By Neil Parker, RotoWire Hockey Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
While it’s been quiet on the trade front, injury returnees have added to waiver-wire talent of late. Last week, Cam Atkinson popped up as a potential grab, and now Nino Niederreiter is back to his scoring ways.
One trick to make sure you’re not missing out on talented free agents is to sort your waiver-wire lists by preseason rankings or projections. You might also unearth a struggling scorer in the beginning stages of a rebound stretch.
Here’s the schedule for the next scoring period, Feb. 12-18:
Two games: Bruins, Stars, Blues
Four games: Coyotes, Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Oilers,
Panthers, Devils, Rangers, Penguins, Lightning, Maple Leafs
All other teams play three games.
It’s important to keep an eye on who is cut in your leagues since potential upgrades come in all forms. Also, remember to check the players previously covered in this space listed below.
(Yahoo ownership rates as of Feb. 8).
Kyle Palmieri, NJD (44 percent): The winger has collected three goals, three assists, three multi-point showings and 13 shots through his past four outings. Palmieri has topped 25 goals and 50 points in consecutive seasons, so his offensive track record has legs. Additionally, he’s locked into a top-six role with power-play time on the No. 1 unit.
Nino Niederreiter, MIN (38 percent): Injuries have limited Niederreiter to 34 games this season, but he scored last time out, and is now three contests removed from a lower-body injury. The 23-year-old winger has collected 14 goals and 20 points this season, which is a nice follow-up to last year’s breakout campaign. He should be owned in most settings.
Matt Duchene, OTT (41 percent): Despite everything crumbling around him in Ottawa, Duchene has actually found an offensive groove over the past month. He’s recorded six goals, 14 points and 34 shots through his past 14 contests, and his go-to scoring role projects to remain intact moving forward. Talent has never been a question with Duchene.
Kevin Fiala, NAS (34 percent): Game-to-game consistency continues to be a shortcoming, but Fiala’s strong first full season in the league is going relatively unnoticed. He’s posted an excellent 1.3 goals, 2.67 points and 9.31 shots per 60 minutes for the campaign, and with a top-six role and power-play time locked up, it’s safe to expect serviceable numbers moving forward.
Yanni Gourde, TB (43 percent): Injuries have landed Gourde back in a top-six role, and the 26-year-old forward has collected five goals, eight points and 17 shots through his past seven outings. Gourde’s fantasy ceiling is somewhat capped, but he’s scored all season and offers a reliable floor. Plus, being attached to the league’s best offense is a nice bonus.
Sam Reinhart, BUF (23 percent): Not to slight Reinhart, but his value skyrockets when he lines up with Jack Eichel. The duo has combined for an impressive 4.58 goals per 60 minutes this season, whereas the winger owns a discouraging 1.6 mark when playing without Eichel. As long as Reinhart is playing with No. 15, he’s on the fantasy radar in most leagues.
Michael Cammalleri, EDM (2 percent): The veteran has now played the last four games on the No. 1 line with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The trio is clicking to the tune of 7.59 goals per 60 minutes during the stretch, and Cammalleri has collected an assist in each of the past three contests. It’s a small sample size, but Cammalleri’s worth a roster spot in the majority of settings while skating in a top-line role.
T.J. Brodie, CGY (40 percent): After posting consecutive 40-point seasons, Brodie dipped to 36 in 2016-17. While the 27-year-old defenseman also started a little slow this year, he’s now collected five assists through his past three contests to improve to a respectable 1.17 points per 60 minutes. Brodie is trending in the right direction and offers a serviceable fantasy floor.
Ryan Pulock, NYI (5 percent): The Islanders are turning to Pulock more frequently of late, and he logged a season-high 22:39 of ice time in his latest game. While a five-point showing skews his numbers, the 23 year-old defenseman has still collected a respectable four goals, 10 assists and 52 shots through his past 21 contests.
Travis Dermott, TOR (2 percent): Quickly becoming a fan favorite in Leafs Nation, Dermott’s recorded a goal, three assists, 10 shots, nine blocked shots and a plus-5 rating through his past five contests. With Toronto appearing to be hitting full stride, Dermott offers a respectable fantasy floor with a splash of upside, and his value could continue to rise if injuries strike the defense corps again.
Ryan Miller, ANA (27 percent): John Gibson has missed the past four games and is currently on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, so Miller projects to continue receiving the majority of starts for the immediate future. Additionally, looking ahead, the veteran could see an uptick in playing time to keep Gibson healthy for another playoff run. Miller’s .915 save percentage and 2.69 GAA make him a serviceable option against most opponents, too.
Anton Forsberg, CHI (17 percent): Goaltending has been a major issue in Chicago with Corey Crawford (concussion) out of action, and neither Forsberg or Jeff Glass has been able to take the No. 1 gig and run with it. The 25-year-old Swede remains a matchup-based option with modest upside for deep settings.
Petr Mrazek, DET (33 percent): Jimmy Howard has lost five consecutive starts, whereas Mrazek has won four of six with a .958 save percentage and 1.30 GAA. The Czech netminder has proven to be a reliable fantasy asset in the past, and with Detroit likely looking to the future, there’s a good chance Mrazek will receive more action for the rest of the season.
Players to consider from past columns: Evgenii Dadonov, Bo Horvat, Micheal Ferland, Ondrej Kase, Tomas Hertl, Anthony Beauvillier, Teuvo Teravainen, Kevin Labanc, Nick Schmaltz, Mikko Koivu, Mathieu Perreault, Alex DeBrincat, Erik Haula, Travis Konecny, Zach Hyman, Elias Lindholm, Shea Theodore, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Mike Matheson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jeff Petry, Esa Lindell, Jordan Oesterle, Alexander Edler, Antti Raanta, Aaron Dell, Jacob Markstrom, Juuse Saros, Philipp Grubauer, Jeff Glass.