What a great week for hockey.
Not only has the men’s game seen the return of Connor McDavid (and it was beyond glorious), the women’s side also welcomed back an All-World talent in the form of USA Olympian and University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Amanda Kessel (younger sister of NHLer Phil Kessel) who has been out with serious concussion symptoms since participating in the Sochi Winter Olympics. With 101 points in her last full NCAA season, it’s not hard to figure out who will be the crown jewel of the CWHL/NWHL free agent pool this coming offseason.
On to this week’s picks.
Jordan Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN: 40.7 per cent; CBS: 23 per cent): The Hurricanes have turned their poor fortunes around in recent games, thanks in large part to the play of vets like Staal. In 53 games played, he has 12 goals (see video below), 30 points, a plus-7 rating and 95 shots on goal, including two goals, eight points, a plus-7 rating and 13 shots on goal in his past six games. Board up your homes and businesses, because there’s more than just a tropical storm brewing in the Carolinas.
J.T. Miller, C, New York Rangers (ESPN: 21.2 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Miller has been on fire since mid-January, collecting eight goals, 10 points, a plus-7 rating and 22 shots on goal in eight games. He has a total of 16 goals, 29 points, a plus-13 rating and 83 shots on goal in 51 games played this season. Snatch Miller up while he’s hot.
Benoit Pouliot, LW, Edmonton Oilers (ESPN: 5.1 per cent; CBS: 26 per cent): Did you miss out on snatching up McDavid? No problem… scoop up his linemate instead. In two games since McDavid’s return, Pouliot’s production has soared with a goal, four points, a plus-2 rating and five shots on goal in that span. A very streaky player, Pouliot developed serious chemistry with the newest face of the NHL earlier this season, but McDavid will also see serious time with Jordan Eberle. An 11-goal, 26-point scorer thus far this season, Pouliot is worth a spot on Fantasy rosters as long as he continues to see considerable time alongside McDavid.
David Schlemko, D, New Jersey Devils (ESPN: 11.4 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): The Devils are among a few teams battling for playoff positioning in the East, and Schlemko has been a big reason why they’ve been in the hunt in recent games. In his past six games, he has two goals, six points, a minus-1 rating and 12 shots on goal. Overall, Schlemko has six goals, 15 points, a minus-8 rating and 70 shots on goal in 44 games played while averaging 17:47 of ice-time.
Travis Hamonic, D, New York Islanders (ESPN: 44.3 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): A stay-at-home defenseman, Hamonic has been a fixture in the trade rumour mill all season long. An injury kept him on the shelf for a number of games, but he’s been solid in his return with a goal, four points, a plus-3 rating, 13 shots on goal, five hits and seven blocked shots in his past four games. In total, Hamonic has three goals, 12 points, a plus-3 rating and 94 shots on goal in 45 games played this season, while averaging 23:45 of action. While not a huge Fantasy contributor, he’ll do as a bench player for sure.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.
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