While the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs mark the end of the fantasy hockey season each year, individual postseason performances often have a lasting impact from a fantasy standpoint heading into the following season.
In some cases, notable playoff performances -- such as those of Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby this spring -- come from top-tier regular season fantasy producers, boosting their already strong fantasy profiles heading into next season. But, when digging deeper into the playoffs in hindsight, it's impossible to ignore all the memorable showings that were much less expected -- for better or worse.
After breaking down two of the most compelling names from each 2012 Western Conference playoff team earlier this week, NHL.com now takes a look at the Eastern Conference. We'll evaluate each player's postseason and determine whether or not the perception of their performances is reality -- in terms of fantasy value.
Shots: 29 | +/-: -4
Playoff Impression: Positive
Has never played a regular season NHL game, yet this 21-year-old will be on the fantasy map after his breakout postseason (5 G, 2 A, minus-4, 29 SOG in 18 games). Marian Gaborik is likely to miss start of season, so look for Kreider to use his quickness and sizable frame to create chances as a top-six forward for New York.