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Fantasy: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 7

Ferland of Flames, Athanasiou of Red Wings worth considering in deeper leagues

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

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.

 

FORWARD

Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW/RW, CAR (41 percent owned): The Carolina Hurricanes are finally starting to convert on their high volume of scoring chances, and their top line of Teravainen, Sebastian Aho (LW/RW, 65 percent) and Jordan Staal (C, 28 percent) is reaping the fantasy rewards. Teravainen leads the NHL with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in four games over the past week, and Aho is second with nine points (four goals, five assists). Each has four power-play points in the span, and Teravainen is averaging four shots on goal per game.

Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (33 percent): The New York Islanders rookie was held without a point over two games following his breakout stretch earlier this month, but has responded with a three-game point streak totaling five points (one goal, four assists), three power-play points and five SOG. His power-play assist against the Hurricanes on Sunday puts him alone atop the rookie scoring list with 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 20 games. He has helped ignite the Islanders power play; they suddenly rank 13th in the NHL at 20.3 percent.

Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (10 percent): A switch from center to left wing has sparked Schmaltz, who has combined for six assists over his current three-game point streak for the Chicago Blackhawks alongside right wing Patrick Kane and center Artem Anisimov (C, 22 percent). He also has three straight games with a power-play assist, skating alongside forwards Kane, Anisimov, Brandon Saad and defenseman Cody Franson (1 percent) on Chicago's first unit. He has four straight games with multiple SOG as well, so grab him in deep leagues before his sleeper potential becomes even more apparent.

Micheal Ferland, LW/RW, CGY (17 percent): He offers even-strength and power-play production alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, who are tied for the fourth highest-scoring point pair (16 team goals with each having a point) behind Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos (TBL; 26), Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler (WPG; 18) and Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin (PIT; 17). He had one goal and no assists over his first seven games, but now has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) over his next 11 games. He also has a six-game point streak, including two power-play goals.

Video: CGY@DET: Ferland pokes in rebound for power-play goal

William Karlsson, C/LW, VGK (32 percent): Going from the third-line center on a Stanley Cup Playoff team (Columbus Blue Jackets) to the second-line center for an expansion team, Karlsson has made a seamless transition to his expanded role. He has at least one point in five of his past seven games and four multipoint games in that span. He now has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 19 games with four power-play points and 37 SOG playing on the Vegas Golden Knights' second line with Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault and second power-play unit with Smith.

Andreas Athanasiou, C/LW, DET (9 percent): After missing the start of the season and not signing a contract until Oct. 20, Athanasiou has gradually taken on a full-time top-six and power-play role. He has been especially effective over his past four games, totaling five points (four goals, one assist), a plus-3, two PPP and 12 SOG. He's playing alongside bounce-back forward Dylan Larkin on the Red Wings' second line and with fantasy studs Anthony Mantha and Mike Green on the second power-play unit, giving Detroit an added dimension and a major boost in its area of weakness from last season.

Drake Caggiula, C/LW, EDM (2 percent): Deep-league fantasy owners always need to stay ahead of the curve, so Caggiula is worth considering after his two-goal game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday. With forward Leon Draisaitl being moved down to the second line with Milan Lucic and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Caggiula scored those goals on the top line with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon. He needs greater power-play usage to become relevant in a standard league, but exposure to McDavid is enough to grab fantasy owners' attention.

Others to consider: Sven Baertschi, LW, VAN (9 percent); Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, NSH (3 percent); Danton Heinen, C/LW/RW, BOS (1 percent)

 

DEFENSEMAN

Mattias Ekholm, NSH (44 percent): The Predators' third defenseman has nine points (three goals, six assists) over his past nine games. He has four power-play points in the span, two coming on a unit with newcomer Kyle Turris and defenseman Roman Josi. Ekholm is also paired with Josi at even strength and should remain relevant once Ryan Ellis (knee) eventually returns from injury. The trade for Turris is spreading out Nashville's power-play units and has strengthened its offense at large, and that's great news for their glut of scoring defensemen.

Erik Johnson, COL (10 percent): The Colorado Avalanche defenseman has multipoint outings in two of his past four games with two PPP in the span, finally adding some scoring to his strong peripheral totals. He's tied for 14th among defensemen in SOG (55 games), and is also covering plus/minus (plus-4), hits (26), blocked shots (37) and penalty minutes (12) well through 19 games. The Avalanche are quietly in postseason contention, and Johnson is one of their most unheralded players averaging 26:43 per game (fifth in NHL).

Others to consider: Cam Fowler, ANA (50 percent); Matt Niskanen, WSH (45 percent); Joel Edmundson, STL (25 percent)

 

GOALTENDER

Thomas Greiss, NYI (43 percent): The Islanders backup is 6-2-2 and beginning to steal time from struggling Jaroslav Halak (5-5-0). Each goaltender has started 10 games so far this season, but Greiss has the better save percentage (.904; Halak: .896). Greiss has been better than Halak at defending the power play, helping him win four of his past five games, defeating the Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. Halak has also allowed five shorthanded goals, most in the League, compared to Greiss' two. Halak (56 percent owned) may have the name value, but Greiss has the better save percentage over the past three seasons combined (.917; Halak: .914).

Other to consider: Malcolm Subban, VGK (27 percent); Antti Raanta, ARI (24 percent); Anton Khudobin, BOS (15 percent), Cam Ward, CAR (8 percent)

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