In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at each team's fantasy MVP for the second half of the season. When I think about value in fantasy hockey, I think about players who have outperformed expectations. So, this isn't just a list of each team's best player or leading scorer, but rather it's a list of players whose contributions outweigh their preseason acquisition cost.
Boston Bruins – David Krejci
The 35-year-old forward had a quiet start to the season, posting 13 points in 23 games through the first two months of the 2021 campaign. He found his stride in the second half, tallying 31 points in 28 appearances. Ten of those points came with the man advantage, a category in which Krejci leads the team over these past two months. That's incredible production for a guy who wasn't drafted in most Yahoo fantasy leagues and was selected outside the top-150 when he was drafted.
Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart
The 25-year-old forward led the team in scoring this year, posting 40 points in 54 appearances.
He scored 14 goals in 28 games during the second half, which places him tenth in league goal-scoring during that span. Reinhart was probably dropped in a lot of leagues when he registered just one point through eight games in mid-March – shortly after Jack Eichel was injured. Fortunately, Reinhart closed out the campaign with 19 points in 22 games after that scoring drought. Honourable mention for Buffalo's fantasy MVP goes to Casey Mittelstadt, who finished second in team scoring during the second half. He posted 16 points in his final 21 games after opening the year with six points in his first 20 outings.
Carolina Hurricanes – Alex Nedeljkovic
The 25-year-old netminder posted a 9-3-2 record, 1.78 GAA and .934 save percentage in the second half of the season. To those that argue that Nedeljkovic's numbers are solely a product of Carolina's strong defense, Petr Mrazek posted a .914 save percentage in eight games during the second half, while James Reimer posted a .903 save percentage in six appearances.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Bjorkstrand led Columbus in scoring during the second half, posting 21 points in 26 games. To give you some perspective, Jack Roslovic sat second in team scoring during that span and he posted 15 points in 25 games. Bjorkstrand's offensive abilities have been on full-display over these past two years as he's now posted a 60-point pace in back-to-back seasons. It will be interesting to see if his point totals improve now that defensively minded head coach John Tortorella is parting ways with the Blue Jackets. Bjorkstrand has never really seen a prominent role on the power play, so more time with the man advantage could help him find a 70- or even 80-point pace in the coming years. Honourable mention for Columbus' fantasy MVP goes to