The 10 most surprising fantasy hockey seasons came from these players…
If everyone knew who was going to have a breakthrough season, fantasy hockey would be easy.
Instead, there are plenty of players who are left on the scrap heap that poolies are scrambling to pick up off the waiver wire throughout the season.
It's easy to predict who will have the best fantasy seasons (in most formats, Sidney Crosby is the best forward, Tuuka Raskis the best goalie and Erik Karlsson is the best defenceman), but the trick to running a successful fantasy team is predicting those who will have a breakout season. But even the majority of us didn't see these 10 surprises.
10. Joe Pavelski – While he's had a few 60-point seasons in the past, it looked like he would never be able to break through to the next level. Last year, he had just 31 points in 48 games. But he is a guy who should have been drafted a lot higher because of his dual eligibility (Yahoo has him listed a centre, right wing and left wing, and he was drafted 87th overall on average). This year, Pavelski has broken through in a big way. He currently sits with 39 goals (third in the league) and 76 points (7th overall). He's also been great for fantasy playoffs with five goals and nine points in his last six games.
9. Steve Mason: Here's how lowly most poolies thought of Steve Mason before the season. Many people thought Ray Emery would be the number one goalie by Christmas, evidenced by the fact Mason was drafted in only 12 per cent of Yahoo leagues. Goalies drafted at a higher position included Ray Emery, Devan Dubynk and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. While his save percentage and goals against average are a little below average, Mason is seventh in the league with 32 wins.
8. Ryan Johansen: We all knew it was a matter of time before the 21-year-old had a breakthrough season, but few expected it to be this soon. Johansen, who wasn't even a top 200-pick on average in Yahoo pools, exploded with the Blue Jackets this season. He has 31 goals and 26 assists this year, which is a great breakout season for a player who had a total of 14 goals 19 assists the previous two seasons combined.