In lieu of this weeks Breakaways and Benders I wanted to highlight someone who is available in over 2/3 of leagues and has a tendence of excelling in the post All-Star break. Ondrej Palat currently has 10 goals and 14 assists through 45 games, this would equal out to around 50 points on the season which is hardly fantasy all-star. With that said he has become one of the best second half players in the NHL from here until the Playoffs.
Last year February 1st - Playoffs
12 goals and 15 assist for 27 points over 33 games. In addition 4 PPP, 2 SHG, 1 SHA, 25% shooting accuracy and 2 GWG.
2 years ago:
5 goals 22 assist for 27 points over 28 games. In addition 7 PPP, 10% shooting accuracy and 2 GWG.
Currently he's on the top line for Tampa Bay with Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov and he's on the top PP unit with Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov, Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov as they run a 4-1 deviation.
Over the last 30 days the Lightning have been abysmal, they have scored the 7th fewest goals in the league, they have allowed the 6th most goals in the league, it's clear they need Ben Bishop back to form and Steven Stamkos back in the lineup. It appears as if Steven Stamkos is on timeteable to return in early March, as for Bishop he is part of a broader question mark for the team. They are about 2-5 points out of the playoffs with half the season to go and need to decide soon if they want to embark on a number of trades to build for the future at the cost of the present or potentially double down on this year.
Regardless of all of the outside noise, I think Ondrej Palat will still be a pleasant surprise for owners providing both solid production as well as cheap value to buy in now before all of this shakes out over the next 30 days.