Torey Krug's breakout performance for the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs made him a household name.
Now the rookie blueliner's power-play role not only has carried over to his first full NHL season, but also expanded.
But what's even more stunning is how long it's taking fantasy owners to notice.
Torey Krug, owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues, has seen his power-play role expand, making him an injury replacement option in fantasy hockey. (Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI)
At this juncture of the season, injuries to fantasy-relevant defensemen (Dan Boyle, Lubomir Visnovsky, Jonas Brodin) are creating lineup holes in every league. Krug, owned in 27 percent of Yahoo Fantasy leagues, stands out as a glaring replacement option, especially following his two-goal outburst in the Bruins' 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres.
Slotted 52nd among defensemen in Brian Metzer's latest rankings, Krug should continue to move up the fantasy totem pole if he keeps seeing 3:24 per game with the man advantage, the second-highest total among Bruins defensemen behind Zdeno Chara (3:41). Krug, 22, shares duties on the team's top power-play unit with Chara and is bound to be a fantasy difference-maker if he keeps having the occasional big game in that role.
Krug tallied his third power-play point of 2013-14 on Wednesday and is logging much more ice time per game than he did this past spring (2:26, three power-play points). He started slow this season with one goal and two assists in his first seven games, but his strong outing Wednesday should serve as the final wake-up call that he warrants more fantasy ownership.
The Michigan State University product leads all rookie defensemen in goals (three), points (five), shots on goal (22) and power-play points (three). Those totals are similar to when he led rookie defensemen in goals (four), points (six), plus/minus rating (plus-5), power-play goals (three) and shots on goal (34) in 15 games in last season's playoffs.
Krug can cover a number of categories for your ailing fantasy team, and the Bruins are back in action Thursday against the San Jose Sharks (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). If he's still on the waiver wire in your league, make sure you change that.