Biggest Surprises of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Stanley Cup Playoffs surprises

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are renowned for their unpredictability, with unexpected teams and players stepping into the spotlight during the intense postseason. This year is no different, as several unheralded players have delivered standout performances, turning them into household names. We asked seven writers and editors to share their favorite surprising stories of these playoffs. Here are their answers, in alphabetical order.

Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers

Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard has emerged as the top offensive defenseman in the 2024 playoffs. Surpassing stars like Cale Makar, Miro Heiskanen, and Roman Josi, Bouchard has racked up 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 12 games, with a plus-10 rating. His remarkable playtime, including 29:59 in Game 2 and 31:24 in Game 3 against Vancouver, highlights his endurance and skill. — Derek Van Diest, staff writer

Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes

Forward Seth Jarvis has been instrumental for the Hurricanes, leading the team with five goals and tying for third in points with nine. Despite playing with shoulder problems and a broken finger, Jarvis’ fearless style and determination have become crucial to Carolina’s identity. His ability to dominate in tough areas has made a significant impact. — Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

Wyatt Johnston, Dallas Stars

Wyatt Johnston’s rapid rise has been astounding. Leading the Stars in regular-season goals with 32, the 21-year-old has continued his stellar performance in the playoffs, scoring seven goals in 11 games. His maturity and clutch scoring have marked him as a future star, all while he celebrated his 21st birthday during the postseason. — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

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Jack Roslovic, New York Rangers

Traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets in March, Jack Roslovic has thrived alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Though unimpressive in the regular season, Roslovic has found his stride in the playoffs with seven points (two goals, five assists) in 10 games. His speed and playmaking have been key for the Rangers’ success. — Dan Rosen, senior writer

Logan Stankoven, Dallas Stars

Logan Stankoven has brought energy and skill to the Stars, notching six points (three goals, three assists) in 13 games. Despite his youth and stature (5-foot-8), Stankoven has proven to be a dynamic player, earning comparisons to a valuable deadline acquisition. His seamless transition from the AHL to the NHL has been impressive. — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist & Tracey Myers, staff writer

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins

Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman has been outstanding in the playoffs, with a 2.15 goals-against average and .933 save percentage over 12 games. His composure and resilience, especially under the grueling demands of consecutive starts, have made him arguably the best goalie in this postseason, despite Boston’s struggles to provide offensive support. — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

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