Every Sunday, we’ll share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. My picks for surprise players on teams in the Eastern Conference will not include any obvious superstars. Only players who I feel will step up their production over the next two-plus months. See below for a five and follow this Eastern link for the complete list. You can also see my picks in the Western Conference, published last week, by going here …
Nick Suzuki, C, Montreal: The 20-year-old seemed to get better with each week that passed. He picked up 32 points in his last 51 games, which is a 51-point-pace. In camp so far he’s being tried out on the top PP unit. Call it a hunch, but I think he could lead Montreal in playoff scoring in the play-in and first rounds. If the Habs make it further, then I’m sure the veterans will start to take over. But early on, I really like Suzuki as a dark horse.
2. Jason Zucker, LW, Pittsburgh: With Jake Guentzel back on Sidney Crosby‘s line, Zucker moves to the Evgeni Malkin line with Brian Rust. Malkin traditionally has huge postseasons and Zucker is riding a high since joining Pittsburgh (12 points in 15 games with Crosby). Since the Big 4 (Guentzel, Crosby, Malkin and PP QB Kris Letang) are obvious, Zucker becomes my next pick.
Anthony Cirelli, C, Tampa Bay: The ever-improving Cirelli tallied 40 points in his last 58 games (57-point pace). He also saw a steadily-increasing spot on the power play, with quarterly average PPTOI of 0:18, 0:46, 0:57 and in the final quarter 2:47 (though just eight games). He’s a clutch player who will have relatively little defensive coverage on him as the opposition focuses on bigger guns. A former Memorial Cup Champion (2015), two-time OHL Champion and 2017 WJC Silver Medalist (and named a Top 3 Player on Team USA), Cirelli brings it when it counts.
3. Ilya Mikh