2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Waiver Wire

by Tyler Mulligan
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Waiver Wire

Scanning the waiver wire is just as much an art as it is a science.

Looking strictly at the numbers doesn't paint the full picture of a player's propensity to produce. Often, there is more to the story than what shows up on the stat sheet. At the same time, completely disregarding statistics also means turning a blind eye to upcoming trends.

With the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Waiver Wire, we'll try to find common ground between the eye test and analytics in order to provide context to these important statistical trends.

2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 17 Waiver Wire

Waiver Adds

Tyler Toffoli, LW/RW, Calgary Flames (49% Rostered)

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The Calgary Flames have acquired Tyler Toffoli in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. As a result, the winger now has boosted fantasy appeal. In the deal, the Flames parted ways with Emil Heineman, Tyler Pitlick, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick.

The Canadiens have won just eight games through 48 played— worst in the NHL. Toffoli now joins a surging Flames squad who rank second in the Pacific Division and have a six-game win streak.

While it’s unclear where the Flames will plug their investment, there’s a good chance that Toffoli’s scoring touch could be utilized on the power play. If that is the case, the 29-year-old sniper could play alongside Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau or Elias Lindholm.

To say Toffoli has upgraded his surroundings could be the understatement of the year. Fantasy owners should view Toffoli as a priority add.

Jeff Skinner, LW, Buffalo Sabres (24% Rostered)

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While the majority of sports fans were knuckle-deep into chicken wings at their Super Bowl parties, Jeff Skinner turned back the clocks with a historic performance for the Buffalo Sabres.

By scoring four goals last Sunday, the 29-year-old set a career-high and is in second-place in Buffalo history, behind Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk for most goals in a single game. In the 5-3 win over the Canadiens, Skinner also registered an assist on the five-point performance.

While Skinner has been a shell of his former self for the past two seasons, the Toronto native has seemingly regained his scoring touch, now scoring 11 goals in his past 15 contests. The former 40-goal scorer currently has 20 goals and 14 assists through 45 games. Should he keep up his recent pace, another 40-goal season is not out of the question.

Fantasy owners can capitalize on Skinner’s lame-duck reputation, as his 24% ownership in Yahoo leagues is extremely low for the decent offensive output. The former seventh-overall draft pick also has seven power-play points to go along with 3.18 shots per game.

Jeremy Swayman, G, Boston Bruins (47% Rostered)

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Tuukka Rask retired last week in what was a surprise for many. Players hanging up the skates mid-season isn’t common, especially those who have a shot in making it to the hall of fame.

Now that Rask is gone for good, Swayman only has to compete with Linus Ullmark for crease appearances.

Ullmark currently has a 16-7-1 record for the Bruins but Swayman has been hot, posting a shutout in his last start in goal. Swayman has made an appearance in three of the last five games while the Boston brass plays the hot hand.

While Ullmark is considered the starter in Boston, Rask’s departure leaves an excellent opportunity for the up-and-coming Swayman who is in his second year of an entry-level contract.

The 23-year-old has posted a 9-7-2 record on the year, with a 2.22 goals-against average and a respectable .919 save percentage.

Waiver Drops

Nick Suzuki, C/RW, Montreal Canadiens (66% Rostered)

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Losing their last 10 games, Montreal Canadiens remain the laughingstock of the NHL.

Even Montreal’s top players have struggled mightily and Nick Suzuki is no exception.

Suzuki had a breakout season last year, posting 41 points through 56 games. This season, the 23-year-old has just nine goals and 19 assists through 48 games.

In his last eight games, the shifty centerman has only scored a single goal. He also put the blame on his own shoulders after losing 5-3 to the Sabres while posting an abysmal -3 rating.

The departure of his former linemate, Toffoli, hurts Suzuki’s value going forward as the Canadiens seem to be tanking for a lottery pick.

On the season, Suzuki has a -23 rating and is more of a liability than a fantasy asset at this point.

Ryan Hartman, C/RW, Minnesota Wild (79% Rostered)

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The Minnesota Wild have been on a roll lately, no thanks to Ryan Hartman.

While Hartman started the season extremely strong, his performance on the scoresheet has dropped off the face of the Earth.

Hartman has 19 goals and 14 assists on the season but has just one goal and one assist in his last eight outings. 

For someone who is playing with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello on Minnesota’s top line, fantasy owners should expect to see better production. Hartman, who had never eclipsed 31points until this year is in the best possible situation, but has simply not made the most of it.

Rookie Matt Boldy recently registered his first hat trick and could be bound for more time at the expense of Hartman. 

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