The Top 10 #FantasyHockey surprises of 2015-16 (AKA 'Haunted by a Ghost')
This has been a bit of a weird NHL season when it comes to players completely surprising everyone.
There's no Nick Foligno-type player that hit 70 points for the first time. There's no Devan Dubnyk-type goalie coming out of nowhere to become fantasy relevant. Most guys that surprisingly excelled early regressed almost right on schedule. And guys who struggled early bounced back like we expected.
There were still plenty of surprises though. Here are the top 10 surprises for the 2015-16 season.
10. Brent Burns
Everyone is talking about Erik Karlsson's great offensive year but Burns has been a more valuable fantasy producer. Just compare the two:
Karlsson: 14 goals, 62 assists, minus-two, 50 PIM, one PPG, 24 PPP, 0 SHG, 0 SHP, 3 GWG, 231 shots, 162 blocked shots, 58 hits
Burns: 26 goals, 41 assists, minus-five, 53 PIM, 7 PPG, 27 PPP, 1 SHG, 2 SHP, 4 GWG, 324 shots, 131 blocked shots, 95 hits
No one thought Burns would replicate his 60-point season from a year ago. To be on a 73-point range is way above expectations.
9. Joe Thornton
The death of Joe Thornton's fantasy career has been greatly exaggerated. Thornton is the perfect example of why you shouldn't shun veterans for prospects. Thornton is top 10 in the league in points, is second in assists, eighth in plus-minus and ninth in power play points. His 52 PIM is also a nice little bonus.
8. Brad Marchand
Marchand has flourished with extra ice time despite still not seeing top power play minutes. He's already beaten his career high in goals with 34, power play points with eight and game-winning goals with six and is tied for a career high in points with 55. And he's also taking a ton of shots. He currently has 227, 46 higher than his career high.
7. Vincent Trocheck
While everyone is focusing on Florida's other young guns (Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjustad), Trocheck has quietly become just as relevant as the others. Just compare:
Trocheck: 75 GP, 25 goals, 28 assists, plus-15, 44 PIM, 13 PPP, 4 GWG, 171 shots
Huberdeau: 69 GP, 15 goals, 36 assists, plus-10, 43 PIM, 12 PPP, 2 GWG, 158 shots
Barkov: 59 GP, 23 goals, 26 assists, plus-12, 8 PIM, 15 PPP, 5 GWG, 150 shots
Bjustad: 60 GP, 13 goals, 17 assists, minus-nine, 39 PIM, 13 PPP, 2 GWG, 148 shots