If a team isn't in the playoff hunt by this time of the season, they're making preparations for the next season. Call-ups from the farm team will be made, free agents from the NCAA will be signed and players from major junior will turn pro. The final 10 games are an audition, and hopefully the new faces make enough of an impression to be remembered when training camp opens this fall. Last year, Casey Mittelstadt played six games and scored five points in the final month, providing an opportunity for fantasy owners to add some upside for the stretch drive. Here's the breakdown of players who may see more playing time down the stretch.
Rasmus Andersson, D, Flames (1 percent owned in Yahoo)
He's a bottom-pairing defenseman on a loaded Flames blue line, but Andersson is earning a lot of Bill Peters' trust, and that will be important come playoff time. He averaged less than 16 minutes per game to start the season, but after scoring four points in January his ice time started to really creep up, and entering Sunday is now averaging closer to 18. He quarterbacks the second power-play unit, a job originally given to Noah Hanifin and T.J. Brodie at the start of the season.
Roope Hintz, LW, Stars (8 percent)
He's been excellent lately with four goals in his last three games, and one of the few bright spots in the Stars' brutal campaign. The 2015 second-round pick has exceeded expectations and plays