Frozen Tools Forensics: Dark Horse Playoff Targets

Grant Campbell


With the playoffs set to begin April 9, there are some fantasy players who could be diamonds in the rough.

Most people will more than likely take Nikita Kucherov with the first pick in points-only playoff pools and rightly so, as he has averaged 1.56 pts/g this season and has been a proven playoff performer in his career with 59 points in 61 games, and there is little reason to believe that Tampa Bay won’t go fairly deep. But who do you take in the 3rd to 12th rounds when most of the top five on each team that you covet have been taken?

To view playoff stats for each player, click on the link to go to Frozen Tools, then change the drop-down from Regular to Playoff.

Lars Eller – Washington

Don’t be swayed by Eller having one point in his past seven games of 2018-2019.  He averages 0.37 pts/g in the regular season over his career, but cue the playoffs and this jumps to 0.55 pts/g in 74 career games. Eller finished off 2017-2018 with only 6 points in his last 20 games, but then had 18 points in 24 games in the playoffs. He is not likely to duplicate that success, but could be worth 8-10 points if Washington goes past the second round.

Ondrej Palat – Tampa Bay

Palat has struggled this year and won’t hit 10 goals or 33 points in the regular season. He is no longer a 60-point player but he can elevate his game in the playoffs. He has 41 points in 62 career playoff games and had 12 points in 17 games in 2017-2018. He plays with Steven Stamkos over 71% of the time at even strength and is still a regular on the PP.

Alex Tuch – Vegas

His first experience in the playoffs was last year, and he played 20 games and had 10 points. He has gone from 0.47 pts/g to 0.72 pts/g from last year to now. He has slowed a little with 19 points in his past 36 games in the second half of 2018-2019, but this follows a similar pattern to his regular season last year. He should be just fine come the playoffs and should do better than his 0.50 pts/g from last year’s playoffs.

William Nylander – Toronto

Nylander’s value could slide in some pools this year, since he was a holdout earlier in the year and has 0.49 pts/g in 2018-2019 compared to the two seasons before that above 0.74 pts/g. He is an intriguing player to have on a team that could go fairly far because of his limited success in past playoffs.

Robert Thomas – St. Louis

St. Louis has surprised almost everyone and made it to the playoffs this year after their horrible start. Thomas is an electric player who runs hot or cold. He might not have NHL playoff pedigree but he did score 32 points in 21 playoff games last year with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL and performed well for Canada at the World Juniors in 2018. He is worth taking a gamble on.