Fantasy Hockey Pickups: Don't forget about the vet

Ryan Getzlaf fell off last season, but he's still the man on the Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Getzlaf fell off last season, but he's still the man on the Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

By Evan BerofskyRotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

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Rejoice — the 2019-20 NHL campaign is here! We’ve witnessed a number of awesome achievements, a few injuries, and Leafs Nation going ballistic due to a 1-0 deficit after one period versus Ottawa on the first night of the regular season.

In other words, nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Since the real action has returned, we're back to the usual 8-4-2 position format for waiver wire suggestions. As there's not much data for this column to evaluate with just two days of action in the books, let's look at players who haven't been receiving as much fantasy love as they deserve.

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Forwards

Roope Hintz, Dallas Stars (Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Hintz showed from March to May that he could handle the NHL grind with 19 points over his final 27 games, but he'll be asked to maintain similar numbers over a larger timeframe. That shouldn't be a problem for the Finn considering he slots in as the Stars' #2 center and a member of their deadly top power play.

Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues (35 percent)

A disappointment for most of last season, Schwartz recovered his form in the playoffs by notching 12 goals and eight assists. If you combine the strong partnership he's developed with Vladimir Tarasenko and his recent exhibition efforts, the winger should once again hit the 50-point plateau.

Frank Vatrano, Florida Panthers (32%)

Vatrano has displayed proficiency for potting pucks and will probably top 20 goals, although the rest of the offensive figures haven't necessarily been eye-catching. Regardless of whether he finds himself on Florida's second or third line, added responsibility will be provided. And for anyone using secondary stats, Vatrano remains one of the forward leaders in terms of blocked shots and hits.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (29%)

Even though Getzlaf led the team in scoring, he slipped to his lowest point total in 13 years. The captain remains the focal point of the Anaheim attack, which will be supplemented by a few young upstarts. But until any of them get going, Getzlaf should continue to be your go-to guy on the Ducks.

Nick Schmaltz, Arizona Coyotes (26%)

Many may have forgotten about Schmaltz's first half of 2018-19 when he struck for 25 points in only 40 appearances before missing the remainder due to injury. Perhaps the 21 goals and 31 assists from the previous year in Chicago will jog your memory. Or the fact the 23 year old is set to play a major role with the Yotes.

Jonathan Drouin, Montreal Canadiens (24%)

The former third-overall pick and onetime holdout appeared as though he'd finally fulfill his promise after recording 46 points in his first 55 contests last year. Unfortunately, Drouin finished up with seven in the final 26 – although five of those came on the man-advantage. Maybe skating on the Habs' third unit with rising star Jesperi Kotkaniemi will boost the former QMJHL star's stat line.

Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres (17%)

Last year's AHL breakout performer enjoyed a productive preseason alongside Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. He was "demoted" Tuesday but that was only done to keep the Sabres under the salary cap. He was back in the lineup Thursday.

Christian Dvorak, Arizona Coyotes (2%)

Dvorak only returned to the Arizona lineup in late February after losing five months to a lower-body issue. The early reports have him skating with Derek Stepan and Phil Kessel on the top line. And while Dvorak's currently categorized as a center in some formats, he should eventually add winger eligibility.

Defensemen

Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers (47%)

Edmonton's other 2011 first-round selection showed promise when he registered 12 goals and 26 assists in 2016-17 — with 16 of those 38 points coming while up a man. Health problems and inconsistency would eventually creep in, but Klefbom is back at full strength and played positively in the Oilers' opener.

Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins (21%)

Schultz resurrected his career in Pittsburgh to earn two rings but that progress was halted by a long-term injury. The Kelowna native will be counted upon to serve as the second option behind Kris Letang and shouldn't experience any problems reaching 40 points.

Colin Miller, Buffalo Sabres (9%)

Let's face it: Rasmus Ristolainen isn't the fantasy juggernaut he used to be since his namesake arrived in town and doesn't seem to be particularly happy in Buffalo. Miller upped his point totals in Vegas after moving from Boston while displaying dependability at both ends. And despite only arriving in June, he's already being touted as Rasmus Dahlin's regular partner.

Nick Leddy, NY Islanders (6%)

Following five straight seasons with at least 31 points, Leddy tailed off with 26 last year. The silver lining is the fact he's been posting double-digit power-play points throughout and should keep doing so as long as he sticks with the Isles' first group.

Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick, LA Kings (56%)

Quick, like his club, has fallen on hard times. He went on to post career lows in GAA (3.38) and save percentage (.888) last year as the Kings finished 30th out of 31 in the standings. Jack Campbell made his claim for the lead job, but the former Vezina winner didn't do anything wrong in four preseason appearances to warrant an immediate change.

Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (9%)

The Senators may end up looking like a defensive nightmare, but Anderson should earn most of the starts in net and serves as a decent fantasy fill-in for leagues that count saves as a scoring category. He let in five goals Wednesday, although one certainly can't blame him for all 42 shots on net.

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