Waiver watch: Don't sleep on Victor Oloffson and James Reimer

Victor Olofsson of the Buffalo Sabres has nine points in eight games. Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Every week, we'll mine the waiver wire for lesser-rostered assets to help your 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 may be overvalued - in the short- or long-term - for one reason or another.


Alex Killorn, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (49.0%): Settled in on a top scoring line with Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli, Killorn has four goals and two assists on 10 shots in his three most recent games. He's also competing on the Lightning's No. 1 power play. After last week's surgery, Nikita Kucherov is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Which means Killorn could stick alongside Point and Cirelli until January. That's worth investment, in most fantasy competition. Check on the winger's availability in your own league ASAP.

Jaden Schwartz, LW, Seattle Kraken (44.1%): The scoring winger is a much more productive player than his collection of four assists on the season might imply. Gelling with new linemates Joonas Donskoi and Alex Wennberg, Schwartz is already heating up, contributing a helper in each of his past three contests. That Kraken trio appeared ultra-dangerous in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Wild. Averaging nearly 20 minutes/game, Schwartz is shooting more, registering five shots on net in Sunday's loss to the Rangers. Too many impatient fantasy managers are bailing on a top-line skater who's bound to rediscover his scoring touch soon enough.

Victor Olofsson, RW, Buffalo Sabres (35.4%): Too large a percentage of us are sleeping on Buffalo's top scorer to launch 2021-22, taking into account what he's already shown us in his limited NHL career. Now the 26-year-old is leading his club with five goals and four assists, and humming along nicely on a scoring line with Tage Thompson and Rasmus Asplund. One of the few bright spots during Buffalo's mostly very terrible 2020-21, Olofsson should be spoken for in all but the shallowest of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. Skating under coach Don Granato, the Sabres are having themselves some fun.

Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, Florida Panthers (23.0%): Bumped to the top line in the season's earliest stages, Duclair is making the most of playing with Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe, leading the nearly-perfect Panthers with six goals through nine contests. One of the game's streakier producers - remember his red-hot December with the Senators in 2019? - the well-travelled winger should be rostered in most conventional leagues until he (inevitably?) cools off. Duclair's impressive plus-nine through October only adds that little extra fantasy shine.

J.T. Compher, RW/C, Colorado Avalanche (22.9%): Competing on the Avalanche's top special teams unit, Compher leads his club with three power-play points. Shuffled up and down the lineup 5v5, he's also averaging nearly 20 minutes and a point/game altogether. While this current pace is a little out of character, Compher has use in deeper leagues while running hot. That top power-play role is key. Fantasy managers with greater roster freedom, in moving bodies in and out, might give the Colorado skater a temporary whirl, at least.


Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks (24.9%): Anchoring the Ducks' secondary power play, Fowler has seven points in 10 games, including four with the extra skater. The long-time Duck can also be counted on to play heavy minutes and block shots. There are flashier fantasy assets out there, but Fowler quietly checks most boxes, most nights. Give the 29-year-old a thought, if you need a blue-line fix. Unless teammate Kevin Shattenkirk is available, then grab him instead. Shattenkirk is having an extra fine time of it in his 12th NHL season.

Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers (14.3%): Earning top-pair minutes alongside Darnell Nurse and anchoring a secondary power play, the just-turned 22-year-old is off to a promising start with four points on 19 shots. The 15 blocked shots help pad an already impressive and underappreciated fantasy resume in standard leagues. In the weeks leading up, Bouchard was roundly expected to take a large stride forward in what projects to be his first full NHL season. So far, so good.

Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (3.9%): Thanks to his physical play, the Montreal defender earned his standard-league managers 2.3 fantasy points in Sunday's disappointing loss to the Ducks, without contributing a goal or assist. Only four shy of Brent Burns' 23 blocked shots, Chiarot also ranks fifth in hits amongst blueliners. While the odd goal or assist from the staunch defender serves more as a nice fantasy bonus, you can still probably count on 20-25 points on the year. There isn't a lot to love about what's going on with the Canadiens right now - through a fantasy lens and otherwise - but Chiarot is contributing his bit for his few loyal managers. He should be more popular in leagues that include non-scoring categories.


James Reimer, San Jose Sharks (4.3%): The netminder was terrific in Saturday's 2-1 OT win over the Jets - a game in which a wildly depleted Sharks squad (COVID-19 protocols) was given little chance. Reimer was also pretty great versus the Predators this past Tuesday, flat-out perfect in relief of Adin Hill against the Bruins last weekend, and stopped all but one of 31 shots faced in his first game of the campaign, a 2-1 win over the Senators. This trend keeps up, and we're going to see more Reimer and less Hill, going forward. I'm not convinced the Sharks will win more games than lose between now and spring, but the 33-year-old veteran is brimming with confidence and performing superbly right now.

Lowered expectations

Dallas Stars: They aren't scoring. Of their 15 goals through eight contests - not an impressive number on it's own - the Stars have potted only four in their past three contests (all losses). Both Tyler Seguin and Joe Pavelski have each earned only one point at even-strength, while Roope Hintz and Jamie Benn have a combined three assists. The club's best players need to figure it out, along with coach Rick Bowness, and fast. Until they do, bench any Stars skater not named Miro Heiskanen, at least until there's a turnaround. There are other, better, fantasy options out there in the meanwhile.