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Waiver Wired

Zuccarello and Gurianov among top pickups

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: April 19, 2021, 9:25 am ET

David Krejci (30%), Jake Oettinger (31%) and Jeremy Swayman (29%) should be scooped up if they are unavailable, especially the latter two if you need some depth goaltending help. Additionally, keep an eye out for Cole Caufield because if the Montreal Canadiens add him to the active roster then he has the scoring ability to make an impact. 

Despite getting injured, Jesper Bratt went from being rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues to 20%. Anthony Mantha was featured on Waiver Wired last week prior to his trade to Washington when he was rostered in 19% of pools and now he is sitting at 64%. Craig Smith, who appeared on Waiver Wired as well last week, is now rostered in 44% of leagues after he was in 13% of lineups seven days ago.

Alex Goligoski is still available in 74% of Yahoo leagues. Connor Brown went from being rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues a week ago to 21%, while Alex Galchenyuk increased from 5% to 13%.

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Now let's get into this week's recommendations: 

Chandler Stephenson (Vegas) - C, LW - Rostered in 28% of Yahoo leagues

Stephenson has produced three goals and three assists in the past five games. He has been held off the scoresheet once during that span, while recording two multi-point performances. Stephenson has been hot and cold, while playing the vast majority of the year between valuable wingers Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.

Mikael Backlund (Calgary) - C, RW - Rostered in 24% of Yahoo leagues

Backlund has generated two goals and seven helpers in his last nine outings. He scored both markers and added five assists during a six-game point streak. which came to an end on Friday. Backlund ranks fourth on the Flames with 26 points despite playing outside of the top-six forward group. His average ice time is slightly down from previous years, but he has still seen more than 17 minutes per game.

Mats Zuccarello (Minnesota) - RW - Rostered in 22% of Yahoo leagues

Zuccarello has heated up again following a dry spell of one goal one assist in 10 games from Mar. 20-Apr. 10. He has supplied four goals and one assist over a three-game point spree. He has lit the lamp in each of those matches, while being credited with eight shots on goal. Zuccarello has amassed 10 goals and 27 points in 30 appearances this campaign, which ranks him second on the Wild in scoring. He has fit in nicely alongside outstanding rookie Kirill Kaprizov, who leads the team with 17 goals and 36 points.

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Denis Gurianov (Dallas) - LW, RW - Rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues

Gurianov snapped a six-game pointless skid with a three-point performance on Thursday and he followed that up with a two-point effort on Saturday. He has three goals and two helpers during that span along with five shots on goal. Gurianov is up to 100 shots and 50 hits in 43 games this campaign for some additional category coverage. His 9.0 shooting percentage should continue to improve and he appears to be heating up at a good time for perspective fantasy managers. Dallas has four games against Detroit scheduled for this week.

Casey Mittelstadt (Buffalo) - C, LW, RW - Rostered in 15% of Yahoo leagues

Mittelstadt has turned it on offensively since ending his 14-game goalless drought on March 31. He has ridden a wave of momentum this month with seven goals and two assists in 10 appearances. Mittelstadt has been centering the second line of the Sabres. He has also been seeing time on the top power-play combination, which grants him exposure to Buffalo’s offensive leaders Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson.

Mike Reilly (Boston) - D - Rostered in 15% of Yahoo leagues

Reilly hasn’t scored a goal yet this season, but this has been the most productive he has ever been in the NHL. He has contributed 21 assists in 43 contests, including two in three appearances with Boston since he was acquired from Ottawa ahead of the trade deadline. Reilly has averaged 22:48 of ice time with the Bruins, while seeing action on the team’s power-play unit. He has also been credited with 37 blocks and 54 hits this season. Boston has four games slated for this week, including three versus Buffalo.

Josh Norris (Ottawa) - C - Rostered in 11% of Yahoo leagues

Norris has had a productive season for the Senators with 12 goals and 27 points in 45 games. He currently sits one point behind team scoring leaders Drake Batherson, Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot. Norris has been skating between Tkachuk and Batherson, while playing on the top power-play unit. He has accounted for seven goals and 12 points in his past 14 outings. That includes two markers and four helpers during a four-game point streak.

Colin Blackwell (NY Rangers) - LW, RW - Rostered in 10% of Yahoo leagues

Blackwell appeared on Waiver Wired a week ago when he was rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues. He is still playing alongside Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome at even strength. Blackwell has collected four assists in the last two games to give him 11 points in his past 11 matches. He has potted six of his 12 goals this campaign during that 11-game span.

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Nikita Gusev (Florida) - LW, RW - Rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues

Gusev recorded an assist on Saturday for his first point as a member of the Panthers in his second appearance. He signed with Florida a week ago after his contract with New Jersey was mutually terminated. Gusev has been playing alongside Aleksander Barkov at even strength and he has been seeing time on the top power-play combination as well. He has one assist on the man advantage and six shots on goal in two games with Florida. Gusev is worth picking up because of the roles he has been given as well as the fact that the Panthers set to play four times this coming week.

Sam Bennett (Florida) - C, LW, RW - Rostered in 3% of Yahoo leagues

Bennett had a successful debut with the Panthers on Saturday with two assists, one shot and five hits over 15:40 of ice time. He played between Jonathan Huberdeau and Patric Hornqvist in the match. Bennett has one goal and seven helpers in his last seven games dating back to his time as member of the Calgary Flames. He has picked up at least one assist in each of his five outings and he has two in each of his past two matches. Bennett has also racked up 68 shots and 84 hits in 39 games this year.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on NBC Sports Edge. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.