Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Pickups: Alex Lyon could be an answer in the crease

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon has been playing well, and should be rostered in more fantasy hockey leagues. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon has been playing well, and should be rostered in more fantasy hockey leagues. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Having trouble making trades in your fantasy hockey league? No worries, the waiver wire is always open. Retail therapy waits for you, 24-7.

Alex Lyon, G, Detroit Red Wings (47% rostered)

The Red Wings might remind you of Detroit's Lions of the NFL — swanky offense, questionable defense. But Lyon is doing his best to keep things competitive, on a nifty 4-0-1 run in January with a .924 save percentage. The only loss was an excused absence, an overtime defeat to Connor McDavid and the high-flying Oilers (and Lyon stood on his head that night, the only reason Edmonton didn't win in regulation). The Red Wings are in playoff contention and there's no sacred cow in their goaltending rotation — the hot guy is going to play. Lyon's career stats don't support his current run, but momentum is a thing as we look to find answers in the crease.

Quinton Byfield, C/LW, Los Angeles Kings (41% rostered)

The distribution of Byfield's 12 goals is a little quirky — his last four games with goals have all been two-goal outings. Maybe that speaks to how in-game confidence spikes after a quick start. But what we like about Byfield is the role in LA (first line, and first-unit power play) and the pedigree (second overall pick in the 2020 draft). The time is right for a breakout, and the Kings are giving Byfield a prominent role. His shot rate has also spiked from last year.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Seattle Kraken (44% rostered)

The Kraken balance their scoring between three lines, which mildly shields the value of some of their forwards. It doesn't make sense that Bjorkstrand's 12-22-34 production isn't forcing more managers to click on his name. Although Bjorkstrand skates on the third line, he's a staple on the top power-play unit — and over the last month, only 11 players have more PP points than his 13. Bjorkstrand is also likely to push past 200 shots before the season is over.

Jamie Drysdale, D, Philadelphia Flyers (36% rostered)

There was a surge of fantasy buying on Drysdale after the Flyers acquired him, but it probably hasn't gone far enough. Drysdale has quickly earned a power-play role on his new club, and John Tortorella handed out 22 minutes to the kid in his second Philadelphia game. Drysdale is still just 22 and he was the sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft; I'm still a little puzzled why the Ducks gave up on him so quickly. The Flyers look like a sure playoff team, while Drysdale escaped the losing culture of Anaheim. The arrow is definitely pointed up.

Nick Bjugstad, C, Arizona Coyotes (10% rostered)

Generally we like to follow the shots and ask questions later, and Bjugstad's recent form underscores this. He fired eight shots against Calgary last week, no goals. Three nights later, he rattled seven shots at Minnesota, and three of them found the net. Arizona has a top-10 power-play, so pay close attention to see if Bjugstad can upgrade from the second unit to the first. In the meantime, we'll follow the hot stick.

Jeremy Lauzon, D, Nashville Predators (31% rostered)

Dynamic category leagues are all about finding players with broad skills, and Lauzon is checking a lot of boxes these days. Over the last two weeks he's collected 11 shots, 26 hits and five blocks, which makes him a top-10 defenseman in category leagues despite a modest amount of scoring (1-1-2 over that span). The Predators are currently inside the playoff cutline, and when I'm looking to backfill my blue line, I generally aim at players on winning teams.