The fantasy hockey season rages on, and I continue to dominate the SGPN league, thank you very much. But that doesn’t mean I have a perfect roster, by any means. I’m constantly using my fantasy hockey waiver wire to grab players who can help me continue to stay atop the pack. Here are ten such players who can help you out as well.
(only includes players rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo Fantasy leagues; stats listed are after Wednesday’s games)
Best Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Forwards
Andrei Kuzmenko – Vancouver – LW/RW – 45% Rostered
(18 G, 21 A, +8, 10 PPP, 73 SOG, 11 BLK)
Surprising slim pickings in the forward portion of this week’s fantasy hockey waiver wire column. My top recommended pickup is Vancouver forward Andrei Kuzmenko. He’s having a very solid freshman campaign in the NHL, with 39 points already on the season. He helps you in all categories, and going into Wednesday’s action he had four assists in the past five games.
Kevin Hayes – Philadelphia – C/LW – 31% Rostered
(13 G, 27 A, -6, 13 PPP, 125 SOG, 14 BLK)
It’s been a while since I’ve written about Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes, but a hat trick in his last game has propelled him back onto our list. His 13 goals and 40 points are already better than what he put up in his last two seasons, and he’s only nine points away from tying his career-best. As long as he doesn’t get himself healthy scratched again, he should be a solid pickup.
Best Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Defensemen
Ryan Graves – New Jersey – D – 19% Rostered
(5 G, 11 A, +31, 0 PPP, 65 SOG, 75 BLK)
Ryan Graves is on a tear, with points in five straight games (two goals, four assists). And that plus-minus rating listed above is not a typo – he’s a robust +31 on the year, tied for the best in the league. Plus, he helps you in all the categories you look for in a defenseman – including blocked shots. Plus, he gets quite a few pucks on the net for a blueliner.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) January 16, 2023
Esa Lindell – Dallas – D – 15% Rostered
(5 G, 8 A, +24, 0 PPP, 70 SOG, 88 BLK)
Let’s keep on the plus-minus train and talk about the Stars’ Esa Lindell. His +24 rating is tied for ninth best in the NHL this season, and while he doesn’t bring you much scoring, he helps in all the other categories. The blocked shots are there, as are the shots on goal for a defenseman.
Best Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Goalies
Karel Vejmelka – Arizona – G – 45% Rostered
(11 W, 106 GA, 981 SV, 2 SHO)
Despite losing seven straight games (he does play for Arizona after all), Karel Vejmelka is our top-rated available goalie this week. Hey, it’s tough out there. Despite all the losses, he’s still the 11th-ranked goalie in fantasy hockey, as he has two shutouts already. Plus, his 981 saves are third-best in the league this season. Once again, he does play for Arizona after all.
Filip Gustavsson – Minnesota – G – 49% Rostered
(11 W, 38 GA, 477 SV, 1 SHO)
The Wild’s Filip Gustavsson continues to excel between the pipes, to the point where he’s sharing time with Marc-Andre Fleury. In January he is 3-1 with a minuscule 1.38 goals against and a .949 save percentage. On the season, his 2.16 goals against are second-best in the NHL, and his .926 save percentage is third-best.
Filip Gustavsson gets JUST enough of the puck with his heel to keep it out! 🦂 pic.twitter.com/Yer82NKvk7
— NHL (@NHL) January 18, 2023
Other fantasy hockey waiver wire players worth checking out: Phillip Danault, Logan Couture, Sean Durzi, Brady Skjei