Power Rankings: Fantasy playoff performers to target from each team

While the NHL regular season doesn’t end until Apr. 18, the playoffs are underway in many fantasy leagues this week.

To help you win a title in your league, we called in ESPN fantasy analysts Sean Allen and Victoria Matiash to highlight a prime playoff performer from each club — and in many cases, they are players who are available in a large majority of ESPN leagues.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors sends in a 1-32 poll based on the games through Wednesday, which generates our master list here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the previous edition, published March 15. Points percentages are through Thursday’s games. Available percentages are in ESPN fantasy leagues as of Thursday.


Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 68.12%

Brandon Montour (15.3% available): After a slow start due to returning from injury, Montour has started to round back into the form that took the league by storm last season, including 15 points in his past 14 games.

Next seven days: @ NYR (March 23), @ PHI (March 24), vs. BOS (March 26), vs. NYI (March 28)


Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 68.31%

Linus Ullmark (6.3% available): If the Bruins keep the strict rotation they’ve had for the bulk of the season, Ullmark gets the Flyers, Bolts, Predators, Panthers, Penguins and Senators to close the fantasy campaign. It’s not a great schedule, but it’s better than what Jeremy Swayman would face.

Next seven days: @ PHI (March 23), @ FLA (March 26), @ TB (March 27)


Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 67.39%

Artturi Lehkonen (36.4% available): After a brief illness, Lehkonen is back on track, continuing to contribute on a new-look scoring line with Casey Mittelstadt and Jonathan Drouin. The veteran winger serves as a second-tier alternative to largely unavailable heavyweights Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin.

Next seven days: vs. CBJ (March 22), vs. PIT (March 24), vs. MTL (March 26), vs. NYR (March 28)


Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 67.39%

Laurent Brossoit (90.5% available): Thanks to a pair of consecutive shutouts, Winnipeg’s No. 2 has more fantasy points (37.4) than Vezina Trophy favorite Connor Hellebuyck (37.4) this past month, despite starting half as many games. Brossoit should see more action in offering Hellebuyck rest down the stretch.

Next seven days: @ NYI (March 23), @ WSH (March 24), vs. EDM (March 26), vs. VGK (March 28)


Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 68.57%

Casey DeSmith (88.2% available): With Thatcher Demko sidelined, Vancouver’s crease belongs to the fantasy risk/reward understudy. Whether the Canucks manage to hang on to the top spot in the Pacific will depend on how DeSmith fares in that assignment.

Next seven days: vs. CGY (March 23), vs. LA (March 25), vs. DAL (March 28)


Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 68.57%

Jack Roslovic (93.7% available): With the rest of the fantasy-relevant offense spoken for, Roslovic has been a welcome addition to the Rangers’ top six. After three goose eggs to start his Rangers tenure, he had four points in four games.

Next seven days: vs. FLA (March 23), vs. PHI (March 26), @ COL (March 28)


Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 67.14%

Seth Jarvis (31.2% available): Already living large with his forged partnership with Sebastian Aho that keeps him at the top of the depth chart, Jarvis has also developed a bond with trade deadline arrival Jake Guentzel.

Next seven days: @ WSH (March 22), vs. TOR (March 24), @ PIT (March 26), vs. DET (March 28)


Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 65.67%

Calvin Pickard (96.7% available): The Oilers’ backup is starting to spell Stuart Skinner more often as his club marches toward the postseason. And why not? With a fantasy-friendly 3-1 record, .951 save percentage and 1.49 goals-against average through four starts in March, Pickard is proving a more than suitable substitute.

Next seven days: @ TOR (March 23), @ OTT (March 24), @ WPG (March 26), vs. LA (March 28)


Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 66.43%

Wyatt Johnston (53.7% available): Up until Wednesday’s meeting with the Coyotes, Jamie Benn and Logan Stankoven’s center had scored in four straight. Before that run, Johnston’s collection of four goals and five assists in six contests — including one extra rambunctious affair in San Jose — earned his managers an equally substantial haul of fantasy points.

Next seven days: vs. PIT (March 22), @ ARI (March 24), @ SJ (March 26), @ VAN (March 28)


Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 60.15%

Matt Roy (37.4% available): A gem in leagues that reward blocks and hits, the Kings’ blueliner offers plenty of both. In fact, no skater in the league is blocking more shots these days. Toss in a few points, and Roy is the club’s most valuable fantasy defender.

