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Fantasy hockey top 10 waiver wire pickups

Samsonov, Demko must-add goalies; Stastny, Henrique valuable centers with expanded roles

by James Harding / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Every Monday during the season, NHL.com will provide the top 10 players to add off the fantasy hockey waiver wire. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 200Line ranks | DFS picks | Proj. lineups

 

NOTE: Based on fantasy transaction data and other factors including production, lineup and/or injury trends, these players are worth considering in season-long leagues.

Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, ARI: The Arizona Coyotes forward had an assist in a win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, extending his point streak to five games. Schmaltz has eight points (three goals, five assists), two power-play points and 12 shots on goal in that span, skating on their second line and second power play. The Coyotes have three favorable road games this week against the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, making Schmaltz worth targeting in all league formats.

Paul Stastny, C, VGK: The Vegas Golden Knights center scored a power-play goal in their win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Stastny has seven points (four goals, three assists) in five games since being elevated to a line centering valuable forwards Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. Five of his seven points in that span have come on the power play where he is skating with Stone, Pacioretty, rookie forward Cody Glass and defenseman Shea Theodore. Vegas is one of 10 teams in the League that play four games this week, making Stastny a must-own in all leagues.

Adam Henrique, C, ANA: The Anaheim Ducks forward has a three-game point streak totaling four goals, one assist and nine SOG. Henrique is centering a very underrated scoring line with forwards Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg, who are tied for the team lead in scoring with seven points. Henrique had 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 82 games last season and could match or better his NHL career-high 50 points (2015-16) if he can maintain this lineup placement.

Brock Nelson, C/LW, NYI: The New York Islanders forward scored in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday and had an assist and three SOG. Nelson has points in four of his past seven games and has multipoint games in two of his past three. Nelson leads the Islanders with 25 SOG and is covering hits (six) and blocked shots (seven) in eight games. He is worth targeting in deeper leagues and should be on the radar for fantasy owners if his production continues.

Brett Connolly, LW/RW, FLA: The Florida Panthers wing scored a goal in their shootout win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games. Connolly has four goals and 11 SOG in that span and is skating on the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman. He had an NHL career-high 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists) in 81 games with the Washington Capitals last season in mostly a third line role and could have the potential to approach 50 points this season if he can remain in the Panthers potent top-six.

Alexander Kerfoot, C/LW/RW, TOR: He scored a goal with two SOG, two hits and one blocked shot in their game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. With top center John Tavares injured for at least two weeks (broken finger), Kerfoot is getting a huge opportunity for short-term production skating with elite forward Mitch Marner at even strength. Tavares owners should target Kerfoot in all leagues, and he will have high value in DFS formats as both a standalone option or in a stack with Marner.

Other forwards to consider: Corey Perry, DAL; Jakob Silferberg, ANA; Casey Mittelstadt, BUF; Tyson Jost, COL; Kyle Turris, NSH; Andre Burakovsky, COL; Patric Hornqvist, PIT; Conor Garland, ARI; Jaden Schwartz, STL

DEFENSEMEN

Cam Fowler, ANA: He had an assist against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, giving him points in four consecutive games (one goal, three assists). Fowler has five points and 12 SOG in eight games and is skating on the second pair at even strength and running the point of the first power play. He could reach 40 points for the first time since his rookie season (2010-11) with an expanded role.

Samuel Girard, COL: The Colorado Avalanche defenseman has assists in back-to-back games and in three of his past five. Girard is skating on the top pair at even strength with exposure to Colorado's elite top line and is running the point on the second power play. He has four assists and is covering SOG (13), and blocked shots (13) in eight games and should surpass 40 points for the first time in his NHL career this season, making him worth monitoring in all league formats.

Other D-men to consider: Ethan Bear, EDM; Ian Cole, COL; Alex Goligoski, ARI; Alexander Edler, VAN; Marcus Pettersson, PIT; Henri Jokiharju, BUF; Devon Toews, NYI; Sami Vatanen, NJD; Sean Walker, LAK

GOALIE

Thatcher Demko, VAN: The Vancouver Canucks rookie made 23 saves in a 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Demko has been impressive to begin the season, going 2-1-0 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in three starts. Jacob Markstrom, who missed the past three games (personal), made 38 saves in their win against the New York Rangers on Sunday, but the tandem should be considered a timeshare moving forward. Demko is worth adding as a standalone option and is a must-own handcuff for Markstrom owners.

Ilya Samsonov, WSH: The Washington Capitals goalie is 3-1-0 with a 1.84 GAA and .933 save percentage in four games (three starts). Braden Holtby has struggled in six starts (3.83 GAA, .862 SV%), meaning Samsonov could begin to see an expanded role in their goaltending rotation. He is a must-own in keeper and deeper leagues and will be worth adding in all formats if Holtby's struggles continue and the Capitals shift towards a timeshare situation.

Other goalies to consider: Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith, EDM; Antti Raanta, ARI; Thomas Greiss, NYI; Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ; Linus Ullmark, BUF; Pavel Francouz, COL

GAMES THIS WEEK:

MOST: ANA, CHI, DET, LAK, OTT, PHI, SJS, STL, TOR, VGK (4 each)
FEWEST: NJD (1)
 

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