NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NHL Waiver Wire series.

Hope your 2022 was moderately manageable and you were able to fulfill your fantasy dreams. If not, better luck in 2023!

With a new year comes the possibility of repeats in this column, but only if those players are worth mentioning again AND if they'll be available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues (exceptions apply).

Here's the final batch before we hit January. Get 'em while they're still potentially hot.

(Rostered rates as of Dec. 30)

Forwards

Brock Boeser, VAN (Yahoo: 47%): Boeser had been sidelined for two weeks with a hand injury before returning in early November and reeling off a nine-game point streak. The offense hasn't been as consistent since and he'd be out for another couple contests during the middle of this month, but he got back on track with a goal and two assists Tuesday. You're not going to find many established players under 50 percent who can sufficiently score, fire plenty of pucks on net and participate on a Top-10 power play. Grab Boeser before he's gone.

Michael Amadio, VGK (Yahoo: 9%): Don't think this column has ever featured someone who's been scratched in double-digits this season — and as recently as the beginning of December — as the second entry, yet Amadio deserves the honor based on a hot run that's seen him find the scoresheet in five straight. Not only is he on the first even-strength line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson, but he's recently joined the

Hope your 2022 was moderately manageable and you were able to fulfill your fantasy dreams. If not, better luck in 2023!

With a new year comes the possibility of repeats in this column, but only if those players are worth mentioning again AND if they'll be available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues (exceptions apply).

Here's the final batch before we hit January. Get 'em while they're still potentially hot.

(Rostered rates as of Dec. 30)

Forwards

Brock Boeser, VAN (Yahoo: 47%): Boeser had been sidelined for two weeks with a hand injury before returning in early November and reeling off a nine-game point streak. The offense hasn't been as consistent since and he'd be out for another couple contests during the middle of this month, but he got back on track with a goal and two assists Tuesday. You're not going to find many established players under 50 percent who can sufficiently score, fire plenty of pucks on net and participate on a Top-10 power play. Grab Boeser before he's gone.

Michael Amadio, VGK (Yahoo: 9%): Don't think this column has ever featured someone who's been scratched in double-digits this season — and as recently as the beginning of December — as the second entry, yet Amadio deserves the honor based on a hot run that's seen him find the scoresheet in five straight. Not only is he on the first even-strength line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson, but he's recently joined the duo on the first man-advantage and potted a PPG on Tuesday. Amadio is temporarily taking Jack Eichel's spot and will undoubtedly drop down the depth chart once the star center is available, though he's currently a must-add.

Stefan Noesen, CAR (Yahoo: 9%): Noesen first caught fantasy attention with four assists — including a pair of PPAs on the lead unit — during the opening week. Only two points would come from the next 12, though both were PPGs. Noesen skates on the fourth even-strength trio but is being trusted on Carolina's top power play even though he's never previously held this role. And it's not as if he's just a niche special-teams player, as he's supplemented his 10 points over the last month with 32 shots and 31 hits.

Frank Vatrano, ANH (Yahoo: 7%): And then there's the case of Vatrano, who's involved in all situations but hasn't seen a huge scoring boon. Part of that can be attributed to Anaheim's second-worst attack, while some will point to his career-low 5.6 shooting percentage (compared to at least 9.9 the previous four seasons). Vatrano has filled in nicely within the middle six and on the second power play, registering two goals, six assists, 38 shots, 16 PIM, 16 hits and 11 blocks on 18:37 a night since Dec. 3.

Pavel Zacha, BOS (Yahoo: 4%): The Bruins are primarily known for their top line, though there's nothing wrong with their all-Czech five-on-five unit. David Krejci has been reborn in his return and David Pastrnak is, well, David Pastrnak. But let's not forget about Zacha, who experienced a few decent campaigns in Jersey before being acquired in the summer. He's on pace to exceed his peak of 36 points from last year, having notched 22 so far. Zacha has worked well as a complementary piece in Boston and can do the same on your roster.

Daniel Sprong, SEA (Yahoo: 3%): Like Noesen, Sprong is taking his low ice time and turning it into fantasy gold. The Kraken have been a great source of goals all season, spreading them throughout the lineup. That leaves a fourth-liner like Sprong carrying a 10-and-a-half minute average and 19 points, with seven of those coming on the power play. For someone who was a highly-touted prospect in the Pittsburgh system but never got an extended look, it looks like he's finally receiving that opportunity.

Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM (Yahoo: 3%): Many seemed to give up on Puljujarvi after multiple attempts, and then he struck for 36 points in 65 games last year. That momentum has completely dissipated this season, as he's only managed two goals and six assists across 36 appearances. There's always hope in Edmonton if you're paired with Connor McDavid (and/or Leon Draisaitl), and Puljujarvi is once again being provided a chance to boost his totals beside the two-time league MVP. He's recorded two points since joining forces with the captain, but we'll probably need more data to see if this can last longer-term.

