NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NHL Waiver Wire series.

In case you didn't read last week's column, you missed me filling five paragraphs with tales of two trades I made in the RotoWire Staff Hockey League. And let me tell you that I finished first last week WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM THE TWO PLAYERS I ACQUIRED. So that was obviously a waste.

Of course, I'm kidding. A short-term outlook only works when a win is needed ASAP or no weeks are left. Judging a single outcome without considering any other information isn't the greatest approach as that doesn't reflect the rest of the schedule. Assess how you're going to do the rest of the way based on statistics and projections. If you feel help is required, then make the necessary adjustments. 

On that note, here are a few NHLers who should be able to provide assistance.

(Rostered rates as of Mar. 1) 

Forwards

Sean Monahan, WPG (Yahoo: 33%): Monahan represents this column's first repeat this season whose initial inclusion was in 2024, three weeks before being leaving Montreal. He finished his tour in La Belle Province with a whopping 11 points over seven games.  Monahan couldn't produce anything from the first three on his new club, but struck for five goals — including a hat-trick in Calgary — in the next three that included three PPGs on the top power play. In addition to the six markers and one helper, Monahan has fired 24 pucks on net while winning 87 faceoffs. Pick him up before someone else does.

In case you didn't read last week's column, you missed me filling five paragraphs with tales of two trades I made in the RotoWire Staff Hockey League. And let me tell you that I finished first last week WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM THE TWO PLAYERS I ACQUIRED. So that was obviously a waste.

Of course, I'm kidding. A short-term outlook only works when a win is needed ASAP or no weeks are left. Judging a single outcome without considering any other information isn't the greatest approach as that doesn't reflect the rest of the schedule. Assess how you're going to do the rest of the way based on statistics and projections. If you feel help is required, then make the necessary adjustments. 

On that note, here are a few NHLers who should be able to provide assistance.

(Rostered rates as of Mar. 1) 

Forwards

Sean Monahan, WPG (Yahoo: 33%): Monahan represents this column's first repeat this season whose initial inclusion was in 2024, three weeks before being leaving Montreal. He finished his tour in La Belle Province with a whopping 11 points over seven games.  Monahan couldn't produce anything from the first three on his new club, but struck for five goals — including a hat-trick in Calgary — in the next three that included three PPGs on the top power play. In addition to the six markers and one helper, Monahan has fired 24 pucks on net while winning 87 faceoffs. Pick him up before someone else does.

Adam Henrique, ANH (Yahoo: 31%): Speaking of hot commodities, Henrique has been nearly unstoppable since first being mentioned at the start of December, with 31 points across 36 matchups. That stretch also covers 77 shots, 35 hits, and 35 blocks on 18:29 a night — including 2:30 on the power play. Henrique has moved around the Anaheim depth chart while bouncing between center and wing, though he's usual been in favorable placements. His value may decrease if traded to a contender, but he's a must-add right now.

Tyler Bertuzzi, TOR (Yahoo: 23%): Pulling off a hat-trick is an amazing feat on its own. Getting to accomplish one on your birthday qualifies as a once-in-a-lifetime event. That's what Bertuzzi did on Saturday in Colorado, paired with four shots, three blocks and a hit. Those three goals are obviously nice, but consider two came on the Leafs' top man-advantage — a spot that used to frequently be filled by John Tavares. This gig may eventually revert to someone else, but Bertuzzi should still be active as a key contributor within Toronto's top six.

J.T. Compher, DET (Yahoo: 18%): The Yzerplan is reaping its rewards as the Red Wings won six straight before losing Thursday and currently occupy the No. 1 Wild Card in the East. Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat are leading the way while Patrick Kane has provided the perfect boost, yet there are others up front who've made a noticeable impact. Compher went through November with four goals and nine assists before an injury forced him out for a week. He went scoreless for most of the next month but has kicked it back into gear since Jan. 19 with 12 points, 24 shots and 87 faceoff wins on an average of 18:52. As Detroit's second five-on-five center with lead places on both special-teams units, Compher deserves additional coverage.

Scott Laughton, PHI (Yahoo: 17%): It's been a rollercoaster of results for Laughton this season when it comes to offense, with this latest stretch filled with non-stop thrills. In fact, he just had a seven-game scoring streak stopped Tuesday in which he reeled off four goals and six assists on top of 14 shots and 14 hits. Laughton has generally been reliable in those last two stats throughout his career, so having those points in his repertoire can only enhance his fantasy profile.

Connor McMichael, WAS (Yahoo: 4%): If your first name is Connor and your surname starts with "Mc," there's a good chance you're being overshadowed by someone else. McMichael earned a larger job by toiling through low minutes last season with the Caps, immediately followed by a successful stint in the minors. Not much was expected after he only saw six outings with Washington, yet he's built up his workload to join forces with some of the bigger names. McMichael even assisted on one of Alex Ovechkin's power-play goals on Feb. 8, which kicked off his current run of nine points from 10 appearances supplemented by 21 shots and 62 faceoff wins. He won't win you a fantasy title, but he's still a fine secondary scorer who'll supply adequate numbers across multiple categories.

