Corey Abbott

Waiver Wired

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Leafs and Ex-Leafs on the Wire

Sunday, February 12, 2012


It was discussed last week as well, but Sam Gagner is doing his best to show people his eight-point game wasn't a flash in the pan by continuing to pick up points.  He has followed up that incredible performance with four goals and two assists in three contests.  When that's added to his helper before his outburst against Chicago, Gagner has amassed 15 points in his last five games.  If he's still available then he's worth taking a flyer on, especially with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returning to the sidelines with a shoulder injury. That means he'll maintain his position between upstart wingers Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.  Here's some other players worthy of your consideration:

  Tyler Bozak - C - Toronto Maple Leafs - The 25-year-old center has begun to look dangerous again alongside Toronto's dynamic duo of Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.  He has registered four goals and added three assists in his last four games heading into Saturday night's match-up with Montreal.  Bozak has already set a career-high with 34 points in just 46 contests and he's on pace to crack 50, which he could reach by the end of the season.  He has also been solid in the faceoff circle this year with a 51.8 winning percentage on 732 total draws. 

  Alexei Ponikarovsky - LW - New Jersey Devils - When the Devils acquired the slumping forward from Carolina at the tail end of January for minor-league defenseman Joe Sova and a fourth-round pick in 2012, it wasn't met with a great deal of fanfare.  After all, Ponikarovsky had notched a mere 15 points in 49 games with the Hurricanes prior to the deal.  He has been much better since moving to New Jersey with two goals and five assists in eight matches.  He is capable of finishing the year on a high note, but as a third-liner on the club, continued to produce at his current pace may not be likely.  

  Brayden Schenn - C - Philadelphia Flyers - The Philadelphia rookie has had a difficult time staying healthy this campaign and it has slowed his development as a result.  He sustained a shoulder injury during training camp and then a broken foot and a concussion forced him out of the lineup during the regular season.  However, Schenn appears to finally be settling in now with four goals and one helper in his past seven games.  He has also racked up 11 penalty minutes during that span, predominately due to his second career fighting major.  Consider adding him for the home stretch in single-year leagues and of course, retain his rights in keeper formats. 

  Jake Gardiner - D - Toronto Maple Leafs - The smooth skating blueliner has registered two goals and six points in his last eight games, while earning a plus-7 rating.  Gardiner's 17 points leads all rookie defensemen going into Saturday's action and his 21 minutes of average ice time ranks him third among first-year players.  He is worthy of consideration if you are looking for help on your blueline down the stretch due to willingness to jump into the rush and create offense and it appears as though he has a promising future in store.  

  Kurtis Foster - D - New Jersey Devils - Foster enjoyed his best game of the season last week with two goals and one helper on the power play in Philadelphia, while earning five shots over 14:21 of ice time.  He also amassed 15 penalty minutes and contributed an assist against St. Louis on Thursday.  Foster has recorded 12 points in 25 contests since joining the Devils from Anaheim, which is a decent total from the back end, but his minus-15 rating on the year is something to be wary of if your league accounts for that category. 

  Mikael Samuelsson - RW - Florida Panthers - It's been a tough year for Samuelsson as injuries have kept him out of 27 games, but he has been productive since returning to the lineup from his tailbone and concussion ailments at the beginning of January.  The Panthers winger has registered five markers and four assists in 14 games over that time and he has collected four points in five games so far this month.  He has been directing the puck to the net with enthusiasm lately with 19 shots in his last six contests.  In fact , Samuelsson has been held without a shot only once in 26 appearances this season.  He could prove to be beneficial in standard leagues for the remainder of 2011-12 if he can stay out of the team's sick bay.      


Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
Email :Corey Abbott



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