Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire: Jonathan Huberdeau's recent play signals possible return to past glory

By Michael Finewax, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Editor's note: with NHL transactions picking up in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, we're excited to bring you a bonus mini-weekly pickups article every Monday in addition to Friday's longer article.

There are a slew of players available off the waiver wire, as fantasy leagues usually roster fewer than 200 players in their pools. This week, I'm giving you a couple of players who could be used in shallow leagues and three in deep, deep pools. All stats are through Saturday's games.

Jonathan Huberdeau, C/LW, Calgary Flames (48% rostered)

Huberdeau got off to another bad start this season as it appeared he was having trouble playing for the Flames. But the 30-year-old forward has four goals and 16 points in his last 16 games, giving him eight goals and 31 points in 51 contests. Overall, Huberdeau's stats don't look great, but his play of late, combined with his 2021-22 campaign when he finished tied for second in league scoring with 115 points, makes him a very good pickup at this time.

Sean Monahan, C, Winnipeg Jets (25% rostered)

Monahan picked up extra value after he was traded last week from Montreal. Monahan had 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games with the Canadiens. He has yet to pick up a point in three games with the Jets, but he's playing on the first power play as well as seeing second-line duty alongside Cole Perfetti and Gabriel Vilardi. It's only a matter of time before Monahan regains his offensive prowess.

Connor Zary, W, Calgary Flames, (3% rostered)

Zary was selected in the opening round (24th overall) of the 2020 Draft and finally made his NHL debut this season. He has 12 goals and 26 points in 42 games, and has been seeing time on the second line with Nazem Kadri and Martin Pospisil, as well as second-unit power-play time. Zary has a strong plus-17 rating, good for 24th in the NHL. He's only going to get better, so now is a great time to acquire the 22-year-old, especially in deeper leagues.

Alex Newhook, C, Montreal Canadiens, (2% rostered)

Newhook returned to action Saturday after missing over 10 weeks with a high-ankle sprain. He saw third-line minutes as well as plenty of time on the top power-play unit. Newhook was the big offseason acquisition by the Canadiens, who gave up Gianni Fairbrother, a 2023 first-round pick (Mikhail Gulyayev) and a 2023 second-round pick (Ethan Gauthier) for his services. The injury hasn't helped his fantasy value, but the 16th-overall pick is poised to break out, and it could happen during the remainder of this season. Newhook had three shots on goal Saturday in 18:52 of action.

Kyle Okposo, RW, Buffalo Sabres (>1% rostered)

Okposo was moved up to the top line and first power play this week. He is playing alongside Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner, which will help his offensive value. Okposo has had some big offensive seasons, but those were from 2013 to 2016, when he had 184 points in 210 games. He scored the lone Sabres goal Saturday in a 3-1 defeat. The veteran has just 10 goals and 17 points in 48 games, but he could be quite valuable if he remains on the top unit.

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