With the NHL playoffs underway, here are five players who could have a big role in the postseason: – Nick Foligno, center, New Jersey Devils (24 games played) This is a no-brainer for Foligna.
The former No. 1 overall pick from the 2013 draft has shown some promise this season and should be a big-time contributor for the Devils, who will play their third game without their captain on Friday night.
Foligni has six goals and eight assists through four games.
– Kyle Okposo, forward, Dallas Stars (20 games played, four goals, five assists) The Dallas Stars are going to need Okposos production for them to have a real shot at making the playoffs.
Okpos, a fourth-round pick out of Cornell University, is averaging 1.8 points per game and shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.
His scoring has been steady through three games and he is tied for the team lead in goals with seven.
Okos is the team’s leading scorer and has scored at least one goal in three of his past four games, including a hat trick Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers.
– Brett Ritchie, forward/center, Los Angeles Kings (20 goals, 11 assists) If the Kings do make the playoffs, it will be because of Ritchie’s offensive abilities.
The 20-year-old winger has scored nine goals and added six assists through his first six games.
He is tied with Travis Hamonic for the Kings lead in points with 23.
Ritchie has been a big part of the Kings’ offense through the first three games, averaging 12.2 points per contest and shooting 56.9 percent.
The 6-foot-1 forward has scored in double figures five times in the past six games and has eight points in the last six games, the first time he has done so since Nov. 18, 2013.
– Cody Hodgson, center/right wing, Colorado Avalanche (24 goals, 21 assists)The Avalanche have a lot of confidence in Hodgson after the forward scored 20 goals in his first 10 games and tied for second in the NHL with 10 power-play goals.
He has two goals in four games and is tied in the league with two power-game goals.
The Avalanche are 13-7-3 when he scores.
– Ryan Spooner, forward and center, Chicago Blackhawks (20 points, six goals, seven assists) Spooner has scored a goal in every game for the Blackhawks and has played the most minutes of any player in the Blackhawks’ lineup through his two games.
The Chicago forward has five goals and four assists.
– Jiri Hudler, forward (26 points, five goals, eight assists) Hudler has scored two goals and five assists through the Blackhawks third game and is on pace for 26 points through the rest of the season.
The 27-year old is tied on the team with 13 goals and 18 assists through two games and his 10-point game Sunday against Edmonton was his sixth in the final seven games.
Hudler is the Blackhawks leading scorer.
– Patrick Kane, center (27 points, 13 goals, nine assists) Kane has had a lot more time in his own end and has started the last three games for the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 28-year the star is on track for his second straight 30-goal season and he has 12 goals and 23 assists through five games.
Kane has seven goals and 15 assists through seven games, making him the Blackhawks second-leading scorer and is fourth in the League in scoring.
– Mike Richards, center and right wing, Carolina Hurricanes (27 goals, 20 assists) Richards is a tough matchup for any goalie.
The 23-year veteran has scored 22 goals in 14 games and was fourth in goals for the Hurricanes.
He was a third-round draft pick out in 2015.
– Ben Bishop, right wing (27 assists) Bishop is on a four-game point streak and has a goal and six assists.
He and his teammates are on pace to match their season highs of 26 goals and 19 assists.
The 31-year was acquired by Carolina from Philadelphia in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
– Daniel Sedin, center-left wing (24 points, 12 goals, 12 assists) Sedin has started four games for his new team and has two assists in those games.
This is the first season since 2011-12 that he has not missed a game.
The Canucks winger has five points in his past five games and should have another productive season for the Canucks.
– Jonathan Huberdeau, center & right wing/center (25 points, 10 goals, 13 assists) Huber deauau has played a huge role in Vancouver’s success this season, and he should have a good chance to help them make the postseason for the first, second or third time in franchise history.
The 22-year of age is tied to the Sedins