Martin Pospisil, CGY (Yahoo: 3%): Pospisil continues to get overlooked, even though he's on Calgary's top trio while accumulating two goals, two assists, 54 hits, and 31 PIM since coming off injured reserve after the All-Star break. He was drafted in 2018 while starring in the USHL, signed a contract with the Flames the next year, and bided his time in Slovakia and AHL before being called up in November. With Nazem Kadri as his regular center, Pospisil is showing talent and grit can coexist. The question is whether he can remain in a serviceable position, though that looks likely as Calgary is projected to sell off a couple veteran forwards.

Defensemen

Seth Jones, CHI (Yahoo: 50%): I've been unable to recommend Jones this season due to a lack of offensive stats or injury. The latest scoring haul isn't great with seven points since returning mid-January following a month-long absence, yet he's getting it done on other fronts by supplying nearly three shots and two blocks a night. Jones has only managed three PPPs overall, though he notched a PPA Sunday and should build on that with Connor Bedard available again. With Chicago set to host Columbus on Saturday and the three California clubs the following week, except him to generate more fantasy contributions as someone who's heavily involved in all situations.

Travis Sanheim, PHI (Yahoo: 50%): Sanheim was originally featured back in October for trending in the right direction thanks to significant ice time and production. He's only taken off from there while already establishing a personal-best in points with 36. Sanheim has been on fire the last eight games having racked up four goals, five assists, 14 shots, 23 blocks and 18 hits. The inconsistent man-advantage minutes shouldn't be a concern as he's doing enough elsewhere and retains prime placement.

Bowen Byram, COL (Yahoo: 21%): Byram has proven himself a decent scorer since turning pro, yet can't get to the next level having often been hurt. Fortunately, he's only missed a couple weeks this season. And despite regularly skating on Colorado's second power play, Byram has failed to deliver a PPP. At the same time, he's registered seven points from eights contests in addition to nine shots, seven blocks and a plus-8. Being on the third even-strength pairing doesn't help, though Byram's offensive upside on a strong Avs' attack speaks to someone who shouldn't be available in almost four of every five Yahoo! leagues.

Henri Jokiharju, BUF (Yahoo: 1%): Skating with an elite blueliner has its advantages, though that often doesn't get reflected on the scoresheet. Rasmus Dahlin's skill must have rubbed off on Jokiharju last week when he tallied a goal and three assists across three outings. But beyond that, the Finn has only recorded nine other points. Jokiharju's time alongside Dahlin has resulted in a 23:27 average through nine appearances, where he's totaled 13 shots, 17 blocks, nine hits and a plus-7. There's hasn't been any scoring over the last three games, but you'd have to figure a few points will come if this partnership holds.

Goaltenders

Elvis Merzlikins, CLS (Yahoo: 24%): Merzlikins continues to operate as the workhorse on a team that struggles to keep out goals. That may not make him an enticing fantasy proposition, yet his two most recent results against the Rangers are at least encouraging. Daniil Tarasov has provided a few solid performances, though there's not enough evidence to suggest he'll assume the No. 1 position. Merzlikins should keep handling the majority of the starts for the Blue Jackets based on current status and history. And if he's moved by the Trade Deadline, he would become more appealing — even as a backup — on a better defensive club.

Anthony Stolarz, FLA (Yahoo: 24%): Sergei Bobrovsky has been riding an otherworldly run the last month by posting a 1.65 GAA and .945 save percentage. Those results would normally rule out any backup from maintaining a regular role, though Stolarz has picked up sufficient starts and boasts an equally jaw-dropping 1.67/.941 line since Jan. 19. Bob may be rested in preparation for the playoffs, which leaves Stolarz as a great streaming option to stash the rest of the way behind a Panthers D that ranks second overall.

Players to consider from past columns: Gabriel Vilardi, Seth Jarvis, Juraj Slafkovsky, Ryan O'Reilly, Mason McTavish, William Karlsson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Dylan Cozens, Johnny Gaudreau, Wyatt Johnston, Quinton Byfield, Boone Jenner, Gustav Nyquist, Troy Terry, Robert Thomas, Nazem Kadri, Andrei Kuzmenko, Lucas Raymond, Artturi Lehkonen, Nikolaj Ehlers, Chandler Stephenson, Dylan Strome, Brayden Schenn, Ivan Barbashev, Charlie Coyle, Mason Marchment, Pavel Zacha, Shane Pinto, Jake Neighbours, Jonathan Drouin, Marco Rossi, Jack Roslovic, Nicolas Roy, Trevor Moore, Sam Bennett, John-Jason Peterka, James van Riemsdyk, Kyle Palmieri, Bobby McMann, Blake Coleman, Morgan Geekie, Yegor Sharangovich, Sean Couturier, Ross Colton, David Perron, Matias Maccelli, Mathieu Joseph, Alex Killorn, Daniel Sprong, Jake Sanderson, Mike Matheson, Brock Faber, Noah Hanifin, Filip Hronek, Thomas Harley, Torey Krug, Mattias Ekholm, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Cam Fowler, Neal Pionk, Simon Nemec, Ivan Provorov, Darren Raddysh, Declan Chisholm, Pyotr Kochetkov, Marc-Andre Fleury, Alex Lyon, Joey Daccord, Ilya Samsonov, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Jonathan Quick, Samuel Ersson, Philipp Grubauer, Laurent Brossoit, Joel Hofer, Petr Mrazek

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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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