The waiver wire return for the 2015-16 season and with the first week of NHL games complete some players are already injured, some failed to make the team, and some are wetting the bed and need to be replaced. The Waiver wire in many fantasy leagues offers the easiest and sometimes best option to upgrade some dead weight on your roster. One trend to be wary of is rookies who have junior eligibility remaining like Daniel Sprong with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sprong has made the Pens roster to start the season but is not eligible to play in the AHL. If Pittsburgh decide he is not ready he will go back to junior and be gone for the season.
1. Brandon Sutter - Vancouver Canucks, Right Wing/Centre 56% Owned
The 26 year old Sutter is now on his third team and has 500 career games played. Throughout his career he has typically been a third line centre but with Vancouver he has been seeing shifts on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Sutter has not looked out of place on the top line and if he can hold that spot for the season he is poised to have a career year. He is a point per game player after five games this season and has a shooting percentage of 13% which is well above his career average suggesting he can sustain fantasy relevance and a spot on a top line. Sutter is entering his prime years and has proven to be a durable player missing only three games in the past two seasons.
2. Brandon Pirri – Florida Panthers, Left Wing/Right Wing 46% Owned
Limited to just 49 games last season Pirri had a breakout 22 goal performance last season. Unfortunately, he only managed to add two assists to his point totals. This year, he has been playing on Florida’s second line with Nick Bjugstad and Reilly Smith and is producing; a goal and three assists in five games. His shooting percentage is well below career average at 7.7% which suggests that the goals are coming. His cap hit is also very attractive at $925k
After the Habs rescued Petry from Edmonton at a deadline deal last season, he instantly rewarded them with seven points in 19 games and played a top four role. The Habs in turn rewarded Petry with a lucrative new contract. Saddled with a $5.5 million cap hit, Petry is still providing the Habs with good value as a second pairing defender and is seeing time on both special team units and both his points have come with the man advantage. If you can afford him, or are not in a capped league and need a defenceman, you will be hard pressed to find a better option on the waiver wire than Petry.
4. Tobias Rieder – Arizona Coyotes, Left Wing 37% owned
After a successful rookie season in the fantasy hockey desert, Rieder is off to a hot start in his sophomore season playing on the second line with Martin Hanzal and Max Domi. Rieder has found some early production with five points in five games as the Coyotes are off to a hot start. It is unlikely either the Coyotes or Rieder will maintain this pace, so he represents a good short term solution while his line is hot.
5. Jimmy Hayes – Boston Bruins, Right Wing 36% owned
Hayes only has points in one of his five games so far this season, but it was a four point night! Hayes is playing on a young but talented line with Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly on the third line and should not draw the opposition’s better defensive line. Hayes has struggled with consistency but the 25 year old has a new contract and the faith of Bruins management as he enters his prime. He is a breakout candidate.
6. Colton Parayko – St. Louis Blues, Defence 40% owned
Super sleeper Colton Parayko has only managed to post two goals (both in the same game) but is one of the best kept secrets in the NHL. The Blues scouts did a great job finding Parayko and keeping him under the radar as he has come from nowhere. Don’t sleep on the player who is the early favorite to be this years John Klingberg as he has been drawing rave reviews since training camp.
7. Ben Hutton – Vancouver Canucks, Defence 31% owned
Speaking of super sleeper players to come from nowhere, Huton impressed Canucks management so much at training camp he forced himself onto the roster despite being minor eligible. The move forced the Canucks to expose Frank Corrado to waivers and he was claimed by Toronto. Corrado is a highly regarded prospect so it speaks volumes to how high the Canucks are on Hutton.
All ownership numbers are based on Fantrax leagues