The Stanley Cup Playoffs are full of surprises.

Each season, unexpected teams and unheralded players rise to prominence during the most demanding postseason in professional sports.

This one has been no different. We are halfway through the four-round tournament and unknowns have become household names and local heroes have found their way onto the national stage with clutch performances, so which players have been the most surprising, raising their profiles with unforgettable performances on the biggest stage?

It's impossible to list them all, but we asked seven writers and editors from for their favorite surprising story so far in these playoffs.

Here, in alphabetical order, are their answers.  

Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers 

The Oilers defenseman has been the best offensive defenseman in the 2024 playoffs, which is somewhat surprising considering how much talent there is on the blue line across the NHL. Bouchard has outscored Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, and outplayed Quinn Hughes in the Western Conference Second Round against the Vancouver Canucks. He has 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 12 games. As impressive as his offensive totals have been, he's also plus-10, the best plus-minus rating in the playoffs. The 24-year-old is playing on Edmonton's top pair and played 29:59 in Game 2 and 31:24 in Game 3 against the Canucks. -- Derek Van Diest, staff writer

Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes

The forward can -- and does -- do it all for the Hurricanes. His five goals led Carolina in the postseason, as did his two power-play goals, and his nine points were tied for third. He played 20:35 per game, second to Sebastian Aho (21:55) among forwards, and he flipped lines with ease. But after watching him for 11 games this spring, it's not what he can do, but how he does it. Jarvis, who was playing with shoulder problems and a broken finger, is fearless. If the puck is available, he is going to get it, no matter the size of the opponent. He goes to the dirty areas with zeal. His fearlessness and positivity are a key part of the Hurricanes' identity, even though he just finished his third season with them. -- Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

Wyatt Johnston, Dallas Stars

I like to keep track of some of the up-and-coming prospects from my hometown of Toronto, so when the Stars picked Johnson at No. 23 in the 2021 NHL Draft, I knew the kid had the potential to do some special things. But this fast? And this clutch?  Sure, the fact he led the Stars in goals during the regular season with 32 was an indication the 21-year-old's career was on the rise, but to be a difference-maker in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at such a young age is at a different level altogether. Consider this: Johnston scored seven goals in the Stars' first 11 postseason games yet couldn't go out to celebrate those heroics with a few beers. No worries. He turned 21 -- legal drinking age -- on May 14. If he keeps his scoring pace up, he might just be sipping champagne out of the Cup in six weeks. Legally too! -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Jack Roslovic, New York Rangers

The Rangers acquired Roslovic in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 8 because they thought he could play on a line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider and that his speed would complement them in a positive way. I'll admit, going into the playoffs I wondered how long coach Peter Laviolette would keep that line together. Roslovic didn't do much to impress in his 19 regular-season games with the Rangers after the trade. He had eight points (three goals, five assists), but was a once healthy scratch. Laviolette had a rotation going for healthy scratches down the stretch, but the fact that Roslovic was in that rotation didn't bode well. Well, Laviolette was clearly smart to keep Roslovic with Zibanejad and Kreider, because his speed has complemented them in a big way in the playoffs. He is skating well and drawing defenders to him, and that opens up Zibanejad and Kreider. Roslovic has seven points (two goals, five assists) in 10 playoff games. He had a point in each of his first five before assisting on Kreider's first and third goals in New York's 5-3 comeback win in Game 6 at Carolina. His speed is going to be a weapon the Rangers need against the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final. He's expected to deliver. There was only hope that he would before the playoffs began. -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

Logan Stankoven, Dallas Stars

The young forward has been an Energizer Bunny for the Stars, bouncing all over the ice, making things happen. He has six points (three goals, three assists) in 13 playoff games, but it feels like he could have more than that because of the chances he has generated. Playing up and down the lineup, Stankoven has risen as high as the first line. Pretty remarkable for a guy who is 21, stands 5-foot-8 and has played 24 regular-season games in the NHL, all since he was recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League on Feb. 24. Then again, at the time of his recall, he led the AHL with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 47 games, and he had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in those 24 NHL games. Maybe no one should be that surprised. -- Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

I've been really impressed with what Stankoven has done through the first two rounds. It's his first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs but he has played very well, not looking intimidated whatsoever. In the physical games that come with the postseason, Stankoven has looked comfortable. Stars coach Pete DeBoer compared his call-up from Texas as a "deadline acquisition." As DeBoer said, you never know how a rookie is going to adjust to the NHL game, but Stankoven has transitioned well, and he's proven to be a key player for them this postseason. -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins

I already knew that the goalie was good going into the playoffs. He had an excellent regular season, matching reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark nearly start for start, but I'm not sure anyone knew that Swayman was going to be this good. And it's not just that he was arguably the best goalie in the playoffs, with a 2.15 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in 12 games against high-powered offenses on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Panthers. He held up both physically and mentally despite starting 11 consecutive games, going just about every other night through huge games and travel, something he had never done at the NHL level. He was calm, cool, and collected and, at times, nearly unbeatable. If only his team could score, he might still be wowing us in net. -- Amalie Benjamin, staff writer