Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.
We are one week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET. We've already seen big moves impact fantasy teams and there's more to come.
Some players rumored to be on the block should be scooped up in advance of a potential trade. Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty, who scored 23 goals two seasons ago, is owned in three percent of Yahoo Leagues. He has four points in his past eight games and can fill in on a contending team's top six.
Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart brings toughness to a contender and has 10 points in his past 15 games. If moved he could receive a big boost in production with new surroundings.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Daren Helm, Detroit Red Wings (owned in 5 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The 28-year-old has already set a career-high in goals (13) this season and is three points from his career high of 32 set in 2010-11. Helm has been playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar and has nine points, 22 shots on goal and 27 hits in his past 10 games. The Red Wings have four games this week, all on the road, visiting the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators. Helm has six goals, seven assists and is a plus-8 on the road this season.
Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks (owned in 40 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The sixth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft leads the Ducks in total minutes played this season (1,250:15) and lately has been asked to take a bigger offensive role with the injury to Sami Vatanen. In the past six games since Vatanen went down with a leg injury, Lindholm has five points, 10 shots on goal, five hits and 11 blocked shots while playing over 20 minutes. The Ducks have a busy week with three home games against the Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and Kings, and are on the road against the Dallas Stars. We expect the 21-year-old defenseman to continue his hot play and pass his career highs of six goals and 30 points set as a rookie last season.
Rob Zepp, Philadelphia Flyers (owned in 3 percent of Yahoo Leagues) --
Goalie - PHI
GAA: 2.63 | SVP: .894
The Flyers are making a run at the Stanley Cup Playoffs with points in 12 of their past 13 games (8-1-4) and victorious in those past two games was the 33-year-old first-year netminder. Zepp made 41 saves on 45 shots faced in victories against the Predators and Washington Capitals, teams ranked in the top 10 in scoring. Steve Mason is planning on joining the team on its upcoming road trip, but for the time being the Flyers may run with the hot hand as they continue their late playoff push.
Enhanced stats -- The NHL announced a partnership with enterprise software company SAP last week, bringing new enhanced stats to NHL.com. One to keep a close eye on for fantasy value is the offensive zone start percentage. This will tell you which players are being put in a more offensive role and should consequently have more chances to contribute offensively. Another one to pay close attention to for fantasy is the SPSV% as "puck luck" can help and hurt a player's fantasy value. Here is the full primer of all the new enhanced stats.
Home vs. road -- As we move toward the last quarter of the fantasy hockey season, a trend to pay attention to is the road and home splits of potential trade targets or pick-ups, as this could be the key to finding the right player. The Kings, Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens have the most road games left (14). The Hurricanes and Florida Panthers have the most home games remaining (15). Another team to watch this week is the Red Wings, as they play all four of their games on the road. Check the splits of these mentioned teams to find hidden fantasy gems.
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks --
Center - VAN
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 18
SOG: 46 | +/-: -4
Drafted with the pick the Canucks received for goaltender Cory Schneider, Horvat has been making an impact in Vancouver. The 19-year-old has 10 points, 19 shots on goal, 10 hits and five blocked shots while averaging over 13 minutes a game over his past 13 games played. He's found some chemistry playing on a line with fellow rookie Ronalds Kenins and veteran Jannik Hansen. As the Canucks finish up their five-game road trip this week with a stop in Boston, expect Horvat's line to continue its upward swing.