Mikko Koivu appeared on Waiver Wired last week when he was owned in just 15% of Yahoo leagues. He has two goals and four assists during a three-game point streak and his ownership has increased to 27% as a result. Travis Zajac is still available in 90% of Yahoo leagues. He has been hard to keep off the scoresheet this season and has five goals and five assists in the last 11 games. Zajac has also been playing on the top line between Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri.
There were a couple of trades this week that are worth monitoring. Ryan Spooner (owned in 2% of Yahoo leagues), who was traded to Edmonton in exchange for Ryan Strome, could have tremendous value if he gets to play with Connor McDavid. He was on the second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Saturday, though. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Tanner Pearson (owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues) from Los Angeles for Carl Hagelin. Pearson has been quiet in his first two games with the Penguins, but he has been playing with Evgeni Malkin.
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Now, let’s get into this week’s suggestions:
David Rittich (CGY) - G - Owned in 34% of Yahoo leagues
Rittich has outplayed Mike Smith this season and could be in line for more starts. With Smith struggling badly, the Flames may turn to Rittich, who has gone 6-1-0 this campaign with a 1.92 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. He has posted a mark of 4-0-0 in his last four starts with a 1.50 goals-against average. Rittich also has his first career shutout during that span. Smith needs a break and Rittich deserves to get some additional action.
David Krejci (BOS) - C - Owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues
The injury-riddled Bruins had Krejci on the same line as David Pastrnak and Anders Bjork for most of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Arizona. Krejci didn’t pick up a point in the contest, but if he continues to skate with Pastrnak, who leads the NHL in goals with 17, then he stands a great chance to start earning some assists. Krejci also played on the top power-play unit. He received the increase in responsibility because of an upper-body injury to Patrice Bergeron. It’s unclear at this time how long Bergeron will be out, but until he returns Krejci has plenty of upside. Jake DeBrusk (owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues) is an option as well. He got to play with Brad Marchand on Saturday and has started to heat up of late with five goals in his last six outings.
Brock Nelson (NYI) - C, LW - Owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues
Nelson has elevated his play for the Islanders this campaign with nine goals and six assists in 18 games. He leads the team in goals and is tied with Anders Lee for third on the club with 15 points. Surprisingly, Nelson hasn’t recorded a point on the power play yet and his 24.3 shooting percentage should eventually go down, but he has remained remarkably productive. Nelson hasn’t gone more than two games without picking up at least one point and he is currently riding a four-game point streak, with two goals and four helpers over that span, going into Sunday afternoon’s clash with Dallas.
Craig Smith (NSH) - RW - Owned in 18% of Yahoo leagues
Smith was the latest skater to get a look alongside Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen with Viktor Arvidsson, who will miss 6-8 weeks, sidelined. He didn’t find the scoresheet in a 5-3 win over Los Angeles, but he has the potential to shine if he can keep that spot. Smith only has five goals and nine points in 20 games this season, but he registered a personal best 25 goals last season to go along with 51 points in 79 appearances. He went on some impressive scoring sprees in 2017-18 and another could be coming if he continues to get top-line minutes at even strength and on the power play.
Kevin Hayes (NYR) - C - Owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues
Hayes has been piling up points in November after a sluggish start to the year. He posted two goals and two assists in his first 12 outings, but he has amassed nine points, including seven helpers, in his last eight contests. Hayes has been averaging a career-high 19:16 of ice time per match, while playing mostly with Chris Kreider, who leads the Rangers with 11 goals and 18 points.
Pheonix Copley (WSH) - G - Owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues
Copley has filled in admirably for injured goaltender Braden Holtby. He has a 3-1-0 record in four starts this month with a 2.01 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. Even if Holtby is back this week from an upper-body injury, the Capitals play four times in six nights, including a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, so he could end up splitting starts with Copley.
Andrew Shaw (MTL) - C, RW - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Shaw has compiled five goals on 14 shots and he has added two assists during a five-game point streak. He has remained physical over that time as well with 16 hits. Shaw didn’t have a point in nine outings prior to his recent scoring spree. His ice time has increased substantially during his point streak, as he has been skating on the top line with Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin.
Cody Eakin (VGK) - C - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Eakin moved up to Vegas’ second line after Erik Haula was carted off the ice on Nov. 6 against Toronto with an injury that has him out of action on a month-to-month basis. Eakin has four goals and two assists in six matches, including the one that Haula left due to injury. His five-game point streak was snapped on Friday, but he still has plenty of value between Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty.
Drake Batherson (OTT) - C - Owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues
Batherson has made an immediate impact following his recall from the minors earlier this week. He has one goal and two assists in his first two NHL matches. He has been playing alongside Matt Duchene and they have displayed some chemistry in the short amount of time they have spent together. Duchene set up Batherson’s power-play marker in the rookie’s debut and Batherson had a hand in two goals by Duchene on Saturday night versus Pittsburgh. Batherson was starring in the AHL prior to his call-up with seven goals and 20 points in 14 games for Belleville. He has immediate value now because of his hot start and long-term value as a keeper. Hopefully, he will gain eligibility as a winger soon and the odds of that happening will increase if he sticks around with the big club.