Jack Studnicka will get a lot of responsibility in his first NHL trial. (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. November is just about in the books; how are you teams doing so far? Use the wire to get help where you need it!
This week, Duncan Keith was knocked out early on Friday with a groin injury, and it’s unclear how much time he’ll miss; Brad Marchand wasn’t impressed it took the concussion spotter so much time to determine Marchand needed checking out on Friday; and Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Flames after it was revealed that he made racial comments to a player a decade ago.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire recommendations…
Jack Studnicka, C, Boston Bruins (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 3 per cent): With Patrice Bergeron out, Studnicka has been summoned from the AHL to slide into the 2C role in Boston. Studnicka has already shown off his explosive speed (see video below), and managed to log an assist in his debut, going +1 in both games so far. Note that his prospect status was slipping a bit heading into the season, but he’d been playing so well in his first full AHL season, potting nine goals with nine assists through 21 games. Studnicka doesn’t have a ton of offensive upside, but in time he should settle in as a very dependable two-way forward.
Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Edmonton Oilers (ESPN: 1.2 per cent; 8 per cent): Things haven’t worked out so well for Puljujarvi at the NHL level. The fourth overall pick from 2016 has really struggled to carve out a significant role for himself with the Oilers, and to make matters worse, last season he went down early with a hip injury. Puljujarvi was disillusioned enough to head to Finland to play this season, and if he’s going to play in the NHL this season, the deadline to re-sign or trade him is coming very soon (December 1). Even though they’ve said the door is open for him to return, it’s doubtful the Oilers will be able to get him back in the fold, which means his rights could be traded this weekend. Puljujarvi is playing extremely well in the Finnish league, so if he decides to return, he could provide a nice boost, but at this point he’s just a stash candidate while we see how this plays out. Keep in mind that this kid is still just 21.
Brett Connolly, RW, Florida Panthers (ESPN: 16.9 per cent; CBS: 36 per cent): 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.
- Philadelphia Flyers centre Scott Laughton is looking better and better each game since returning after missing 13 contests with a busted finger. He potted a goal and an assist on Friday, giving him two goals and a helper over the last two games. Laughton had a shot to flirt with 15 goals before the injury seemingly scuttled that plan, but the way he’s rolling now, he may get there anyway.
- Washington blueliner Dmitry Orlov hadn’t recorded a point in almost three weeks before potting a goal and an assist on Friday. With 10 points so far, he’s on pace to reach 30 for the third time in his career.
- Cal Pickard‘s season debut went just about as well as expected. He was shredded for six goals on 35 shots against his former team, the Flyers, on Friday. Although he somehow managed one shutout, Pickard was horrible for Philly last season, and then slightly less bad with the Coyotes. This is his last chance to stick in the NHL, and it’s not off to a great start.
- Tampa Bay centre Brayden Point is on fire right now. On Friday, he had a goal (his 100th career marker) and an assist, giving him three multi-point efforts over the last four games, and a 5-2-7 line over the last five. Point will be hard pressed to equal his breakout numbers from last season, but he’s now back to nearly a point per game pace.
- Superstars elevate their play when the team is dealing with injuries or slumps. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is doing that right now, ripping another goal and four points on Friday, giving him 13 points over a six-game point streak. He should easily eclipse the 100-point mark for the first time in his career.
- Ryan O’Reilly scored a huge answer goal on Friday, adding a helper to lead the Blues over the Stars. He has four points over the last three games and is now getting close to matching the pace he set during his career effort last season. At the very least, expect a new career high in assists from O’Reilly this season.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
American Rudy Ray Moore did a bit of everything, but was perhaps most famous for creating the Blaxploitation movie character Dolemite and doing many a film score over the years. From the soundtrack to the 1975 movie Dolemite, this is “Mayor’s Get-Away,” which he recorded with his band, the Soul Rebellion Orchestra.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.