The 2013 NHL season is approximately one week through the books and fantasy owners have a pretty good idea of how well they drafted this year. However, if you aren’t pleased with your roster, you can always hit the waiver wire. Surfing the free agent list consistently can often be the difference between fantasy gold and fantasy garbage.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning: I have reiterated it time and time again, but Hedman is just one step away from being a top-tier defenseman in this league. He has a monster on the blue line, standing at 6-foot-6 and has a rocket of a shot from the point. Hedman has two goals so far this season and he stated that his offensive game received a boost while playing in the KHL. His offense can continue to boost playing on one of the top offenses in the league right now. Hedman is improving year after year since being drafted in 2009 and remember, he’s just 22-years old.
Chad Johnson, Phoenix Coyotes: Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said he was looking for a spark when he placed Johnson between the pipes on Monday night. Tippett didn’t receive a spark. He received a fire. During his debut, Johnson stopped all 21 shots fired his way en route to posting his first career shutout. Do we know for sure that this kid is for real? No, but with Mike Smith (groin) on injured reserve, Johnson may get some opportunity and fantasy owners in need of a netminder should pay attention.
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators: Since being drafted third overall in the 2007 draft, Turris hasn’t played like it until he joined the Senators. Turris has 34 points in 54 career games with the Senators and is off to a fast start here in 2013. In five games played, Turris has already lit the lamp four times and is building instant chemistry with veteran Daniel Alfredsson on that second line. The 23-year old is providing tremendous value for the pick owners used on him and is looking like an All Star center.
Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins: On Monday, the Bruins announced that the team will be sticking with Hamilton all season long, and for good reason. The 19-year old has been extremely impressive to start 2013, posting four points in the last three games. Playing on a pairing with the elite Zdeno Chara makes his fantasy value even more appealing. He has earned his ice time, especially during the late stages of games.
Daniel Winnik, Anaheim Ducks: Winnik is off to a surprisingly hot start, scoring five goals already. He joined Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the Duck’s top line recently, but head coach Bruce Boudreau often changes his lines quite a bit. Winnik’s career high in goals is 11 so it’s difficult to believe he will continue to light the lamp. Feel free to grab him off waivers, but Winnik could very well be a sell-high candidate.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy hockey/football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.