With the NHL bye weeks coming in to effect this month it is the most important time of the year for exploring the waiver wire and finding the best options to fill out your fantasy hockey league lineup. We took the time to figure out who the best options with less than 50% ownership were in the majority of NHL fantasy leagues with a focus on both the long and short term. Here is a look at the top NHL waiver wire options for this week.
LW/ RW: Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings
Mantha scored his 11th goal of the season on Saturday night and has now earned at least one point in eight of his last nine outings overall. He has seven goals and 12 points over that span and his 19 points in 25 games for the Red Wings this season indicate a strong second half is in store. The 2013 first round pick has really made a strong impression in Detroit and his dual-eligibility at both positions on the wing make him that much stronger of a waiver wire option for this week with high upside in both in the short and the long-term.
LW: Patrick Maroon, Edmonton Oilers
The outlook for Maroon is simple: If he plays with Connor McDavid, he is going to produce. Maroon has celebrated his return to Edmonton’s top line with a hat trick against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night and he now has seven points over his last eight games. Maroon produced at a high level on a line with McDavid down the stretch last season and as long as he remains on the top line he should continue to produce moving forward.
LW: Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings
Pearson has four goals and three assists over his last eight games and as long as he continues to play on the same line as Jeff Carter his production should continue. The Kings have struggled with consistency up front this season so the chemistry that Pearson has shown with Carter is that much more important. Los Angeles has managed to remain in the Western Conference playoff picture despite ranking 22nd in the NHL with an average of 2.4 goals per game so look for them to lean even more on goal scorers like Pearson the rest of the way.
C/RW: Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres
Reinhart’s value will only continue to climb if the Sabres can stay healthy as he will play on the wing next to either Ryan O’Reilly or Jack Eichel. Reinhart has averaged a point per game over his last nine contests and the potential is there for him to remain hot with some considerable talent around him. Reinhart has eight goals and 24 points in 39 games this season but his point per game rate should continue to climb for Buffalo the rest of the way.
C: Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
Koivu is a veteran scorer that has picked up the pace over the course of a four-game point streak with three goals and four assists over that span. Koivu started slow but he has averaged just over a point per game over his last 16 contests while thriving on a line with Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund. Minnesota needs Koivu to continue to produce as its second line center and he is even more valuable in leagues that could faceoffs with a 55.1-winning percentage this season.
C: Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks have not been a headline act this season but one player who has played well for them has been Bo Horvat. If you’re in an NHL fantasy league where he is still available, consider adding him to your roster. While the Canucks have been one of the weaker offenses in hockey this season, Horvat has managed to be one of their key scorers. He has now tallied in three of his last four outings while compiling a healthy seven-game scoring streak. He has five assists during that span along with the aforementioned three goals. The key here is that he’s still just 21 years old and should get better as the season progresses. That being the case, take a shot on him with NHL fantasy. He leads the team with 29 points in 42 matches.
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