These NHL playoffs have upped the fantasy value of a few players. Our Top 10…
Top 10 2016 playoff-driven stock increases
By Tom Collins
The NHL fantasy world is littered with players that say their draft status rise dramatically after a strong postseason run. But more often than not, these guys are not able to sustain the same level of scoring prowess the following regular season. Think John Druce, Valtteri Fllppula and Jakob Silfverberg.
Below you'll find 10 players that could see their draft stock rise next fall because of their playoff success.
Some of these players were trending upwards before the postseason began, but the playoffs have knocked them up another level. They'll be remembered this fall for what they're doing this spring, not what they did at the end of the winter.
On to the list.
10. Logan Couture
It was a rough season for Couture. He missed half the season due to leg surgery, and when he did play had just 36 points in 52 games. Eighteen games into the postseason, and he leads the league with 24 playoff points despite playing with Joonas Donskoi , Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau for much of it. And he's getting some Conn Smythe talk which will only help elevate his draft position.
9. Alex Killorn
Killorn has shown some chemistry with Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov. Maybe this is a preview of a new triplets line next fall? Regardless, Killorn has 13 points in 17 games this postseason. His 42 PIM is the highest of all playoff performers. Which is strange when you consider he had 44 in 81 regular season games.
8. Alan Quine
Quine went from probably being drafted in zero percent of one-year leagues to maybe being drafted in five to 10 percent of them next year. Quine didn't have the greatest postseason but he did get to spend some time with John Tavares and Quine wound up with five points in 10 games. Perfectly respectable for a guy who had a grand total of two NHL games before the playoffs started. He could be considered a dark-horse pick if Kyle Okposo doesn't re-sign with the Islanders.
7. Colin Wilson
Wilson has always been a bit of a sleeper pick but has yet to prove it in the regular season. Meanwhile, his playoffs this season were excellent. He led the Predators with 13 points in 13 games, despite not getting any power-play points. The lack of power play time is disconcerting. So let someone else reach for him next year.
6. Nick Bonino
I picked Bonino as my number one sleeper pick before the postseason started. He had 16 points in the last 13 games of the regular season. I thought Bonino could only continue his success if Evgeni Malkin stayed injured. But it doesn't matter for the HBK line (which was also responsible for the greatest opening in playoff history). Bonino has 15 points in 18 games so far and will definitely be drafted in a few more leagues next year.
There's no doubt that Vasilevskiy outplayed Matt Murray in the battle of the backups. Vasilevskiy was dynamite in almost every game he played. The one thing that will be keeping him from taking a huge leap in draft boards in Ben Bishop. But Vasilevskiy's draft value still increases this fall and will be one of the higher backups taken.
4. Robby Fabbri
Fabbri's streak actually started in the regular season as he had 24 points in 35 games to close out the regular season. And he just kept rolling through the playoffs with 15 points in 20 games despite playing just 14:21 a night. Depending on what happens to David Backes in the offseason, Fabbri does stand to move up the lineup so it's not a stretch to think he can get to a 50-60 point level next year.
3. Phil Kessel
I don't think Kessel's draft position will be higher in September than it was last September. There was so much speculation about how he was finally playing with an elite centre that he was going to set career highs in goals and points. That obviously didn't happen, but this playoff run has brought his draft value higher once again. Kessel has 18 points in 18 games and is the Penguins frontrunner for the Conn Smythe trophy.
I think the possible Drouin saga this summer will have more of an impact on the hockey world than where Steven Stamkos winds up. Drouin had a bit of a rocky year to say the least. A slow start, a trade demand, being sent to the AHL, not reporting to the AHL team, finally reporting, being suspended for a game for being late to a team meeting, and then finally being called up just before the playoffs So what does he do for an encore? He was the Lightning's best player in round one and finished with 14 points in 17 games. I'm not sure if he still wants to be traded or not, but his draft day value is a lot higher now than where it was at the start of April.
The last time an unknown goalie won the Stanley Cup would have been Cam Ward with Carolina back in 2006. So Murray is in a unique situation. A lot of poolies are high on the 22-year-old netminder, but we need to remember context. It's only been a few years ago since Dustin Tokarski was the darling of the playoffs. Murray will get plenty of love this fall but it remains to be seen how justified that will be.
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