Top 10 Potential Playoff Surprises

Tom Collins

2021-05-10

Now that most of the regular season has concluded and your hockey leagues have wrapped up, you're probably already thinking ahead to your playoff hockey pool. Pretty much every race is determined, and with a couple of exceptions, most of the playoff matches are set.

The first few rounds of a playoff draft are often the easiest: You simply take players from teams you think will go the deepest. However, that plan gets thrown into disarray quickly when you realize that three other people are loading up on players from the same teams you are.

So you switch tactics, looking at other teams and trying to figure out who will be a good sleeper pick, someone that you might be able to snag that others won't be targeting.

Below are 10 players that have the potential to surprise this postseason. For more help for your playoff pool, don't forget to purchase Dobber's Interactive Playoff Draft List, available for download later Monday. Here, you can choose the teams you think will win each round up to the final, and the list will spit out who should be the highest point-getters based on what teams you choose.

10. Peyton Krebs

It seems as every other postseason brings a rookie who surprises, and Krebs has the best opportunity to be that rookie this season. Much of this potential has to do with the health of Max Pacioretty. MaxPax has missed the last four games for Vegas, but there have not been many details on the injury. Maybe he comes back for the postseason, but if not, Krebs has been filling in on the top line for the past couple of games. With that said, Krebs did suffer an injury on Sunday when he took a puck in the face, so you need to keep an eye out on whether he will miss any time (there was no update as of Sunday night).

9. Josh Morrissey

Over the past year, I have tried to hammer home the point that Neal Pionk is a much better fantasy defenseman than Morrissey. However, Jets' coach Paul Maurice must not read my column because he keeps giving Morrissey the plum minutes over Pionk. Going into the postseason, I would still take Pionk first, but Morrisey might be worth a late-round pick. Morrissey is on the top power-play unit, averages 23:39 per night and starts in the offensive zone 51.5 per cent of the time. 

8. Lars Eller

Eller is a boom-or-bust playoff performer. In 2014, he had 13 points in 17 games with Montreal. When the Caps won the Stanley Cup in 2018, Eller had 18 points in 24 games. In his six other playoffs, he has 14 points in 45 games. Nothing has changed for Eller this season compared to previous years, so there's nothing that would suggest if this will be a dynamite postseason for him. He's worthy of a late-round flier if you've already loaded up on some of the Caps’ big guns. 

7. Tyler Bozak

You might only be interested in Bozak in a deep playoff pool, but you want to draft players who are healthy and are on hot streaks going into the postseason. Bozak missed 24 games earlier this season but has been productive since he's been back in the lineup. He has 13 points in his last 16 games, averaging 16:33 minutes per night in that span.

6. Ryan Ellis