This week's Waiver Wired features a mixed bag of players who can help your fantasy squad immediately and others who may prove useful down the road. Without further ado here are some recommendations worthy of your consideration:
Mike Smith - G - Phoenix Coyotes Count myself among the masses who didn't believe in Smith this season. I thought I had him figured as a bust in 2011-12 and time may still prove me right, but right now he looks solid for the Coyotes. Smith has posted a 5-2-2 record with a .927 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average in nine appearances this campaign. He has rattled off three straight victories and his last loss in regulation came on October 20th. While it might be a lot to ask for him to maintain this level of play throughout the year, he is playing well enough at this time to warrant being on your radar as a depth option. Smith has battled consistency issues throughout his career, but he is currently on his game and is flourishing under coach Dave Tippet's suffocating system.
Ryan Smyth - LW - Edmonton Oilers Smyth's play has fallen under the radar a bit in Edmonton with most of the attention focused on the team's young guns, but he has enjoyed an impressive start with six goals and five assists in his first 12 games. In fact, he is the club's top goal scorer and is tied with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the lead in scoring. The hockey world is waiting for the Oilers to fall back down to earth following their surprisingly successful start, but they continue to chug along for the time being and Smyth is the type of leader the club has been missing. He is averaging just over 20 minutes of ice time per contest and is currently red hot with four goals and six points in his last three games.
Radim Vrbata - RW - Phoenix Coyotes After a relatively uneventful kick off to this season, Vrbata is rediscovering his scoring touch. He accounted for four goals and three assists over three games before being held off the scoresheet in Thursday's 3-0 loss to Nashville. However, he still managed to amass six shots on goal in that contest, while logging a whopping 20:55 of ice time. Vrbata isn't shy when it comes to shooting, as he has fired 38 shots in 12 games this season, which should lead to more offense now that he appears to be coming out of his early funk. Look for him to end up with 45-55 points this year.
Tim Connolly - C - Toronto Maple Leafs Connolly was the Leafs' big free agent signing this past off-season, but another injury delayed his regular season debut until October 27th. The shifty center has notched one goal and three helpers in five games since returning to Toronto's lineup. The white hot play of the league's leading scorer Phil Kessel and the resurgent Joffrey Lupul have made Connolly a player of interest. He possesses the playmaking skills to get his scoring wingers the puck in full flight, which should get him plenty of assists as he grows more accustomed to his new team. Pick him up while the getting is good because he's healthy and his linemates are scorching up the stats sheets on a nightly basis.
Martin Erat - RW - Nashville Predators The Nashville Predators don't have many offensive weapons, but Erat is certainly one of them. He co-led the team in points last season with 50 in 64 appearances. Erat returned to the Predators' lineup last weekend after missing eight games with an upper-body injury and he has registered two points in three contests since getting back into active duty. He is owned in just 17% of Yahoo! leagues and could benefit your squad if you are in a deeper pool or are in need of another scoring winger.
Evander Kane - LW - Winnipeg Jets Kane has begun to click offensively for the Jets after being stalled in the early part of the season. He didn't have a point through his first five games, but has recorded five goals and added three assists in his past six. The 20-year-old winger is packed with potential, so if someone cut bait with him too early then now is the time to pick him up. If he's simply been riding your bench then the investment you put into him is finally starting to pay off.
Colin Greening - LW - Ottawa Senators Greening is currently playing on Ottawa's top line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds he is a load to handle for the opposition and he moves quickly for a player of his size as well. He has generated four goals and eight points in 14 games this season and this boost in ice time with talented linemates should help increase his production. Keep an eye on him because he should be placed in plenty of opportunities to succeed this season.