Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 22

Anton Khudobin is probably the best backup goalie in the NHL. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

By Evan BerofskyRotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

After the composed chaos that was trade deadline day, it's time to continue dominating in fantasy. You may not be elite this season, but you're still playing for something — whether that be cash, praise and/or pride.

We're into the final quarter of the schedule. Finish strong. The usual subject matter is listed below. 

Perhaps one of these players will help you win a key head-to-head matchup or sneak past someone else in a certain roto category:

(Yahoo! roster rates/stats as of Feb. 27.)

Forwards

Vincent Trocheck, Carolina Hurricanes (55 percent rostered)

Trocheck was acquired by Carolina to upgrade its middle-six forward talent, and while he didn't find the scoresheet during his Tuesday debut, he looks to have fit in as the Canes' No. 3 center. The points might have dipped for Trocheck since hitting 75 two seasons ago — and the minutes were down before the move — but he has a good chance to start over within an exciting young front line and should post decent numbers as a significant offensive contributor.

Andreas Athanasiou/Tyler Ennis, Edmonton Oilers (51 percent; 23 percent)

Poolies pounced on these two when their trades to Edmonton were announced, and you can expect these figures to continue climbing after both notched a pair of points starting on even-strength with Connor McDavid. Athanasiou seems like the obvious preference due to superior skills and being five years younger, though Ennis excelled in Ottawa with 33 points in 61 games. Monitor the knock AA suffered Wednesday before adding him, and if either stop skating with McDavid — or possibly/eventually with Leon Draisaitl — then neither possess any real value.

Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks (40%)

Following a slow start to his NHL career, Kubalik has turned it around. The 24-year-old has produced an impressive 26 goals and 144 shots while maintaining a place beside Jonathan Toews on Chicago's top line. Kubalik is also being provided with plenty of power-play duty and has responded with seven PPPs. With the club out of contention, expect the Czech youngster to keep it going for the remainder of the schedule.

Adam Henrique, Anaheim Ducks (22%)

Henrique was mentioned in last week's section about Troy Terry due to a recent surge, but the former Devil deserves a repeat appearance after going off for three goals and three assists in the last two games. He's already eclipsed his career-high in shots with 155 and is on pace to approach the 51 points from his rookie campaign. Other centers might boast better recognition, but Henrique represents a solid and consistent fantasy performer who doesn't appear to be in for a letdown.

Give Adam Henrique a chance. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Jordan Eberle, New York Islanders (19%)

The Isles seem to put a greater emphasis on the defensive side, but that hasn't stopped some from accumulating decent scoring stats. Since discussing Eberle in mid-December, the ex-Oiler has racked up 24 points and 74 shots in 30 games. He's on a four-game point streak, which includes a hat trick Friday versus the Red Wings. Based on Eberle's advanced standing and competent linemates, he remains an above-average fantasy recruit with below-average roster numbers.

Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues (5%)

Thomas has enjoyed 2020 with five goals and 15 assists through 23 games. His momentum started after being moved to the wing, but he's now flourishing down the middle of the Blues' second unit between hot sniper Zach Sanford and team-leading producer David Perron. I regret my decision not to start Thomas this week in the RotoWire Staff Keeper Hockey League since he already notched three points Tuesday. Don't make the same mistake, and add him to your roster.

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Adam Gaudette, Vancouver Canucks (1%)

The Canucks are on an amazing run as a result of balance. Most of the focus at center will fall on Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat, but Gaudette has developed into a fine pivot in his own right. In the last 14 matchups, the 2018 Hobey Baker winner has recorded 11 points. That puts Gaudette at 30 on the year, but his main draw is the 12 PPPs as a member of Vancouver's backup man-advantage group.

Artem Anisimov, Ottawa Senators (1%)

Ottawa sold three significant forwards on deadline day, leaving the opportunity for those remaining to claim bigger roles. Many of the vacancies will end up being filled by younger types, but Anisimov is ready to stake his claim. The 31-year-old missed most of the first half with injuries but has recently been boosted by five points and 17 shots in nine games with a spot on the Sens' No. 1 power play. Grab Anisimov while he's still rolling — and before the AHL whippersnappers make their way to the big club.

