Fantasy Hockey Pickups: Kirby Dach leads waiver wire adds

By Evan Berofsky, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The Devils are dominating while the Kraken are cracking (but in a good way). The Blues haven't found the right note and the Predators are skating on thin ice. Most of those occurrences sound farfetched, but then I remember we've recently enjoyed mid-to-upper-60s temperatures here in Michigan. Take that, Daylight Savings!

With the weather set to drive us into hibernation, more time will be available to bundle up and improve fantasy hockey rosters. If you're a little light on resources, here are some players who can be of service.

(Rostered rates as of Nov. 11)


William Karlsson, VGK (Yahoo: 41 percent rostered)

Thanks to some great goaltending and contributions throughout the lineup, the Golden Knights are atop the league standings. This column recently mentioned Karlsson in a section featuring Reilly Smith, so let's now highlight Wild Bill himself. Some have pointed out his steady decline since the 78 points way back in Vegas' inaugural campaign. Injuries have played their part in recent years, but he's healthy now and has contributed two goals and six assists in the last two weeks. With Karlsson back alongside Smith and Jonathan Marchessault, he'll keep receiving plenty of minutes and scoring chances.

Anton Lundell, FLA (Yahoo: 39%)

Lundell came over to North America after excelling as a teenager in the Finnish Elite League. Forty-four points and a plus-33 in 65 games as a rookie placed him sixth in Calder Trophy voting. He's looking to expand on that production in Year Two and is currently on a run of eight points from his last nine outings. As long as Aleksander Barkov is still in Florida, Lundell can't operate as the top center, but that shouldn't matter for someone who's top-six within a dangerous attack and is skating over three minutes a night on the power play.

Kirby Dach, MON (Yahoo: 29%)

Dach suffered through enough in Chicago, so maybe a change of location was just what he needed. He arrived in Montreal and initially found a place in the lower half of the depth chart. Then, at the end of October, Dach was promoted to the first line and took off, with nine points — including three on the power play — across six contests. You probably can't add Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield in your league, but grabbing the other member of this talented trio is sufficient consolation.

Cole Perfetti, WPG (Yahoo: 16%)

Speaking of skilled forwards falling into a great situation, Perfetti is skating with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler on Winnipeg's second unit. After registering zeroes in the first two games of the year, he rebounded with three goals, five assists and 22 shots in the next 10. Perfetti's ice time is decent and a secondary man-advantage spot will do for now, though you have to believe he'll level up in both areas soon enough.

Nick Paul, TB (Yahoo: 15%)

Paul has been a reliable two-way center for most of his career. Scoring has definitely counted as the lesser half of his contributions though, so it's surprising to see him notch points in six of seven matchups while totaling 16 shots and 18 hits over the same stretch. Having Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn as even-strength linemates helps, as does Anthony Cirelli's continuing absence due to a shoulder injury, as he would probably push Paul down the lineup when available — though that might not be for a while.

Ilya Mikheyev, VAN (Yahoo: 11%)

It's easy to overlook player performances if you can't remember what team that player is on. In the case of Mikheyev, I honestly didn't realize he's now in Vancouver since I've always associated him with Toronto. He looks to be building on his progress with the Leafs last season by posting four goals, three assists and 19 shots in the last seven contests while playing on a line with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko. Mikheyev's 18.2 shooting percentage is probably unsustainable considering previous numbers, but that shouldn't deter anyone from picking him up.

Kyle Palmieri, NYI (Yahoo: 5%)

The general advice the last few seasons has been to avoid any Isles skaters, as they haven't finished in the top half of the league in offense since 2017-18. That bias can still be applied in certain instances, though there's a case to be made for Palmieri. Brock Nelson isn't the flashiest pivot, but he's been known to supply some nice passes. Palmieri also finds himself with Nelson on the first power play — albeit one that remains subpar — and potted a goal there on Tuesday.

