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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire for Week 15

Hopefully, you all had a wonderful Holiday and New Year, but it’s back to business. We have a household name making a return, a few rookies making a difference, and more in the Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire.

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Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire for Week 15


RW Ilya Kovalchuk, MTL (34%): After sitting out for nearly two months, Kovalchuk is back. It was never a fit for him in Los Angeles, where he scored 43 points in 81 games across two seasons. He’s back in the Eastern Conference that he’s much more familiar with after spending 11 seasons in Atlanta and New Jersey. He’s yielded immediate results for Montreal, netting three points in his first two appearances. His average ice time is up almost five minutes compared to when he was with the Kings. Kovalchuk is playing on the top line with Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault, and averaging over four minutes of power-play time. The 36-year-old may have more gas left in the tank than expected.

RW Kailer Yamamoto, EDM (34%): The winger has been given games at the NHL level in each of the past two seasons, but it looks like keeping him in the minors has allowed him to develop into the player the Oilers need. It’s still early, but Yamamoto has two goals and an assist in four games with Edmonton this year — already surpassing last year’s two points in 17 outings. He’s playing on Leon Draisaitl’s wing, which of course bodes well for Yamamoto’s chances of succeeding. The Oilers have won three of their games since he’s been in the lineup, so it appears that he’s breathed some life into a team that had been sagging in the standings for some time. While a .75 scoring rate is most surely unsustainable, if he can provide some secondary scoring and stay on their second line, no one will be upset by that.

LW Alex Iafallo, LAK (21%): Iafallo is on quite the roll, breaking out for nine points during an eight-game point streak. He’s playing on the top line next to Anze Kopitar, and seeing time on the first power-play unit. He’s up to 25 points through 45 games, and stands to easily crush last year’s career-high 33 point total. Players on the Kings may be avoided due to their style of game and the team’s placement in the standings, but don’t let that prevent you from picking up one of the hottest players in the league.

RW Craig Smith, NSH (20%): Always an afterthought on the Preds, and even more so than usual this year given the team’s struggles. Smith has quietly been finding his game again. With 11 points in his last 10 contests, he’s providing steady offense to a team in desperate need of stability. While he didn’t crack the scoresheet in Tuesday’s game with Boston, he did see nearly four minutes of ice time on the man advantage. If newly hired Head Coach John Hynes intends on giving him those kind of opportunities going forward, Smith will have a good chance at providing offense at a respectable level.


D Esa Lindell, DAL (47%): Like many players on the Stars, Lindell was having a slow start with just eight points in 32 contests. He has since gone on a tear, racking up 10 points in his last 11 games, including seven points in his past four contests. He had a career-high 32 points in 2018-19, and with his recent production, he has a chance to top that total down the stretch. With John Klingberg on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, Lindell will continue being used in a more offensive role.


G Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ (55%): After a forgettable start to his NHL career, Merzlikins has turned it around when needed most. An unfortunate injury led to Joonas Korpisalo needing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, who had been carrying the team with his stellar play. Merzlikins had to jump into the starting role and has not disappointed. He’s won four of his five games averaging a .940 save percentage. He’s quickly turned from waiver wire fodder to a must-start.

G Igor Shesterkin, NYR (37%): A 2014 fourth-round selection, the Russian goaltender has been considered one of the top prospects in the NHL for the past few years. The 24-year-old has finally made his NHL debut, and he earned the victory over a very potent Avalanche squad — allowing three goals on 32 shots. The Rangers have three NHL goalies on the roster, between Shesterkin, Alexandar Georgiev, and Henrik Lundqvist. With Georgiev losing four of his last five games, and Lundqvist only winning two of his past nine contests, Shesterkin could be given a longer look. New York will likely need to make a trade to clear up this crowded crease, but as long as Shesterkin is up with the big club, he makes for an intriguing streaming option.

Also, check out last week’s fantasy hockey waiver wire picks to see if any of those players are still available.

Got another name or two for the fantasy hockey waiver wire? Let us know in the comments below. We promise we won’t tell anyone in your league.

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