The fantasy hockey season is now in its sixth week, and there have definitely been some players on the rise, and some surprise failures. Drafting good at the beginning is always critical, and it is always nice when your fourth or fifth round pick explodes off the start. Here is a list of the top surprise player per position.
GOALIE – Ondrej Pavelec – Winnipeg Jets
He was pegged as an underachiever last year. Many of the problems in Winnipeg were blamed on him, and trade rumors floated around all summer. This was definitely his last shot in Winnipeg, and let me tell you, so far he has made the most of it. He has stole games, and proved himself as a worthy starter.
Projected Stats via The Hockey News – 20 wins, 2.89 gaa, .902 Sv%.
Actual Numbers 11/13/14 – GP 15, 7 wins, 1.99 gaa, .928 Sv%
Honorable Mention – Jonas Hiller – Calgary Flames
CENTER – Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
Forsberg was projected to be a third liner for the Predators this season. Guess not, he is seeing first line time, and racking up the points because of it. Forsberg played for Nashville’s AHL Affiliate in Milwaukee last season and posted 34 points in 47 games. Well this year with the Predators he looks to have those numbers surpassed by mid-December.
Projected Stats via The Hockey News – 33 points
Actual Numbers 11/13/14 – 16 GP, 8 G, 12 A, 20 points, +19
Honorable Mention – Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
RIGHT WING – Patric Hornqvist – Pittsburgh Penguins
When Christmas comes this season Hornqvist should be sending a real nice gift to his linemate Sidney Crosby. Hornqvist is off to a torrid scoring pace this season. If Crosby stays healthy his points will continue.
Projected Stats via The Hockey News – 25 G, 35 A, 60 pts
Actual Numbers 11/13/14 – 14 GP, 9 G, 9 A, 18 pts, +5
Honorable Mention – Jakub Vorachek – Phildelphia Flyers
LEFT WING – Jadin Schwartz – St. Louis Blues
Last season was a breakout season for Schwartz, and this season looks to be a repeat, plus. Last year he posted 56 points in 80 games, and this season he is well ahead of that pace. Playing on a line with Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jori Lehtera puts him in a great position to rack up the points. Will this young line continue to play well.
Projected Stats via The Hockey News – 28 G, 30 A, 58 pts
Actual Numbers 11/13/14 – 16 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 pts, +9
Honorable Mention – Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets
DEFENSE – TJ Brodie – Calgary Flames
This may be one of the biggest surprises of the season. Brodie has completely emerged as a top end defenseman in the NHL. Playing alongside Mark Giordano, this pairing may just be the best defensive pairing in the league. Brodie is a strong skater, and is very good at the long breakout pass. He is currently just ten points from surpassing his projected stats for this season.
Projected Stats via The Hockey News – 24 points
Actual Numbers 11/13/14 – 18 GP, 4 G, 11 A, 15 pts, +10
Honorable Mention – Sami Vatanen – Anaheim Ducks
* Photo By Getty Images