This article is part of our The One-Timer series.
To get you psyched for the playoffs, here's another fantasy column analyzing the regular season. Last week, we looked at those NHLers who disappointed. This week, we discuss a few who performed significantly above projections.
(And on the topic of the exciting action covering the next two months, I've got the Blackhawks taking the Cup over the Bruins in six. Wait, this isn't 2013? OK, then it'll be Nashville beating Boston in seven.)
Some of the following entries may have only produced consistently at a mediocre-at-best rate, while others may never have been highly touted but ended up posting career efforts. And a couple rookies immediately hit their stride, with one set to run away with top honors.
If you drafted a couple of these folks, then you may be smiling after claiming a league championship or some other top prize. And no surprise three of the names shown below belong to a club that has shocked everyone. Many others were considered, but these qualify as the 10 who pleasantly surprised us most.
5. Yanni Gourde, F, Tampa Bay
Gourde didn't exactly come out of nowhere, as he previously racked up points – a combined 149 in 197 games – at the minor-league level. The 26-year-old earned a two-year contract last June based on notching eight points in 20 appearances with the Bolts and adding 27 points in the AHL playoffs. Management's trust in Gourde provided him with the incentive to succeed, and he has done so by fitting