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2020-21 NHL Waiver Wire Players Most Likely to Be Claimed

In the last two days, 182 players have been placed on the NHL waiver wire.

The oddity of the 2020-21 NHL regular season has created several interesting scenarios prior to opening day on January 13th.  Limited camp numbers, no exhibition games, and the advent of taxi squads has created a waiver wire frenzy over the last couple of days. For example, between Sunday and Monday there were a total (I had to get my calculator out) of 182 players placed on waivers!

Related: Ranking the Top 10 2020-21 Goaltending Tandems in the NHL

As a result, there are some interesting names that have become available. So far, there has only been one player claimed off waivers – former 1st round Montreal Canadiens pick Noah Juulsen was scooped up by the Florida Panthers. That said, there are three other veteran players that could also garnish interest.

Corey Perry

It is and isn’t surprising that Corey Perry was placed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. On one hand, he is a proven competitor and winner at the NHL level. Perry was also affordable as he agreed to a one-year $750k contract in December. At the time, it seemed like a win-win as Perry is a player that could help the Canadiens down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks NHL

RELATED: Perry Excited For Things to Get Heated as Part of Canadiens Roster

That said, the Canadiens are also stocked full at the forward position. Meaning, if Perry came into camp well off the pace then he could quickly become expendable. That is obviously what happened in Montreal, but that does not mean other teams might also have some interest. At this moment the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks only have 11 forwards under contract, while the LA Kings have 12. My guess is that Perry would want to play for a contending team so perhaps there are others, but I feel like he could still add value on a team with a legitimate chance in the post-season.

Mathieu Perreault

Another interesting name on the waiver wire is Winnipeg Jet forward Mathieu Perreault. The 33-year-old would be entering his seventh season with the Jets, but his level of play no longer matches his $4.125 million cap hit. That said, his contract will expire after this season so he could provide some short-term relief for a team looking to add an experienced player that can move up and down the depth chart, as needed. In fact, Perreault’s biggest advantage is his versatility – he can play on either wing, up the middle, kill penalties or match up.   

Mathieu Perreault

Tyler Johnson

The last player with a chance at being claimed off waivers is Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning. His situation is different from Perry or Perreault’s in two significant ways. One, he is more expensive than the other two players at an AAV of $5 million per season. More importantly, he is under contract until the 2023-24 season.

Tyler Johnson Lightning
Tyler Johnson

The second difference is Johnson’s age. At age 30, he still has a more reasonable chance at providing decent offensive numbers. While his production has tailed off, this seems more a function of his contract and more specifically the Lightnings cap constraints.

Stay tuned for any news about transactions here on NHLTT!

NEXT: Huge Names Hitting NHL Waiver Wire Today, Plus LTIR Changes

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