Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Outlook for Week 2
Welcome back hockey! The return of the National Hockey League has caused my television to hemorrhage pucks and game highlights, and irritate my wife. She knew what she got into by marrying me.
The waiver wire is littered with players packing that stat sheet. That being said, it is important to remember we are games into the season, and overreacting can cause more harm than good to your fantasy team. The players listed below tend to be available in about 50% of leagues across all formats, and are knocking on the door to ‘The Fantasy Fix Top 100 Forwards’ and ‘Top 75 Defensemen.’
Let’s take a look at players to target and/or add, if your roster your roster allows it at this stage on the 2013-14 season.
Tomas Hertl- San Jose Sharks: Hertl has come out of the gates hot. Six goals in three games, including four Tuesday night, is nothing to sneeze at. The rookie has seen time with forwards Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, and Matt Nieto. Nieto is also a rookie trying to take advantage of time with productive veteran forwards. Hertl was considered a dark horse rookie of the year candidate prior to the beginning of the season. So far, so good. The 19-year-old is owned in 22.3% of ESPN.com leagues as of this writing.
Mason Raymond- Toronto Maple Leafs: In six seasons with Vancouver, Raymond never scored more than 53 points in a season. With Toronto, 60 points may be a number he can reach with more of an offensive role. The 28-year old has speed to burn and is being allowed to use it on the power play. He is being paired with scorers Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri, giving Raymond ample opportunities to rack up points with the man advantage. Raymond is owned in 32.4% of ESPN.com leagues.
Dave Bolland- Toronto Maple Leafs: “The Rat” is being asked to contribute more on offense with his new team. The defensive-minded center showed flashes of offensive talent in Chicago, but was asked to shut down opponent’s top lines nightly. Consistent offensive production could be an issue, but enjoy the ride before it ends. The 27-year-old Bolland is owned in 15.4% of ESPN.com leagues.
Jiri Hudler- Calgary Flames: When healthy, Hudler has been a consistent scorer on a bad team. Calgary is playing very good hockey to start the season, and the former Red Wing is a major reason why. He will play a lot on special teams, so expect an average time on ice (ATOI) around 19 minutes per game. The 29-year-old Hudler is owned in 22.5% of ESPN.com leagues.
Alex Tanguay- Colorado Avalanche: A return to Denver has given the veteran another lease on his hockey career. Tanguay has seen time with forwards Jamie McGinn and stand-out prospect Nathan MacKinnon. Tanguay could benefit from having the smooth-passing rookie grabbing all the attention, causing easy shots for his line mates. The 33-year-old Tanguay is owned in 16.5% of ESPN.com leagues.
T.J. Brodie- Calgary Flames: Brodie almost snuck into the ‘Top 75,’ and should be a staple on it if his play mirrors his early performance. His plus-2 plus/minus in over 24 minutes of ice time per night has been impressive. The concern is the inevitable decline of play in Calgary, and if Brodie is playing 24 minutes nightly, his plus/minus will suffer greatly. The 23-year-old Brodie is owned in 11.4% of ESPN.com leagues.
Ben Lovejoy- Anaheim Ducks: Lovejoy has nine shots in three games, which signals a change in play for him or a departure from his defensive game. I am buying the former because of his role on the power play. Lovejoy is not known for his offense, so opposing defenses tend to give him more space on the blue line. He has one assist early on, and is playing over 21 minutes a contest. The 29-year-old Lovejoy is owned in 0.8% of ESPN.com leagues.
Karl Alzner- Washington Capitals: Alzner is a bottom three defenseman asked to play top three minutes. He plays a lot of minutes on the penalty kill, but manages to make time for putting the puck on the net. If his shot totals continue at this pace, Alzner could be a nice addition to the bottom of your fantasy roster. The 25-year-old Alzner is owned in 0.9% of ESPN.com leagues.