Fantasy Hockey Waiver Yarn Drives: Week 22 (2022)
The 2022 NHL season continues to burn the teeth of its schedule, but the fantasy playoffs are right around the corner. As for March, it’s already been a crazy month, with teams like Arizona increasing their offensive production to generate winning streaks. Other underdogs such as Winnipeg and Ottawa also followed in the Coyotes’ footsteps in terms of late-season improvements. That doesn’t mean the elite teams are in trouble, as Florida and Carolina have their own winning streaks on multiple occasions. Boston is also finding its rhythm, going 8-1-1 in its last ten games played to become the top seed in the Atlantic Division. Other dark horse contenders are also starting to emerge, such as Vancouver, Dallas and Montreal, which are well above .500 in winning percentage in their last ten games played.
Based on recent production and usage, I’ve rounded up seven prospects who will be strong assets on fantasy rosters to prepare for the final push into the fantasy playoffs. However, do not dismiss recommended players from lower teams. These are often the highest assets due to increased opportunities and dependence on production. Conversely, depth chunks on elite teams might be limited by a greater opportunity to produce despite their talent. With that in mind, let’s dive into the best waiver prospects for Week 22!
Percentages listed courtesy of ESPN.
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Travis Boyd (C-ARI): 0.4%
Frontline center Travis Boyd has benefited from Arizona’s collective improvement on offense in his last four games played. Not only is the 28-year-old earning minutes on top offensive unit and top power-play unit, but he’s also been active on the boards, racking up multiple hits and blocked shots per game to show off his defensive prowess. He’s by no means an elite goalscorer, but he’s fourth in the team with 12 while consistently producing assists. Boyd has scored two of his 12 goals in his last two games while also picking up an assist. It’s not for lack of competition. Arizona has found its rhythm, and Boyd is a huge beneficiary alongside Clayton Keller (LW – ARI), so hide him off the waiver wire in virtually every fantasy league this weekend.
Colin White (C-OTT): 0.8%
Colin White, 25, recently returned from injury which has helped their attacking success. He’s harvesting minutes on the third-line offense, but he’s earning extra opportunities on their best power-play unit, allowing him to stay involved in the man advantage more. His shooting volume is low, but that doesn’t matter as he’s managed to string together three assists on just two shots on goal over a two game streak. A few touches and blocked shots also increase its appeal, while it’s the unknown perk that’s most enticing. White’s career high is 41 points, which he beat in 2019 with the Senators, so maybe some new legs will yield winning results. Put it away if you have spare space or want to get rid of a rarely used bench. He’s another prospect who’s once again available in almost every league, so take advantage of him before his demand skyrockets.
Kyle Palmieri (AD – NYI): 13.7%
This is the first season Kyle Palmieri has been able to get an entire offseason with the New York Islanders, as he was traded from New Jersey at the end of the 2020-21 season. The 31-year-old earns minutes on their second line offense and their second power play unit, which keeps him constantly involved in the Islanders offense. It’s been a rough start for the whole team, but Palmieri has been a vital piece, scoring two goals and picking up two assists in his last five games played. His shot volume fluctuates between one and five per game, which is a good number to raise his floor. Palmieri is a little harder to find than the two centers recommended in this article. However, it’s still listed at less than 15%, so hit the waiver thread and collect it if it’s still available. Palmieri deserves to be lined up in most games.
Jakub Vrana (AG – DET): 25.8%
Shoulder surgery kept Jakub Vrana sidelined until March 8, when he made his debut for Detroit’s second line and their second power-play unit. His presence was felt immediately, as the Red Wings increased their scoring tally with Vrana’s three goals against Arizona and Minnesota. Yes, Detroit will not make the playoffs and is in the midst of a four-game losing streak. However, production and opportunities are the foundation of an asset in fantasy hockey leagues, especially at this end of the season. Vrana is already a very well registered player at 25%, and he will only increase. Sprint to the waiver wire and add Vrana if other fantastic managers haven’t followed his return to Motor City.
Brady Skjei (D – CAR): 7.3%
Brady Skjei is a great asset, thanks in large part to skating on Carolina’s second defensive line. The 27-year-old is racking up blocked shots and attempting at least a pair of shots on goal per game which often results in assist opportunities. He’s had two assists in his last five games played, but you add Skjei as a fundamental and nothing more. He is sufficiently involved in the second line offense and earns his living by delivering hits and blocking shots in the defensive zone. Hide Skjei as a depth piece and deploy him as a safe but low-ceilinged prospect in the queues going forward.
Ben Chiarot (D – MTL): 12.6%
Veteran defenseman Ben Chiarot has stepped up his production since late February, collecting five assists and producing a brace against Calgary, one of the league’s top teams, for a 5-4 victory in overtime. Montreal is on a roll, going 7-3 in its last ten games, so acquiring a player who is gaining momentum in a dormant team like the Canadiens is a smart move. Of course, the defense is intact for Chiarot, as he produces an equal number of hits, blocked shots and shots on goal per game. He can finish and skate on the first defensive line and the second unit on the power play, which allows him to have an average time on the ice of 23 minutes. Chiarot has a high floor and high ceiling, making him one of the best defenders to acquire on the waiver wire this weekend.
Anton Forsberg (G-OTT): 9%
Ottawa is playing well on offense which has helped goaltender Anton Forsberg rack up a winning streak. The 29-year-old hasn’t conceded more than three goals in his previous eight starts, a telling figure showing his talent in a team that has struggled to get going for much of the season. Not only does Forsberg have momentum, he’s also racked up more than 30 saves in five of his previous six starts, which hugely improves his stats and fantastic production. He is the best goalkeeper value on the Week 22 waiver wire and is available in 91% of the Fantasy leagues. So do yourself a favor and acquire Forsberg as an excellent G2 that can be deployed in lineups if needed.
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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more on Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.