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The Wire Troll: Pavel Buchnevich Bumped Up Depth Chart

January 25, 2020 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Pavel Buchnevich Bumped Up Depth Chart
Pavel Buchnevich has been moved up the lineup for the New York Rangers.
Could Pavel Buchnevich start achieving his potential at last? (NHL.com)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’ve reached the All-Star break now, so while your league mates are busy watching the fastest skater competition, show them how fast you are on the waiver wire.

This week, Auston Matthews is out with a wrist injury and will miss the All-Star Game; Gritty apparently punched a kid, and now the police are investigating the Flyers’ fantastically psychotic mascot; and Rangers leading scorer Artemi Panarin missed Tuesday’s game with an UBI (more on this below).

And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire recommendations, with plenty of Eastern Conference wingers on tap in this installment…

Pavel Buchnevich, RW, New York Rangers (ESPN: 17.1 per cent; CBS: 45 per cent): Buchnevich is a dude that’s mostly been off our Fantasy radar, but the Rangers’ 2013 third round pick has turned into a solid top nine guy. With Panarin out with an upper body injury, Buchnevich was bumped up to second line, but with the Rangers off until January 31, it’s unclear how long the promotion will last. Still, Buchnevich paid immediate dividends with a goal Tuesday (see video below) in a season-high 24:18 of ice time, and he’s bounced back this month after slumping in December… which followed a really big start to the season. He’s on pace for a career-best 44 points, and as the subject of trade rumours, he could wind up in an even better situation depending on how things shake out at the deadline. Once upon a time, Buchnevich was a projected first rounder, so perhaps there is still upside here if he can tap into his potential.

Frank Vatrano, LW, Florida Panthers (ESPN: 30.3 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): It’s been over four years now since we last recommended Vatrano, during his rookie season. He took a step up the following season before struggling with injuries in 2017-18. Since being dealt to the Panthers, however, Vatrano’s been on the upswing, enjoying a career season in 2018-19 and on pace to surpass that this season. He’s on fire right now, scoring three times on Tuesday (his second career hat trick, but first with Florida), giving him a five-game point streak (5-4-9, +6).

Cal Clutterbuck, RW, New York Islanders (ESPN: 2.3 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Clutterbuck has been dealing with a wrist injury, but he’s going to start skating when the Isles come off their bye week, which should mean he’ll return around mid-February. His modest offense was down further this season, but that’s not his chief allure (he hasn’t scored more than eight goals since 2015-16). Clutterbuck is the king of hits, regularly placing among the league leaders. In fact, he’s still 35th in the NHL despite missing the last 16 games.

Aaron Dell, G, San Jose Sharks (ESPN: 7.5 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): With Martin Jones continuing to struggle, Dell has been seeing more action lately, but he hasn’t exactly been taking advantage of it. Still, Dell is a possible trade chip at the deadline given his low salary, and the fact is — notwithstanding his last couple of games — he’s been very sharp in January (four wins, 2.43 GAA, .924 save percentage), and he’s generally been improving as the season has progressed. He could be a nice play in the second half.

Justin Williams, RW, Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN: 49.7 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): After signing a one-year deal to return to the Hurricanes, the veteran Cobourg, Ont.-native returned to action this week, wasting little time making an impact by firing two goals in his second game back. Williams has really rediscovered his offense in his second tour of duty in Carolina, recording back-to-back seasons of 50-plus points, and getting off to a great start in 2020. He should be well rested for a big finish.

Connor Brown, RW, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: 23.1 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): In his first season in Canada’s capital, Brown is enjoying a career year, but he’s really taken his game to a new level recently, putting up a goal and an assist in each of the last three games. He had a solid showing in December, but is now averaging nearly a point per game in January while reaching double-digit goals for the first time since 2017-18. Brown looks like a top six player right now, but do note that he has a tendency to have stretches when he looks more like a depth player. So grab him while he’s hot, but be prepared to cut bait when he thaws.

Blake Coleman, LW, New Jersey Devils (ESPN: 45.3 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): A star for Miami in college, Coleman just keeps getting better every season he’s been in the NHL. He recently potted five goals in a four-game stretch to pull within one of his second straight 20-goal season. Coleman looks like he’s going to top 30 for the first time, yet is still widely available on the wire.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Irish singer Andrew Strong is best known for his work from The Commitments, the classic 1991 film that helped bring soul music back in vogue. Here’s a cover of the Wilson Pickett classic “In the Midnight Hour” from the soundtrack.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.

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The Wire Troll: Ilya Kovalchuck Killing it in Montreal

January 11, 2020 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Ilya Kovalchuck Killing it in Montreal
He scored a goal with four hits and +1 rating on Thursday, giving him a four-game point streak (2-4-6). Duchene started the season well, but has been sliding since, so it’s good to see him coming on now. After scoring a career-high 31 goals last season, he’s only on pace for 20 this season, but should reach 40 assists for just the third time in his career, so the news isn’t all bad.
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The Wire Troll: Joel Eriksson Ek Poised for Production Boost

December 28, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments (0)
Hyman popped a PPG on Friday, giving him seven points in last three games. He’s gotten better each season and despite another injury in 2019-20, he’s on pace for a career-best in goals. The Leafs are red hot, and Hyman’s play has been a big part of that.
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The Wire Troll: Olli Maatta Returns Just in Time

December 14, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Olli Maatta Returns Just in Time
After five seasons of declining offensive production with Tampa Bay, Stralman signed as a free agent with the other Florida team last summer. And while he’s been quiet on offense lately, he does have 10 points already, putting him on pace for his highest scoring season since 2015-16. As usual, Stralman is logging heavy minutes, at 21:11 per game, even more than last season. With 41 blocks, 30 hits and 19 takeaways, he’s on pace to top his numbers from last season across the board, making him a nice deep league consideration.
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The Wire Troll: Jack Studnicka Gets His Shot

November 30, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Jack Studnicka Gets His Shot
Connolly enjoyed a breakout effort with the Caps last season, but after signing with the Panthers this season, he’s taking it to the next level. He has five goals and an assist over the last five games, giving him 19 points through 25 games, putting him on pace to flirt with 40 goals this season. Not many expected this dude to be leading the Cats in goals nearly a third of the way through the season, but here we are, so grab Connolly while you can.
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