The Waiver Wire - For the week of Oct 27-Nov 2
Sean Monahan CGY - WAIVER ADD OR ACQUIRE VIA TRADE - After his start to this season - 6G 3A 9P in ten games - the only question that was left unanswered was whether Calgary management would opt to keep him past 10 games and burn the first year of his entry level contract, or return him to junior. With that milestone now in the rear view mirror, Monahan at this point in the season is our favorite for the Calder. Get him while you can; his ownership is still below 30%, so there's the possibility that in mid-depth pools, he's still ripe for the taking.
Tyler Johnson TB - WATCH - Steven Stamkos isn't the only player on the Bolts who has won a goal scoring title. Tyler Johnson is the reigning AHL goal scoring champion, netting 37G in 62GP last season. While success in the AHL is by no means a bellwether for success in the NHL, it does show that he has "the touch". His start has been slow this year - 2G 2A 4P in nine games - but keep an eye on him. He's getting power play ice-time, and we think that there's something there.
Mika Zibanejad OTT - WATCH - After a respectable rookie campaign, Zibanejad had a brutal training camp, which saw him demoted to Binghamton. In six games in the AHL, he was over a point-per-game player - which earned him a recall. While we're not expecting fireworks in his return, he will be someone to keep your eye on.
Mason Raymond TOR - TRADE AWAY - Currently one of our favorite Leafs, Raymond is in a logjam in Toronto with a number of skilled wingers already positioned ahead of him. While he's performed well registering 4G 4A 8P in 10 games, his production will diminish with his ice time, as players such as Nikolai Kulemin (ankle), Joffrey Lupul (ankle), and David Clarkson (suspension) return. As a result, we expect his performance thus far to have peaked.
Michael Bournival MTL - SHORT TERM ADD - Currently lining up on Montreal's first line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, Bournival has played above his 21 years. In his first seven games in the NHL, Bournival has racked up 2G 3A 5P, has been a responsible +5, with 15 SOG. While he hasn't seen much power play time, that's likely to change as his stellar rookie performance continues. It's highly likely that he will be bumped from the top line in 2-3 weeks' time as Max Pacioretty returns from hamstring injury, but he's definitely worth an add for the interim.
Chris Kreider NYR - WATCH - With the New York offense getting off to a pitiful start this season (12G in 8GP), Kreider has been called up to assist the top line of Derek Stepan and Brad Richards in Rick Nash's absence. While certainly not an offensive juggernaut last season, it is a rarity in deep pools to be able to nab someone off the waiver wire that will be inserted directly into any team's top line. Keep an eye on him - we expect him to perform well as long as his top-line status remains.
Matt Irwin SJ - WATCH - All the hallmarks are there for Irwin to be a fantastic deep pool add - he's paired with a fantastic partner in Dan Boyle (when he's not injured), he's on a fantastic team that's really clicking, and he's getting prime power play time. While the two of us are not agreed on just how good we think he's going to be this year, we are in agreement that he's a gem to pick up if you need a defenseman.
Torey Krug BOS - ADD - His introduction to the NHL year was a baptism of fire - thrown into the crucible of the playoffs, responding with an admirable 4G 2A 6P +5 in 15GP. His start to the year has been even better, registering 3G 2A 5P +3 3PPP in nine games. His ownership is also hovering at around 30%; which is about the level where mid-depth pools have him available. Grab him; he's going to have a great year.
Morgan Reilly TOR - WATCH - Similar to Monahan, Reilly has performed wonderfully for the Leafs this year, but the real question was whether he was headed back to junior at the end of his 10-game audition. With the announcement that he was staying with the big club for the foreseeable future, he has become more attractive to add, but we're still pessimistic on his output. Keep him in mind; his ownership level is around 5%, indicating he's available in all but the deepest pools.
Ryan Murphy CAR - WATCH - Many of the same comments we made about Reilly can be directly applied to Murphy - he's young, he's staying with the big club, and has a lot of potential. The difference between the two, however, is that Murphy isn't stuck at the bottom of his team's depth chart. He's getting all the ice time and power play time that he can skate, and it's paying dividends - 1G 4A 5P +1 in nine games. Watch him - his ownership level is actually below Reilly's so he's not going anywhere in a hurry, but he will be a better fantasy pick this year.
