We’re back to what looks like more of a conventional week in the National Hockey League. With the rescheduled games in the rearview, only six games separate the teams with the most games played (Anaheim, Pittsburgh, and Seattle) with the New York Islanders who are the only team that has yet to hit the 50-game mark with 49. With the upcoming schedule and player-deployment in mind, let’s take a look at the top waiver wire pickups for week 20.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Jake DeBrusk (5% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
Jake DeBrusk made headlines earlier this season when his trade request went public. His play, up until very recently, has left much to be desired. Lately however, he’s skated on the top line beside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand over the past two games and has been producing with two goals and an assist. Regardless of whether this is a tactic to drive up his value as the trade deadline approaches or not, DeBrusk is productive and that’s all that fantasy hockey managers need to see. Boston has four games this week and DeBrusk could be one of the best waiver wire pickups available.
Erik Haula (3% owned in Yahoo Leagues)
As mentioned above, David Pastrnak is not playing on the Bruins top line. Instead, he’s on the second line with with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall. Prior to Marchand’s six-game suspension which broke this line up, they were playing very well. They were put together at the turn of the calendar – a 16-game span that saw Haula accumulate 12 points. He should snag a few more this week and provide a good floor of hits in the process.
Matt Boldy (33% owned in Yahoo leagues)
If you’re in a deep league, Matt Boldy should not be available, but his current ownership suggests that he could be. The 20-year-old rookie has had an incredible start to his career with 18 points in his first 19 games. He’s clicked on a line with Kevin Fiala since being called up and has secured a spot on the top powerplay unit. You can’t go wrong here.
Evgenii Dadonov (9% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Evgenii Dadonov hasn’t had consistent linemates all season because of various injuries to Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. He’s been playing between the top three lines while collecting 21 points in 51 games. Now, with the recent injury to Pacioretty, Dadonov finds himself on a line with Jack Eichel and Chandler Stephenson. The Golden Knights play the Sharks, Bruins, Ducks and Senators this week. Expect Dadonov to snap his 12-game pointless drought.
Viktor Arvidsson (48% owned in Yahoo leagues)
In weekly head-to-head leagues that include a bench, the Los Angeles Kings have a very desirable schedule. They play four times with no back-to-backs. That also means that owning players from the Kings means you’ll avoid the typical heavy nights of the NHL being Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. All Kings players aside from Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty are under 50% owned, meaning that you have your pick of the litter. Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, Trevor Moore and Phillip Danualt are all part of the Kings top-six and are worth a waiver wire pickup. However, the best option of the bunch is Viktor Arvidsson. He has 21 points in his last 20 games.
Cole Caufield (52% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Cole Caufield came into the season as the odds-on favourite to win the Calder trophy. He struggled mightily to start the year and was sent to the minors. When Martin St. Louis was hired as the Intermin Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens, it ignited Caufield’s career. Since then, he six goals and 10 points in eight games, making him a must-add in fantasy leagues. If Caufield is already owned, consider Josh Anderson at just 16% owned in Yahoo leagues. He has four points in his last four games next to Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
Jared Spurgeon (57% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Jared Spurgeon gets every opportunity to produce points. The Wild captain is the go-to defenceman on a powerplay that includes Kirill Kaprizov. His team has hit a bit of a skid, but Spurgeon has still been able to produce five points in the last seven games despite losing five of them. Minnesota plays four games this week, three of which are against teams that sit outside of the playoff picture. Potential is there.
Jaccob Slavin (63% owned in Yahoo leagues)
At 63%, Jaccob Slavin is likely to be owned in your league. If not, it’s time to grab him for this week and beyond. Why? One man’s loss is another man’s gain. The injury to Anthony DeAngelo has left a hole on the leagues fifth best powerplay that needs to be filled. Enter Slavin. The Hurricanes play four games this week and Slavin should provide a decent amount of points and blocks.
Jeff Petry (51% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Jeff Petry’s struggles this season have been well documented. He came in as one of the best banger-league fantasy defenseman to the point where he’s now owned if half of leagues. Since the Canadiens coaching change, Petry has been much better to the point where he’s now worth owning again. Over the past six games, he has five points, 16 hits, 17 blocks and 11 shots to go along with a plus four rating. The Habs are rolling with five wins in a row. Pick him up and see what happens. No need for a long-term commitment here.
Kaapo Kahkonen (51% owned in Yahoo leagues)
The number one job between the pipes in Minnesota used to belong to Cam Talbot until he got injured in the Winter Classic on January 1st. Since Kaapo Kahkonen came in and played so well, Head Coach Dean Evason has been splitting duties since Talbot’s return. Talbot’s ownership currently sits at 92%, meaning the Wild’s goaltender of the future is still being overlooked. With a four-game week on-tap, Kahkonen would make for one of the best waiver wire pickups.
Petr Mrazek (44% owned in Yahoo leagues)
The last two weeks have confirmed that the Maple Leafs crease is officially a tandem. Any time you can grab a top-tier team’s goalie off the waiver wire, even if its for a spot start, is never a bad idea. With Jack Campbell starting last game and getting pulled despite leading in a wild third period, Mrazek looks to be in line to get the call on Monday in Washington. He’s coming off his best game of the season – a-29 save win where he only allowed one goal. If he plays well and the pattern continues, he will likely start at home against the Canucks on Saturday as well.