Predicted “Unlikely Western Conference Playoff Heroes” Revisited

Chris Kane


It is time for a little gut check and to see how the predictions made at the start of the playoffs are bearing out. We were trying to find “unlikely playoff heroes.” The idea is that every year a couple of very surprising players emerge as key players for their team’s playoff runs. The top players are easy to pick out, but winning your playoff pool can rely on grabbing the ‘tier two’ type players who are valuable for their teams.


This idea is based on a number of articles, and the most recent full description is referenced here. Essentially I was able to look at the unlikely playoff heroes and find some commonalities with their regular season performance. Essentially it came down to;

  • averaging between .4 and .7 points per game
  • shooting around two shots a game,
  • a shooting percentage of 9%,
  • between 1:00 and 2:15 minutes on the power play,
  • between 13:00 and 17:00 minutes of total time on ice
  •  playing at least 17 games of playoff hockey


The idea is that an unlikely hero is a player that is already doing something with the opportunity they are being given, but has room for growth.


The pool of candidates was relatively slim, particularly if we were just looking at the west coast teams.













There were 103 candidates in the point range, but only 54 were shooting more than twice a game. Only 36 of those had a shooting percentage over 9%, and only 16 of those fit the time on ice requirements. Further whittle by power play and west coast status and we have our five.


How did those five do? Well technically one is still alive and could up his point pace, but for the rest of them the writing is on the wall so to speak. Only one player has played more than 10 games, and Tyler Bozak hasn’t exactly been lighting the world afire.