Eastern Edge

Eric Daoust

2015-11-17

Which under-the-radar forwards from the Eastern Conference should you be monitoring right now?

It is often said that fantasy leagues can be decided by which team finds the late-round gems. In the earlier rounds the correct pick is more obvious and even if you select the wrong player, you still end up in a good spot. However, later in the draft the talent pool is much thinner with many picks destined to become duds and eventually dropped. The task becomes even more difficult in deeper leagues.

Nonetheless, within that talent pool there are a few that will exceed expectations and make a splash in the fantasy world. And if you fail to uncover one of these diamonds in the rough, all is not lost. You can still hit the waiver wire in the early portion of the season and nab an unexpected hot-starter. Regardless of your method, getting higher-level contributions from your depth positions instead of marginal, replaceable production can be enough to put your team over the top.

Today we will examine six forwards and four defensemen that are in positions to contribute but may be flying under the radar in your league due to their secondary roles in the NHL or lack of name recognition. The focus will be put on deeper leagues where the waiver wire will provide limited options and will feature offense-heavy players as well as multi-category specialists.

Note: For more information on each player, click on his name to be taken to his Frozen Pool player profile page.

Forwards

Honorable mention:  Derek MacKenzie (FLA) for his great all-around contributions especially in hits and faceoffs and Vladislav Namestnikov (TB) for his strong offensive production in limited minutes.

Ryan Spooner (BOS)

Spooner has been very productive so far despite seeing just third-line minutes while primarily centering summer acquisitions Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes. The Bruins’ hot power play has certainly helped as four of his 10 points have come with the man advantage and he is lining up on the top unit. His PDO and five-on-five on-ice shooting percentage are both normal while his personal shooting percentage is quite high at 16 percent. He does not shoot enough (25 shots in 1