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Fantasy pool sleepers: Stanley Cup Playoffs

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Playoff pool rankings

NOTES: Basic Stanley Cup Playoff pools have the following scoring system: goals and assists count for skaters with a bonus for a hat trick, and wins count for team goals with a bonus for a shutout. These picks are a collaborative effort by Pete Jensen and Anna Dua.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Spencer KnightG, FLA – The Florida Panthers goalie is the backup to Sergei Bobrovsky (tied with Andrey Vasilevsky of Tampa Bay Lightning for NHL leads in wins, 39) but was one of the most valuable rookies this season down the stretch, going 10-3-1 with a .921 save percentage and two shutouts in his final 14 games after his stint in the American Hockey League. Knight was 1-1 with a .933 SV% in two games facing elimination against the Lightning last postseason.

TJ Oshie,F,WSH – The Washington Capitals wing was limited to 44 games this season but has been productive in the playoffs for them (40 points in 53 games), especially during their 2018 Stanley Cup run (21 points in 24 games). Oshie and frequent linemate Nicklas Backstrom (108 points in 133 career playoff games) have bounce-back fantasy potential and could help the Capitals surprise the Panthers.

Alexander KerfootF, TOR – The Toronto Maple Leafs forward had NHL career highs in assists (38), points (51) and shots on goal (117) this season. Kerfoot was second on the Maple Leafs in scoring (six points in seven games) last postseason behind frequent linemate William Nylander (eight points in seven games), elevating his play after center John Tavares sustained an injury during the playoffs.

alex killornF, TBL – The Lightning wing remains an underrated option in fantasy playoff pools despite scoring 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 19 games during their 2021 championship run. Killorn has had double-digit point totals in four different postseasons and quietly scored an NHL career-high 59 points (25 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games this season.

Seth JarvisF, CHAR – The Carolina Hurricanes rookie has been playing on the top line with elite center sebastian aho down the stretch and finished the regular season on a seven-game point streak with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 12 games. Jarvis ranks among the top 10 rookies in goals (17; T-seventh), points (40 in 68 games; ninth) and even-strength points (34; eighth).

Jake DeBrusk,F,BOS – The Boston Bruins wing has fallen short of fantasy expectations in previous postseasons (26 points in 59 games) but could break out if his recent production on the top line with elite forwards Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand carries over to the playoffs. DeBrusk was tied for third on the Bruins in goals (25) this season and thrived down the stretch with 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in his final 18 games.

Andrew CoppF, NYR – The New York Rangers forward missed three of their final four games of the regular season with a lower-body injury but is expected to be back for the playoffs and could be a difference-maker given his versatility in their top six. Copp, acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on March 21, has scored 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 16 games since the trade playing mostly on the second line with elite left wing Artemi Panarin and center Ryan Strom.

Rickard RakellF, PIT – The Pittsburgh Penguins wing, acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on March 21, has scored 13 points (including five multipoint games) in 19 games. Rakell, who is playing on the second line with center Yevgeny Malkin (174 points in 170 playoff games), scored 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 15 games for the Ducks during their 2017 postseason run.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Bowen-ByramD, COL – The Colorado Avalanche defenseman missed significant time because of injury this season but scored 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 30 games. Byram, who did not play for Colorado last postseason despite being healthy, was third among Avalanche defensemen in points per game (0.57) this season behind Cala Makar (1.12; second in NHL) and Devon Toews (0.86; ninth) and second among NHL rookies in the category behind Moritz Seider (0.61) of the Detroit Red Wings.

Matt BoldyF, MIN – The Minnesota Wild wing led NHL rookies in points per game (0.83; 39 in 47 games) this season among those who played at least 10 games. Boldy became a fixture on the second line with elite wing kevin fiala (NHL career-high 85 points in 82 games; T-22nd in League) and center Frederick Gaudreau (career-best 44 points in 76 games).

Justin FalkD, STL – The St. Louis Blues defenseman was tied for 23rd in points (47 in 76 games) at the position this season. Faulk led Blues defensemen in points and goals and led NHL defensemen in goals (eight) and was second at the position in points (17 in 16 games) in April. Faulk should benefit from frequent defense pair Torey Krug being healthy for the playoffs.

Tanner JeannotF, NSH – The Nashville Predators wing led NHL rookies in goals (24) and was fourth on the Predators in the category behind forwards Matt Duchenne (43), Philip Forsberg (42) and Ryan Johanson (26). Jeannot also led NHL rookies with five game-winning goals and has scored three points (two goals, one assist) in four games against the Avalanche.

Denis GuryanovF, DAL – The Dallas Stars wing was a standout during their 2020 Stanley Cup Final run, scoring 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 27 postseason games. Gurianov, who is playing on the second line with center Tyler Seguin (fourth on Dallas with 49 points) and wing Jamie Benn (sixth with 46 points), scored two points (one goal, one assist) in two games against the Calgary Flames this season and seven points (six goals, one assist) in six games against them in their 2020 playoff series.

Tyler Toffoli,F,CGY – The Calgary Flames wing has been productive during multiple deep playoff runs in his NHL career, scoring 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 26 games with the Los Angeles Kings when they won the Stanley Cup in 2014 and 14 points (five goals , nine assists) in 22 games with the Montreal Canadiens during their Stanley Cup Final run last postseason. He has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in two games against the Dallas Stars this season.

Evan Bouchard,D,EDM – The Edmonton Oilers defenseman scored their fifth most points (43 in 81 games) this season and was tied for 14th in even-strength points in the NHL at the position. Bouchard is playing on a defense pair with three-time Stanley Cup champion Duncan Keithand it’s worth noting Edmonton’s top defenseman Darnell Nurse (lower body) missed the final four games of the regular season.

Arthur KalievF, LAK – The Los Angeles Kings wing led NHL rookies in SOG (194) this season and had the second most power-play goals (six) in his class behind Trevor Zegras (nine) of the Ducks. Kaliyev picked up his point production in March and April (0.41 points per game), compared to October through March (0.30) and would have a higher ceiling if he earns a top-six role. He’s also due for betting fortunes considering he had the second lowest shooting percentage (7.2) in the NHL among forwards with at least 180 SOG.

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