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Waiver watch: Return updates on Jack Eichel, Connor Brown and more

Connor Brown is set to return to the lineup for the Ottawa Senators tonight on ESPN+. Gerry Thomas/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.

Forwards

Jack Eichel, C, Vegas Golden Knights (Rostered in 58.1% of ESPN.com leagues): As anticipated, he's been cleared for contact in practice and is already holding a spot on Vegas's top power play. All goes to plan, the former Sabres captain should make his Golden Knights debut in short order. Even before Monday's skate, coach Pete DeBoer had proclaimed the elite (his word) center the best player on the practice ice. Skating on a top line/special teams unit with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, Eichel has the potential to serve as a fantasy game-changer. An asset that might mean the difference between finishing first or further down the table. If available, he should be added immediately. Like now.

Jared McCann, C/LW, Seattle Kraken (33.8%): This is more of what we expected consistently from Seattle's top center. Following up his scoring flurry from around New Year's, McCann is heating up again with four goals and three assists in six games. The Kraken have performed better since mid-January, partially because of improved play from their top scorer. February is also shaping up to be rather busy for McCann and company, as Seattle is scheduled to play nine times before end of month.

Connor Brown, RW, Ottawa Senators (22.5%): After missing 10 games with a broken jaw, Brown is all healed up and ready to fill a spot in Ottawa's top six. Goodness knows, the club could certainly use the scoring boost, with both Drake Batherson and Josh Norris sidelined. Before taking a puck to the face in mid-January, Brown collected 19 points through 26 contests, including five with the extra skater. The versatile forward will now be called upon to contribute in even greater fashion for a team that's missing its two leading goal scorers. Remember, the former Maple Leaf banged out 21 goals in only 56 contests last year. He's certainly useful as a fantasy asset in deeper ESPN.com leagues.

Mason Marchment, LW/RW, Florida Panthers (15.7%): It seems every time we tune into a Panthers game, there's a new fantasy candidate commanding our attention. This week it's Brian's kid, who erupted for six goals, six assists and 11 PIM in his most recent five games, including a six-point effort in Columbus on Jan. 31. An unsustainable pace to be sure, but that doesn't mean the 26-year-old power forward won't continue to pitch in regularly. Especially if he sticks on Florida's third "scoring" line with rookie Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart. Marchment is also averaging 2.3 hits/contests, which add up.

Matt Boldy, LW/RW, Minnesota Wild (13.8%): Ten games into his NHL career, Boldy already has four goals and six assists (plus-nine), including three points on the power play. Perhaps most tellingly, only Kirill Kaprizov is averaging more points 5v5/60 minutes amongst Wild skaters who exceed 10 minutes/contest at even-strength. And the 20-year-old will be plenty busy most of this month. After a brief rest this week, Minnesota plays every second day from Feb. 12 until Feb. 26. Don't be surprised if the rookie nearly doubles his production before we even hit March. The 12th overall draft pick (2019) is the real deal.

See also: Tanner Jeannot, LW/RW, Nashville Predators (25.2%)

Defenders

Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers (50.6%): After an uninspired start to 2022, Bouchard appears back in fine fantasy form, notching three goals and two assists in six games since Jan. 22. That works out to an average of 2.7 fantasy points/contest. No Oiler outside of Darnell Nurse has put in more on-ice minutes over that span, which speaks to coach Dave Tippett's current faith in the defender. I'm also generally all over any blueliner who anchors an Edmonton top power play that includes Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Right now, that's Bouchard.

Adam Larsson, Seattle Kraken (23.8%): He throws hits, he blocks shots, and he even scores on occasion. Along with McCann and fellow defenseman Mark Giordano, Larsson serves as a solid asset from a Seattle squad otherwise limited as far as fantasy talent is concerned. Leading his club in blocked shots (90) and sitting second in hits (111), the former Devil/Oiler deserves consideration in deeper leagues that reward the rough stuff.

See also: Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks (20.0%)

Goaltenders

Matt Murray, Ottawa Senators (3.4%): The Senators are a better team than they were last week, now that forwards Connor Brown, Dylan Gambrell, and defender Nikita Zaitsev are back in the lineup. And Murray has been inarguably great through his last three starts, winning two of them. In fact, he hasn't lost in regulation since New Year's Day. While there's plenty of risk in rostering any netminder in Ottawa, the Stanley Cup Champion could merit a dice roll for managers otherwise stuck with sub-standard goaltending. At least against New Jersey on Monday. Then take it one game at a time.

See also: Cal Petersen, Los Angeles Kings (11.1%)

Lowered expectations

Jordan Binnington, G, St. Louis Blues (74.4%): Ville Husso (rostered in 33.3% of ESPN.com leagues) has been the much better netminder in St. Louis this past month. Just compare Husso's 6-1-0 record, 1.37 GAA and .956 SV% with Binnington's 1-3-0, 5.30 GAA and .867 SV% since Jan. 5. Night and day, right? No small wonder the Blues, clinging to fourth place in the Central, are opting to run with their No. 2 more often than not. Maybe Binnington turns matters around in the next week or two. But maybe not.