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Johnny Boychuk is one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL as a player with a solid two-way game who is capable of logging a ton of minutes, many of which come against the opposing team's best forwards.
The 29-year-old veteran leads all players with 32 blocked shots in the playoffs and also ranks first among all defensemen with 37 hits.
He averages the second-most time on ice per game (22:52) of any Boston Bruins player while also making an impact on the team's penalty kill, with 2:37 of short-handed time on ice per game.
Boychuk didn't have more than 24 minutes of ice time in any regular-season game in 2013, but with Boston having three veteran defensemen out of the lineup due to injuries, the veteran blueliner has been forced to play over 26 minutes in back-to-back games. Being able to log this much ice time when he blocks so many shots and plays a very physical game is quite impressive.
From an offensive standpoint, Boychuk is useful on the power play with his booming slap shot from the point and his mobility in the attacking zone. He has two goals in the postseason, both of which occurred in the Bruins' seven-game first-round series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Boychuk is playing in a top-pairing role during the playoffs, which is rarely a spot he finds himself in during the regular season. He deserves a lot of credit for taking his game to another level while also playing more minutes.