NHL Fantasy: Five Breakout Players

With NHL All-Star weekend behind us, Fantasy Hockey Playoffs are just around the corner. As the season winds down, lets take a look at five players who have had breakout seasons.

Mikael Granlund (C, LW, RW) 

The Minnesota Wild have been one of the biggest surprises this season, thanks to the play of 24-year-old Mikael Granlund. In 49 games, he leads the team with 43 points, and is tied for sixth in the NHL with a plus 26 rating. The Oulu, Finland native has taken his game to the next level, and has contributed on a night-to-night basis for the Wild.

Alexander Wennberg (C)

The other surprise team thus far has been the Columbus Blue Jackets. Many players are in the midst of career years, including 22-year-old Alexander Wennberg, who has recorded 43 points in 49 games. The Swedish forward has turned into one of the best two-way players in the league, and is an elusive playmaker recording 34 assists. If they Blue Jackets continue their success, it will be partly due to the play of Wennberg.

David Pastrnak (RW)

Despite going 17 games without scoring a goal, Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak has had an exceptional season, as he ranks second on his team in goals (20) and points (38). The 20-year-old has played a big role on the power play, recording nine points. If the Bruins want to make the playoffs, they will need to rely on the scoring of Pastrnak.

Justin Schultz (D)

There haven’t been many defenseman who have had a better season than Justin Schultz of the Pittsburgh Penguins. After many disappointing seasons in Edmonton, the veteran has accumulated eight goals and 35 points in 49 games this season. Perhaps the most impressive stat with Schultz is his plus minus, as he currently ranks tied for third in the league with a plus 28 rating. The 26 year old has made a significant impact on the power play as well, registering 11 points.

Thomas Greiss (G)

After coming off an impressive 2015-16 season, Thomas Greiss is having himself a career year with the New York Islanders. In fact, he is now the outright number one goalie, and was just rewarded with a new three-year contract. In 26 appearances, Greiss has a 15-7-3 record with an impressive 2.24 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. If the Islanders want to make an outside run at the playoffs, they will have to continue to ride the stellar play of the 31 year old.

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