One of the most overlooked fantasy hockey defenders this season has been Matt Niskanen of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was hardly drafted in any format and many pegged him to be traded (or waived) within the first week of the season.
In the early part of the 2013 season, however, the defenseman has already racked up a very respectable eight points. He has scored one goal and shockingly added seven assists through the team’s first 11 games and currently has an astonishing rating of +10. He is producing like a top-tier fantasy defender.
The defender is constantly being mentioned in trade rumors, though. He was supposedly just going to fill in for Kris Letang, while the star defender recovered from a knee injury, but Niskanen remained on the team’s top defensive lines even when Letang made his comeback this past week.
Niskanen is honestly playing too good right now to bench and he has earned a spot within the squad. The Pens have a plethora of young defenders just waiting to make an impact, but as long as Niskanen is playing at such a high level, they will remain out of the starting lines.
Fantasy owners are finally adding Niskanen after his hot-start, but he is still available in a small amount (17%) of leagues. If this defender is still on the waiver wire in your eight-man league, it is about time someone picked him up.