As the NHL playoffs are approaching, it is a great time to look back at some of the young players who have not received enough credit this season. Many of these players may be in your free agent pool or patiently sitting on your roster, the players listed could breakout if given the opportunity.
1. Alex Iafallo- LA Kings/W
Iafallo has flown under the radar for many fantasy owners, having been on the first line with Kopitar all season for the Kings. Iafallo started off in the USHL, here are his stat’s…
20G, 23A, 43P in 50GP. +34
Iafallo would later attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth and started off slow but he improved every single season. He had a very impressive senior season which garnered a lot of attention through out the NHL, with a good amount of teams vying for his services. Here is his stat’s from his senior year…
21G, 30A, 51P in 42GP. +22
The LA Kings and Buffalo Sabres were the final two team’s that Iafallo chose between, one of the main reason’s he would have sign with the Sabres is because he is a Buffalo native. He has been one of the most hard working players on the ice all season with his speed, he makes many plays happen.
The undrafted kid has potential, he could turn into a 60 point player at max as his ice time and power-play time will increase. Definitely try and pick him up if he is a free agent in your league or buy low.
2. Ryan Donato- Boston Bruins/C
Donato was drafted 56th overall in 2014 by the Boston Bruins and is currently playing for Harvard University in his sophomore season where he is in the running for the Hobey Baker. He represented Team USA at the Olympics this year, finished 9th in points in the tournament in only 5 games. One of the most surprising and standout players during the entire Olympic games. Donato is a sniper, he can put the puck anywhere he wants with such a quick release. Here are his stat’s so far this season…
26G, 15A 41P in 28GP. +13
Donato could be playing for the Bruin’s second line next season, but he is a player who can sit on your bench. Here is my prediction for his rookie season in the NHL when it comes… 23G, 27A, 50P in 82GP. +8. There have been rumors for Donato to be called up very soon and I can see it happening this upcoming week, the Bruins are very excited to watch the young superstar develop. I regret trading him in my league. But definitely a player you should grab in your league with all the upside he has.
3. Anthony Cirelli- Tampa Bay Lighting/C
Cirelli was drafted 72nd overall in 2015 by the Tampa Bay Lightning and was recently called up from the AHL in early March. He has been a standout third line player for Tampa as he has 5PTs in 6GP. Cirelli became only the fourth player in Tampa Bay Lightning history to have a multiple point game in their NHL debut. But while he played in the AHL he had some solid stats…
14G, 23A, 37P in 51GP. +2
He is a 2-way player, very quick and makes smart decisions with the puck. Cirelli playing in Tampa is a huge advantage for fantasy owners, the Lightning have a huge amount of depth and he just adds right on. He can turn into something special for Tampa once the opportunity comes. He could produce big numbers once he has some solid assets next to him and that can happen soon as Palat is still injured but could return and either have Palat on his wing or Yianni Gourde another special young guy.
4. Justin Bailey- Buffalo Sabres/RW
Bailey was drafted 52nd overall in 2013 by the Buffalo Sabres and was recently called up from Rochester, his first game back he had a great dangle against Marc Andre Fleury. Bailey, another Buffalonian, was once teammates with Alex Iafallo, who I mentioned above. But for being on the fourth line he has been a force for the Buffalo Sabres, one of the much bigger players on the ice you can definitely tell that he is one of the fastest on the ice.
He should be on the roster permanently for the Sabres just to see how he does for the rest of the season, the Sabres are the worst team in the league and are expected to pick in the top 3 of this year’s draft. They have some young potential coming from the AHL and previous picks, but Bailey gives his heart out every shift and you can clearly see as many of his teammates have not been great. The future is bright in Buffalo expect Bailey to be a third line player once they finally hit there potential to become a contender.
5. Brendan Perlini- Arizona Coyotes/W
Perlini was drafted 12th overall in 2014 by the Arizona Coyotes and has played his past 2 seasons with them. He has spent this season playing on the second line. The organization is going through a strong rebuild as it is taking time with many studs growing this team could become a dynasty. Perlini is a weapon to have on your roster, not having the best season but he is only 21 years old. He is a goal scorer as he has netted 16 goals in 63 games so far this season. But his speed and hands are one of his best assets, here is one of his best goal’s this season coming against one of the top teams…
Perlini is still young and is playing with all developing players, once this team is in there prime then Perlini can put up some decent numbers.
Thank you for reading!
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