Next seven days: vs. TB (March 23), @ VAN (March 25), @ EDM (March 28)


Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 61.43%

Gustav Nyquist (62.3% available): The chemistry developed with Filip Forsberg and Ryan O’Reilly is helping the veteran enjoy his most productive season yet. That is paying substantial fantasy dividends, especially as the season wears on. Unlike Forsberg, Nyquist remains available in around two-thirds of ESPN leagues.

Next seven days: vs. DET (March 23), vs. VGK (March 26), @ ARI (March 28)


Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 58.70%

William Karlsson (25.2% available): Although experiencing a slight lull of late, Karlsson is averaging 2.3 fantasy points per game, nearly equal to that of Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault since the final week of February.

Next seven days: vs. CBJ (March 23), @ STL (March 25), @ NSH (March 26), @ WPG (March 28)


Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 59.42%

Anthony Duclair (81.8% available): Sometimes you trade for the wrong winger at the deadline, and sometimes you trade for the right one. Duclair fits like a glove in Tampa Bay’s top six, with three goals and two assists in five games.

Next seven days: @ LA (March 23), @ ANA (March 24), vs. BOS (March 27)


Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 63.97%

Timothy Liljegren (94.6% available): He’s being rolled out on the power play more often of late. Liljegren had 14.2 fantasy points across his past six games. If he can keep it up, the Leafs have the best schedule for defensemen in the fantasy championship round.

Next seven days: vs. EDM (March 23), @ CAR (March 24), vs. NJ (March 26), vs. WSH (March 28)


Previous ranking: 14
Points percentage: 56.43%

Cam York (76.6% available): Prior to Feb. 25, York had spent some time in the doghouse, averaging under 20 minutes of ice time per game. Since then, he has been putting in 22-plus minutes and earned a whopping 36.5 fantasy points.

Next seven days: vs. BOS (March 23), vs. FLA (March 24), @ NYR (March 26), @ MTL (March 28)


Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 55.71%

Lucas Raymond (63.5% available): The Red Wings have missed the injured Dylan Larkin, but Raymond has stepped up. The schedule could also make Raymond a last-minute stealthily good option, as Detroit closes the season with a double date with the Canadiens.

Next seven days: @ NSH (March 23), @ WSH (March 26), @ CAR (March 28)


Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 54.29%

Marc-Andre Fleury (76.7% available): Sure, Wednesday’s loss to the Kings was ugly, but anomalously so. The better of Minnesota’s two goalies for weeks, Fleury deserves substantial credit for his club staying in the periphery of the wild-card race. Upcoming tilts with the Blues, Sharks, Knights and Senators should help Fleur add to his total.

Next seven days: vs. STL (March 23), vs. SJ (March 28)


Previous ranking: 19
Points percentage: 55.15%

Dylan Strome (32.6% available): You could try to catch lightning in a bottle with Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre, but don’t overlook the steady production Strome has provided all season.

Next seven days: vs. CAR (March 22), vs. WPG (March 24), vs. DET (March 26), @ TOR (March 28)


Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 55.00%

Jake Neighbours (93.9% available): A fresh fixture on the Blues’ No. 1 line, the 21-year-old winger is stringing together a nice stretch of contributions to the scoresheet. That helps Neighbours serve as an attractive fantasy contributor for a club that’s still mathematically in contention for a wild-card spot.

Next seven days: @ MIN (March 23), vs. VGK (March 25), vs. CGY (March 28)


Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 52.90%

Kyle Palmieri (86.5% available): In 23 games since Patrick Roy took over as coach, Palmieri has 11 goals. That’s the same number he had in 45 games prior to the coaching change. Also note that the Islanders have a particularly good schedule in the fantasy championship rounds.

Next seven days: vs. WPG (March 23), vs. NJ (March 24), @ FLA (March 28)


Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 52.21%

Nazem Kadri (40.2% available): Calgary’s top center isn’t showing any signs of easing up, despite his team’s position in the standings. Registering an exceptional number of shots on net, Kadri earns valuable fantasy points even when he doesn’t score — which he still does more often than not.

Next seven days: @ VAN (March 23), vs. BUF (March 24), @ CHI (March 26), STL (March 28)


Previous ranking: 24
Points percentage: 50.00%

Bowen Byram (32.4% available): In seven games as a Sabre, Byram has 15.2 fantasy points (2.17 per game), which is 14th among all defensemen since he made his debut. Life as Rasmus Dahlin’s partner looks good.

