There's no question that the Florida Panthers
and Phoenix Coyotes
have opened eyes around the hockey world by remaining in the thick of their respective division races through mid-March.
But even more surprising may be the fact that two emerging assets from those teams, Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson
and Florida's Wojtek Wolski
, are widely available on the waiver wire for the stretch run of the fantasy season.
Let's start with Ekman-Larsson (11 G, 18 A, minus-2, 26 PIM, 8 PPP, 126 SOG, 128 hits), who has played in all 72 games for the Coyotes this season and is currently tied with Alex Pietrangelo
for the fifth-highest goal output among NHL defensemen. The Swedish-born blueliner scored a goal in his third consecutive game Thursday in Calgary, and has added 2 assists, a plus-2 rating and 11 SOG during his current three-game points streak.
What's more, Ekman-Larsson is only owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Considering the 20-year-old has been a solid point-producer all season long and has totaled 100-plus hits and 100-plus shots for the Coyotes' secondary defensive pairing, it's important to note he's there for the taking in most leagues to provide a lift on the blue line.
Wolski, meanwhile, has come out of nowhere to blossom as of late since being shipped from the New York Rangers
to Florida on Feb. 25. The 26-year-old battled through some injury issues this season in the Big Apple, but has been a sparkplug for the Cats as they pursue a division crown and potentially even the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Owned in only 2 percent of leagues, this Polish-born winger has accumulated eight points (3 G, 5 A) in 11 games since moving to the Sunshine State.
His most impressive stretch has come during his current four-game points streak, as Wolski has thrived on Florida's top line in the absence of Kris Versteeg
with 1 goal, 4 assists, a plus-3 rating and 6 SOG in that span. He notched a goal and had a plus-2 rating skating alongside Tomas Fleischmann
and Stephen Weiss
in the Panthers' 6-2 win over the Boston Bruins
on Thursday, lifting his value from a fantasy standpoint.
Each of these skaters could ultimately be diamonds in the rough for fantasy squads if their hot streaks continue, so it's important to monitor their performances over the next few days and potentially add the one that best fits your team.