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Fantasy waiver wire: Short-term additions

Travis Konecny, Joel Armia readily available, carry upside

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

At this point in the season, your waiver wire is most likely looking pretty thin. By now, the majority of players who have outperformed expectations are likely owned, making it difficult to find replacements for some of your injured regulars. If you're scouring the wire for plug-and-play additions, here are a few players to consider in the short term.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny (C/LW; 13 percent owned in Yahoo) got off to a promising start to his rookie season with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his first 24 games. He then went the next 13 games with no goals, five assists and 27 shots on goal. Konecny is starting to find his scoring touch again with two goals, two assists and 12 SOG in his past five games.

The Flyers have shaken up their lines recently, but Konecny remains on the second unit with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, and he continues to see ice time on the second power play. Philadelphia plays four games before its bye week begins after a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 15. Konecny is a solid short-term add with some upside if the Flyers can get their offense rolling again.

The Montreal Canadiens have had plenty of injuries to deal with this season, but have found a way to persevere. Phillip Danault (C/LW, 3 percent owned) has been a pleasant surprise, working his way up the depth chart to center the first line between scoring wings Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov.

Danault does most of his damage at even strength, where he's scored 18 of his 19 points. But he's coming off a season-high 21:31 in a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and has a goal, four assists and 13 SOG in his past five games. Alex Galchenyuk, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, is likely to return to the lineup soon, but Danault's value will remain high until that day comes.

Winnipeg Jets forward Joel Armia (less than 1 percent owned) could be in line for a promotion with rookie sensation Patrik Laine's status unclear. Laine sustained a concussion against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, and there is no timetable for his return. Armia played a season-high 18:59 against the Sabres, scoring a goal on three shots. He could slot in at right wing on a line next to Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers, boosting his value immensely as long as Laine is out.

 

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Paul Stastny, C, STL (30 percent owned)

Stastny's ownership seems a bit low, don't you think? Sure, the veteran center hasn't been up to par this season, but he's beginning to string together points on the St. Louis Blues' second line. He has two goals and four assists (two PPP) in his past six games, and plays in all situations for the Blues, who have a top-10 offense. Stastny is worth adding in deeper leagues and gains value in a points-only format considering his poor peripheral stat coverage.

Video: DAL@STL: Stastny deflects Steen's one-timer for PPG

 

Jacob Trouba, D, WPG (31 percent owned)

Trouba was mentioned in the bottom portion of last week's waiver wire watch as a player to also consider adding. His ownership (21 percent at the time) has jumped with Trouba solidifying his position as a must-add defenseman off the wire. He had his five-game point streak end Saturday but check out what he did during the streak: one goal, six assists, plus-5 and 17 SOG, not to mention 12 blocked shots (if your league counts them). Trouba is second on the Jets in ice time per game since Dec. 27 (25:07) behind Dustin Byfuglien (25:45), and has even replaced Byfuglien on Winnipeg's top PP unit.

 

Michal Neuvirth, G, PHI (27 percent owned)

After Steve Mason appeared to take over the reins when Neuvirth was injured, it now seems the Flyers' goalie controversy has resumed. Mason has lost six straight (0-4-2), allowing at least three goals in three of the games. In Neuvirth's lone start since returning, he allowed two goals on 26 shots in a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol had been playing Mason a lot, which has clearly taken a toll on the veteran goaltender. The Flyers may employ more of a split as they did earlier in the season, and Philadelphia has eight back-to-back sets remaining.

 

Tanner Pearson, LW, LAK (13 percent owned)

Pearson has stepped up big for the Los Angeles Kings with Tyler Toffoli out, skating at left wing on the top line with Anze Kopitar and now with fantasy stud Jeff Carter. He has points in six of his past eight games and has scored a goal in four of six. Pearson is providing a consistent amount of shots per game; he's leading the Kings in the category with 3.6 since Dec. 20. The 24-year-old is on pace to set NHL career highs in goals, points, shots and plus/minus.

Video: MIN@LAK: Pearson deflects OT winner past Kuemper

 

Jack Johnson, D, CBJ (6 percent owned)

If you're trying to improve your plus/minus in a rotisserie style league, Johnson is seventh in the NHL at plus-21. The Columbus Blue Jackets' insane 16-game winning streak may have ended Thursday, but their schedule could put them on course for another nice stretch. The Blue Jackets, who defeated the Flyers on Sunday in overtime, play seven of their next nine games against teams in the bottom half of the NHL standings. Johnson will occasionally get a point here or there considering he's tied for second on Columbus in average ice time (21:34) and the Blue Jackets are third in the League in scoring (3.33 goals per game).

 

Other candidates: Patrick Maroon, LW, EDM (33 percent); Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT (25 percent); Nathan Beaulieu, D, MTL (13 percent); Sven Baertschi, LW, VAN (7 percent); Tyler Bozak, C, TOR (9 percent)

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