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Fantasy hockey top 10 waiver wire pickups

Niederreiter gains exposure to Aho; Kuemper, Demko lead list of goalies worth adding

by James Harding / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com will provide the top 10 players to add off the fantasy waiver wire. Based on Yahoo transaction data and other factors including production, lineup and/or injury trends, we have identified appealing options at each position for fantasy owners in season-long leagues.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 200 | 100 'F' | 50 'D' | 25 'G' | Power ranks | Lines | Tracker

 

FORWARDS

Kasperi Kapanen, RW, TOR (46 percent owned): The Toronto Maple Leafs right wing had his four-game point streak snapped in their loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. Kapanen has one goal, four assists, including one on the power play, and 10 shots on goal in his past five games. He is skating with forwards Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau at even strength and is worth owning despite having lost exposure to elite center Auston Matthews. Kapanen has an NHL career-high 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 48 games. UPDATE: Kapanen practiced on a line with elite center John Tavares on Monday.

Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, CAR (33 percent owned): The Carolina Hurricanes forward scored two goals and had three SOG in their win against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Niederreiter, acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 17, skated on a line with elite forward Sebastian Aho and wing Justin Williams at even strength and on the power play. He is a three-time 20-goal scorer and could have an offensive resurgence with continued exposure to Aho.

Video: CAR@EDM: Niederreiter pots first goal with Hurricanes

Kevin Labanc, LW/RW, SJS (13 percent owned): The San Jose Sharks wing has been skating on a line with valuable forwards Logan Couture and Timo Meier and has points in each of his past two games and six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games. The Sharks have two games this week on the road, where Labanc has 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in 25 games.

Frank Vatrano, C/LW/RW, FLA (11 percent owned): The Florida Panthers forward scored a goal on six SOG against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Vatrano has four goals, one assist and 22 SOG in his past six games and points in seven of his past 10. He has been skating on the first line with elite forwards Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov and has scored an NHL career-high 15 goals in 46 games.

Nick Bonino, C, NSH (4 percent owned): The Predators center had a multipoint game against the Panthers on Saturday, his second multipoint performance in his past three games. Bonino was moved up to the second line with Ryan Johansen serving a two-game suspension and has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past seven games, making him worth a short-term add. Nashville has two games this week against the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights before the All-Star Weekend and its bye week. 

Victor Rask, C, MIN (1 percent owned): The Minnesota Wild center had one assist in their win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. It was his first game with the Wild after being acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 17. Rask centered a line with wings Zach Parise and Pontus Aberg and played 15:22 after averaging 12:02 per game in 26 games with Carolina this season. Rask could have streaming appeal in deeper leagues or as a value play in DFS if he can maintain exposure to Parise, who leads the Wild with 20 goals and 42 points. 

Others to consider: Josh Bailey, NYI; Mats Zuccarello, NYR; Ryan Dzingel, OTT; Phillip Danault, MTL; Bryan Little, WPG; Carl Soderberg, COL; Alex Tuch, VGK; Thomas Vanek, DET; Nico Hischier, NJD; Troy Terry, ANA; Andrei Svechnikov, CAR

 

DEFENSEMEN

Brenden Dillon, SJS (7 percent owned): The San Jose Sharks defenseman has seen an increased role with defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (wrist) injured. Dillon is skating on the first defense pair with Joakim Ryan at even strength and has six assists in his past eight games. Elite defenseman Erik Karlsson (lower body) did not play in San Jose's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and Dillon should see an expanded role with Karlsson expected out against the Panthers on Monday and Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Vince Dunn, STL (5 percent owned): The St. Louis Blues defenseman scored his fifth goal of the season and had three SOG and two hits in their win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Dunn has three points (two goals, one assist) and nine SOG in his past four games and favorable matchups against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday and Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. He's skating on the third pair at even strength but running the point of the second power play with forwards Alexander Steen, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Kyrou. Dunn has 20 points in 43 games after 24 points (five goals, 19 assists) as a rookie last season. 

Others to consider: Filip Hronek, DET; Devon Toews, NYI; Jakob Chychrun, ARI; Jacob Trouba, WPG; TJ Brodie, CGY; Erik Gustafsson, CHI; Carl Gunnarsson, STL; Mikhail Sergachev, TBL
 

GOALIES

Darcy Kuemper, ARI (27 percent owned): The Arizona Coyotes goalie stopped 24 of 26 shots faced in a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. Kuemper has won five of his past six starts and is 5-0-2 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in his past seven games. With Antti Raanta injured, Kuemper will likely see the majority of starts down the stretch of the season for the Coyotes, giving him streaming appeal in most fantasy formats. The Coyotes have a back-to-back set against the Senators on Tuesday and Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. 

Thatcher Demko, VAN (5 percent owned): The Vancouver Canucks rookie stopped 36 of 39 shots faced to win his season debut against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Demko was 8-5-0 with a 2.58 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 16 games with Utica of the American Hockey League before being recalled by the Canucks. Fantasy owners in deep and keeper leagues should add Demko now, and others should monitor him in all formats with a chance to challenge starter Jacob Markstrom for playing time moving forward.

Others to consider: Jordan Binnington, STL; Carter Hart, PHI; Petr Mrazek, CAR; Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ; Anders Nilsson, OTT
 

TEAMS ON BYE THIS WEEK: BOS, BUF, CBJ, DAL, NJD, NYR, PHI, PIT, TBL, WPG

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