The Journey: Potential Playoff Pool Prospects

Dave Hall

2021-05-15

Welcome back to The Journey.

To kick things off, I would like to thank Colton Pankiw for taking over during my absence. He provided some great content for all of you prospect enthusiasts and in case you missed any of his work, make sure to check out his columns:

Calder Trophy Top 5

Top Rising Forward Prospects – April – Part Two

Top Rising Forward Prospects – April

Draft Eligible Prospects

Let's get back to work, shall we? 

It's the most wonderful time of the year – Stanley Cup Playoff time. Well, for the most part. Due to the extremely unique circumstances surrounding each division, 75% of the playoff teams will be kick-starting their postseason this weekend. While the North Division, as a result of late-season Covid complications, will be forced to play catch up. Those matchups are set to begin on Wednesday, May 19. 

First, let's get a headcount. How many of my readers will be taking part in some form of a playoff pool – pick'em, box, or points-only? My guess is that many of you will and while your top producers will always drive your team – your Sidney Crosbys, and your Alex Ovechkins, etc. It's the supporting cast that plays a huge role in taking home a fantasy (playoff) championship. Especially in the final rounds of the grind.

Of course, it's not often that we see prospects make worthwhile impacts, but it does happen. Remember Joel Kiviranta's three-goal performance in Game 7 of last year's Western Conference Semifinals? He totaled for six points, which certainly adds up at the end of the battle. Obviously, it is highly unlikely that anyone actually drafted him to their rosters, but you get my point. This year, depending on your pool’s roster size, there are actually a few names who could make a small splash and help you cash in.

Right off the bat, there's Kirill Kaprizov. The Russian phenom has instantly put Minnesota back on the map as one of the more exciting teams to cover this year. Many even have them upsetting in the first few rounds. If you are long on the Wild to run deep, he is your instant bet to success. 

Of course, Kirill is a special case and I would like to focus on a few others who could be difference-makers – especially if a few upsets happen. Here are a few prospects to target in your (deeper) playoff pools.