Carter Hutton NAS - SHORT TERM ADD - Pekka Rinne has a hip infection and will likely miss the next four weeks; Hutton will likely get most of the games until his return. While Nashville doesn't score much, they also don't tend to let in many goals. Hutton will be a good add provided you don't start him against Colorado, San Jose, or another potent offense.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere COL - ACQUIRE VIA TRADE - Maybe it's the fact he's being coached by the best goalie to ever play the game, Patrick Roy, or perhaps it's the injection of infectious youth surrounding him, but something has got Giguere playing like the Conn Smythe winner from 2003, and not the Giguere of, well, any year since. Sporting a god-like 0.67 GAA .981 SV% 2 SO in three games, it's highly unlikely that this clip will continue, but we don't see him trailing off that badly - he's looked really solid and composed, and the Colorado system has ensured that there are few second chances.
Justin Peters CAR - SHORT TERM ADD - Cam Ward is down with an injury for the foreseeable future; if you need starts, and have a terrible goaltending tandem, he'll get you starts. Just be careful with who you play him against. He got shelled on Friday by Colorado, but performed well previously against Minnesota. If you spot start him, he'll be serviceable.
How did we do last week (as of end-of-day Saturday October 26)?
(When we judged our correctness, we looked at whether we were expecting performance or lack thereof.)
Mark Arcobello EDM - STRONG ADD - 3GP 0G 2A -1 2PIM [Correct]
Frans Nielsen NYI - ADD - 3GP 3G 4A -2 2PIM [Correct]
David Desharnais MTL - WATCH - 3GP 0G 0A -2 4PIM [Correct]
Alex Chiasson DAL - ADD - 3GP 2G 1A +0 2PIM [Correct]
Jiri Hudler CAL - SHORT TERM ADD - 4GP 1G 3A -3 [Correct]
Tomas Hertl SJ - TRADE AWAY - 3GP 0G 0A -1 [Correct]
Jake Gardiner TOR - TRADE - 3GP 0G 0A +0 [Correct]
Jakub Kindl DET - SHORT TERM ADD - 3GP 0G 0A -2 [Incorrect]
Matt Niskanen PIT - WATCH - 3GP 0G 2A +1 2PIM [Correct]
Jonathan Bernier TOR - ACQUIRE VIA TRADE - 2GP 1-1 .900 SV%/3.00 GAA [Neutral]
Jonas Gustavsson DET - STRONG WAIVER ADD - 1GP 0-1 .850 SV%/3.00 GAA [Incorrect]
Jakob Markstrom FLA - DROP - 2GP 0-1-1 .909 SV%/1.79 GAA [Neutral]
So, from our estimate, we were 8-2-2 from last week. We'll also keep historic numbers as this column progresses.
If you haven't done so, check out 16-year-old Connor McDavid's numbers this year in the OHL so far - 5G 18A 23P +9 4PIM in 13GP for the Erie Otters. That puts him on pace for 26G 94A 120P +45 20PIM for the 68 game OHL season. Remember, he's 16 - he's not going to be draft eligible for another two years. Based on those numbers, it's no wonder that people are calling him the next Crosby (who by the way, put up 54G 81A 135P when he was 16).
Avoid players from the following teams this week, if you can:
1. Columbus Blue Jackets - This is the fantasy equivalent to the apocalypse: only two games this week - a home-and-home against Pittsburgh. We advise you to keep your benches warm with Blue Jackets this week.
2. Winnipeg Jets - A close second behind the Columbus disaster; two games this week, against St. Louis and Chicago. This could be a very bad week for you if you have a lot of Jets on your team.
3. Florida Panthers - Two games this week - a back-to-back with St. Louis and Washington. Hope you heeded our advice on dropping Markstrom last week.
Grab players from the follow teams this week, if you can:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins - Lots of opportunity to do well this week, with four games on the schedule. Carolina, then Boston, followed by a home-and-home against Columbus. We're putting Crosby's over-under this week at 12 points.
2. Chicago Blackhawks - Four games this week for the defending champs - two back-to-backs, one against Minnesota and Ottawa, the second against Winnipeg and Calgary. It should be four wins for the Hawks this week.
3. Dallas Stars - Four games this week, Buffalo, Montreal, Colorado and Ottawa. While the Avs are going to pose a problem, the other three should provide an offensive boost to any Stars players you have.