NHL.com identifies daily fantasy hockey players to watch in key statistical categories for DFS contests throughout the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the "NHL Fantasy on Ice" podcast.
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Playoff pool ranks | Projected lineups
Player to watch for goal in EDM-LAK Game 2: Evan Bouchard, D -- The Edmonton Oilers defenseman scored a power-play goal against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1, giving him goals in three straight games. Bouchard has 20 points, eight on the power play, in 22 games since the Oilers acquired Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators for Tyson Barrie; since Barrie's departure, Bouchard has been running the first power play with 100-plus point producers Connor McDavid (led NHL with 153), Leon Draisaitl (128; second) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (104; ninth). It's worth noting McDavid did not have a point in Game 1 but was only held without a point in consecutive games once all regular season.
Player to watch for assist in DAL-MIN Game 2: Miro Heiskanen, D -- The Dallas Stars defenseman ranked third in the NHL at the position in assists (62) and was tied for fifth in points (73 in 79 games) in the regular season. Heiskanen, who plays on the first power play with elite forward Jason Robertson, had a power-play assist and three shots on goal against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 and usually plays heavy minutes; he played 41:42 in Dallas' double-overtime loss in the opener and averaged 25:29 per game in the regular season (sixth highest in NHL). It's also worth noting Heiskanen ranked third in the NHL in points (26 in 27 games) during the Stars' Stanley Cup Final run in 2020.
Player to watch for power-play point in CAR-NYI Game 2: Stefan Noesen, F -- The Carolina Hurricanes wing had a career-best 15 power-play points (previous best was one in 2019-20 with the San Jose Sharks) this past regular season and scored a goal on the man advantage in the first game of the series. Noesen has high production potential on their top unit with Martin Necas, Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis and Brent Burns. The Hurricanes converted on two out of four time on the power-play in Game 1, a significant improvement after finishing the regular season tied for the 12th-lowest power-play percentage (19.8) in the NHL.
Player to watch for shots on goal in BOS-FLA Game 2: Aaron Ekblad, D -- The Florida Panthers defenseman ranked fifth at the position in shots on goal (216 in 71 games) during the regular season and had at least three shots on goal in five of his last six games before the postseason. In the first game of the series Ekblad had four shots on goal and he will be a critical component of Florida's attempt to pull an upset over the Boston Bruins. Ekblad has a valuable spot on their top power-play unit with Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart and Brandon Montour.
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