Following up on Thursday’s Eastern Conference edition, here’s a look at one widely available player from each team in the West to add from waivers in your fantasy hockey league.
While goalie Corey Crawford battles post-concussion symptoms off-ice, Forsberg has been the more consistent of Chicago’s backups, winning two of three recent consecutive games (.943 save percentage). That gives the 25-year-old Swede an edge in earning starts over minor-league/KHL journeyman Jeff Glass for the foreseeable future, and now that we’re hearing Crawford is in danger of sitting out the remainder of the season, eyes should be on Forsberg.
The young defenseman has seven points in eight games, including six with the extra skater. As long as Girard remains a member of the Avs’ No. 1 power play — also including Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog — he should be rostered in the majority of ESPN.com leagues. The 19-year-old rookie is a particularly precious commodity in most keeper/dynasty leagues.
Are we sure Spezza is washed up? Unless your answer echoes resoundingly in the affirmative, the veteran scorer could be worth adding as an injury plug in deeper leagues. This week’s inspired two-goal performance in response to a one-game benching offers some hope for redemption in the coming weeks. He collected 50 points in 68 games only a season ago.
If your fantasy league rewards penalty minutes, Foligno’s nose for on-ice trouble merits a mention. Thirty-two penalties in minutes in nine recent games is an impressive sum. Foligno also leads the Wild with 120 hits, seventh most in the Western Conference, and contributes the odd point here and there. Just don’t count on much ice time from the feisty fourth-liner.
As promised pre-2017-18, the Predators are sticking with playing Pekka Rinne a little less often this regular season, hopefully looking ahead to a long and successful playoff run. Fortunately, Saros has been good enough to justify that strategy. With a 2.22 goals-against average and .930 save percentage (.960 through his past five contests) the 22-year-old netminder should continue to earn a start every three games or so. There’s value there in both conventional leagues and DFS competition.
Steen has come on of late, scoring four goals (including an empty-netter) and two assists in six games. The pending healthy return of forward Jaden Schwartz only strengthens the Blues’ top six, without threatening Steen’s valuable role (sophomore Ivan Barbashev is another story). While the 33-year-old is probably past his peak 0.80 point-per-game rate of the last four seasons, he still has the wherewithal to contribute regularly over the next several weeks.
Perpetually underrated, Perrault is going about his usual business of contributing regularly from his spot on a potent scoring line and secondary power play while earning a disproportionately little amount of fantasy respect. If there’s room for a 0.76 point-per-game supplier in your league, give the 30-year-old veteran forward a look. In 34 contests this season, Perreault has 13 goals and 13 assists, including 11 points with the man-advantage.
Only Cam Fowler is averaging more ice time than Lindholm, who’s tasked with anchoring the Ducks’ secondary power play. Following a comparatively quiet December, the 23-year-old puck-moving defenseman seems to have slipped back into productive gear with five points in six January games.
It’s a new day and dawn in the desert for the former Blackhawk, who’s already getting about three more minutes of ice time per game than he did in Chicago. Competing on a top line with center Derek Stepan, Panik has three assists (plus-three) in his first four games with the Coyotes. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues.
If the regular top-line gig alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan doesn’t move you, the nine points in six recent games should. On pace to finish with 35 goals this season, Ferland ought to be rostered in all but the shallowest of ESPN.com leagues. As long as the 25-year-old winger keeps a grip on that plum spot up front.
Head coach Todd McLellan recently spoke to how impressed he is with Nurse’s ongoing development as one of the struggling club’s bright spots. Stepping it up a productive notch of late with four goals and one assist in four games, the 22-year-old leads the Oilers’ blue line with an anomalous plus-13 rating. He’s also anchoring Edmonton’s top power play, including Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. We anticipate a big second half from this talented young blueliner.
Finally, there substantial evidence supporting the foreseeable return of Jeff Carter from a serious ankle tendon injury. He’s skating, anyway, which instantly boosts Pearson’s fantasy value as Carter’s regular left wing. Also, consider adding the centerman himself, if he happens to be available (rostered in 50.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues).
Dell has been altogether better than No. 1 Martin Jones in recent play, and through most of the season. Which is why coach Peter DeBoer is turning to the so-labelled backup more and more often. Rocking a .925 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average, Dell has won nine of 13 starts, plus one relief appearance. Jones has only four more victories, despite starting 31 games. Those numbers speak volumes.
It will be interesting to see where Horvat, due to return soon, slots back in the lineup after missing several weeks because of a fractured ankle. An assignment centering Calder candidate Brock Boeser — as he had earlier this campaign — isn’t out of the question. Horvat registered 10 goals and 10 assists in 28 games before falling hurt in early December.
Although he has been a little more quiet of late from the production view, Theodore remains Vegas’ go-to anchor on the club’s No. 1 power play. Still learning and developing, the 22-year-old offensive-defenseman sports plenty of upside, the rest of this season and well beyond. At minimum, the first-round draft selection (2013) is worth investment in most keeper and dynasty leagues.