The Wire Troll: Matt Boldy Emerges in Minny
Matt Boldy (centre) has had plenty to celebrate already. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. The All-Star break is upon us, making it a perfect time to raid the waiver wire while your league mates are distracted by skills competitions.
This week, Alex Ovechkin got the ‘vid, and will miss the All-Star Game as a result; Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves to backstop Seattle to its first ever shutout; and Semyon Varlamov‘s struggles continued as the Isles have been unable to get back into the playoff race.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks
Matt Boldy, LW, Minnesota Wild (ESPN: 12 per cent; CBS: 39 per cent): Boldy is making quite an impact since his debut less than a month ago, averaging a point per game through his first 10 NHL tilts. Only three times has this kid been held off the scoresheet so far, and he’s even holding his own in the few faceoffs he’s been tasked with. Boldy is a fantastic dynasty asset, but needs to be owned in all formats as he’s clearly in the NHL to stay and should be a force in the second half. This kid can do it all — score goals, be a playmaker and defend. The Boston native clearly has a flair for the dramatic, scoring the game-winning goal in his first NHL game — in his hometown (see video below).
Jordan Greenway, LW, Minnesota Wild (ESPN: 3.4 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): What’s this? Another Minnesota left winger? In mid-December, we noted how Greenway’s contributions were helping fuel Minnesota’s strong play. Well, he failed to garner an assist that month, and hasn’t bulged the twine since, but has been racking up helpers from January on. And now that Greenway’s been rewarded with a new three-year contract extension, it’s clear he’s a big part of the Wild’s future plans (thereby clearing up any trade rumours). No, he’s been unable to build on last season’s breakout, but we expect improvements from him while playing on a line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno. Greenway is a massive kid, and when he uses his advantage in reach, look out. Add him in deep formats.
Brad Lambert, C/RW, Lahti Pelicans (Liiga) (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): On the off chance that you find yourself buried in your dynasty league standings this season, it may be time to look towards 2022-23. With this in mind, we draw your attention to Lambert, a Finnish prospect who’s expected to be one of the top picks in this year’s NHL Draft. He’s off to a slow start with his new team, and while some believe he’s no longer a lock for the top five, it would be a shock if he’s not a top 10 pick. Lambert’s skill and speed will make him a real offensive force in time.
Joe Snively, LW, Washington Capitals (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Snively has parlayed a big January in the AHL into another recall to the NHL, and suddenly finds himself playing on the top line with Ovechkin sidelined because of COVID. Sure, in all likelihood, OV will be fine when the Caps return to action after the All-Star break, but Snively has looked good in his limited PT. Snively is barely a deep league option at this point, but is a name to tuck away for the second half.
Kale Clague, D, Montreal Canadiens (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Since being claimed off waivers from the Kings, Clauge has seen more action, and he should continue to get regular PT with David Savard (ankle) out until late-March. Clague missed some time on Covid protocol a few weeks ago, but just before that, he scored his first career goal. Other than that, he hasn’t provided any offense for the Habs, but he did manage five assists in just 11 games for L.A. before getting waived. If you need help on defense in a very deep format, Clague is worth considering.
- It’s been a tough debut for the expansion Kraken, but Jared McCann is enjoying life in Seattle. With a goal and a helper on Wednesday, he now has four tallies and three assists over the last six games, reaching 30 points for the third straight season. McCann has already tied his career high in goals, and could wind up scoring 35 this season.
- The Islanders are really scuffling offensively this season, and one of the reasons why is the continued offensive regression of Josh Bailey. He heads into the break scoreless in the last three games (with a -4 rating) after looking a bit like his old self last month. Bailey is on pace for a career-low six goals — despite seeing an uptick in ice time in each of the last three seasons.
- Since potting a career-high 28 goals in 2018-19, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins‘ scoring prowess has been in decline. In fact, he had managed just three tallies through 32 games before scoring three times over the last three contests. The assists have certainly been there for RNH — especially on the power play — but his goal total has suffered thanks to a career low shooting percentage. Could his puck luck be changing just in time for a big second half?
RotoRob Tune of the Day
James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, has been performing since 1960. In 1977, he released his second solo album, Lust for Life, and the first single from this effort was “Success,” one of the disc’s more upbeat tracks.