Five of the most surprising players to begin the season.
1. Chad Johnson. Goalie, Calgary Flames.
Chad Johnson is easily one of the five biggest surprises this year as he has stolen the starting goalie spot from one of the most consistent starters in the NHL the last couple of years, Brian Elliott. Chad Johnson has saved the Flames season over the past month, as they were flirting with last place in a very weak pacific division about a month ago, and now they are fighting for the lead. Johnson is top 10 in the league in wins with 13, save percentage with .932, and GAA with 1.98. He's been amazing for them and that is why he's on this list.
2. Antti Raanta. Goalie, New York Rangers.
Although he's not the Rangers full time starter, he has been over the past four games and he's been amazing. Giving Lundqvist competition for the starting position. Over the past month he has only let in 2 goals once. And during that time he had a shutout streak of 176 minutes, just about three full games. Raanta is putting up incredible numbers with a 1.65 GAA, and .943 SV%. Raanta is also a remarkable 8-1 and very surprisingly, might be the new starter in New York.
3. Sam Gagner. Centre, Columbus Blue Jackets.
The entire Blue Jackets team has been a complete surprise as they have now won 7 in a row, and have gotten points in 22 of 27 games overall. Gagner who has always been a very decent serviceable centre is having the start of a career year for himself leading this team into the playoffs. Gagner leads the team in goals with 12 and has 9 assists to go along with it for 21 points in 26 games. He is also a plus 9 so he is playing great for them right now.
4. David Pastrnak. Right Wing, Boston Bruins.
Boston is having a much better year than a lot of people originally expected, currently tied for 2nd in Atlantic division with Ottawa. One of the main reasons for this has been the goal scoring ability of Pastrnak. At one point this season he had scored a quarter of the teams goals. He currently has 18 in 25 games and has 24 points, just about being a point per game player. He is a plus 15, and is having a breakout year leading the Bruins into the playoffs, if anyone else gets as hot as him on the team they'll be very dangerous.
5. Jeff Carter. Centre, Los Angelas Kings.
Jeff Carter never slows down, and at the age of 31 is quietly having a great year, as he always does. Through 28 games Carter has 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points and a .86 PPG average. Although the Kings are not having the best of starts to the season and are currently sitting outside the playoffs, a lot of that can be put on the goaltender injury issues that they have with Quick being out the whole season so far. Carter has been putting this team on his back and has 4 goals and 5 points in his last 5 games trying to get back into the playoffs.