Anthony Beauvillier, NYI (Yahoo: 1%): Beauvillier has operated as a moderate scorer since starting as a teenager back in 2016-17. These aren't your Isles from recent years who've finished in the bottom-half for offense; they're actually in 11th entering Thursday's games. Beauvillier has been rather streaky with his output, though he displayed his talent last Friday with a goal, two assists and five shots against Florida. He offers a decent chance to get on the board based on his decent minutes and the fact that he generally features alongside either Mathew Barzal or Brock Nelson.

Defensemen

Owen Power, BUF (Yahoo: 47%): There was plenty of hype for Power coming in based on a decent cameo last year and the fact he was drafted first overall. His three multi-point showings across the first 12 games looked promising, though he only counted in one of the other nine. And then he managed just three assists from the next 17, albeit with 27 shots, 14 PIM and 23 blocks. Power sat for three appearances following a lower-body issue and returned Thursday to post two helpers, including one on the power play. Maybe that'll be the start of a prolonged run.

Damon Severson, NJ (Yahoo: 17%): Severson posted a career-high 46 points last season on the strength of 16 PPPs and a substantial workload. His ice time was significantly reduced after the arrival of John Marino, which resulted in only two goals and four assists from the first 30 contests, immediately followed by a healthy scratch. But since Marino was forced out of action over a week ago, Severson has averaged almost 26 minutes. No offense has come from that boost, though he's registered 10 PIM and 11 blocks from those four outings and continues to be part of Jersey's second power play.

Adam Boqvist, CLS (Yahoo: 8%): Boqvist has only seen action in six matchups due to a broken foot and a couple stints in the press box. With Columbus already missing two major blueliners, his presence was welcomed back last Friday on the lead power play, and he skated 20:09 overall. Boqvist shouldn't face too much competition for scoring opportunities as he's clearly the Blue Jackets' top available attacking D-man. His minutes may not be as high as a few teammates, but he'll be relied upon for offensive production.

Cam York, PHI (Yahoo: 1%): When it comes to awful special-teams units, only one team (Montreal) sits below Philly when it comes to man-advantage success. So let's go ahead and recommend an up-and-coming defender who participates on the power play. York began the year in the AHL, where he racked up 13 points over 20 games. He was promoted earlier this month and has already produced a goal and four helpers. York's totals in other departments are adequate, though you're ultimately adding him for offensive upside and PP potential.

Goaltenders

Antti Raanta, CAR (Yahoo: 29%): Frederik Andersen has been out for almost two months and may be close to returning. Pyotr Kochetkov has been virtually unbeatable since Andersen went down, posting a 10-1-4 record to go with a 1.94 GAA, .928 save percentage and three shutouts. That's left Raanta to pick up the scraps, though he's started the last three. He's also won four straight, including blanking the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Raanta may ultimately lose his place when Andersen comes back, but he's currently in the goaltending mix for a club that hasn't lost in regulation since Nov. 23.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, BUF (Yahoo: 14%): Another potential three-headed netminding situation could be coming in Buffalo. Craig Anderson has impressed as the lead of a team ranked 25th in GAA. Eric Comrie looked good for a while before struggling and then getting hurt. Luukkonen hasn't exactly posted great NHL/AHL stats, but the Sabres seem to be grooming him as their future No. 1. The 23-year-old has experienced a couple bumps on his latest tour, though he's coming off victories in Colorado and Vegas and at home to Detroit. Comrie may soon reappear and push UPL back to the minors, but the youngster should be provided at least a couple more starts behind the league's leading offense.

Players to consider from past columns: Logan Couture, Martin Necas, Dylan Cozens, Joel Eriksson Ek, Gabriel Vilardi, Jeff Skinner, Andrei Kuzmenko, Matty Beniers, Phillip Danault, Dylan Strome, Kevin Hayes, David Krejci, Trevor Moore, Nick Schmaltz, Max Domi, Kent Johnson, Alex Killorn, Jake DeBrusk, J.T. Compher, Owen Tippett, Jared McCann, Conor Sheary, Jack Roslovic, Brandon Hagel, Jack Quinn, Sam Steel, Jordan Eberle, William Karlsson, James van Riemsdyk, Viktor Arvidsson, Jason Zucker, Nick Paul, Seth Jarvis, Brandon Montour, Shayne Gostisbehere, Jake Sanderson, Noah Hanifin, Cam Fowler, Sean Durzi, Vince Dunn, Janis Moser, Erik Gustafsson, K'Andre Miller, Calen Addison, Vitek Vanecek, Martin Jones, Charlie Lindgren, James Reimer, Karel Vejmelka, Pyotr Kochetkov, Stuart Skinner, Pheonix Copley, Craig Anderson, Lukas Dostal

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Evan Berofsky
Evan Berofsky enjoys writing. Seriously. When he’s not trying to shove hockey miscellany down your throat, he gets his kicks playing tournament Scrabble(TM). If you have anything to say about Evan’s work (or need any hot word tips), feel free to contact him at eberofsky@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter (@evanberofsky).
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