Underrated power-play performers


In many varieties of both season-long leagues and DFS competition, those players who are able to contribute with the extra skater are often treasured as being extra-precious. Here’s a quick roundup of some less-popular power-play performers (at least in terms of being rostered in ESPN leagues) and those who have a lot of looming potential, all of whom might help your roster.

You on the top PP? Yeah, you know me!

Team power-play success rate: Since Dec. 1 — 22.1 percent/Since Dec. 22 — 15.6 percent

Elias Lindholm, C/RW, Calgary Flames (rostered in 67.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues): Somehow, Lindholm has already accumulated 51 points on the season (plus-25), including 18 with the extra skater, yet he remains available in about one-third of ESPN.com leagues. Considering the former Hurricane is skating on a top line and power play with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, there’s little fear of a course correction here. Pick him up, or trade for the under-appreciated fantasy producer if at all possible.

Team power-play success rate: 26.7 percent/37.0 percent

Jake DeBrusk, LW, Boston Bruins (46.3 percent rostered): Not long ago, DeBrusk was boosted to Boston’s top power-play unit. Since then, the 22-year-old forward has five points in six games — including two goals with the extra skater. He’s also effective at even-strength on a scoring line with under-appreciated center David Krejci. DeBrusk’s potential availability is worth checking on in most conventional ESPN.com leagues.

Team power-play success rate: 18.8 percent/33.3 percent

Darnell Nurse, D, Edmonton Oilers (44.1 percent): Edmonton’s overall struggles aside, Connor McDavid is still going to score with vicious regularity and, quite often, those lamp-lighters will come on the power play. Nurse is anchoring McDavid’s top power-play unit while Oscar Klefbom remains sidelined. A good four of Nurse’s five assists in his eight most-recent games have come with the man-advantage.

Team power-play success rate: 17.5 percent/17.8 percent

Justin Williams, RW, Carolina Hurricanes (41.0 percent): One of your streakier sorts, Williams is currently surfing a four-game point-scoring groove on 15 shots, including two goals with the man-advantage. Competing on a top unit with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, the 37-year-old veteran has inflated fantasy value in the here and now. It’s also worth noting that Jaccob Slavin has just been promoted to that top unit as well. He’s rostered in just 0.9 percent of ESPN.com leagues, and the young defenseman has two goals and two assists in his last five contests.

Team power-play success rate: 22.6 percent/34.8 percent

Erik Gustafsson, D, Chicago Blackhawks (31.7 percent): Are you aware that Gustafsson is riding a seven-game point-scoring streak? Not only that, five of his last nine assists have come while anchoring Chicago’s top power-play unit. He also has 20 points in 22 games since Nov. 21. Grab the underrated 26-year-old before everyone else wises up to his value.

Team power-play success rate: 13.6 percent/6.7 percent

Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs (11.9 percent): In an effort to try and shake things up, coach Mike Babcock is promoting Kapanen to the Maple Leafs’ top power play in place of Auston Matthews. This should help the 22-year-old speedster supplement his current total of 25 even-strength points, beginning Thursday in New Jersey. Plus, a role on Matthews’ wing when skating 5-on-5 is hardly a turn-off.

Team power-play success rate: 20.0 percent/9.1 percent

Brandon Pirri, C, Vegas Golden Knights (6.2 percent): Back up with the big club now that Reilly Smith has been placed on injured reserve, Pirri proved he hasn’t missed a beat by scoring a power-play goal in Tuesday’s win over the Rangers. Skating on a forward line with Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny, and Vegas’ top power play with Max Pacioretty, the 27-year-old deserves consideration as a fantasy gem in all formats. With seven goals and three assists in only eight games so far, Pirri has made the most of his opportunities at the NHL level. The guy’s on fire.

Team power-play success rate: 12.8 percent/8.0 percent

Mike Green, D, Detroit Red Wings (2.6 percent): After losing a month to a foot injury, the veteran defenseman is finally expected back for Friday’s tilt with the Jets. Coach Jeff Blashill won’t hesitate long in re-instituting Green as his top anchor on a power play that has managed only six goals since Dec. 1. If you’re in need of help on defense, consider picking up the 33-year-old as a regular contributor at even-strength as well.

Team power-play success rate: 36.7 percent/38.9 percent

Ondrej Palat, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (rostered in 2.2 percent): We’d be remiss to not mention at least one available skater from the league’s hottest offense and power play. While he hasn’t contributed much tangible to date, Palat remains a persistent threat as member of a Tampa Bay top unit that also includes Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. If your fantasy roster has holes, he could be worth a flier. When healthy, the 27-year-old has contributed handsomely in the past.

Team power-play success rate: 20.0 percent/23.5 percent

J.T. Compher, LW/C, Colorado Avalanche (1.8 percent): Compher is the only regular forward on the Avalanche top power play not named Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen or Gabriel Landeskog. Over 28 games played, seven of his 18 points have come with the man-advantage. The 23-year-old has use in deeper leagues.

Naughty by nature with the extra man

Largely spoken for in ESPN.com leagues, the following power-play powerhouses merit extra consideration in DFS competition.

Team power-play success rate: 28.6 percent/27.3 percent

John Klingberg, D, Dallas Stars (95.6 percent): If the Stars’ top offensive-defenseman is helping to put points on the board, there’s a good chance he’s going to doing so with the extra skater. Anchoring an effective No. 1 power-play unit that also includes Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Klingberg has six points in his past five games — including four with the man-advantage. If you’re going to blow a bit of DFS budget on a defenseman, where power-play points are at a premium, Klingberg’s your guy.

Team power-play success rate: 27.3 percent/22.7 percent

Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, Florida Panthers (77.5 percent): Like Klingberg, the former Senator is doing most of his scoring damage with the man-advantage. Contributing on a top unit with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, Hoffman currently leads the Panthers with 21 power-play points, having scoring four of his five goals over the last eight games with the extra skater. Again, if the matchup makes sense and the price is right, he’s well worth a swing in DFS play.

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