I agree with most of the picks here except the biggest surprise has to be Crombeen.. The guy came from NOWHERE to score a hat trick and be a regular physical and offensive presence. Sure I'd rather Perron have his ice time but he surprised the hell out of everyone.
the kicker with Crombeen - what did he do after that hat trick? 12 goals on the season - 3 of which came in one game. I'd say he did what was expected of a grinder with one surprising game.
I'd have to go with Colaiacovo as the surprise player. Started more games than he ever had in his career. Never missed a game to injury (which is why the Leafs traded him), rejuvenized the offense from the defensive zone damn near the day after he arrives (showed d-men how how to play looking up ice and not just at the puck when they were playing it), and wound up with career stats for a single season - after being named a no-good, injury plagued, d-man by the Leafs. That was a HUGE surprise. Even more than Crombeen - who filled out the expected role, and Backes whom the Blues expected to improve or wouldn't have matched the Canucks offer.
So you knew who Crombeen was before opening night? I attended development camp last year and bits of training camp and had no freakin clue who BJ Crombeen was.. To watch him become a regular in the lineup was a pretty huge WTF?!