Defensemen

Brenden Dillon, Washington Capitals (14%)

Fantasy isn't all about offense. Most lineups will benefit from having several scorers, but some leagues require more defensive players to make up the difference. No matter where he's found himself, Dillon has served as a top-notch operator on the back end. In Washington, he's been paired with John Carlson during five-on-five. Dillon hasn't picked up a point since arriving from the Bay Area, but he's dished out 11 hits — with nine of those coming in one appearance. Since Carlson is having a career year, Dillon could occasionally find the scoresheet simply by sharing the ice.

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks (9%)

At 36, Keith is still logging a heavy workload. The points haven't come as freely as in previous years, but the complete stats offering is enough for any blueliner. Keith has struck for a PPG and five assists — three of those PPAs — from four games. And with Erik Gustafsson gone, the veteran is bound to receive the bulk of the top power-play minutes — that is, until management/coaches opt to give Adam Boqvist a longer look.

Michael Del Zotto, Anaheim Ducks (0%)

Cam Fowler had been flying up until a lower-body injury sidelined him during warmups of the Ducks' Feb. 19 outing. He's projected to miss another couple weeks — and Hampus Lindholm's status is unknown — so reinforcements are required to fill the D attacking void. Enter Del Zotto, who has been scratched more times than a stack of lottery tickets. The Rangers' 2008 first-round draft pick hasn't had many opportunities to display his skills in Anaheim, but he's registered a helper in each of the last two games. Del Zotto isn't an ideal choice but will work if you're desperate for special-teams contributions.

Jordan Oesterle, Arizona Coyotes (0%)

Like Del Zotto, Oesterle is benefiting from a teammate's absence. In this case, it's Jakob Chychrun and his "week-to-week" hip problem. Oesterle has seen much less time on the power play compared to last season when he produced seven PPPs, but he's now getting his chance in tandem with Alex Goligoski on the Yotes' second quintet and generated a helper in action a week ago. Best suited for deeper formats.

Goaltenders

Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars (35%)

Khudobin is once again proving he should be considered the best current — and possibly among the greatest all-time — backups. The journeyman keeper is 16-7-2 with a 2.21 GAA and .931 save percentage in 33 appearances. Oh, and he hasn't lost in regulation in more than a month. Ben Bishop remains the undisputed lead in Dallas, but Khudobin is always ready and isn't too shabby as a fantasy fill-in.

Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (34%)

You've probably heard about Jacob Markstrom's knee injury and the mystery surrounding its severity. That might sound like awful news for the Canucks, but fortunately, they possess a capable replacement in Demko. The onetime Boston College standout hasn't earned as many NHL starts as he would've hoped for since turning pro, so the career 2.99 GAA and .907 save percentage probably don't accurately represent his true abilities. In his first test as the No. 1 on Tuesday, Demko fell behind 2-0 early in Montreal but fought back to stop 37 of 40 shots and lead the Orcas to a 4-3 victory.

Players to consider from past columns: Bo Horvat, Clayton Keller, Sam Reinhart, Patric Hornqvist, Zach Parise, Kevin Fiala, Phillip Danault, Gustav Nyquist, Paul Stastny, David Krejci, Tyler Toffoli, Zach Sanford, Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker, Joonas Donskoi, Josh Bailey, Alex Killorn, Ryan Strome, Bryan Rust, Nikita Gusev, Andrew Mangiapane, Oscar Klefbom, Neal Pionk, Anthony DeAngelo, Jaccob Slavin, Damon Severson, Jared Spurgeon, Samuel Girard, Mike Reilly, Devon Toews, Tristan Jarry, MacKenzie Blackwood, Jaroslav Halak, Pavel Francouz, Juuse Saros, Antti Raanta, Ilya Samsonov.

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