This will give you some information on players you or others may be overlooking when drafting your playoff fantasy teams. Whichever teams you are choosing to go far, you will want to load up with players. This is where sleepers come in handy because a decent player on a team that makes it out of the first round will likely be worth more than a superstar on a first-round exit.
Seth Jarvis – Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes are primed for a long playoff run as they are a dominant team defensively and finished atop the Metropolitan Division this season. The team finished with the best record in their history and third-best in the NHL. They won’t be satisfied with a series loss in the first couple of rounds.
Defence isn’t a problem for the Hurricanes, but they could do with more scoring. That is why the lines were mashed up a bit and Seth Jarvis has found himself on the top line playing alongside Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. This should boost his value by a lot while not many people may recognize the change. He finished the season with 17 goals and 40 points in his rookie year and wrapped up the regular season with four goals and 10 points in 10 games, failing to score in just one of those games. He will be very low on the draft boards, and if you’re high on the Hurricanes, be sure to add him to your team.
Jacob Trouba – New York Rangers
The New York Rangers have been an impressive team this year and much improved. There were a few options for sleepers from this team, including Frank Vatrano and Andrew Copp, but I chose to give you a defence option. When you think of the Rangers’ defence, you think of Adam Fox. But what about Jacob Trouba? He has had a very good season that isn’t being talked about enough.
Trouba finished the season with 11 goals and 39 points but a ton of his value came from the defensive side of the puck where he had 88 penalty minutes and over 200 hits. Some playoff pools value those stats, so if they do, Trouba, on one of the most solid pairings in the league beside K’Andre Miller, will be a great option for your team later in the draft and be able to fill out your spots on defence.
Casey DeSmith – Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins are likely without their starter Tristan Jarry for the first round at least. He has been going through rehab per Mike Sullivan but is still listed as week-to-week. Casey DeSmith has done an excellent job filling in as the starter and looks to continue to do so to lead off the first round. The Penguins haven’t won a playoff series in the past three seasons but goaltending was their downfall in 2021. With DeSmith in net this time, things could go differently.
Goaltenders are always a hot commodity in playoff pools since there are only 16 teams and everyone knows the favourites. This makes goaltenders like DeSmith good sleeper options to help lead the Penguins on possibly one last run with their core group. He wrapped up the season going 3-1-0 in the past four with a shutout and held down the fort so that the Penguins would hold third spot in the division. Many are counting the Penguins out but DeSmith can rack up some fantasy points at a cheap value.
Martin Fehervary – Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals may be the least likely team to make it out of the first round, but every team has a chance. The Panthers don’t exactly have the best track record for winning playoff series while the core group of this Capitals team has won a Stanley Cup and knows what it takes.
A name you may have heard very little or not at all this season is Martin Fehervary. He plays on the top pairing alongside John Carlson, and in his rookie season, he is already showing that he can score goals. With eight goals and 17 points on the season, he isn’t the biggest point getter, but he will be available to draft. He is a key piece on the Capitals defence, and if you believe the Capitals can knock off the Panthers, consider Fehervary late in the draft to also get more than just points.
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