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Fantasy waiver wire: Low ownership players to target

Patrik Berglund of Blues, Brett Connolly of Capitals producing, readily available

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

When considering your options on the waiver wire, don't always use ownership percentage as a precursor for a pick up. Just because a player is owned in less than 5 percent of Yahoo leagues, it doesn't mean he isn't worth adding. There are plenty of low ownership forwards who have produced the past seven days, and could help you down the stretch in order to make the playoffs.

Since the St. Louis Blues replaced coach Ken Hitchcock with Mike Yeo on Feb. 1, they are 5-1-0 with 3.33 goals per game during that stretch. Injuries to forwards Robby Fabbri (ACL) and Paul Stastny (lower body) have given Patrik Berglund (C, 3 percent) a spot in the top six. He has six goals and is plus-5 with 15 shots on goal in the past six games. Berglund will likely cede his spot on the first power play to Stastny once he's healthy, but will still see time with the second unit. Even prior to centering the second line, Berglund had been playing above average minutes for a bottom six forward (16:08 per game in past 14).

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: DFS PICKS FOR FEB. 13 | PROJECTED GOALIES

Forward Brett Connolly (LW/RW, 4 percent) has been turning lemon drops into lemonade for the Washington Capitals. He averages 11:01 of ice time per game playing on the third line, but will somehow carry a six-game point streak into the Capitals' week off. Connolly has four goals, four assists and is plus-7 during the streak, with all of his production coming at even strength. Obviously don't pick up Connolly now, but keep him on your radar for an add prior to Washington's game Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Video: DET@WSH: Connolly fires a rebound past Mrazek

A bright spot all season for the lowly Colorado Avalanche has been Mikko Rantanen (LW/RW, 5 percent). The rookie forward has five goals, two assists and 15 SOG in his past eight games. His plus/minus may be a killer (minus-22), but Rantanen's usage is incredibly encouraging (18:15 ice time per game). His playing time may increase should the Avalanche decide to trade forwards Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla. Rantanen is also a solid short-term add, with four games this week.

The Boston Bruins are another team that has responded after a coaching change. Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien on Tuesday, and the Bruins have won three straight games. Boston has scored 14 goals in the past two games, and Frank Vatrano (C/LW, 2 percent) had a goal, two assists and three SOG in a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and added a goal with four SOG against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. He's fourth on the Bruins in SOG per game (2.9), albeit in 24 games. Vatrano is another add you'll have to let marinate with Boston heading into its week off.

Other low ownership players to target include Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (C/RW, 1 percent) and Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok (C/LW, 3 percent).

Video: DAL@NSH: Jarnkrok beats Lehtonen with top-shelf snipe

 

 

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Michal Neuvirth, G, PHI (31 percent owned)

The never-ending Philadelphia Flyers goalie competition has tilted in Neuvirth's favor. He is 3-3-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in his past eight games (seven starts). Steve Mason (45 percent) on the other hand, is 2-3-0 with a 3.13 GAA and .894 SV% in his past six games (five starts). The Flyers are playing tighter games, having allowed more than four goals once in the past nine games. Don't expect coach Dave Hakstol to split the two down the stretch run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He'll ride the hot hand, which currently is Neuvirth.

 

Brandon Dubinsky, C, CBJ (21 percent owned)

Dubinsky has been scoring points in bunches for the Columbus Blue Jackets, with three multipoint games in his past five. He has two goals, five assists and is plus-6 with 10 PIM and nine SOG in that span. Playing with Cam Atkinson, who leads the Blue Jackets with 27 goals, has done wonders for Dubinsky after he struggled to pick up points in a high-powered offense. Dubinsky's left wing, Boone Jenner, has also come to life, a player who scored 30 goals last season. Ride this current wave of points from Dubinsky while you still can.

 

David Perron, LW/RW, STL (14 percent owned)

Berglund isn't the only Blues forward to benefit from the coaching change and string of injuries. Perron has a goal, four assists and is plus-4 with eight SOG during a four-game winning streak. The absence of Fabbri has forced St. Louis to rely more on Perron, who plays in all situations. Perron already has matched his goal total from last season (12) and is on pace for his highest point total (47) since 2013-14, when he had 57. His chances of being promoted into the top six forward group are high considering Magnus Paajarvi and Dmitrij Jaskin are ahead of him.

Video: STL@MTL: Perron kicks puck to stick and finds twine

 

Brady Skjei, D, NYR (11 percent owned)

Skjei is still going through some growing pains as a rookie with the New York Rangers, which has eaten into his ice time per game. But you can't deny Skjei's fantasy value recently. He has a goal, seven assists and is plus-8 with eight penalty minutes and 23 SOG in his past 10 games. Skjei has pretty much covered every category quite well, and could see an uptick in goals considering he's shooting 2.5 percent through 54 games. In the past 14 days, Skjei ranks seventh among defensemen in Yahoo standard scoring.

 

Alexander Edler, D, VAN (4 percent owned)

Edler has strung together a four-game point streak, with a goal, three assists (two power-play points) and an even plus/minus during that stretch. The Vancouver Canucks are still fighting for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot, so it's unlikely that Edler's role as No. 1 defenseman will diminish. He's a solid short-term add, with the Canucks playing four games this week before going on their mandatory six-day break.

 

Other candidates: Jason Pominville, RW, MIN (19 percent); Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (17 percent); Richard Panik, LW/RW, CHI (17 percent); Alex Goligoski, D, ARI (15 percent)

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