The NHL Trade Deadline wrapped up on Monday, leaving us a clearer picture of what each team’s roster will look like for the rest of the season. There were plenty of trades made during the week of, and on deadline day. So it can be difficult to quickly process who has moved where, and the implications of each move. In this fantasy hockey waiver wire report, I’ll be going over some players that should see their value change with their new teams.
Week 23 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire
Rickard Rakell, C/LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (51% Rostered)
Rakell goes from a fading Anaheim Ducks to the offensive powerhouse Penguins. He’ll either get to play with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, which can boost any winger’s numbers. Or even if he’s on the third line, then the focus won’t be on him, and he can be the next wave of attack. Pittsburgh has shown that can be an effective strategy, back when Phil Kessel was on their productive third line. Rakell has 28 points in 52 games on the campaign.
Brandon Hagel, LW/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (40% Rostered)
A shocking move, as the Lightning paid a ransom to get him. Hagel is having a great sophomore season, notching 21 goals and 37 points in 57 contests. Going from the Chicago Blackhawks to a contender might seem like it’s due to spike Hagel’s value, but I’d be wary of this. Hagel was getting top-six minutes and power-play time in Chicago. He’ll be forced into a shutdown role in Tampa, with limited power-play minutes. That’s been the case with his first two games with the Bolts, and while it could change, I wouldn’t target him too strongly just yet.
Frank Vatrano, C/LW, New York Rangers (19% Rostered)
I really like this move for Vatrano. He was buried on a very deep Florida Panthers team, not playing a role that benefits him much in the fantasy realm. Going to the Rangers, he moves from a fourth-line role into a top-six role. Currently playing on a line with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin, as Kaapo Kakko is sidelined. Vatrano’s ice time has gone up by nearly three minutes from his time in Florida. Also getting some power-play usage, Vatrano is in a great position to succeed. He has 20 points in 53 games so far this season.
Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Colorado Avalanche (14% Rostered)
Lehkonen hit the ultimate jackpot, being traded from the last-place Montreal Canadiens to the top team in the league. He had been playing very well for the Canadiens, and they were able to maximize his trade value. Lehkonen is an all-situations type of player, who can be used on the power play and penalty kill. The Avalanche surely want to deploy him in a bottom-six role, but Gabriel Landeskog’s injury opens the door to Lehkonen seeing more ice time. It’s even possible he gets a trial on that top line. Just the chance of that makes it worth snagging him from the waiver wire.
Calle Jarnkrok, C/LW, Calgary Flames (13% Rostered)
This was a savvy pickup by the Flames. They have three lines that can score – arguably four with Sean Monahan bumped down to the fourth line. Jarnkrok is a player that can be moved up and down the lineup, and play on both special teams. No matter which line he’s on, he’ll have quality players surrounding him, allowing Jarnkrok to provide secondary scoring. He has 27 points through 52 outings this season, giving him an outside shot of surpassing his career-high 35 points if he can go on a hot streak.
Ben Chiarot, D, Florida Panthers (36% Rostered)
In a similar fashion to Lehkonen, Chiarot jumps from the last-place team up to the second-place team in the league. Aaron Ekblad is out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, so Chiarot comes in at the perfect time. He’s capable of eating top pair minutes like he did during Montreal’s Stanley Cup Finals run last year, and he’ll be tasked with doing so again. That is until Ekblad returns. Then Chiarot should get bumped down to the second pairing, which is still a good spot for him. Florida boasts plenty of offense, so the defensive blueliner may be able to pick up a few more goals and assists to go with his 110 hits and 91 blocks.
Hampus Lindholm, D, Boston Bruins (35% Rostered)
The Bruins had been needing a top-pair defender, and they got the biggest name on the market by adding Lindholm. He’s been a steady all-around defender for the Anaheim Ducks for his entire career, and he can easily continue that in the very defensively structured Bruins organization. Lindholm has 22 points in 61 games this season. He’s never been a fantasy hockey darling, but you know what you’re getting with Lindholm. He’ll net around 30 points, and chip in for shots, hits, and blocks. He could play with Charlie McAvoy and be setting up the likes of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. Maybe we see a little more offense out of Lindholm than we’ve been accustomed to?