The aftermath of the NHL trade deadline is always interesting from a fantasy perspective. The value of a player can change in a heartbeat, based on the addition and subtraction of teammates. So when a talented forward like Marian Gaborik joins Columbus, it has a trickledown effect on the entire Blue Jackets’ roster and impacts his former team, the New York Rangers, as well. This week's edition of Waiver Wired will examine some players who had their fantasy worth increased, thanks to the trade deadline, as well as some other hot pickups for your consideration:
Jussi Jokinen (C, LW - Pittsburgh Penguins) - The Penguins added Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla and Doug Murray to their ranks prior to the deadline, but that didn't stop them wheeling and dealing. Pittsburgh didn't have to give up much to acquire Jokinen, who is owned in just seven percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he has a great opportunity to shine while Sidney Crosby mends from a broken jaw. Thanks to his ability to play at center as well as the wing, he is getting the chance to play with Crosby's linemates Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis in the team's top-six group. Jokinen had a solid debut in that role this past Friday against the Rangers when he scored the team's only regulation goal and the shootout winner in a 2-1 victory. Look for him to continue to fill in effectively while Crosby is out.
Jay Bouwmeester (D - St. Louis Blues) - Bouwmeester appears to have adjusted quickly to his new surroundings in St. Louis. He has generated three assists in two games with the Blues since being acquired from Calgary. Bouwmeester has always been able to chew up minutes and he'll continue to get premium ice time, including action on the power play, with his new team. The horrid minus-11 rating he had with the Flames should also improve alongside new defense partner Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues are a much stronger club than the Flames and Bouwmeester's desire to play in a playoff game will ensure he stays motivated down the stretch. He's owned in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues and should be grabbed immediately if he's available.
Artem Anisimov (C, LW - Columbus Blue Jackets) - The Columbus center had already been playing some productive hockey beforehand, with seven points in six games prior to the trade deadline, but being paired with newly-acquired winger Marian Gaborik should give his fantasy value an additional shot in the arm. Anisimov, who is available in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues, scored his 10th goal of the year in Friday's 3-1 loss to St. Louis. Gaborik picked up an assist on the play and he has three points in two appearances with Columbus. His strong play will rub off on Anisimov and since the two of them are familiar with one another from their time in the Big Apple it shouldn't take them long to rediscover some chemistry.
Ben Bishop (G - Tampa Bay Lightning) - Bishop is owned in 44 percent of Yahoo! leagues, which is a much percentage higher than most players who get featured on Waiver Wired. However, his move to Tampa drastically increases his viability as a goaltending option. The Senators received Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick for Bishop, which is an excellent return for someone who had become their third-string keeper, but the Lightning got a player who should bring some stability to their crease for at least the remainder of the season. Bishop has played well this year and he earned a 45-save shutout in his Tampa debut Thursday against Carolina. He should be able to push Anders Lindback for starts once Lindback returns from injury.
Robin Lehner (G - Ottawa Senators) - With Ben Bishop playing between the pipes in Tampa Bay, Lehner will stick with the Senators for the remainder of the season. Craig Anderson has recovered from his ankle injury and will resume his role as the team's starter, but Lehner should continue to get some action to keep Anderson fresh for the postseason. With the exception of Friday's loss to Buffalo, Lehner has been consistently solid in the Senators' crease since being called up from the minors. He hasn't been able to post many wins, but that hasn't stopped him from keeping his goals-against average down and his save percentage high. He's owned in 16 percent of Yahoo! leagues and makes for an excellent handcuff for Anderson owners.
Nikolai Kulemin (LW, RW - Toronto Maple Leafs) - In 2011-12 Kulemin wasn't able to come close to his 30-goal from the season before. He started off the lockout-shortened campaign slowly as well, but he's been picking up steam since being placed on the same line as Nazem Kadri. The play of Kadri this year has been a hot topic as has his uncanny ability to turn anyone he skates with into a productive player. Kulemin has five goals and three assists in his last nine contests and after 37 games this season he's almost surpassed his disappointing totals from a year ago. He's owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues and is at least worthy of a flier right now.
Jake Allen (G - St. Louis Blues) - Allen was probably dropped in several leagues when he was sent back down to the minors, but with Jaroslav Halak back on the sidelines due to injury he's got another shot to shoulder the load for St. Louis. He didn't look as sharp in his last two outings prior to being returned to the AHL, but he was great in Friday's 3-1 win over Columbus. Allen will likely be able to steal starts from Brian Elliott, even though Elliott has looked better since returning from his minor-league conditioning stint. The two of them could share the crease until one of them falters, and given Elliott's struggles this year, it may be safer to assume he blinks first. Allen is owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues and Elliott has a 38 percent ownership share.
Tuomo Ruutu (C, LW - Carolina Hurricanes) - He has collected three assists in five games after missing most of the season following hip surgery. Ruutu has the opportunity to finish the season productively as he has been playing with Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner on Carolina's second line. He has also racked up 13 hits so far and he'll continue to contribute in that category for the rest of the year. Ruutu is available in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues and if your league values guys who can hit and chip in some offense, then he should be on your radar.
David Legwand (C - Nashville Predators) - Legwand, who is owned in just 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues, has been generating plenty of offense of late. After not doing much for the first couple of months of the truncated season, Legwand has registered seven goals and 15 points in his past 15 matches. If you like to ride the hot hand then the Nashville center is a solid choice right now because his pace is sure to slow down eventually.
Derick Brassard (C - New York Rangers) - Brassard was acquired by New York as part of the trade that sent Marian Gaborik to Columbus. He recorded two goals in his final two games with the Jackets and then followed that up with an impressive four-point debut as a member of the Rangers. Brassard has also won over 70 percent of his faceoffs in both games he's played with the Blueshirts. He has been playing on the third line with his new club, but three of his points on Wednesday came with the man advantage. He won't have outbursts like that often but he still could be productive if he continues to get power-play time. Brassard is owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so he's probably available and should be looked at if you are in a deeper pool.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Marian Gaborik
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Jay Bouwmeester
- Jussi Jokinen