NHL waiver wire: Rookies among top Fantasy Hockey pickups

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat is quickly proving his elite scoring in the CHL can translate to the highest level. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By Neil Parker, RotoWire Hockey Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports

A number of rookies, speculative adds for deep leagues and No. 2 goalies being pushed into starter’s workloads headline this week’s recommendations.

Here’s the schedule for the next scoring period, Dec. 4-10:

Two games: Red Wings, Islanders, Sharks, Blues

Four games: Flames

All other teams play three games next week

It’s important to keep an eye on players cut in your leagues, and note the handful of previously covered players listed below who might be hanging around on your waiver wire.

(Yahoo ownership percentages as of Nov. 30.)


Mathew Barzal, NYI (46 percent): Last call on Barzal should have been a couple weeks ago, as the rookie owns a high-end 3.64 points per 60 minutes and has three goals and seven assists during an active seven-game point streak. Locked in as the second-line center for the Isles, Barzal is also receiving power-play time with the No. 1 unit. He’s a legit scorer.

Alex DeBrincat, CHI (26 percent): Another rookie quickly proving his elite scoring in the CHL can translate to the highest level, DeBrincat is a repeat recommendation in this space and is currently sporting an eight-game stretch with seven goals and 11 points. He’s been all over the depth chart at even strength, which isn’t ideal, but the 19-year-old winger has been receiving consistent power-play time.

Kyle Connor, WPG (15 percent): With six goals, 13 points and 38 shots through his past 15 games, Connor is cashing in on his cushy gig alongside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler in all situations. It’s a ripe fantasy setup, and Connor’s offensive track record suggests his current results are sustainable moving forward.

Derek Stepan, ARI (29 percent): An outing removed from a six-game point streak, Stepan appears to be finally finding an offensive groove after a slow start to the campaign. While he’s a proven scorer and is locked into a go-to role with the Coyotes, it’s important to note that his current minus-8 rating will probably only get worse.

Josh Anderson, CLM (12 percent): While the winger’s offensive numbers don’t jump off the page, Anderson is providing excellent cross-category coverage and is currently skating in a top-six role. His 71 shots, 13 PIM, 42 hits and a plus-5 rating are a nice complement to Anderson’s respectable nine goals and 14 points.

Brendan Perlini, ARI (2 percent): While likely still best left to deep settings, Perlini has been receiving top-six minutes and power-play time of late and translated it into six goals, seven points and 28 shots through his past 10 contests. The 2014 first-round selection has the size-speed combo to develop into a solid scorer, and now’s the time to get in on the ground floor.

Devin Shore, DAL (1 percent): A speculative grab for cavernous leagues, Shore has been receiving consistent top-six looks and power-play minutes over the past 10 games. While he’s only collected two goals, two assists and 23 shots during that stretch, skating with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov is a high-end fantasy setup. The offensive results could follow.

Denis Malgin, FLA (0 percent): The diminutive 20-year-old has been penciled into top-line duty alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau following Evgeny Dadonov’s shoulder injury. The plum assignment has Malgin on the fantasy radar, and he scored last time out. While there is no guarantee Malgin will remain a fixture on the No. 1 line, he’s still worth a speculative add in deep leagues.


Tyler Myers, WPG (25 percent): A holdover from last week, Myers continues to receive power-play time with the No. 2 unit and move the needle across all categories. Winnipeg is also rounding into an all-around formidable club, which always helps defensemen in the virtual game. He’s provided sneaky value in the PIM column with six minor penalties through his past 16 games, too.

Brady Skjei, NYR (22 percent): Bumped up to the top pairing with Ryan McDonagh (abdomen) sidelined, Skjei has collected four assists, nine shots and six blocked shots while averaging 23:57 of ice time through his past four contests. It’s likely Skjei will slide back down the depth chart once the Ranger captain returns to action, but after posting 39 points during his rookie season last year, the 23-year-old defenseman could still be a serviceable asset in deeper settings.

Oscar Fantenberg, LOS (0 percent): The 26-year-old Swede has made a recent impact for the Kings with two assists, 11 shots, five PIM and 11 hits through his past four contests. The improve production also follows a three-game stint of being a healthy scratch, so perhaps there was added motivation. Fantenberg has been a fixture on the No. 2 power-play unit and could be a potential grab in cavernous settings.

Samuel Girard, COL (2 percent): While the rookie has collected just two assists and eight shots through his first nine games with the Avs, Girard is averaging 21:33 of ice time with 3:13 on the power play. He’s also beginning 57.5 of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone. Colorado isn’t a fantasy dreamland, but Girard’s role is encouraging. At worst, he’s a player to watch.


Tristan Jarry, PIT (37 percent): With Matt Murray week-to-week with a leg injury, Jarry projects to handle to No. 1 goaltending duties for the Penguins. The likely high volume of starts alone lands him squarely on the fantasy radar. However, the 22-year-old netminder has now won consecutive starts and has the potential to be a solid asset over the coming weeks.

Aaron Dell, SAN (22 percent): Martin Jones is currently nursing an undisclosed injury, and while it’s speculated to be minor, Dell’s been a frequent recommendation in this column even with a healthy Jones in front of him. The sophomore sports a career .929 save percentage and 2.02 GAA and is coming off a road win against Philadelphia last time out. Additionally, if Jones were to ever miss substantial time, Dell’s value would skyrocket.

Malcolm Subban, VGK (43 percent): The jury is still out on exactly how good Subban is, but he’s likely to continue receiving a starter’s workload, and the Golden Knights are winning games. As a result, Subban should be owned in all settings, and he can probably remain a useful asset if owners are selective with his matchups.

Players to consider from past columns: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Pavel Buchnevich, Bo Horvat, Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov, Mikko Rantanen, Jakub Vrana, Boone Jenner, Reilly Smith, Tomas Hertl, Micheal Ferland, Alexander Kerfoot, Kevin Fiala, Craig Smith, Erik Johnson, Johnny Boychuk, Shea Theodore, Darnell Nurse, Mathew Dumba, Esa Lindell, Thomas Greiss, Carter Hutton, Jacob Markstrom.