Waiver watch – top free agents on the power play

Each week we’ll dig out the waiver wire to find less belligerent assets to help your team, whether you prefer dynasty or reformatting formats, and we’ll also throw in a few picks for the DFS players. Last but not least, we’ll look at some great old assets that may be overvalued in the short or long term for one reason or another.

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Nick Ritchie, LW, Boston Bruins (31.5% in ESPN.com leagues): The former Duck has as many power points (six) as Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Moreover, the 25-year-old Boston Special Team player is still one of the best on the team, even with the return of David Pastrnak to the team. Ritchie, who finished 10th in 2014, is finally ready for a career year. Especially if he can find a way to finish sixth with David Krejci leading the way.

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Brandon Saad, LW/RW, Colorado Avalanche (28.9%): One of the most volatile fantasy assets in the league in recent years is back on the rise. After a slow start with his new team Colorado, Saad has scored four goals and three assists in the last four games. A spot on the goal line with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky, and a role on the latter’s power play, provide constant fantasy options. And soon the former Blackhawk/Blue Jacket/Blackhawk will be dropping the puck with more consistency. Roast Saad while he’s still warm.

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Alex Tuch, RW/LW, Vegas Golden Knights (25.2%): Tuch could be worth returning to deeper leagues before the Golden Knights take revenge later in the week. With two goals and three assists in his last four games, the third-stringer spent time in goal with Max Pacioretty and Chandler Stephenson last week against St. Louis, in addition to his usual precious minutes with an extra skater. If all goes well, Vegas will play the Kings on Friday, after three games were postponed according to the league’s COVID protocol. Stephenson, only 24 years old, scored 20 goals and 32 assists in 74 games two years ago.

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Jordan Greenway, LW, Minnesota Wild (8.1%): The 23-year-old will be looking to improve significantly in his third full NHL season. Greenway leads the sextet with Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman with 10 points in 10 games. The young striker, who is impressive in every way, can also be counted on to hit a significant number of shots during the campaign.

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Phillip Kurashev, LW, Chicago Blackhawks (0.2%): Kurashev, who scored the Blackhawks’ first goal along with Patrick Kane, scored a goal and an assist in the 3-1 win over Columbus on Sunday. While it is too early to assess his potential for long-term NHL productivity, the 21-year-old should be watched in the coming days and weeks, especially in the deeper leagues.

See also: Nils Hoaglander, Los Angeles, Vancouver Canucks.

Defender

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John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins (50.0%): The young Pittsburgh defenseman has yet to live up to expectations for the season – helped by the extension of his $26.4 million contract – but that could change quickly if Chris Letang is out for an extended period. Marino was on the ice for more than 26 minutes, notching an assist with three shots after Letang injured himself in the first half of Saturday’s game against the Rangers. The 23-year-old sophomore also earned the coveted veteran spot at the top of the Penguins’ roster. We hope to hear more about Letang’s status on Monday. The Penguins are also missing Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola and Mike Matheson. Marino will have to make cuts no matter how Letang feels.

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See also: Samuel Girard, Colorado Avalanche

Goalkeeper

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Kevin Lankinen, Chicago Blackhawks (30.5%): Through no fault of his own, the NHL veteran won’t win many games. But he will continue to face an abundance of shots, and if his current run of games proves to be a milestone, he will continue to make plenty of saves. Lankinen has a save percentage of 0.956 in his last five games, and it’s hard to find fault with that figure. Until his return to the field, the 25-year-old Lankinen will be used in rearrangement leagues that reward saves and do not penalize losses.

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James Reimer, Carolina Hurricanes (13.1%): Carolina is talking about surgery after Peter Mrazek suffered an alleged wrist injury over the weekend. Any fantasy manager with serious babysitting issues should focus on Reimer as soon as possible. As long as he’s solid, he’ll play a lot in Mrazek’s absence.

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Chris Dreiger, Florida Panthers (9.2 percent): Sergei Bobrovsky gets paid too much to sit out too often, although the Panthers’ replacement has been the best goalie so far. Still, Florida’s coaches, looking for a W in a season shortened by the lockout, will eventually stop giving him a first-round performance if they start struggling (frankly, Bob has done well so far). Also, Dryer’s recent track record, though limited at the NHL level, is impressive in its own right.

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Maven Little League – a pro since the age of 19 – has a save percentage of .938 and a goal-against average of 2.05 in 12 appearances with the Panthers during the 2019-20 season. The guy can stop the puck, that’s all. Fancy managers who have a lot of flexibility in their lists should take a look. Dryer also currently shines as a DFS asset.

See also: Linus Ulmark, Buffalo Sabres.

Reduced expectations

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Anaheim Ducks: They can’t score goals. The Ducks have scored only 16 goals in their first ten games, including five in their last four. To give some additional perspective – and there are a few teams I could cite here as contrasting examples – the Montreal Canadiens have scored 33 goals in eight games. Pile on the Ducks until they find the solution, and remember talented goalie John Gibson.

See also: Braden Holtby, Vancouver Canucks.

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