During the November 13th edition of the Waiver Wired article, I listed Adam Henrique
among my recommendations. If you missed that article or took a pass on him, I’d like to resubmit him for your consideration. Henrique has been playing alongside Zach Parise
and Ilya Kovalchuk
and had 19 points in 18 games from November 2nd to December 9th. Travis Zajac
is expected to return in a couple weeks and when that happens, the Devils will shake up their lines, but even still, Henrique looks like a great short-term option and a potentially solid long-term one as well. He’s still only owned in 10% of Yahoo! leagues, so there’s a good chance he’s still available in your league if you want him.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the new batch of Waiver Wired picks.
A few seasons ago, Kaberle being available in 60% of fantasy leagues would have been unthinkable. However, people have been quick to give up on him after a largely disappointing 24-game stint withBostonlast season and an even worse 29-game showing with the Carolina Hurricanes. However, we’re not ready to say that Kaberle is old news just yet. For one thing, he’s not even a full season removed from his glory years – he was on pace for 54 points when the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt him last season, – and he wasn’t the source of the Bruins’ power-play woes or Carolina’s problems in general, he just failed to be the solution. Additionally, his struggles during the Bruins’ Cup run have been overstated. He did end up with a decent 11 points in 25 games in limited playing time and he was, in fact, tied for second on the Bruins in assists. Additionally, after a very rough start withCarolina, Kaberle was finally showing some signs of bouncing back with four assists in two games before the trade. Kaberle will join another struggling power play with the Montreal Canadiens, but one that also ranked seventh in the NHL in 2010-11 with a lot of the same cast members. Taking Kaberle at this point is a gamble, but it’s one that could pay off big.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Brad Richards
and Marian Gaborik
pairing didn’t last, but splitting them up has given the Rangers two effective lines. One of the benefactors of the move is Anisimov, who has been playing on a line with Gaborik. Anisimov had a goal and eight points in 11 games last month and, prior to Saturday’s games, is riding a four-game point streak that started on December 1st. As long as the Rangers don’t try to revert back to having one super line, Anisimov should be good for 0.7 or so points per game. Just don’t expect him to celebrate excessively after scoring a goal.
O'Reilly’s third full NHL season will easily be his best. How could it not be, given that he already has six goals and 21 points in 30 games this season after recording 26 points in each of his rookie and sophomore campaigns? A big part of that boost can be linked to his new role with the team. O'Reilly has gone from averaging 16:03 minutes per game in 2010-11 to 18:05 minutes this season, with the majority of that extra playing time due to his increased power-play responsibilities. O'Reilly might not be able to sustain his team lead in the points category, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes the season with over 50 points.
-C/RW-St. Louis Blues
Oshie was one of our sleeper picks going into the season, but he got off to a rough start with just a goal and five points in 11 October games. However, that’s well behind him as Oshie has eight goals and 14 points in his last 17 contests. After being limited to just 48 games last season, he inked a one-year show me contract. He’s also averaging 19:05 minutes per game this season, including 20:02 minutes in November. We wouldn’t be surprised if Oshie reaches the 60-point milestone and forces the Blues to give him a sizable contract in the process.
For years, Erat has been one of the most consistent players in the NHL. Over the past seven seasons, he has never finished with less than 49 points or more than 57. However, Erat would have broken that trend last season if he had been able to play in more than 64 games. He tends to miss a decent amount of playing time each season, which makes those 49-57 points look better in context. It also makes him worth owning during the stretches that he’s healthy, especially now that he’s hot, with five points in his last four contests.
Michael Del Zotto
-D-New York Rangers
After recording 37 points in 80 games in 2009-10, Del Zotto had a horrible sophomore slump and didn’t even spend the entire 2010-11 campaign playing at the NHL level. That being said, he’s been given an opportunity to redeem himself in 2011-12 and so far he’s done just that. One of the criticisms of him entering this season was his defensive play. He had a minus-20 rating in his rookie season and a minus-five rating in 47 games last season. However, Del Zotto is currently first on the Rangers with a plus-11 rating, fourth with 57 hits, and third with 39 blocked shots. That ensures that he’s not going away anytime soon and seems to support the start of a breakout campaign. Del Zotto has seven assists in his last seven contests and while he’ll cool down, he shouldn’t fade away. Look for him to record 30-40 points this season.