Jordan Eberle, SEA (Yahoo: 4%)

There are a few Seattle value forwards from which to choose, and you really can't go wrong with almost anyone from the team's top nine. Eberle represents this week's recommendation based on his advanced positioning and respectable stats. Matty Beniers is quickly developing and Jaden Schwartz is solid when healthy. Eight points in nine would generally qualify someone as an insta-add, though Eberle's shots aren't up to his standards and his other categories are rather bare.


Jake Sanderson, OTT (Yahoo: 38%)

Unlike other rookies, Sanderson isn't being eased in, having already been provided with plenty of ice time. No goals so far, though seven assists — including four PPAs — represent a solid start. The fifth pick in the 2020 draft is averaging over two minutes on both special-teams units, with a couple of cameos on the Senators' first power play. It's early, but Sanderson looks like a legit top-end blueliner and is in line to join Thomas Chabot as a workhorse.

Arber Xhekaj, MON (Yahoo: 25%)

We've all heard the jokes about Xhekaj and his Scrabble-friendly surname, so let's concentrate on his on-ice activity. Even though he racked up 34 points in the OHL last season, scoring won't be his strength in the NHL. Xhekaj is still only 21 and could develop his offensive game, but he won't be relied upon to find the scoresheet. He's already demonstrated his size and power with 49 hits and 33 PIM; his two goals and two assists are merely bonus material.

Erik Gustafsson, WAS (Yahoo: 4%)

Gustafsson has generally operated as a power-play specialist, and that's no different now. With John Carlson still sidelined and Dmitry Orlov working through a day-to-day designation, Gustafsson took advantage of his improved position Monday to record three PPAs as the quarterback of the Caps' lead group. Both Carlson and Orlov could be returning soon, though Gustafsson has done enough in his short audition to prove he can at least retain some form of man-advantage duty.

Ben Chiarot, DET (Yahoo: 4%)

At best, Chiarot is a fringe power-play performer, yet he's recently been deployed alongside Filip Hronek on the second unit. That role could eventually disappear, though Chiarot will continue to pick up scoring chances, as he's taking over two shots a night while logging major minutes. His 26 points from last year — mainly with Montreal — prove he can at least contribute some offense in a prominent position with enough hits and blocks to round out his fantasy portfolio.


Martin Jones, SEA (Yahoo: 53%)

Philipp Grubauer entered 2022-23 as Seattle's No. 1 but struggled during his first four appearances before hitting the IR with a lower-body injury. Not much was expected from Jones after he signed in the summer, yet he's been superb, with wins in five of his last six to go with a 1.51 GAA and .940 save percentage. This Kraken side is different than last year's version in that people aren't worried about their offense anymore. That's good for their goalies, which is why Jones should do well in fantasy even though he can't possibly keep this surge going long-term.

Casey DeSmith, PIT (Yahoo: 10%)

Pittsburgh hasn't fared particularly well on the back end, ranking near the bottom in GAA. Tristan Jarry starred last season but currently lists a 3.38/.903 line, including two outings in which he allowed six goals. Going into Wednesday, DeSmith hadn't fared much better at 3.25/.904 with zero victories. Fortunately, he was able to grab that first W after stopping 24 of 25 shots in Washington. While Jarry should continue as the Pens' leading netminder, DeSmith will receive more starts beginning with either Friday or Saturday's contest.

Players to consider from past columns: Martin Necas, Travis Konecny, Gabriel Vilardi, Jeff Skinner, Andrei Kuzmenko, Dylan Strome, Mason McTavish, Kevin Hayes, David Krejci, Ryan Strome, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Hagel, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Viktor Arvidsson, Jason Zucker, Calen Addison, Caleb Jones, Sean Durzi, Vince Dunn, Brandon Montour, Janis Moser, Juuso Valimaki, Vitek Vanecek, James Reimer, Jake Allen, Stuart Skinner, Adin Hill, Scott Wedgewood