Eastern Edge: Team-By-Team Second Half MVPs including Thompson, Laine, and Hischier

Brennan Des

2022-05-03

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at each team's fantasy MVP from the second half. Since I released my list of first-half MVPs on January 25th, the 'second half' referred to in this article runs from January 25th to May 1st.

When I think about value in fantasy hockey, I think about players who have outperformed expectations. So, this article isn't necessarily a list of each team's best player or leading scorer. I tried to consider players whose contributions outweighed their preseason/first-half acquisition cost. Without further ado, here’s each team’s fantasy MVP from the second half!

Boston Bruins – Erik Haula

As a candidate for the role of second-line center in Boston, Haula was a fringe sleeper pick in fantasy leagues this season. Fantasy managers saw how well Taylor Hall and David Krejci – the team's previous second-line center – played together last year and saw potential for Haula to produce beside Hall this season. Unfortunately, Haula's fantasy value fell during the first half as he posted just 15 points in his first 38 games with the Bruins. He surprised many with his second-half resurgence, posting 29 points in his final 40 outings as he found chemistry beside Hall and David Pastrnak.

Buffalo Sabres – Tage Thompson

The 24-year-old forward closed out his breakout campaign in style, maintaining a point-per-game pace down the stretch with 24 goals and 16 assists in his final 40 appearances. Across the entire league, only eight players scored more goals than Thompson during the second half. It's crazy to think that he went undrafted in most fantasy leagues and was probably sitting on your league's waiver wire at some point this season.

Carolina Hurricanes – Jordan Staal

None of Carolina's big names had particularly impressive showings during the second half, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to recognize Jordan Staal. The veteran center turned back the clock with an impressive 59-point pace last season, but struggled out of the gate this year, tallying just 10 points in his first 36 games (0.28 points per game). He bounced back in the second half, posting 26 points in his final 42 appearances (0.62 points per game).

Columbus Blue Jackets – Patrik Laine

After a career-worst performance that saw him score 0.52 points per game during the 2020-2021 campaign, Laine bounced back in a big way this year. His resurgence was especially noticeable during the second half as he closed out the campaign with 41 points in his final 36 outings, leading his team in scoring down the stretch.

Detroit Red Wings –