postseason.

NHL Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Advice (Week 20)

(Rosterships courtesy of ESPN)

Tyler Bertuzzi (LW – TOR) | 47% Rostered

It was certainly puzzling to see just how bad Tyler Bertuzzi was struggling in his first season with the Maple Leafs, but the hard-nosed left winger is once again making his presence felt.

Bertuzzi netted a hat trick in the Leafs’ 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, giving him 10 goals on the season, along with 16 assists on 110 shots. Never a big shooter, Bertuzzi isn’t exactly a cross-category monster, but there is one key to this addition: power play time.

Indeed, the 29-year-old has been moved to the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit, where he scored two of his three tallies against the Avs on Saturday. Keep in mind the Maple Leafs rank second in the NHL with a 29.27% success rate on the man advantage, just one tick under the top-rated Lightning and their 29.28% clip. Obviously, this is a major boon to Bertuzzi’s fantasy value.

While he has skated just 15:47 per game this season, a notable drop from his 17:12 career mark, he has logged at least 16:19 in each of his last five games while hitting 17:53 his last time out. His PP1 role will ensure an increase in ice time so long as he remains there.

Add in 64 hits and 28 penalty minutes, and Bertuzzi has the potential to be a key contributor down the stretch.

Shane Pinto (C – OTT) | 21.4% Rostered

Ottawa’s Shane Pinto missed much of the season due to a gambling suspension, but his 21.4% rostership is rather criminal, given what he has accomplished since returning.

After breaking out with 20 goals in his first full season in the NHL last year, Pinto has tallied five goals and 13 points in 15 games this time around. Additionally, he has added 44 shots on net, nearly three per game, and has added 16 hits to his ledger. He is a plus-eight on a team sporting a minus-10 overall goal differential.

Interestingly, only one of his 13 points has come on the power play. However, don’t expect that to remain the case, as he is now skating on the top power-play unit while centering Brady Tkachuk at even strength. He is firmly in a spot to succeed, and he’s been doing so lately with two goals and five points over his last five games.

This player is a major dynasty league target, but he is doing far more in the present than his rostership suggests.

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Jeremy Lauzon (D – NSH) | 7.6% Rostered

Need some hits and penalty minutes? If so, Jeremy Lauzon is your man.

In actuality, he’s doing far more for fantasy managers than you might think. Just ask yourself:  How much do you value a player leading the entire league in a particular statistic by a long shot? His value decreases greatly if your league does not reward hits, but Lauzon’s 281 hits on the season are by far the most in the circuit. The Flyers’ Garnet Hathaway‘s 213 are second-most, and those are the only two players to record at least 200 hits on the season.

The 26-year-old also has 81 penalty minutes on his resumé this season, good for 11th in the league. He has also scored six goals, a rock-solid figure for a defenseman, and has blocked 85 shots.

A wealth of hits and penalty minutes is a great start, but Lauzon is also scoring and blocking plenty of shots. That is worth far more than a 7.6% rostership.

Sean Monahan (C – WPG) | 28.5% Rostered

Admittedly, I was going nowhere near Sean Monahan after his trade to the Jets. I was certain he would see a notable decrease in usage, and his surprising production would falter. Not so fast.

The veteran has notched five goals over his last four games and is still logging a ton of ice time. He has skated as much as 22:15 in a game during that span and has played at least 18:50 in three of his last four contests.

The 29-year-old has notched 18 goals and 40 points across 57 games for the season. He has added 124 shots on goal in that time and has a whopping 19 points on the power play. He has as many power-play goals as Mika Zibanejad, Brayden Point and William Nylander, among others.

He will clearly remain in a featured role in Winnipeg, something that I did not expect after he was leaned on heavily with the lowly Montreal Canadiens. That’s more than enough to consider him, given his fantastic production and special teams damage.

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