The NHL's lockout-shortened season comes an end to next week. Some of you may have already finished your playoffs, but if your pools are still going, this week's Waiver Wired will supply a mixed bag of late options for your consideration. Just a quick note first: Erik Karlsson is an intriguing possibility due to his immensely rapid recovery from a partially torn Achilles tendon, but it may be too risky and farfetched to believe he will play before the playoffs begin. And if he does suit up, it may not be until the very end.
Brenden Morrow (LW - Pittsburgh Penguins) - It took Morrow some time to get going since being dealt to the Penguins, but he has been on fire of late. The former Dallas captain has five goals and three assists in his last four games after producing one helper in his first six appearances with Pittsburgh. He has continued to display his physical style while chipping in penalty minutes and hits to increase his value. The Penguins may keep injured stars James Neal, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup going into the postseason, which will give Morrow plenty more opportunities to shine. He is owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but is a popular add right now, so act quickly.
Bryan Little (C, RW - Winnipeg Jets) - The Jets’ top line has been flying high down the stretch and Little has been playing great between Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. Ladd has been Winnipeg's most consistent player all year and Wheeler has been very productive as well. Little will carry a five-game point streak with him into Saturday's match against the Islanders. Over that span, he has generated a goal and eight assists. He should continue to soak up points while playing with the Jets' top guns, and since he's owned in just 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues there's a good chance he's available.
Justin Faulk (D - Carolina Hurricanes) - Faulk hasn't taken his game to the next level this year after his strong rookie season in 2011-12, but he has still been fairly solid. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford went as far as to say that the Hurricanes missed Faulk just as much and maybe more than they've missed starting goaltender Cam Ward when he was sidelined with a sprained knee. Faulk is over his knee injury now, though, and he has tallied four points in his last three matches entering Saturday's tilt with Philadelphia. He should be able to help your team garner some points with the man advantage while picking up shots on goal. Faulk is available in 81 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but he should be on everyone's radar going into next season.
Milan Michalek (LW, RW - Ottawa Senators) - Michalek, who is owned in 33 percent of Yahoo! leagues, has been limited to 18 games this campaign due to injuries. However, when he has been healthy he has accounted for 13 points, 40 shots and a plus-7 rating. Michalek has potted just four goals on the year, but he has scored two of them during his current six-game scoring spree. He skates on the team's top line with Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris, which should help him close out the regular season on a positive note.
Brad Boyes (C, RW - New York Islanders) - Boyes exploded for three points in Thursday's win over Toronto, but prior to that outing he had four assists in his past 11 games. The Islanders will be fighting hard to make the playoffs during the final week of the regular season, and playing alongside the team's most prolific scorers--John Tavares and Matt Moulson--is sure to give Boyes a lift. Thursday's performance could also give him a much-needed confidence boost. Boyes is owned in 32 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Steve Mason (G - Philadelphia Flyers) - In the early going, Mason has benefited from the move from Philadelphia to Columbus. Even though his Flyers are out of the playoff picture and his former team may get to play beyond this coming week, Mason has looked much more comfortable and content since being traded from the Blue Jackets. He was excellent in Tuesday's win over the New York Rangers and was good before that in a 1-0 loss to Buffalo last Saturday. Mason isn't guaranteed to get starts as the season draws to a close, but he's made a convincing case for himself to play over Ilya Bryzgalov in perhaps a couple of the team's last four games. He's owned in just seven percent of Yahoo! leagues and might be worth taking a chance on if you are desperate for a goaltender.
Alex Galchenyuk (C - Montreal Canadiens) - The 19-year-old rookie has been getting better with the regular season about to end. He has found the back of the net six times and added three assists in 10 games during the month of April. Galchenyuk has scored in three straight contests entering Saturday's game versus Washington , which is impressive considering he hasn't reached 10 minutes of ice time any of those outings. He's owned in 16 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now and may be worthy of a flier down the stretch because of his hot stick. Galchenyuk should have a bright future ahead of him.
Brandon Dubinsky (C, LW - Columbus Blue Jackets) - Dubinsky has compiled a whopping 37 penalty minutes in his past five games. He has also picked up four assists over that time. Numbers like that are sure to draw interest from fantasy GMs. His rambunctious style probably won't be toned down even though Columbus is embroiled in a heated playoff race and he can contribute some points as well, which could make him a decent pickup. Offense has been hard to come by for him this year, but his play of late has been much more encouraging. Dubinsky is owned in 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Zach Bogosian (D - Winnipeg Jets) - With Tobias Enstrom on the shelf with a middle-body injury, Bogosian has been elevating his play recently. He has amassed six points, including five assists, in his past three games and two of them came when the Jets had the man advantage. The 22-year-old typically gets buried down the depth chart on Winnipeg's back end, but with Enstrom out on a week-to-week basis he gets to play in the top-four group and sees more power-play time as well. Bogosian is owned in only 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so feel free to take advantage of his increased role. With Bogsian on the shelf now, consider picking up his teammate Grant Clitsome, who is owned in just five percent of Yahoo! leagues, instead. He gets power-play time as well and typicallly skates alongside Dustin Byfuglien.
Jay Rosehill (LW - Philadelphia Flyers) - From a pure penalty minute standpoint, Rosehill has been a stud for the Flyers since being acquired from Anaheim. In a mere seven games with Philadelphia, he has racked up 47 minutes in the sin bin while averaging just 6:39 of ice time per contest. There's some question if Rosehill is 100 percent after a fight he was in earlier this week, but he practiced Friday and could be available to play Saturday night. If Rosehill plays in the Flyers' last four games, he should be able to pile up more penalty minutes and find willing combatants against teams like Carolina, Boston, the Islanders and Ottawa.