As expected, Jonathan Bernier’s ownership skyrocketed from 23% to 50%. He has won seven games in a row since replacing an injured Semyon Varlamov earlier this month. Other players who appeared on Waiver Wired last week, including Aaron Dell, Paul Stastny, David Krejci, Evgenii Dadonov and Anthony Beauvillier remain solid pickups going into this week’s action.
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Now, let’s go into this week’s recommendations:
Nick Schmaltz (CHI) - C, LW - Owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues
Schmaltz has been churning out points since the end of the December and is making a strong case to be owned in more fantasy leagues. He hasn’t gone more than two games without recording a point since Dec. 10. Schmaltz has collected eight goals and nine helpers during that 17-game span. He is still skating alongside Patrick Kane and there’s potential for more points before the All-Star break with Chicago playing three times in the coming week.
Mathieu Perreault (WPG) - C, LW - Owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues
Perreault has five goals and three assists in his last 10 contests. He was elevated to Winnipeg’s top-six forward group after Mark Scheifele went down due to injury. Perreault has been seeing most of his even-strength action alongside Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers and he still receives time on the top power-play unit.
Sami Vatanen (NJD) - D - Owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues
Vatanen appeared on Waiver Wired a few weeks ago when he was owned in just 12% of Yahoo leagues. He was beginning to heat up at that time and he has contributed six assists in seven games since then. Vatanen had a sluggish start with the Devils after he was acquired from Anaheim, but now he has 10 points, 20 penalty minutes, 40 shots, 20 hits and 33 blocks in 21 games. That kind of stat coverage should make him more attractive for fantasy GMs looking for a defenseman.
Pavel Buchnevich (NYR) - LW, RW - Owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues
Buchnevich’s ice time has been up and down this campaign, which is a problem, but he has been seeing time in the top-six forward group again. He has tallied two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak. Buchnevich has been clicking with Rick Nash, who suddenly has four goals in the past three matches. The Rangers have a three-game trip on the West Coast before the All-Star break.
Mikael Backlund (CGY) - C - Owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues
Backlund has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 12 games. The second-line center of the Flames has been averaging a career-high 19:10 of ice time per match, which is the most on the team among its forwards. Backlund plays in all situations and he has 2.24 shots per game. With Calgary playing three times prior to the All-Star break, Backlund should get plenty of chances to add to his recent offensive surge.
Alexander Edler (VAN) - D - Owned in 16% of Yahoo leagues
Edler has been flying under the radar despite some solid numbers across the board. He has earned one goal and five assists during a five-game point streak. Edler also has 20 shots, 13 hits and 13 blocks during that span. He has been a great sources of hits (77) and blocks (97) this season. If Edler can continue to chip in offensively then his fantasy stock should increase substantially.
Elias Lindholm (CAR) - C, RW - Owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues
If you are looking for someone a bit more under-the-radar then Lindholm, could fit the bill. He was promoted to the top line due to Sebastian Aho’s absence due to injuries and scored two power-play goals on Saturday night. Lindholm also finished the contest with five shots. He has five goals and four helpers in his past 12 outings.
Andreas Athanasiou (DET) - C, LW - Owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues
Athanasiou has heated up in January with four multi-point performances in seven matches. He has provided four goals and four helpers during that span along with 25 shots. Athanasiou has battled some consistency issues this year, but he’s poised to enter the All-Star break on a high note. Detroit is also just one of seven teams to play three games this upcoming week. Another option could be Tyler Bertuzzi (owned in 2% of Yahoo leagues), who has generated eight points in 12 NHL appearances this campaign. He has four points, seven shots, eight hits and three blocks in the last seven days.
Travis Konecny (PHI) - C, LW, RW - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Konecny has accounted for three goals and six assists in the past 10 games. His hot streak came after he had just one goal in 12 matches from Nov. 28-Dec. 23. The sophomore forward has been skating on the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. You could get an extra game from him if you add him before Sunday afternoon’s contest against Washington.
Paul Byron (MTL) - LW, RW - Owned in 2% of Yahoo leagues
Byron has been skating alongside a red hot Max Pacioretty and he has been productive as well with three goals and three helpers in the past six contests. He broke out offensively last season with career highs in goals (22), assists (21) and points (43). Byron ranks third on the Canadiens with 13 goals this season and has a slightly higher goals per game (0.28) than he had last year (0.27).