Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire: Key guys still under-owned in many leagues

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Yahoo Sports Fantasy Staff
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By Evan Berofsky, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Four weeks remain in the regular season. Time to shine when it really matters.

Since our goal in this space is to provide decent recommendations for those not-as-highly-owned and as we've been doing this since October, you'll find a few repeats from previous columns below — though no one from the last two months of regular material.

May they be of service to you during this final stretch.

(Yahoo Ownership Rates as Of March 7.)

Forwards

Max Pacioretty, VGK (60 percent)

Vegas's prized acquisition from September didn't start off the way he intended, with only a pair of goals and an upper-body injury to show from the first 14 games. Pacioretty would go on a run of 13 in 10 before another short stint on the sidelines. But in the 25 since, the former Hab has proved his worth with 11 goals, five assists, 86 shots and 56 hits while skating with Paul Stastny — and now with Mark Stone — on the Golden Knights' second line.

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Jake DeBrusk, BOS (55 percent)

DeBrusk sputtered out of the gate, slowly worked his way back, and has been unstoppable the last month. Over the last 10 matchups, the son of Louie has exploded for 15 points — including five on the power play. DeBrusk looks like a perfect fit with veteran David Krejci and a natural with the big guns on Boston's top man-advantage. And the scary thing is he's still 22 and has plenty of room to grow.

Travis Konecny, PHI (50 percent)

Konecny produced 47 points during his second full season, but is set to obliterate that mark in the current campaign. The 24th pick from 2015 had mainly been skating with Claude Giroux, but has moved down the lineup to even out the offense. Despite the linemate switch, Konecny has proven consistent throughout. This dependability has been highlighted by the seven goals and four assists he's registered over the most recent 13 contests.

Zach Hyman, TOR (36 percent)

As with Bryan Rust two weeks ago, it's difficult to support someone for widespread fantasy purposes when they're not included on the power play. But when you can offset that with an elite center, that's usually enough for endorsement. In Hyman's case, he's got John Tavares to boost his value. And with eight goals, five assists and 37 shots in 17 appearances, the hometown boy qualifies as a nice depth pickup.

Carl Soderberg, COL (22 percent)

Another second-time example who has aged well this season. When we last visited with Soderberg, he was experiencing favorable returns. He'd go on to disappoint owners with some shaky stats at times, but has also checked in with a few top-notch performances. In fact, Soderberg has recorded three two-plus point efforts in his last eight. Thanks to this improvement, he has been rewarded as a fixture on the second line and maintains a decent shot of topping his career-high of 51 points set in 2015-16.

Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg (34) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Carl Soderberg is finally coming into his own on the second line of the Avalanche attack. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Filip Zadina, DET (5 percent)

Last summer's sixth selection waited patiently in the minors, but finally gets his shot with the Wings destined for another prime draft position. Zadina showed his skill in Grand Rapids with 31 points in 45 contests — including four PPGs. Naturally, the 19-year old notched his first NHL goal with an outstanding one-timer. And even though Zadina remains a major part of Detroit's future, he's also being counted upon to perform right away.

Vinnie Hinostroza, ARI (5 percent)

The former Blackhawk already dominated the AHL over parts of four seasons, but he's currently earning his share at the NHL level. Beyond breaking the 30-point plateau, Hinostroza has also eclipsed the 50-game mark for the first time. And thanks to a resurge in the Coyotes attack, the Notre Dame standout has helped in seven games with two goals and six assists on the second group for both even strength and power play.

Ryan Strome, NYR (3 percent)

Strome carried so much promise coming out of junior as the fifth pick in 2011. And while he tallied 50 points in Year Two on Long Island, the scoring significantly regressed until he was shipped to Edmonton in June 2017 for Jordan Eberle (yikes) and then again to the Rangers in November for Ryan Spooner (OK, that sounds more reasonable). While Strome could only manage six points in his first 18 outings, his role has increased to where he's regularly skating more than 17 minutes a night. The extra responsibility has also done wonders for his score line, to the tune of four goals, five assists and 23 PIM across his most recent 12.

Defensemen

Erik Gustafsson, CHI (67 percent)

Gustafsson has been tearing it up since mid-November and yet he's still available in roughly one of every three Yahoo leagues. During this 42-game stretch, the Swede has piled on 12 goals, 29 assists and 16 power-play points while adding an adequate amount of shots, hits and blocks. Gustafsson consistently ranks among the top fantasy blueliners with an offensive role that continues to grow. What more does he have to do to convince everyone?

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Justin Faulk, CAR (60 percent)

2018-19 has become a story of two halves for Faulk. The first 30 contests yielded a measly eight points, while the next 36 accounted for seven goals and 11 assists. With Carolina on fire and in the playoff hunt, the career Hurricane has been asked to take on additional special-teams duty. Faulk's seven PPPs may be below his usual pace, but he provides enough in other categories to counteract this slight deficiency.

Esa Lindell, DAL (47 percent)

Lindell earned more shifts when John Klingberg was out, but he's maintained a high level of achievement even with the star defender back in the fold. Klingberg may have returned on Dec. 20, but the Finn still went on a run over January and February where he posted three goals and nine assists in 15 matchups. The offense has disappeared from the last four, but he's averaging 25 minutes and racking up some good hit/blocked shot numbers.

Jakob Chychrun, ARI (3 percent)

The youngster was noted in December for securing a spot alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Arizona's first power play, though it wasn't matched by any significant scoring. It's not as if the points are flying for Chychrun these days, but he has picked up five points over the last 11 outings while skating 21 minutes a night — with three of those as OEL's partner on the top man-advantage.

Goaltenders

Carter Hutton, BUF (52 percent)

Things looked promising after Hutton arrived in Buffalo when he started the campaign with a 12-6-1 record. A lower-body issue from early December would coincide with the start of his downfall, leading to a 4-12-3 mark in addition to a 3.13 GAA and .902 save percentage. However, backup Linus Ullmark hasn't fared well lately with a 3.72/.888 combo from his last 11 appearances. Seeing how much the Sabres invested in Hutton and with an outside chance of catching the wild-card clubs, they owe it to the 33 year old to see if he can turn it around.

Jack Campbell, LA (7 percent)

You'd figure the Kings would give Campbell more looks with another year on his contract and their playoff hopes dashed long ago. But that hasn't happened recently, with Jonathan Quick taking six of the last seven starts. Seeing how Quick compiled a 4.40 GAA and .851 save percentage during that span and was yanked twice, that's only further reason to allow the younger Campbell a larger share to finish out the schedule.

Players to consider from past columns: Dylan Strome, James van Riemsdyk, Nino Niederreiter, Reilly Smith, J.T. Miller, Alex Galchenyuk, Nico Hischier, Mikael Backlund, Jonathan Drouin, Max Domi, Yanni Gourde, Andreas Johnsson, Jakub Vrana, Brady Tkachuk, Colin White, Frank Vatrano, Kasperi Kapanen, Brendan Gallagher, Sam Reinhart, Brock Nelson, Kevin Fiala, David Krejci, Kevin Labanc, Andreas Athanasiou, Jimmy Vesey, Shea Theodore, Nate Schmidt, Justin Schultz, Miro Heiskanen, Darnell Nurse, Jacob Trouba, Jared Spurgeon, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Ryan Pulock, Brandon Montour, David Rittich, Jacob Markstrom, Robin Lehner, Jordan Binnington, Curtis McElhinney, Mikko Koskinen, Darcy Kuemper, Alexandar Georgiev

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