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Fantasy: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 21

Bjugstad becoming commodity for Panthers; Sedin, Edler worth adding given Canucks schedule this week

by James Harding / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com will provide the top 10 players to add off the fantasy waiver wire. Based on Yahoo transaction data and other factors including production, lineup and/or injury trends, we have identified appealing options at each position for fantasy owners in season-long leagues.

 

FORWARDS

J.T. Miller, C/LW/RW, TBL (44 percent owned in Yahoo): The Tampa Bay Lightning forward, acquired from the New York Rangers on Feb. 26, is settling in well on their second line with forwards Brayden Point (C/RW, 59th in Yahoo) and Yanni Gourde (C/RW, 61st). Miller, tri-eligible in Yahoo, has points in back-to-back games totaling one goal, two assists and five shots on goal and is playing on the second power play with Point, Gourde, forward Alex Killorn (LW, 17 percent) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (69 percent). Tampa Bay has seven games remaining on its eight-game homestand, four against non-contenders.

Daniel Sedin, LW, VAN (41 percent): The Vancouver Canucks forward scored one goal and had one assist, each on the power play, in their 4-3 overtime loss against the Nashville Predators on Friday to extend his point streak to five games. Sedin (148th in Yahoo) has at least one point in nine of his past 10 games, totaling 14 points (eight goals, six assists), six power-play points and 25 SOG. Vancouver has four games this week, including three favorable matchups against the New York Islanders and Arizona Coyotes (twice).

Video: NSH@VAN: D. Sedin pots Edler's milestone assist

Ryan Spooner, C/LW, NYR (16 percent): The New York Rangers forward has points in three of his four games since being acquired from the Boston Bruins on Feb. 25, totaling seven points (one goal, six assists), one PPP and 12 SOG. He is averaging 15:50 per game with New York, more than a minute above his season average from his time with the Boston Bruins (14:29). Despite a third-line role with Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast, Spooner is a streaming option for the fantasy playoffs with second power-play usage.

Bobby Ryan, LW/RW, OTT (15 percent): The Ottawa Senators wing had one assist and two SOG in their 2-1 loss against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, giving him points in four of five games since returning from injury Feb. 22. Ryan has six points (one goal, five assists), one PPP and nine SOG in the span and 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 44 games overall. Ryan brings even-strength exposure to Mark Stone (100th in Yahoo), and the Senators have eight games over the final two weeks of the regular season (T-2nd in NHL).

Nick Bjugstad, C/RW, FLA (13 percent): The Florida Panthers forward has six points (one goal, five assists), a plus-6 and 20 SOG during their six-game winning streak. Bjugstad is skating on the first line with elite center Aleksander Barkov (48th in Yahoo) and Evgenii Dadonov (LW/RW, 46 percent, 155th in Yahoo) and has points in eight of his past 11 games totaling 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 35 SOG. The Panthers are tied with the Boston Bruins for the most games remaining (19), have the most games against non-contenders (10) and most during the final two weeks (nine).

Jake DeBrusk, LW, BOS (5 percent): The Bruins rookie has enjoyed a resurgence since the addition of forward Rick Nash (LW/RW, 54 percent) to the Bruins second line with center David Krejci (27 percent). DeBrusk has points in three straight games and five points (two goals, three assists) and 10 SOG in his past five games. DeBrusk is worth monitoring in deeper leagues skating on the second power-play unit with Krejci and Nick Holden. 

Video: MTL@BOS: DeBrusk scores on power play to tie game

Alex Iafallo, C/LW, LAK (1 percent): The Los Angeles Kings rookie has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past three games and is still skating on their first line with elite forwards Anze Kopitar (21st in Yahoo) and forward Dustin Brown (39th). As long as Iafallo maintains his exposure to those linemates, he could be a difference-maker with the Kings top six finally at full strength.

Others to consider: Matt Duchene, C/RW, OTT (44 percent); Paul Stastny, C, WPG (35 percent); Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (35 percent); Max Domi, C/LW, ARI (26 percent); Mikko Koivu, C, MIN (24 percent); Riley Nash, C/RW, BOS (11 percent); Joonas Donskoi, LW/RW, SJS (2 percent)

 

DEFENSEMEN

Alexander Edler, VAN (27 percent): The Canucks defenseman had two power-play assists and four SOG in their loss against the Predators on Friday. Edler has points in four of his past seven games, totaling five assists, three PPP and 11 SOG. He's skating on the first pair with Erik Gudbranson and power-play unit with forwards Brock Boeser (RW, 59th), Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin (C, 11 percent) and Bo Horvat (35 percent). Edler has added value in leagues that count blocked shots (2.77 per game).

Nick Holden, BOS (4 percent): The Bruins defenseman has points in each of his first two games since being acquired from the Rangers on Feb. 20, totaling two power-play assists, 10 SOG and 6:50 on the power play. He is skating with defenseman Brandon Carlo on their third pair and on the second power-play unit with Krejci, DeBrusk and defenseman Charlie McAvoy (lower body; day to day). With the defenseman market thin this late in the season, Holden's offensive usage for the Bruins (3.27 goals per game, fourth in NHL) could continue to yield fantasy results.

Others to consider: Cam Fowler, ANA (50 percent); Dion Phaneuf, LAK (41 percent); Matt Niskanen, WSH (37 percent); Sami Vatanen, NJD (31 percent); Nikita Zadorov, COL (8 percent)

 

GOALTENDER

Antti Niemi, MTL (12 percent): The Montreal Canadiens goaltender made 48 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins on Saturday and is quickly becoming a viable fantasy streaming option. Niemi is 2-0-2 with a 1.70 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in his past four starts, sharing time with backup Charlie Lindgren (11 percent) in place of injured starter Carey Price (concussion). Niemi, who has a .912 SV% in his NHL career, appears to have shaken off his early-season struggles and could see the bulk of the starts moving forward.

Video: NYI@MTL: Niemi flashes the leather on Bailey

Others to consider: Semyon Varlamov, COL (58 percent); Antti Raanta, ARI (51 percent); Cam Ward, CAR (40 percent); Tristan Jarry, PIT (21 percent); Chad Johnson, BUF (5 percent)

 

GAMES THIS WEEK:

MOST: ARI, BOS, BUF, CHI, CGY, DAL, PIT, VAN (4 each)
FEWEST: CAR, LAK, SJS, STL, TOR (2 each)

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