Welcome back to the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 Waiver Wire! The NHL Trade Deadline is now past. We will be breaking down the implications of the flurry of activity that went down.
Wheeling and dealing is the name of the game. The waiver wire is a treasure trove of fantasy output. As always, utilizing the wire to garner fantasy points is of utmost importance.
This year did not have as many big names as some years. But there was no shortage of activity. According to Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, there were 33 trades in the NHL Central Registry still to be processed after the deadline officially passed.
If you are looking to make a trade, be sure to take a look at Kyle's breakdown of different players' trade value. I also go into detail every week on which hot players can keep their streak going, and who is bound to cool off in my weekly Unsustainable article.
We will look at some top additions for the 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 Waiver Wire to give your team the edge after all of the movement around the league.
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 22 Waiver Wire
Claude Giroux, C/LW, Florida Panthers (77% rostered)
Claude Giroux has likely already been scooped up in deeper leagues. If you are lucky enough to find him still floating around your waiver wire, this is the one must add in almost all league formats.
Philadelphia traded the pending UFA to Florida after he played his 1,000th game with the Flyers' organization. Florida meanwhile added a perennial 65+ point player to an already stacked forward core.
🎥 Claude Giroux on coming to the Panthers and GM Bill Zito on our new acquisitions. pic.twitter.com/hfJelPESIy
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 22, 2022
It is not immediately clear whether Giroux will end up playing center or wing for the Panthers. What is clear is that he is a lock to play with some elite players. If he ends up slotting in at left-wing, he will be a lock on the top line alongside Aleksander Barkov. My guess is that head coach Andrew Brunette will prefer Giroux up the middle. Therefore, he will almost certainly be slotted alongside Hart trophy candidate Jonathan Huberdeau.
This deployment alone should translate into production for the newest Panther. Playing a top-six role on the Panthers' high octane offense makes Giroux the top pickup of Week 22.
Max Domi, C/LW/RW, Carolina Hurricanes (8% rostered)
Giroux is a play in shallower leagues. Max Domi however is an under-the-radar pickup for Fantasy GMs in deeper leagues.
The Hurricanes acquired Domi from t. The Blue Jackets in exchange for a couple of prospects. This is a low-risk, high-reward trade for Carolina. It could pay dividends as the Hurricanes attempt to make a deep playoff run in a stacked Eastern Conference. The former Blue Jacket is a few seasons removed from his 73-point campaign with the Montreal Canadiens. And offensive instincts don't simply evaporate overnight.
Despite those offensive instincts, there are some questions. Look at the Hurricanes' lineup. It is not immediately clear where Domi will play. In Columbus, Domi spent the majority of his time up the middle. Almost all of his remaining time was spent at left-wing alongside Jack Roslovic. This season he has spent less than 8% of all of his time on ice at right-wing.
It is clear that the Hurricanes do not plan to play Domi up the middle. They already have a stacked 1-2-3 punch at the center position, which includes Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trockek, and Jordan Staal.
A couple of players that were traded that we haven't tweeted about yet...
Max Domi can be helpful offensively but is anchored down by very poor defensive play pic.twitter.com/EZJSDssI3T
— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) March 21, 2022
On the left side, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov currently occupy the top six. The right side is where things get sticky with rookie Seth Jarvis manning the top line. Despite his best efforts, Jarvis has not exactly been a stud on the top line. He has registered just 22 points through 48 games.
Domi may get a crack on the right side alongside Aho and Teravainen. At worst, he will find a home on a third line. And that third line plays typical second-line minutes. He is also a lock for PP2, giving him some special teams upside. If you are in a deeper league looking to take a flyer, Domi is just the kind of player that could round out your roster.
Rickard Rakell, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (21% rostered)
What better way to cap off a contract year than to play an extended stint alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? That is the new reality for Rickard Rakell. And it is just as exciting for Fantasy GMs as it is for Rakell's agent.
Many pundits expected this to finally be the year that Pittsburgh failed to make the playoffs. Yet again, like every year since the 2005-06 season, the Penguins have proved them all wrong. The Penguins pushed their chips "all in for one last cup run". They acquired the former Duck to solidify the team's depth on the wing.
Rickard Rakell, traded to PIT, is a middle six scorer who, uh, had trouble scoring in the two seasons before this one. Doesn't really create for himself; he's best used beside a playmaking centre who can hit him with high-danger passes... #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/pc68ZcrYEr
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 21, 2022
It is almost a lock that Rakell will find a home alongside one of Pittsburgh's hall-of-fame centers. However you slice it, this will be an immediate upgrade from Sonny Milano. This year in Anaheim, Milano was Rakell's centerman for the plurality of the season.
With four games this week, three of which come against some of the Eastern Conference bottom feeders, Rakell will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his high-end finishing abilities. If you have the roster spot, Rakell is a must-add heading into the playoffs.
Aaron Ekblad, D, Florida Panthers (97% rostered)
Florida fans have been through the wringer this week. They acquired the most coveted player on the trade market. That acquisition, however, came on the heels of a big blow to their back end.
Aaron Ekblad went down on Friday with an injury after going down awkwardly in a tangle of players. The biggest blow came Saturday when a report surfaced that Ekblad would likely miss the rest of the regular season. He is questionable for the start of the playoffs.
I'm told Aaron Ekblad will be placed on LTIR and will not return during the regular season, but sometime during the first round. So cap space is no issue for #FlaPanthers.
Expect them to be active - and maybe use that space (after Hagg deal) to attempt to recoup some picks.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 20, 2022
This marks the second time in as many years that Fantasy GMs have been screwed over by a season-ending Ekblad injury.
It is particularly unfortunate given the success that Ekblad has had this year. Through 61 games this season, Ekblad notched 15 goals and 42 assists for 57 points. While Florida should be able to manage - at least until the start of the playoffs - Fantasy GMs will have a much harder time.
Andrew Copp, C/LW/RW, New York Rangers (34% rostered)
Copp was one of the top remaining pending UFAs available by the time Trade Deadline coverage picked up Monday morning. It wasn't a question of if Andrew Copp would be traded, but just a matter of where.
Darren Dreger finally broke the news about an hour before the 3 PM EST deadline. The Jets traded Copp to the Rangers in exchange for conditional first- and second-round picks, and center prospect Morgan Barron.
Unfortunately for Copp, this is likely to hurt his Fantasy upside. Despite being listed with RW eligibility on Yahoo, Copp spent only a very brief stint on the off-wing in Winnipeg. The Rangers likely keep Copp on his natural side alongside Filip Chytil on the third line.
Dominik Simon is a fourth liner that won't hurt you too much. pic.twitter.com/CAlpVIzE8V
— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) March 21, 2022
Copp's upside came from the fact that Winnipeg was relatively thin on the left side. As a result, Copp saw extended periods alongside offensive dynamos Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor. In New York, Copp is not going to overtake Chris Kreider or Artemi Panarin in the top six.
Fantasy GMs should shy away from a guy who is destined for a bottom-six, PK-heavy role.
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