NHL.com identifies the best fantasy hockey waiver wire pickups of the 2019-20 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.
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NOTE: Value has been quantified based on production in standard leagues (goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal, hits for skaters; wins, goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts for goalies).
Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, MIN -- Last season's trade of Fiala for Mikael Granlund is no longer debatable after Fiala exploded for more than a point per game from Jan. 1 through the end of the regular season (30 points in 28 games over span; T-18th in NHL). Fiala's impact has completely revitalized the Minnesota Wild's fantasy appeal despite them leaning towards a rebuild earlier in the season and even making an in-season coaching change. At 23, Fiala led Minnesota in points (54 points in 64 games), points per game (0.84), shots on goal (175) and was tied for their power-play point lead (18) and is a fringe top 75 overall player for next season with an even higher ceiling. -- Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor
Bryan Rust, LW/RW, PIT -- The Pittsburgh Penguins wing far exceeded expectations with 56 points (27 goals, 29 assists) in 55 games this season. In the midst of his hot start, Rust was added in many fantasy leagues and surprisingly led the Penguins in goals this season and finished second in points behind elite center Evgeni Malkin. Rust's value could carry over to next season considering he maintained his breakout season when No. 1 center Sidney Crosby was out of the lineup and even after his teammate's return. Rust has become a fixture on Malkin's line at even strength, making Rust worth targeting in mid-to-late rounds of fantasy drafts next season. -- Rob Reese, fantasy editor
Pavel Francouz, G, COL -- The Colorado Avalanche goalie was ranked 395th in standard leagues in the preseason but finished 77th overall and 11th at his position. Undrafted in the vast majority of fantasy leagues, Francouz went 21-7-4 was tied for eighth in save percentage (.923) and eight in goals-against average among those to play at least 10 games. Francouz, who will turn 30 on June 3, allowed two goals or fewer in 21 of his 34 appearances in his first full NHL season and has gone from Philipp Grubauer's clear backup to the likely starter for the Avalanche entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs. -- David Satriano, staff writer
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