Fantasy hockey waiver watch: Mikheyev, Zuccarello on hot streaks

Ilya Mikheyev of the Toronto Maple Leafs has a shooting percentage of 22.7%. Ethan Miller/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.


Mats Zuccarello, RW, Minnesota Wild (Rostered in 55.8% of ESPN.com leagues): Since Nov. 18, Zuccarello has eight goals and 13 assists in 17 contests. Skating on a top line and power play with a sizzling Kirill Kaprizov and Ryan Hartman, the diminutive winger is averaging 2.2 fantasy points/game all told. And, somehow, he's available in nearly half of ESPN.com leagues. The 34-year-old veteran, historically underappreciated in the fantasy realm, should be spoken for in nearly all points-driven competition.

Ilya Mikheyev, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs (10.7%): It's hard to argue with five goals (and one assist) in six games. After sitting out the first two months of the season, and playing just the one contest in December, Mikheyev has been on a productive tear since New Year's, regardless of where he's slotted in the lineup (mostly in the bottom six). "I don't think he is doing a whole lot different this season than any of the previous," Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe recently said. "He is just having better luck. That is huge for him and great for his confidence and us." Useful in the fantasy fold as well. Managers with roster holes could do worse than ride the beloved winger while he's enjoying such good fortune.

Trevor Moore, LW/RW, Los Angeles Kings (3.8%): Winners of six of their last seven, the Kings now sit only three points out of first place (Vegas) in the Pacific division. While the club's top scoring unit deserves it's share of credit, this sudden surge is also being powered by production from the club's second line, comprising of Moore, Viktor Arvidsson and Phillip Danault. Since New Year's Day, Moore himself is averaging 1.8 points/game. Impressive stuff. Widely available, the 26-year-old forward could provide your own fantasy roster with a boost while enjoying such excellent chemistry with his current linemates. Arvidsson is another solid free-agent option, rostered in only 15% of ESPN.com leagues.

Gustav Nyquist, RW/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (1.4%): Pitching in at a pleasant pace since mid-December, the former Red Wing has five goals and five assists in nine recent games. His present position on the Blue Jackets' top scoring line and secondary power play suggests we can expect similar numbers, moving forward. While he isn't going to light your roster on fire, Nyquist merits consideration in deeper standard leagues. As long as he keeps a grip on his current role.

Kieffer Bellows, LW/C, New York Islanders (0.7%): Skating on a top-six line with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, the 23-year-old has two goals and three assists on 13 shots in five games. This brand of production is likely more what the Islanders had in mind when they drafted Bellows 19th overall in 2016. As long as he sticks in that top-six - and in the lineup in general - the former USHL skater is worth a thought in deeper fantasy leagues. Also, keep in mind the Isles have only played 30 games to date, fewer than any other team in the league (Anaheim has knocked off 41). Which provides for additional opportunities during future make-up dates.

See also: Craig Smith, RW, Boston Bruins (3.9%)


Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes (7.0%): Overshadowed by teammates Tony DeAngelo, Jaccob Slavin and even Brady Skjei these days, Pesce still holds his own as a fantasy asset in Carolina. Since emerging from the NHL's COVID-19 protocol in mid-December, the defenseman has six points on 18 shots in eight games. Which works out to 1.8 fantasy points per outing. Hardly a jaw-dropping figure, but useful enough to merit roster inclusion in deeper standard leagues.

Radko Gudas, Florida Panthers (12.7%): Even when he doesn't score, the Panthers defender often rewards his managers with a respectable number of fantasy points. Which is handy, since Gudas doesn't contribute all that much in that vein. His value rather lies in blocking shots and crushing opponents. A lot. In fact, the Florida blueliner has more hits (161) than anyone else in the NHL. If your league rewards tough play, like ESPN.com's standard competition, Gudas definitely has a role to fill. Just consider the odd assist here and there as bonus.

See also: Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (23.2%)


Ville Husso, St. Louis Blues (3.9%): Despite playing second fiddle to Jordan Binnington, Husso has been the better of the Blues' two netminders of late. The club's backup was impressively stingy versus the Capitals and Kraken in his two most recent starts, allowing a singular goal in each (both wins). Whereas Binnington wasn't nearly good enough in Saturday's 6-5 loss to Toronto. Battling for a playoff spot, the Blues will lean on the better netminder more often than not, regardless of pay or reputation. Right this moment, that's Husso. Don't be surprised if the team's No. 2 starts against the Predators on Monday. The 26-year-old is worth streaming when playing well, which has largely been the case this season (2.13 GAA, .936 SV%).

See also: Cal Petersen, Los Angeles Kings (10.0%)

Lowered expectations

Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Edmonton Oilers (53.2%): There isn't a lot to love about what's going down altogether in Edmonton these days. Almost to a player, the roster isn't performing adequately enough. Puljujarvi included. Before chipping in a pair of helpers in Saturday's debilitating loss to the Senators, the 23-year-old winger was held point-less while seeing limited minutes in four straight. Bench him until there's a sign of a turnaround, or, in shallower leagues, consider shopping around for other fantasy options altogether. Right now, the Oilers are a mess.