DENVER, CO – The Stanley Cup playoffs are always full of excitement and surprises, and as the best players tend to lead their teams deep into playoffs, the supporting cast and unexpected players are the ones who help push the team to the next level. We are going to look at five players who had breakout performances during these playoffs and how their careers can only go up from here.
Even though J.T. Compher hasn’t had a huge jump in points per game from the regular season, he was able to step up in a big way when Nazem Kadri was injured and even before that. He played just nine minutes in Game 6 versus the St. Louis Blues but scored two goals. He followed that performance up with a two-goal game in the first meeting between the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers playing just under 13 minutes.
Compher’s goals came at timely moments and he did so in the bottom-six, but when Kadri missed some games, he easily stepped into his spot and provided the Avalanche with a solid second-line replacement, almost as if nothing had changed. Seeing as how stacked the Avalanche are and the impact some of the top players have had, Compher’s contributions may be overlooked, but shouldn’t be. The team may need him to be their second-line center moving forward as they will likely lose Kadri to free agency in the offseason.