Fantasy Hockey waiver wire pickups for Week 2

·8-min read

By Evan Berofsky, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

With only about a week gone in the season, it's best not to overreact. Proven players not scoring? No need to worry yet. Surprises off to a hot start? Don't get cocky. And if they continue to overachieve, maybe you can turn that into a favorable trade or two.

Patience is key when dealing with fantasy decisions. At the same time, it's imperative to stay on top of everything. Because the minute you forget to look for updates may ultimately decide your daily/weekly matchup.

So remember to drop by RotoWire for the latest news and in-depth material to prepare your lineups.

Check out the current crop of convenient waiver candidates:

(Rostered rates/stats as of Oct. 21.)


Yanni Gourde, SEA (31 percent rostered)

After sitting the first four games, Gourde made his Kraken debut Tuesday. He immediately skated on the top line while logging 22:25 of ice time — including 4:44 on the power play, where he notched an assist — and won 13 of 23 faceoffs. In addition to his real-life center role, the former Bolt also qualifies as a RW on Yahoo. Gourde fared decently in Tampa Bay and should be allowed to skate major minutes on a developing Seattle squad.

Mats Zuccarello, MIN (21% rostered)

Even before Zuccarello broke out with four points against Winnipeg, I was amazed to see him available in more than 80 percent of leagues. The injury issues the last three seasons may be troublesome, but he's proved to be a lethal scorer when in the lineup. The Wild's first unit was pretty much shut down the opening two games, but they combined for five goals and five assists on Tuesday. As long as Zucc remains healthy and continues his partnership with Kirill Kaprizov, there shouldn't be any issues.

Jakob Silfverberg, ANH (19%)

With all the promising talent up front in Anaheim, it's easy to forget about their veteran forwards. The Ducks' under-25 contingent boasts plenty of potential, but it's 31-year-old Silfverberg who leads the club in points with six. The Swede also draws fantasy attention with 13 shots and a plus-5. It would seem unlikely Silfverberg will eclipse his career-high 49 points from 2016-17, but it's a good bet he'll stick among the top six.

Lucas Raymond, DET (9%)

The Wings look for real on offense and their play at the other end is improving. The Detroit player who has everyone talking is Raymond. The fourth pick from 2020 has jumped straight from two years in the Swedish Elite League to a starring role in the Motor City. Raymond's already receiving high praise for his skills and has produced a goal and two assists. There's a chance the teenager could be demoted before his 10th appearance to save a year on his contract, though that's highly unlikely based on his play.

Detroit Red Wings left wing Lucas Raymond (23)
Young Lucas Raymond is making the most of his opportunity. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Boone Jenner, CLS (9%)

Jenner generally appears in this column every season based on his category and position versatility. This year is no different, with contributions of two goals, including one on the power play, seven shots, five hits, and three blocks in three outings. If you're looking for faceoff help, Jenner's racked up a whopping 42 wins in the dot. He's also centering Patrik Laine and Jakub Voracek on both even-strength and man-advantage while maintaining his longtime lead penalty-kill position.

Mikael Granlund, NSH (7%)

Since arriving in Nashville, Granlund's numbers have declined — though the 27 points in 51 games last season marks a slight step up. The 2010 first-rounder broke right out of the gate with a goal and two helpers versus Seattle and doubled his PPA total on Tuesday against LA. Granlund plays pivot on the second line while seeing extensive time on both special-teams units. The Preds might not be the NHL hotbed for forward talent, but grabbing a guy like Granlund could help you further down the lineup.

Shane Pinto, OTT (4%)

Ottawa has looked impressive in wins over Toronto and Dallas, though it would be nice if they put more pucks in the net. After a stellar NCAA career and an excellent abbreviated NHL run, Pinto's ready for a full-time position in the show. The lone assist in three games could be considered disappointing, yet there are positive signs with him centering the second line while averaging 19:32 — with 1:42 on the PP. There's a bright future for Pinto, but the present also looks promising.

Tage Thompson, BUF (1%)

Speaking of surprising starts, the Sabres have taken their first three minus Jack Eichel and entered with what was believed to be a patchwork offense and shaky defense. Both sides are bound to regress, but there's a lot of intriguing under-rostered forwards. While Victor Olofsson (14%), Jeff Skinner (4%), and Dylan Cozens (3%) represent the most obvious names, I'd like to make a case for Thompson. From 26th selection in 2016 to being lost in the bigs over three-plus years, he's not had it easy. It would take a move back to center — a position he hasn't played since college — to revive Thompson, and he's responded by co-leading Buffalo with two goals and 12 shots (and tops with 21 faceoff wins) supplemented by a prime place on the power play. Sounds solid for a one-percenter.


Jamie Drysdale, ANH (29%)

Drysdale is obviously gone in dynasty leagues, though he remains widely available in one-year formats. Expect that to change over the coming weeks and months as the highly touted prospect starts to hit the scoresheet more often. Top D pairing? Check. Power-play quarterback? You betcha. If Drysdale's still on the wire, reel him in now.

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Rasmus Sandin, TOR (18%)

The Leafs have waited a while for a legit secondary blueline producer behind Morgan Rielly and it appears they found their solution in Sandin. The 2018 first-round pick already tore up the AHL to the tune of 43 points across 70 contests, so there was nothing left for him there. Sandin may endure a few ups-and-downs during his first real NHL test, but Toronto appears to be grooming him for bigger and better things.

Shayne Gostisbehere, ARI (16%)

The latter part of Gostisbehere's stay in Philly didn't go particularly well, so a change of scenery was necessary. The point haul from last season wasn't terrible (20 in 41), yet he occasionally sat in the press box. Other than Jakob Chychrun, Arizona's pretty thin on blueline scoring. That's left the door open for Gostisbehere to accumulate four assists and assume the No. 1 PP role. There will be slip-ups over the campaign, but the promise of semi-steady offense should be enough to get him onto your team.

John Marino, PIT (7%)

Marino will never be in the conversation for top-tier fantasy defensemen, yet he's discussed when it comes to most valuable in real life. A debut effort of six goals and 20 assists in 2019-20 got the attention of poolies. The next year saw that total cut in half, so many probably forgot Marino existed before this campaign. It's amazing what a point in all four appearances will do to one's profile as his coverage increased by 200 percent in one day. Marino can't possibly sustain this kind of output and the other stats are light, but his sizable ice time is at least worth a flyer.


Mikko Koskinen, EDM (26% — and rapidly climbing)

With the news of Mike Smith being placed on injured reserve, Koskinen's stock skyrockets. His surge in popularity has nothing to do with any recent performances, though one can't complain about stopping 20 of 21 shots on Tuesday after Smith went down. A career 2.92 GAA and .908 save percentage in Edmonton is nothing to get excited about, but Koskinen should at least earn a few Ws with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company filling up the net at the other end.

Jonathan Bernier, NJ (16%)

Following a couple of decent years in Detroit, Bernier was brought in by Jersey as cover for Mackenzie Blackwood. The veteran now finds himself on the frontline with the incumbent injured and has pulled off a pair of victories. The Devils ranked 27th in GAA last season, but the additions of Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves are bound to help the defensive cause. Bernier suffered a lower-body injury and will miss Thursday's game, though he'll be worth a shot when he returns.

(Players to consider from past columns: Joel Eriksson Ek, Jared McCann, Nino Niederreiter, Michael Bunting, Rasmus Andersson, John Gibson, Adin Hill)

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