Prospect Ramblings: Rossi, Kaprizov, Hoglander, Puljujarvi, Vanacek and the Waiver Wire Madness

Dave Hall

2021-01-11

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled our upcoming session due to potential exposure of COVID-19”.

Get used to this statement. We are likely to it hear often.

We are roughly two weeks removed from NHL training camps opening their doors, and we have had four teams cancel practice, with one postponing their first three games of the 2020-21 season (Dallas Stars) due to Covid.

Yikes.

The season will certainly go on, but strap in for a wild ride – things could get messy. Of course, this is how it has to be, and if we want to enjoy the game we love, we will take this over anything. But I foresee some interesting lineup implications going forward. Just look to the  NBA and NFL for reference. 

As a fantasy owner, this is going to be challenging. I am curious to know how your league(s) have gone about preparing for this one-of-a-kind year. In my “main” league, we have had daily discussions on how to deal with this – extra IR spots, adding an extra day of waiver bids, even adding Taxi Squads to the format for this season only.

Our result? After taking it to a vote, we settled on one extra IR spot (we usually sit with two) and an extra day for the waiver wire, bringing us to three a week. It’s not perfect, it’s not ideal, but it’s what needs to be done. It’s a small change, but we hope that it will smooth out the process, and alleviate some of the growing pains. 

If patrolling the waiver wire wasn’t previously considered an art form, it sure is now. If your league limits the number of pickups per week or uses fantasy bidding money, make sure to stay diligent. The chances are high that you will cycle through the league quickly, so save your funds. You do not want to be stuck with zero chips, come playoff time.

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Speaking of the waiver wire, it looks like a replacement player is already needed and we will have to wait to see Minnesota’s’ newest crowned jewel in an NHL uniform. The Wild confirmed that their most recent top-10 selection, Marco Rossi, will be out indefinitely with an “upper-body” injury. For obvious reasons, the team did not disclose any further information but you have to assume it’s somewhat serious.

This news is unfortunate on so many levels. Personally, as was the case for many, Rossi was one of the players that I was most excited to follow this year. He’s undersized, yet, his highly skilled demeanor is tantalizing to watch and he certainly holds a bright NHL future. Not only that, but given the makeup of the team, the 19-year-old had a strong shot of not only making the club out of camp but seeing significant minutes out of the gate.

With Marcus Johansson, Nick Bjugstad, and Nick Bonino occupying the