Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re into mid-December now, and with the holiday trade freeze just four days away, keep your eyes peeled for player movement that could affect Fantasy values.
This week, the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko (who reportedly could be on the trade market) got nailed with an illegal stick penalty in overtime, yet St. Louis survived and won the game; the Lightning got No. 1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy back after he had missed 14 games with a busted foot; and Carolina has lost Jordan Staal to a concussion.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire recommendations…
Alexander Edler, D, Vancouver Canucks (ESPN: 6.4 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): Edler has been seeing plenty of time on the top power play unit (and showing he can still rip it, as you’ll see in the video below), and has started to produce after missing 15 games earlier this season. The veteran blueliner has logged assists in back-to-back games, giving him a goal and two helpers over the last four. Edler’s ice time has been on the rise recently, and he has now reached double digit points in just 19 games this season, putting him on pace for his best total since 2011-12 — despite all the injuries. And there’s the issue with owning him — his difficulty staying in the lineup. For a well-put together dude, Edler sure gets hurt a lot, so you need to grab him and ride him while he’s racking up the points.
Mason Appleton, C, Winnipeg Jets (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 4 per cent): A couple of weeks ago, the Jets brought up Appleton from the AHL, and while he’s yet to light the world on fire (one assist through his first eight games), we like his long-term prospects. Currently playing on the Jets’ fourth line, he’s not seeing much ice time, but he has managed shots in each of the last two games. Given what Appleton did in the AHL as a rookie last season (66 points) and this season (nearly a point per game), he’s clearly a dude to keep an eye on.
Filip Hronek, D, Detroit Red Wings (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 4 per cent): Mike Green will be 3-to-5 weeks with an LBI, prompting the Wings to recall 20-year-old Czech blueliner Hronek, who has been tearing up the AHL with 18 points, including five goals, in 20 games. Hronek was up with the Wings earlier in the season for a few games, but was pressing when he struggled, so was farmed out. He’s a smooth-skating puck mover that could see time on the power play, so needs to be tracked.
Kevin Hayes, RW/C, New York Rangers (ESPN: 48.5 per cent; CBS: 29 per cent): Hayes is red hot right now, firing a goal and an assist Friday for his third straight multi-point effort. His slow start is definitely behind him now and he seems to be getting better as the season progresses. Be aware that Hayes left Friday’s game a bit early after getting shoved into the boards, but he’s expected to be okay. With 10 points over the last 10 games, he’s on pace for a career-best 61 this season, and despite always being tasked with covering top players, he’s been a plus player every season he’s played in the NHL.
Jordan Oesterle, D, Arizona Coyotes (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 1 per cent): Oesterle is a strong two-way blueliner, but he’s had trouble staying in the Arizona lineup this season. Still, his ice time has risen a bit lately, he scored on Friday, and is now +3 over the last two games to get back close to even for the season. Oesterle, who periodically can play with an edge and has contributed 41 blocks so far, is on pace to play more games this season and should top 20 points for the first time.
Nate Schmidt, D, Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN: 4.3 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): Schmidt enjoyed a breakout season in 2017-18, but after getting suspended for the first 20 games this season, his ownership has been held in check. However, with assists in two of the last three games, that won’t remain the case for long. Schmidt is seeing tons of time as a primary penalty killer for the Golden Knights, and has become a real leader on this young team. He already has six points, 21 blocked shots and five hits, and it’s no coincidence that Vegas has turned its season around since he’s returned to the lineup.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, more commonly known as Brian Eno, is one of the most important producers and musicians of our era, and one of the true creators of the ambient genre. In 1992, he released his 12th solo album, Nerve Net, which signaled a move back towards rock. One of the singles from this effort was “Ali Click.”
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey pickup of the week is.