Slapshot Fantasy

Fantasy Hockey: Weekly Waiver Wire Picks

The NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and the trade deadline in many fantasy leagues will also soon be upon us. Fortunately, most fantasy leagues allow for waiver-wire adds until the remainder of the season, so you can expect us at Slapshot Fantasy to make our waiver-wire suggestions every week until the end of the season.

If one or more of your fantasy players was traded, was the change one for the better? In addition to the traded player, many other players on those teams will be affected with either greater roles or diminished ones. Below are a few players who have experienced in increase in fantasy value, whether by being traded or being directly affected by recent trades.

Adds

Mikkel Boedker, LW/RW, COL

Two facts about Boedker: 1) He was traded to the Avalanche on Monday after the Coyotes were unable to sign him to an extension, and 2) He is still unowned in too many Yahoo leagues. If he’s still unowned in yours, you need to go get him for the stretch run. On Tuesday Boedker made his Avalanche debut on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, who are stronger linemates than Boedker had in Arizona. Boedker also saw some power-play time on Tuesday, recording an assist with the man advantage.

Kris Versteeg, LW/RW, LA

Like Boedker, Versteeg has the opportunity to skate with better linemates on his new team. Versteeg is a well-travelled player at this point in his career, as the Kings are now his fifth team. Moving from team to team has given him the ability to adapt to different rosters. In addition, Versteeg has played on two Stanley Cup winners in Chicago, so he knows when to elevate his game. With Marian Gaborik not likely to return until the playoffs, Versteeg should have a real opportunity at a top six role.

James Reimer, G, SJ

Now that he is out of the pressure cooker known as Toronto, Reimer has a real opportunity for some better numbers playing in front of a better team. All things considered, his numbers (2.49 GAA, 0.918 SV%) are very reasonable considering the rebuilding state of the Leafs. Reimer’s acquisition could hurt the value of Martin Jones, who has started the Sharks’ last nine games. Reimer is a stronger threat than the departed Alex Stalock to steal starts from Jones.

William Nylander, C/RW, TOR

All of the veteran forwards being shipped out of Toronto forced the callup of former first-round pick Nylander – or was that all part of the plan? The Leafs have absolutely nothing to lose letting him play a significant role for the big club, as he has already proven he can handle the AHL (45 points in 37 games). And it’s clear the Leafs won’t shelter Nylander, which was the case on Monday when he was allowed to play nearly 19 minutes in his NHL debut. That icetime total led all Leafs’ forwards – something you almost never see with a 19-year-old rookie.

Nylander might be more of a short-term pickup in non-keeper leagues, however. Fellow fantasy writer Mike Murphy even suggests waiting until next year to add Nylander. The main reason is that the Leafs may send Nylander back to the AHL after ten games in order to avoid burning a year off his entry-level contract.

Drops

Jonathan Drouin, LW, TB

If you were holding your breath (and a roster spot) waiting for an inevitable Drouin trade, then it’s time to let him go in a non-keeper format. The trade deadline came and went, and Drouin is still property of the Lightning. Steve Yzerman has stated that Drouin is welcome to come back at the AHL level, but not surprisingly Drouin has refused. Drouin will have to wait at home until at least the summer.

Kyle Turris, C, OTT

Turris had not scored a point over his last 15 games, so you may have already dropped him anyway. But if you need another reason, Turris is sidelined again with the ankle injury that forced him to miss time in late January. Once you add it all up, Turris has not recorded a point since January 10, which is a long time to hold a center that isn’t scoring on your roster. In Turris’ absence, Mika Zibanejad is one to watch. With Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan as his linemates, Zibanejad recorded a hat trick against Calgary on Saturday.

Benoit Pouliot, LW, EDM

Pouliot has had a decent season with 14 goals and 22 assists, and he was receiving his opportunity to play alongside Connor McDavid. But a shoulder injury will keep him out for most, if not all, of the rest of the regular season. As a result of the injury, the Oilers tried Nail Yakupov on the McDavid line. The underachieving former first overall pick is still available in the majority of Yahoo leagues.

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