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NHL Waiver Wire: Picks of the Week

Neil Parker

A loyal Leafs, Cubs and Cowboys fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports and founded

There are just three weeks left in the NHL season, and the stakes are highest at this stage. Every team plays at least three games, and no club plays more than four outings this week, so the schedule shouldn't have a significant impact on your fantasy roster decisions.

Turning to No. 2 goaltenders in favorable back-to-back sets is a risk-reward strategy that can boost your netminder categories, but you have to be prepared for poor outings, too. Eddie Lack has played extremely well of late, and he could leapfrog Cam Ward, so if you're in need of crease help, he's the strongest lean.

At this stage of the season, the majority of the most appealing free agents have been covered here by now. So, make sure to double-check the availability of players previously covered in this space that are listed below and keep tabs on the recommended adds in our Daily Puck articles throughout the week. Feel free to hit the comments with any questions or if you have a coin-flip decision.

Michael Frolik, F, CGY (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 28%, CBS: 42%): Turning in a solid season, Frolik provides a reliable fantasy floor across all categories. The 29-year-old veteran has three goals, seven points, 19 shots, four PIM and a plus-4 rating while averaging 18:41 of ice time (1:53 with the man advantage) through his past seven outings. He's also recorded two power-play points during that span. Just note that Frolik's ceiling is capped, as this will likely be his first 50-point campaign.

Sean Couturier, F, PHI (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 7%, CBS: 18%): The pivot has collected two goals, six points, 17 shots and a plus-6 rating over his past seven games. Injuries have derailed his progress the past two seasons, but he's strung together a couple heaters to showcase his offensive upside. Just don't expect much production in the PIM or hits columns.

Andreas Athanasiou, F, DET (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 3%, CBS: 12%): With two goals, five points and 14 shots through his past five games, Athanasiou is taking advantage of his increased role. He's posted the highest goals (1.29), third highest points (2.09) and second highest shots (8.37) per 60 minutes at five-on-five for Detroit, so there is upside for a solid conclusion to the campaign.

Ondrej Palat, F, TAM (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 46%, CBS: 65%): Posting another respectable fantasy campaign, Palat has picked up his production of late with a goal, four assists, 17 shots, 15 hits and an average of 21:48 of ice time (2:52 on the power play) through his past six outings. Palat has also combined with Nikita Kucherov for 3.32 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the past three years, which helps the 25-year-old winger's virtual floor.

Jordan Staal, F, CAR (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 35%, CBS: 25%): The veteran's fantasy floor is more attractive than his ceiling, but Staal has notched a goal, six helpers and a plus-7 rating through his past six games. Additionally, in formats including faceoffs, his 58.9 winning percentage is helpful. Outside of deep settings, it's likely best to view Staal as a stopgap option in weekly head-to-head leagues.

Jaccob Slavin, D, CAR (Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 27%, CBS: 35%): Currently upping his production significantly with three goals, 11 points, 22 blocked shots and a plus-9 rating through his past 11 outings, Slavin should be on your fantasy radar. It's easy to highlight that the recent run is unsustainable, but there is room for negative regression before he isn't a serviceable option in deeper settings. Additionally, he logged 24:34 of ice time during that 11-game stretch, so more minutes provides more opportunities for counting stats.

Jakob Chychrun, D, ARI (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 4%, CBS: 16%): Among all defensemen with at least 500 minutes at five-on-five this season, Chychrun's 1.22 points per 60 minutes rank seventh in the league. He's also been hot of late with two goals, five points, 18 shots and a plus-3 rating through his past five outings. Additionally, during that span, the rookie has averaged 1:31 of power-play time and collected a goal and a helper with the man advantage. He's worth a long look in all settings.

Eddie Lack, G, CAR (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 2%, CBS: 8%): Since being called out by head coach Bill Peters two weeks ago, Lack has won three of his four starts with an impressive .945 save percentage and 1.51 GAA. Considering Cam Ward owns a .894 save percentage and 3.19 GAA over his past five outings, Lack could be in line for the larger workload from here out. Carolina's a sneaky possession team that's been hindered by poor goaltending all season, so there is huge upside.

Scott Darling, G, CHI (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 18%, CBS: 36%): While he's the clear No. 2, Darling has won each of his past five starts with a .963 save percentage and 1.21 GAA. He will likely start against Colorado on Sunday, which is the second game of Chicago's last back-to-back set of the season. So, while Darling's workload might be limited going forward, he's still worth considering because of his strong play.

Anton Khudobin, G, BOS (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 2%, CBS: 4%): The Boston backup has won four consecutive starts with an impressive 2.01 GAA and .920 save percentage. With Tuukka Rask garnering the majority of starts and just two back-to-back sets remaining for the Bruins, Khudobin is more of a streaming option to keep in mind than an immediate add. However, in cavernous leagues, this might be the time to grab him.

Players to consider from previous articles: Evander Kane, Sebastian Aho, Jake Guentzel, Josh Bailey, Rickard Rakell, Marcus Johansson, Anders Lee, Micheal Ferland, Mathieu Perreault, Bo Horvat, Jussi Jokinen, Jason Zucker, Mikael Backlund, William Nylander, Elias Lindholm, Sam Reinhart, Richard Panik, Tom Wilson, Nino Niederreiter, Patrick Maroon, Nazem Kadri, Nick Schmaltz, Tanner Pearson, Radim Vrbata, Bryan Little, Justin Williams, Matthew Tkachuk, Brayden Point, Jake Gardiner, Oscar Klefbom, Jacob Trouba, Alex Goligoski, Jared Spurgeon, Mark Streit, David Savard, Dion Phaneuf, Brady Skjei, T.J. Brodie, Juuse Saros, Philipp Grubauer, Aaron Dell, Carter Hutton, James Reimer, Joonas Korpisalo, Steve Mason, Antti Raanta