2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 3 Waiver Wire

by Tyler Mulligan
2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 3 Waiver Wire

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 3 Waiver Wire!

Even though the season is still young, there have been a few surprises that have shifted the NHL discourse.

Suddenly, the Flyers seem like the real deal, shooting up the Metropolitan Division ranks after going 4-2-0 to begin the year. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers, with arguably the best one-two punch in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl sit with a 2-3-0 record.

Scouting trends and plucking value from the waiver wire is always important. With the NHL’s ever-changing landscape, fantasy owners must be vigilant with regard to adding and dropping players.

With the 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 3 Waiver Wire, we’ll zero in on some overlooked talent that might be ripe for the picking.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Week 3 Waiver Wire

Waiver Adds

Matty Beniers, C, Seattle Kraken (48% Rostered)
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As the 2021 second-overall draft pick, there are lofty expectations for Matty Beniers. So far this season, the 19-year-old has shown that he not only belongs in the NHL but has surpassed these expectations.

Through seven games, Beniers has registered five points with two goals and a trio of assists. Last year, the former Michigan Wolverine posted nine points through ten games.

Centering the Kraken’s top line, playing between Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle, Beniers has seen a steady increase in ice time. In a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the youngster led Seattle’s forwards in TOI (20:50), scoring a goal and registering four shots in the process.

Expect Beniers to contend for the Calder Trophy this season, especially if he can continue to see ample ice time.

Nico Hischier, C, New Jersey Devils (37% Rostered)
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Former 2017 first-overall draft pick, Nico Hischier, has quietly been on a tear to begin the New Jersey Devils’ campaign.

Through four games, the 23-year-old has scored two goals and four assists. Sitting in second among Devils forwards in ice time (19:12), Hischier is in a prime position to serve as a driving force in the New Jersey offense.

With 14 shots, a plus-two rating and an average of 12 faceoff wins per game, Hischier has all of the tools to have a break-out season.

Expect Hischier’s chemistry with linemate Jesper Bratt to continue to proliferate. Barring injuries, both forwards are heading for career years.

Arber Xhekaj, D, Montreal Canadiens (15% Rostered)
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There’s a new Sherriff in town in la belle province and his name is Arber Xhekaj.

The rookie defenseman put the entire NHL on notice after rag-dolling veteran enforcer Zack Kassian in a battle of fisticuffs.

In his next game, the towering defender scored his first NHL goal in a 5-2 loss against the Dallas Stars.

Through six games, Xhekaj has a goal and two assists to go along with 13 PIMs and 26 hits.

While you shouldn’t lean on the 23-year-old for offensive stats, his peripherals could steal a category or two. After his Mike Tyson-esque performance against Kassian, look for other tough guys to be lining up to answer the bell.

Waiver Drops

Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers (83% Rostered)

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After a 43-point campaign in 2021-22, Edmonton Oilers defender Evan Bouchard has had a rough start. Through five games, Bouchard has just one assist to go along with a minus-four rating, 15 hits, and 14 shots.

While the peripherals aren’t so bad, you’d like to see more offense from Bouchard, considering he was expected to make an impact on special teams.

Instead, Bouchard hasn’t had much of an opportunity to thrive on the powerplay as Tyson Barrie has been quarterbacking the Oilers’ top unit on the man advantage. At even strength, Bouchard is on Edmonton’s third defensive pairing and has seen his average ice time drop from 19:48 last season, to 17:34 this year.

Unless Bouchard gets an opportunity to play more meaningful minutes, fantasy owners are better off playing the waiver wire for offensive output on the back end.

Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues (54% Rostered)

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Age could be getting the best of 31-year-old Ryan O’Reilly, who now in his 14th league has seemingly fallen into fantasy obscurity.

While he’s never been known as a prolific scorer, he has always been a solid contributor at both ends of the ice. This year, however, the St. Louis Blues captain has but up donuts across the board.

With no points, a minus-two rating, one hit, and just three shots on goal through his first three games, it seems the veteran forward is heading for a disappointing season. O’Reilly is averaging just 18:00 of ice time per game – his lowest in over a decade.

It seems like the wheels are finally falling off for the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner. While O’Reilly is still a household name, fantasy owners should look for more viable options on the wire.

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