Next seven days: @ CGY (March 24), vs. OTT (March 27)


Previous ranking: 23
Points percentage: 51.43%

Timo Meier (14.1% available): It’s worth checking your league’s waivers, as Meier might have been dropped following his slow start, because he now looks like his vintage self. Since Feb. 27, only Nathan MacKinnon, Roman Josi and Mikko Rantanen have more fantasy points.

Next seven days: vs. OTT (March 23), @ NYI (March 24), @ TOR (March 26)


Previous ranking: 25
Points percentage: 50.74%

Bryan Rust (45.7% available): The Pens are in the doldrums, but Rust has offered fantasy hope recently. After his latest injury absence, he needed two games to shake the, ahem, rust off before potting five points in his past four.

Next seven days: @ DAL (March 22), @ COL (March 24), vs. CAR (March 26), vs. CBJ (March 28)


Previous ranking: 21
Points percentage: 50.00%

Eeli Tolvanen (23.4% available): While his bare scoring numbers won’t dazzle fantasy managers, Tolvanen’s tendency to dish out hits and block more shots than most forwards helps pad his value as a well-rounded player.

Next seven days: @ ARI (March 22), vs. MTL (March 24), vs. ANA (March 26), vs. ANA (March 28)


Previous ranking: 26
Points percentage: 44.93%

Kaiden Guhle (59.5% available): The Canadiens have a tough remaining schedule for the forwards and goalies, but the defense could be fine. Guhle has been the best on the blue line lately, using physical play to average 2.03 fantasy points per game since Feb. 27.

Next seven days: @ SEA (March 24), @ COL (March 26), vs. PHI (March 28)


Previous ranking: 28
Points percentage: 44.20%

Nick Schmaltz (70.8% available): Scoring 1.20 points per game since Feb. 19, Clayton Keller’s linemate is averaging 2.4 fantasy points over that same stretch — more than the Coyotes’ top forward himself. An underrated fantasy player, Schmaltz is still competing hard down the stretch.

Next seven days: vs. SEA (March 22), vs. DAL (March 24), vs. CBJ (March 26), vs. NSH (March 28)


Previous ranking: 27
Points percentage: 44.12%

Drake Batherson (28.5% available): Batherson has been leaned on more at the top of the depth chart since the trade deadline, but he has been steady. He isn’t the best player on your fantasy team, but he earns his place most weeks.

Next seven days: @ NJ (March 23), vs. EDM (March 24), @ BUF (March 27), vs. CHI (March 28)


Previous ranking: 29
Points percentage: 42.03%

Alexander Nylander (94.9% available): Of all the late-season trades we had projected to have the most impact, this was not among them. Nylander has found new life with the Jackets, starting in the bottom six and pushing his way to the top of the depth chart.

Next seven days: @ COL (March 22), @ VGK (March 23), @ ARI (March 26), @ PIT (March 28)


Previous ranking: 30
Points percentage: 36.43%

Radko Gudas (46.4% available): If the shot-blocking defender recovers from his current upper-body injury sooner than later, Gudas will continue to reward managers by virtue of what he does best. Otherwise, there’s presently little fantasy value to mine from this struggling Ducks team at any position.

Next seven days: vs. TB (March 24), @ SEA (March 26), @ SEA (March 28)


Previous ranking: 31
Points percentage: 30.71%

Philipp Kurashev (91.9% available): Benefitting from regular reps in a ripe role, Connor Bedard’s winger is unsurprisingly thriving while competing alongside the game’s brightest young star, both at even strength and with the extra skater. But unlike Bedard, the 24-year-old is largely available in ESPN leagues.

Next seven days: @ SJ (March 23), vs. CGY (March 26), @ OTT (March 28)


Previous ranking: 32
Points percentage: 28.26%

Mikael Granlund (79.9% available): Centering a top unit within a bare-bones lineup, the veteran forward is seeing hefty on-ice minutes and averaging more than 2.5 fantasy points per game since February’s end. While the Sharks aren’t scoring much altogether, Granlund is often involved when they do.

Next seven days: vs. CHI (March 23), vs. DAL (March 26), @ MIN (March 28)

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