Fantasy Hockey

Fantasy Hockey pick-ups to make the season after the draft


Special for Yahoo Sports

We’re back to fantasy hockey. With the preseason over and the live action two days later, it’s important to keep an eye on your rosters and the pool of available players.

This is usually the point in my inaugural column where I give a brief course on the waiver thread, which covers how it works and the best ways to use it throughout the season. But I’m going to condense this even more by emphasizing the need to regularly pay attention to what’s going on in the NHL and adapt accordingly, try not to hold back underachievers for too long and remember. to define your alignments on time.

To get started, let’s take a look at some fantastic players that deserve more attention.

(Rates / statistics recorded as of October 14)


Joel Eriksson Ek, MIN (Yahoo Sign Up Rate: 45%)

It took a while for the 2015 first-rounder to kick off the offense and the career-high 30 points of 2020-21 doesn’t seem like much, but consider that 13 – including eight goals – were scored in the 21. last matches. As Minnesota’s best center, Eriksson Ek has already clicked along with teammates Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. Even if the Swede does not reach the projected 50 or so points, he should be a regular in the power play (in addition to a prominent position in PK) and not afraid to use his body, having finished second over the Savage last season in hits (105).

Jared McCann, MER (32%)

If there’s anything we can take away from the Kraken’s debut in the NHL, it’s that they’ll score enough goals. Their top six isn’t nearly as formidable as the league’s best attacks, but there is enough talent to make the club competitive. McCann is not a typical No.1 pivot, although he admirably replaced Evgeni Malkin last year with a streak of eight goals and 10 assists in 19 games. And for someone expected to skate in important minutes in a starring role (who also qualifies for LW), it’s worth signing up.

Jared McCann brings value as a member of the Kraken. (Photo by Derek Leung / Getty Images)

Christian Dvorak, MON (28%

Three consecutive crosses to start this column and I haven’t talked about face-offs… until now. With the Coyotes last season, Dvorak placed 20th in the NHL in faceoff percentage (52.1) and ninth in faceoff wins (553). He also scored 11 points on the power play with a 2:51 power play average. In Montreal, Dvorak will essentially replace Phillip Danault in that he will be surrounded by decent winger – those who are currently Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson – and function as the shorthanded main man.

Nino Niederreiter, RCA (24%)

A fifth overall selection should normally lead the team in attack. It may have been Niederreiter’s thought process at the time, although it never came to fruition and he ended up being a good all-rounder. In a group of forwards like Carolina, he fits perfectly into the midfield of the six and contributes in various categories. Nino will likely net you somewhere in the 40-point range, but he’ll also rack up plenty of shots on goal (126 in 56 last season) and a decent number of hits (68).

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Evgenii Dadonov / Nolan Patrick, VGK (16% / 7%)

While Chandler Stephenson (40%) represents the underrated Vegas marquee, centered forward Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, there is value to be found further down the depth chart. Dadonov and Patrick are both highly skilled, but neither have lived up to their potential. The pair arrived over the summer and skated on the even-matched third unit while enjoying ample power play time. If you can only pick one, lean towards Dadonov due to a better offensive story.

Brandon Saad, STL (17%)

It’s amazing to realize that Saad won two Cups in the first half of the 2000s and is still only 28 years old. After a few seasons cut short by injury, he made a fresh start in St. Louis. Enough attacks remain in Saad’s arsenal, but his position in the long-term roster is unknown. He is expected to join Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron five-on-five and work on the second power play, although that may change with an injury, a fall or if younger comers like Jordan Kyrou and Jake Neighbors break out. For now, give Saad a chance.

Michael Bunting, TOR (11%)

Bunting burst onto the scene last year with Arizona scoring a hat-trick in LA, which ultimately resulted in 10 goals in 21 games. When he signed with Toronto in the offseason, it was believed he would fit into a lower role. But with the Leafs relatively weak on the left side, Bunting has a great opportunity to stay on one of the top two lines. And that means a potential future place alongside Auston Matthews or John Tavares – it’s not a bad place to be.

Owen Tippett, Florida (6%)

40 points in 46 AHL appearances in 2019-2020 likely got Tippett promoted, but it was his performance in the Panthers’ brief playoffs last season that proved he can hack him to the top. level. It wasn’t necessarily the goal and three assists in six outings that convinced the others as much as it was a milestone in development. Tippett was rewarded for his efforts with a place in Florida’s second unit, where he produced six points in the preseason. If you think that the growth will continue, then it is a must.


Rasmus Andersson, CGY (15%)

Much like my interest in Eriksson Ek, I’m betting on Andersson profiting from a revolutionary campaign. He tasted like being the PP QB in 2021 and finished with 21 points overall, six of which when he was a man. Now that former captain Mark Giordano has headed further west, Andersson is expected to run the show on point and record hefty minutes. Can the soon-to-be 25-year-old bear the extra workload? Or will the pressure discourage him? Better decide quickly before someone else beats you up.

Adam Boqvist, CBJ (13%)

Boqvist almost immediately made an impact on the NHL after being selected eighth in 2018. Perhaps he was not the best candidate in Chicago defensively and was then transferred to Columbus in July in part of the Seth Jones blockbuster. The rebuilding Blue Jackets will be loaded with youngsters and Boqvist is expected to thrive. He’s been teamed up with other blue line newcomer Jake Bean (2%) for most of the preseason but appears destined to join forces with Zach Werenski.

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Nick Leddy, DET (7%)

The Red Wings are a mess, but they’re a promising mess. Their whole top six up front has potential, they drafted a few possible D-men and they outright stole a No.1 Carolina goalie. And buried among the many youngsters in his twenties is Leddy, who recently excelled with the Islanders with 31 points. Despite the presence of Filip Hronek, Leddy is asked to lead the charge on the power play. That scenario might not last too long with Moritz Seider in town, but the veteran remains Detroit’s best short-term option.

Will Boucher, BUF (0%)

Butcher was acquired in Jersey this summer as part of a deal to cut costs. After a Hobey Baker Award and a stellar rookie effort, his stats have steadily declined. Butcher is thrown into an unfamiliar situation in Buffalo where he could end up providing a secondary boost or become a healthy, consistent scratch. It’s probably best to watch his situation in the first few games and pounce if he’s showing a legitimate advantage.


John Gibson, ANH (44%)

While fantastic goalkeepers mostly revolve around wins, GAA, and / or save percentage, there’s a lot to be said for stability. There aren’t many current NHL goaltenders who will be able to claim more than 60 starts this season, although Gibson should be one of them given Anthony Stolarz – he of 34 career appearances in the NHL. big leagues – is the only other Ducks candidate available. between the pipes. The last couple of years may scare you off Gibson, but he can at least take a few games against the weakest opponents in the Pacific Division and succeed in formats that count saves.

Adin Hill, SJ (19%)

There are a lot of doubts about Hill’s ability to lead when discussing the fact that he has never made more than 19 appearances in a season. Meanwhile, teammate James Reimer (3%) peaked at just 44 with Florida in 2017-18. It’s no secret that the Sharks are playing for next year (or the year after). And Evgeni Nabokov does not enter the locker room in San José. Just give young Hill (eight-year-old Reimer) a chance to build on some promising times from his Arizona days and see what he can do in the longer term.