It’s the middle of April, and there are just two and a half weeks left in the season. You’re likely in your league’s playoffs, where a savvy waiver claim can sway the matchup in your favor. Or if you’re not in a head-to-head league, getting those extra points from a waiver wire addition could help separate you from the pack.
Week 26 Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire
Normally my waiver wire reports are performance-based, with an eye on the schedule at this time of year. However, this time it will be very heavily influenced by the schedule. NHL schedules typically carry more games on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This week it was taken to the extreme, as noted by this schedule breakdown:
- Monday, April 11th – 1 game
- Tuesday, April 12th – 14 games
- Wednesday, April 13th – 3 games
- Thursday, April 14th – 12 games
- Friday, April 15th – 2 games
- Saturday, April 16th – 14 games
- Sunday, April 17th – 6 games
Good chances you’ll have a full lineup on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with the number of games those days. Healthy players might need to be benched, forcing you to decide who to set to active. It’s one of the most agonizing decisions in fantasy, especially when you have relatively equal players to decide between.
Therefore, my advice is to target players with games on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Teams with favorable schedules:
- Columbus Blue Jackets – Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
- Florida Panthers – Friday, Sunday
- Montreal Canadiens – Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
- New York Islanders – Thursday, Friday, Sunday
- Philadelphia Flyers – Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
Teams to avoid:
- Seattle Kraken
- Vancouver Canucks
Both teams have just one game remaining, and it’s one of the busy days.
Brendan Gallagher, RW, Montreal Canadiens (40% Rostered)
Gallagher has been limited to 47 appearances this year. He’s picked up six goals and 19 points along the way. Not great totals, even by Gallagher’s standards. However, he has five points in his past four outings, and also posted seven shots, five hits, 14 PIM, and a plus-6 rating. He’s a player that can provide category coverage to make up for the lack of scoring. Even then, he’s still capable of netting a point or two in any given contest. RW Josh Anderson (45% rostered) would be another decent option for very similar reasons to Gallagher.
Brandon Montour, D, Florida Panthers (39% Rostered)
The Panthers continue to roll, being winners of eight consecutive games. With that comes more goals, where Florida’s 305 goals lead the league. Montour has been getting involved in the offense more often lately, producing five points in his past six contests. He’s up to 31 points in 72 outings this year. Montour plays on the second defense pair and second power-play unit, averaging 17:28 per game. LW Mason Marchment (52% rostered) is another good option if you can find him on your league’s waiver wire.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, New York Islanders (34% Rostered)
It feels like there’s been an ongoing rotation for the most productive center on the Islanders. It’s Pageau’s turn to go on a hot streak, scoring seven points in his past five matchups. Five of those points have been goals, including a hat trick, four-point performance. During this stretch, he also has 13 shots, 12 hits, and a plus-5 rating. RW Kyle Palmieri (22% rostered) and D Adam Pelech (17% rostered) are also worth consideration, albeit they are better suited for deeper leagues.
Jack Roslovic, C, Columbus Blue Jackets (28% Rostered)
Roslovic had endured a six-game point drought prior to his offensive outburst. His most recent contest featured a hat trick, an assist, six shots on goal, and a plus-4 rating. He played 24:45 including 4:51 on the power play. He’s centering the Jackets’ top line with Patrik Laine, giving him plenty of opportunity to provide offense. Another option would be winger Gustav Nyquist (25% rostered), who flanks those two on the first line.
Kevin Hayes, C, Philadelphia Flyers (26% Rostered)
Given that the Flyers are without the likes of Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, Hayes becomes the main forward for the club. He’s missed a large portion of the season, but he has 27 points in 39 games played. Hayes has taken on the extra responsibility in a positive way, scoring six points in his past six meetings. He’s shooting the puck more, taking at least four shots in every contest during that span. D Travis Sanheim (19% rostered) should also be considered if you need to add more games to your blue line.
Of course, base it on your league. There might be a very high-quality player dropped due to his schedule, which you could scoop up. Be sure to load up on Sunday and not hold back any waiver claims. Best of luck!