Top 5 Fantasy Hockey Pickups To Open The 2013 Season

Dilip Vishwanat

One of the best parts about the NHL having a shortened season is that I didn’t have to write the number 2012 in front of the number 2013 in the headline for this one, did you “pick up” on that one? (pun totally intended). Enough about grammar though, let’s talk about the top waiver wire pickups after the first weekend in the NHL.

1. Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues (RW)

The Blues' first round pick in 2010 has five points in his first two career NHL games (including a beauty of a goal against the Red Wings on opening night). The 21-year-old has developed some early chemistry with veteran Andy McDonald on the power-play and he's on a team that could be in the running for the Stanley Cup once the spring time rolls around. If you're not in a 20 team league like I am and still have a prayer of getting this guy, stop reading this for a second and add him NOW...seriously.

2. Ben Scrivens - Toronto Maple Leafs (G)

After appearing in just 12 games for the blue and white last season, it looks like Scrivens will be in a platoon situation with James Reimer, at least to start the season (Reimer is going to get breaks frequently, particularly in back to back game situations so that he can have time to get his conditioning up to speed. Scrivens allowed just one goal on opening night and kept his team in it in the home opener on Monday in a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

3. Matt Niskanen - Pittsburgh Penguins (D)

If you are a fan of picking up typically middle of the line players who might just happen to benefit from being on a high-octane offensive style team, Niskanen is the man for you. He's got a goal and an assist after two games but more importantly, it looks like he'll be Kris Letang's partner on the blue line when the Pens get the man advantage. His 21 points last season could get blown out of the water this year, even with just 48 games on the schedule.

4. Jonathan Huberdeau - Florida Panthers (C)

This guy once scored 105 in just 67 games with the St. John Seadogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Although the QMJHL is known for being a high scoring lead there's a reason this kid was drafted third overall in 2011. He began is NHL career with a goal and two assists to go with a plus two rating while playing along newly signed Alexei Kovalev against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. There's no doubt he'll have to live up to high expectations this year, but he does have the skills to pay the bills.

5. Cory Conacher - Tampa Bay Lightning (C, LW)

There aren't too many guys in the NHL that make four stops in the AHL and one in the ECHL on the way to the top, but Conacher has indeed managed to find his way to the big show. Although one NHL game does not a career make, the undrafted rookie added two assists on Monday night giving him four points on the season. It looks like he's earned himself a spot on the top line in Tampa with Martin St. Louis (a former Hart Trophy winner) and Steven Stamkos (the 60-goal scorer and reigning Maurice Richard award winner). I was two hours too late in grabbing this guy...don't be like me!

If you would like to follow more of the sports stuff that I have been doing, you can follow me on twitter @jackchoros.

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