Line changes: Ryan Hartman tops list of best waiver adds

Ryan Hartman is worth an add in fantasy as long as he remains on a line with Patrick Kane. Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire

Every week we'll mine the waiver wire for widely available assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we'll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued -- in the short or long term -- for one reason or another.


Ryan Hartman, RW/LW, Chicago Blackhawks (rostered in 18.8 percent of ESPN leagues)

The upper-body injury to center Artem Anisimov means a promotion for Hartman to second-line left wing, while Nick Schmaltz slides over to center with Patrick Kane on the right. Since Anisimov fell injured Dec. 28, Hartman has two goals in three games. The 23-year-old should continue to produce consistently as long as he fills that role.

Adam Lowry, LW/C, Winnipeg Jets (9.1 percent)

Now serving on the Jets' top power play in place of the injured Mark Scheifele, Lowry has four goals and three assists, including a couple of points with the man advantage, in his most recent seven contests. The 24-year-old serves a purpose in deeper fantasy leagues, especially ones that reward production with the man advantage. Suffering an upper-body injury, Scheifele is projected to be out six to eight weeks.

Kevin Labanc, RW/LW, San Jose Sharks (7.1 percent)

While a gig within the Sharks' top six would be nice, Labanc is having little issue getting it done with the extra skater. Five power-play points in seven games, plus three more at even strength, inflate the sophomore's fantasy worth significantly.

Chris Stewart, RW, Minnesota Wild (4.5 percent)

Stewart is slated to get the first crack at playing on Zach Parise's opposite wing, now that the latter appears set to compete in his first game of 2017-18. Along with center Charlie Coyle, this newly formed scoring unit holds much promise. How well Stewart manages his part will help determine whether he still owns the role once Nino Niederreiter is cleared to return from an ankle injury. A solid first impression from Stewart on Tuesday versus the Florida Panthers should give coach Bruce Boudreau food for thought.

Sam Gagner, C/RW, Vancouver Canucks (4.2 percent)

Centering the Canucks' hottest line at present with wingers Brock Boeser and Thomas Vanek, Gagner has three goals and four assists in seven recent contests. Remember how surprising Gagner's eruption for 50 points was with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season? That included an utterly arid February. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues might consider employing the center's services as an injury substitute as long as he's producing.

Ryan Spooner, C, Boston Bruins (3.6 percent)

The pending restricted free agent-to-be is on a roll with 10 points in 11 games, including two goals against the Ottawa Senators this past Saturday. Skating on a second scoring line and power play with David Krejci and rookie Jake DeBrusk, Spooner qualifies as a deeper-league asset as long as this productive streak endures.

Devante Smith-Pelly, RW, Washington Capitals (0.4 percent)

As long as he remains on a Capitals top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Smith-Pelly can't be ignored as an intriguing outside-the-box fantasy asset. Filling that role, the 25-year-old notched an assist (plus-one) on four shots while seeing 16:25 of ice time in Saturday's win over the New Jersey Devils.


Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (33.0 percent)

Johnson takes over as Colorado's top offensive-defenseman with Tyson Barrie (hand) out long term. The 29-year-old is already enjoying a solid campaign with five goals and 10 assists in 36 games. Meanwhile, rookie defenseman Samuel Girard (rostered in 1.9 percent of ESPN leagues) is earning a shot on the Avalanche's top power play with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. The 19-year-old already has three assists with the man advantage in two games.


James Reimer, Florida Panthers (30.1 percent)

The Panthers' decision to stick with Reimer as the top sub for an injured Roberto Luongo is finally paying off. After a challenging run lasting into mid-December, Reimer has since ripped off five straight wins, including two shutouts. Wielding the hot blocker of late, the 29-year-old should be rostered regularly in most ESPN leagues.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes (19.0 percent)

Ward is performing superbly right now while perceived No. 1 Scott Darling isn't playing much at all. Ride the long-term Carolina veteran as he builds on a six-game win streak. Ward also hasn't allowed more than two goals in four consecutive contests.

Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins (13.3 percent)

The Penguins are choosing to lean on Jarry for the second time in three games against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. As No. 1 Matt Murray struggles, Pittsburgh's backup has allowed only four goals through his most recent two and a half contests (one in relief of Murray). He could merit spot play for however long this trend lasts.

Jeff Glass, Chicago Blackhawks (0.0 percent)

One of the holiday season's feel-good on-ice stories, Glass earned a well-deserved win in his first NHL game at the age of 32. He followed that 42-save victory over the Edmonton Oilers with another solid performance in Sunday's overtime loss to the Calgary Flames. While Corey Crawford remains sidelined with an upper-body injury -- and it could be a while -- Glass has intriguing dark-horse potential in daily fantasy play. Another couple of starts could help determine his fantasy potential otherwise.

Lowered expectations

Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens (91.5 percent)

The enduring subject of trade chatter, Pacioretty could be dealt before the Feb. 26 deadline. That would be a blessing for the 29-year-old scoring winger and his host of fantasy managers. Lacking productive support up front, Pacioretty wrapped up an ugly December with zero goals and four assists in 12 games.

Jacob Trouba, D, Winnipeg Jets (63.3 percent)

The pending return of Dustin Byfuglien likely spells an end to Trouba's gig with the Jets' top power play soon enough, if not immediately. Whether he then bumps fellow defenseman Tyler Myers from his respective spot on the secondary unit remains to be seen. Trouba has two power-play assists through Byfuglien's 10-game absence, plus an additional one at even strength.

Evgenii Dadonov, RW/LW, Florida Panthers (44.5 percent)

With only three assists in eight games since returning from a suspected shoulder injury, Dadonov recently has been bumped to the Panthers' third line, a very different assignment from that of accompanying Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov or second-unit center Vincent Trocheck. Consider benching the KHL export until he rediscovers his scoring touch and/or fully heals.