In keeper leagues, that makes for some difficult decisions. But in one-year, head-to-head leagues, it's important to act quickly.
Luckily, in recent weeks and months, call-ups around the NHL have come to the rescue to make those decisions a bit easier. These are fresh, young options that could inject some life into an ailing roster. Based on where they fall in their team's lineup and what they have accomplished so far in 2013-14, they must be considered down the stretch -- even if their ownership appears low based on your league size.
Here are five forwards who have been recalled this calendar year and are worth a shot if your team has qualified for the fantasy playoffs. Keep in mind these players, in many cases, are worth retaining as keepers this offseason considering their long-term upside.
Yahoo ownership: 1 percent
Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows were mired in lengthy offensive droughts until Jensen, 21, began to settle in on the Canucks' top line. The Danish forward has had points in five of seven games since being recalled from Utica of the American Hockey League earlier this month, and carries dual eligibility in Yahoo leagues. He is taking advantage of the ice time he's been given (17:33 per game) and is still only getting his feet wet. He's been a hit so far in Vancouver and will continue to see a splash of production as the team has limited options up front in the absence of Kesler and Daniel Sedin.
Yahoo ownership: 12 percent
SOG: 10 | +/-: 0
Yahoo ownership: 6 percent
The injury to John Tavares was expected to open up top-six spots for young forwards like Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome, but Lee's emergence has stolen the show. Despite the team's ongoing struggles, Lee has been a bright spot on the Islanders' top line with Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo and has been an opportunistic goal-scorer in his limited career at the NHL level. He had eight shots on goal Tuesday and has 10 points (six goals, four assists), 35 shots and a plus-4 rating in 10 games this season. Okposo is day-to-day with an injury and Lee's shooting percentage (17.1) might eventually cool off, but this youngster should remain on the top line for now and has likely earned a full-time spot with the big club moving forward after this impressive late-season stint.
Yahoo ownership: 2 percent
SOG: 55 | +/-: 8
Yahoo ownership: 1 percent
Kane is the only player with 225-plus shots on goal, 25-plus power-play points and a positive rating this season. He was placed on long-term injured reserve Friday, leaving a sizable void for fantasy owners and the Blackhawks, who had some instability on their second line to begin with. But adding Teravainen, considered to be the best NHL-affiliated prospect not currently playing in the League, could help matters. The 19-year-old native of Finland won't be in Chicago's lineup Friday but needs to be added in dynasty leagues. He carries risk-reward value in deep formats similar to when Kuznetsov arrived from Russia.