Waiver watch: Surprise scorers to pick up now

Derick Brassard has been finding the back of the net for the red-hot Islanders. Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire

Every week, we'll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we'll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued - in the short- or long-term - for one reason or another.


Connor Brown, RW/LW, Ottawa Senators (Rostered in 9.1 percent of ESPN.com leagues): I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised by Brown's proclivity for production after he once managed to score 20 goals while seeing limited opportunities as member of the Leafs' bottom-six. Becoming increasingly at ease with his new squad in Ottawa, the top-six winger has two goals and four assists in his five most recent games, while averaging well more than 21 minutes of ice-time. The Senators may not win an excess of games this season, but Brown will score with regularity.

Danton Heinen, C/LW/RW, Boston Bruins (3.8 percent): Reunited on a Boston scoring line with a healthy David Krejci, Heinen has two goals and one assist (plus-three) in his past couple of games. Historically streaky, and cold to start 2019-20, the young forward appears to be rediscovering his rhythm. The Bruins can't rely on their dynamite top line alone, all season long - they'll need more from other units, including the Krejci/Jake DeBrusk/Heinen trio. Managers with injuries in deeper leagues might give the 24-year-old a look.

Bryan Rust, RW/LW, Pittsburgh Penguins (3.0 percent): With Patrik Hornqvist (lower-body injury) shelved for an anticipated extended period of time, Rust projects to fill in on a Penguins' scoring line with Evgeni Malkin and Alex Galchenyuk. Sidelined himself to start the season, and one the league's sneakier fantasy assets, the 27-year-old winger tends to produce in fits and bursts. With three points in his three active games to date, Rust should continue to contribute at a steady pace - especially as now-member of that second unit. He's worth investment in deeper leagues.

Filip Chytil, C/RW, New York Rangers (2.6 percent): Recalled from the AHL, Chytil has scored in two consecutive games while subbing in for an injured Mika Zibanejad. He's expected to once again center Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider against the Senators on Monday, while Zibanejad sits out his third contest. Here for a good, if not long, fantasy time, Chytil sports inflated value as a DFS bargain asset, at minimum.

Barrett Hayton, C, Arizona Coyotes (1.9 percent): Recognized for his high hockey IQ in addition to raw skill, Hayton is making a case for himself to not only stick in the Coyotes' lineup, but on the top unit alongside Phil Kessel. That first-period pass in setting up Kessel in Saturday's 3-0 win over the Avalanche was certainly one for the reel. But the clock's ticking on whether Hayton, six games in, even sticks in the bigs, or is sent back to the OHL (the 19-year-old isn't AHL-eligible). While fantasy managers in deep dynasty leagues should already be all over the 2018 fifth-overall draft selection, others ought to keep a view of where Hayton is situated in the next couple of weeks: in the Coyotes' press box, on a scoring line, or back in Junior.

Derick Brassard, C, New York Islanders (1.5 percent): How do you ignore a guy who scores a goal in five consecutive games? The answer is, you don't. Not in the short-term, at any rate. Coach Barry Trotz will have some decisions to make once Jordan Eberle (lower-body injury) feels fit to return, but for now, Brassard appears more than comfortable on a scoring line with Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson. And since the Isles have won nine straight, Trotz isn't likely to muck about with his top-six anytime soon. Utilize Brassard a as a streaming and/or DFS option until he cools off.

Denis Gurianov, LW/RW, Dallas Stars (0.9 percent): That's more like it. Winners of six of their past seven, the Stars are finally getting their act together. The club's No. 1 line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov is pitching in, as is the second unit, comprised of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz and Gurianov - the only top-six skater largely available in ESPN.com leagues. Drafted 12th overall in 2015, the 22-year-old scored twice in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Canadiens, first on a penalty shot, then assisted by Pavelski and Hintz on the power play. He merits serious attention in both dynasty and deeper re-draft leagues.


Alex Goligoski, Arizona Coyotes (17.2 percent): Why does it feel like Goligoski has been in the NHL for over two decades when in reality he's still eight years younger than Zdeno Chara? Regardless, right now the 34-year-old is contributing like his 2013-14 self (as then-member of the Dallas Stars) leading Arizona's blue line with nine points in 10 games (plus-seven), including a goal and three assists with the extra skater. In contrast, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has just the one power-play assist. I'm not suggesting you drop OEK - please don't - only consider plugging in Goligoski if there's a wanting hole on your roster.

Adam Boqvist, Chicago Blackhawks (3.0 percent): If not now, definitely in the not-too-distant future. Skating on the Blackhawks' top pair with Duncan Keith and secondary power play, Boqvist scored in his second ever NHL game on Sunday. Drafted eighth overall in 2018, the gifted 19-year-old is one to watch for years to come.


Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (21.6 percent): Move over Mikko Koskinen, it's Smith's turn in net, however temporary. A string of two consecutive wins, including Saturday's ultra-impressive 51-save overtime victory in Pittsburgh, results in Smith again getting the nod against the Coyotes Monday. But make no mistake, coach Dave Tippett will have zero issue in turning back to Koskinen if Smith falters. While there's fantasy value to be mined in Edmonton's crease, the ongoing goalie shuffle should be monitored almost daily.

Alexandar Georgiev, New York Rangers (9.3 percent): The 23-year-old - not Henrik Lundqvist - is the Rangers' current No. 1 netminder. After allowing only two goals in two straight wins (.969 SV%), over the Lightning and Predators respectively, Georgiev is tapped to face the Senators on Monday. Lundqvist will still earn his opportunities, but fewer and further between if New York's young netminder continues to compete in this fashion.

Lowered expectations

Jacob Trouba, D, New York Rangers (90.4 percent): Instead of Trouba, Tony DeAngelo is anchoring the Rangers' top power play at present, which partially explains why the latter has six points since Oct. 22 and the former has zero over that same stretch. While a valuable fantasy asset overall, as long as this trend endures, Trouba sheds some shine in leagues that particularly prize production with the man-advantage.