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NHL Waiver Wire: Picks of the Week

Neil Parker

A loyal Leafs, Cubs and Cowboys fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports and founded

The NHL schedule is wacky this week. Calgary, Carolina, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Florida and New Jersey all play two games or fewer, and Buffalo plays five times. It's also worth noting that the Hurricanes' light schedule extends into next week, as their five-day bye extends from Feb. 12 through Feb. 16. Holding onto the fringe assets from Carolina through the next two weeks is ill-advised.

It's a shame because Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm are all starting to pick up their offensive production. However, with just four games over the next two weeks, it's be difficult for them to keep pace, and especially in weekly settings.

Remember to double-check the availability of players previously covered in this space and keep tabs on the recommended adds in the our Daily Puck articles throughout the week. 

Tomas Hertl, F, SAN (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 35%, CBS: 53%): Now four games removed from his lengthy absence due to a knee injury, Hertl is back to top-line duty alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. The trio has combined for 3.75 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the past two seasons. Hertl also played a season-high 20:31 against Arizona on Saturday.

Anders Lee, F, NYI (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 28%, CBS: 44%): Life alongside John Tavares in all situations is cushy, and Lee has hit stride again with four goals, 11 points and 36 shots through his past nine games. Lee provides the net-front presence on the No. 1 power-play unit, and he's combined with Tavares for 3.78 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season.

Marian Gaborik, F, LOS (Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 11%, CBS: 24%): A recommended four-game streamer last week. Gaborik still warrants attention in deeper seasonal leagues. He's notched a respectable five goals, nine points and 35 shots with a plus-6 rating over his past 13 games. The veteran is playing alongside Anze Kopitar in a top-line role and receiving looks on the No. 2 power-play unit, as well.

Chris Kunitz, F, PIT (Yahoo: 39%, ESPN: 23%, CBS: 46%): This is a mandatory mention because injuries have helped Kunitz climb the depth chart to Sidney Crosby's wing. Keep expectations in check, though. There is no guarantee Kunitz sticks in the role for an entire game, let alone for a prolonged stretch. The 37-year-old veteran is well past his prime, and if you do add him, it isn't out of the question to immediately try to flip him in a sell-high attempt.

Ivan Provorov, D, PHI (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 37%, CBS: 67%): The fantasy results likely won't catch up to the real-world value Provorov is providing Philadelphia. While pointless over his past five games, the rookie has logged 23:36 of ice time per outing with 13 shots and 13 blocked shots. Note that his peripheral coverage will buoy his value during offensive dry spells, too.

Nikita Zadorov, D, COL (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 2%, CBS: 6%): A deep-league candidate only, Zadorov is moving the needle in multi-category formats. Over the past 13 games, he's averaged 20:05 of ice time with 1:12 of the power-play variety, and posted five assists, 20 shots, 22 PIM, 40 hits and 14 blocked shots. It isn't a significant output in a single column, but the 21-year-old defenseman is tilting the scales enough to warrant ownership.

Anders Nilsson, G, BUF (Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 5%, CBS: 13%): As noted, Buffalo has five games this week, including two back-to-back sets. Nilsson has been hit-or-miss for most of the season, but he still boasts a solid .923 save percentage and will likely start twice this week.

Players to consider from previous articles: Connor Brown, Mikael Granlund, Bryan Little, Andre Burakovsky, Evander Kane, Mitch Marner, Alexander Wennberg, Robby Fabbri, Rickard Rakell, Anthony Mantha, Jason Zucker, Sam Reinhart, Nino Niederreiter, Nazem Kadri, Justin Williams, Matthew Tkachuk, Bo Horvat, Jacob Trouba, Nathan Beaulieu, Dmitry Orlov, Jeff Petry, Nikita Zaitsev, Jake Gardiner, Jared Spurgeon, Dion Phaneuf, Juuse Saros, Mike Condon, Aaron Dell, Philipp Grubauer