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HFF's (jtuzzi's) OFFICIAL 2006-2007 NHL Fantasy Guide and Projections.

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HFF's (jtuzzi's) OFFICIAL 2006-2007 NHL Fantasy Guide and Projections.

HFF’s (formerly jtuzzi’s) 2006-2007 NHL Fantasy Guide and Point Projection Thread is here!
- feel free to post criticism.
- feel free to PM me additional questions.

THESE PROJECTIONS MAY LOOK HIGH, BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT INJURIES THAT BRING DOWN PLAYERS TOTALS (IE EACH PLAYER I ASSUME WILL PLAY 82 GAMES, except for special cases)

TOP 25 FORWARDS
- points, thats it.

1. Thornton (117)
2. Ovechkin (117)
3. Crosby (113)
4. Spezza (111)
5. Jagr (107)
6. Kovalchuk (102)
7. Heatley (101)
8. Staal (100)
9. Elias (97)
10. Hossa (95)
11. Briere (92)
12. Datsyuk (92)
14. Richards (91)
15. Gaborik (91)
16. Cheechoo (89)
17. Alfredsson (89)
18. Jokinen (88)
19. Hemsky (87)
20. Malin (87)
21. Nash (86)
22. Gagne (86)
23. H. Sedin (85)
24. Naslund (85)
25. Zetterberg (85)


TOP 20 DEFENSEMEN
- points, thats it.

1. Visnovsky (70)
2. Lidstrom (69)
3. Zubov (69)
4. Pitkanen (65)
5. Gonchar (65)
6. McCabe (64)
7. Niedermayer (64)
8. Zidlicky (63)
9. Kaberle (62)
10. Pronger (62)
11. Liles (59)
12. Redden (56)
13. Phaneuf (55)
14. Bouwmeester (55)
15. Markov (55)

TOP 10 STEALS (FORWARD)
- with a sentence on why.

1. H. Sedin - elite two way player, best forward on the Canucks, should see 20+ minutes of ice-time, and a fairly large point increase.
2. Vrbata - third best forward on the Hawks offensively, is primed for a big break-out year.
3. D. Roy - speedy gritty player reminds me of Doug Gilmour. 90+ points at some point. Expect 55-70 depending on ice-time.
4. Huselius - very talenented, gives the Flames a secondary attack. PPG is not out of the question.
5. Hemsky - could see 90 points this year, he has 100+ potential, just needs to gain more confidence with the puck.
6. Erat - my sleeper for a while. Will finally get top ice-time, has huge potential and reminds me of Jagr at times.
7. Yashin - if Nolan can screw his head on right... watch out.
8. J. Carter - looks to be playing RW this year and that means more offense. Expect 65-70 points, and 100 in a few years.
9. D. Sedin - will take on more of a snipers role this year, 35 goals is not out of the question.
10. Sharp - should be the 2nd line centre on Chicago, has 60-70 point upside and could get a sniff of it this year.

TOP 10 STEALS (DEFENSE)
- with a sentence on why.

1. Ehrhoff - will QB the #1 PP unit in the league, could see his point total double.
2. McCarthy - was on a tear after coming from Vancouver, should feed Kovalchuk the puck on the PP, which means assists.
3. Corvo - has a lot of offensive talent and is now in the perfect situation to showcase it.
4. Ranger - will get good ice-time on Tampa and is a solid puck-mover. Could get 40-50 points.
5. Salo - contract year, the Canucks PP was dynamite when he was the focal point. 20 goals is attainable if he stays healthy.
6. Pothier - put up 35 points playing 6th defenseman minutes. Is a top pairing guy on Washington and will get 45+ with players like Ovechkin on the PP.
7. Bouwmeester - the offense finally arrives this year. He has been stellar defensively the past two seasons (last season in particular).
8. Kronwall - slick, dangerous, 60+ points next year. Look for 45-50 this season.
9. Weber - if the Preds use him on the PP, could get a good number of goals due to his cannon of a shot.
10. Nummelin - wildcard, he has the talent to get 60+ points but can he adjust to the NHL game?

TOP 5 PLAYERS WHO WILL HIT THE NEXT LEVEL
- stars who become superstars.

1. Gaborik - Demitra is going to work wonders. He could get 60 goals on a team like Ottawa.
2. Nagy - freak injuries have ruined what have been productive seasons. If he is healthy, 95 points is not out of the question.
3. Spezza - Again, if he stays healthy I don't see why he can't lead the league in scoring.
4. Cole - with his great chemistry with Staal, 50 goals is the upside there. He has good hands, great instincts and is tough as hell.
5. Visnovsky - with Crawford loving defensemen scoring and being involved, 80+ points could happen. Visnovsky is the most talented offensive defenseman in the NHL right now.

TOP 10 DARKHORSES.
- with a sentence on why.

1. Metropolit - I have heard he could mesh well with Kovalchuk. Coming off a solid year in Finland. 40 points maybe?
2. Bulis - if he sticks with the Sedins, 25 goals is easily attainable.
3. Friesen - not as old as people think, he is coming into a situation in Calgary where he could excel.
4. Hilbert - should get a top six spot on Long Island. The talent has always been there, but is this the year he puts it together?
5. Nordqvist - there are a few Hawks that fit this bill, Salmelainen as well. Both had terrific years in Europe and appear to be suited for the new game.
6. Peltonen - if he plays with Jokinen he could get 60 points.
7. Craig - should get top 6 minutes on Tampa, 25 goals maybe.
8. Cooke - he is most likely playing with Naslund/Morrison. 45-65 points if he sticks on the top 6 in Vancouver.
9. Miettinen - will get a top 6 role in Dallas, 50-55 points if he plays there all season.
10. Mogilny - if he comes to camp hungry, watch out. He is on the books, so the Devils look like they are going to try and stick him in the top-6.

TOP 10 ROOKIES
- with a sentence on why

1. Malkin - 100 points is the upside, just curious to see if he adapts as quickly as AO did.
2. Radulov - 75 points maximum (for this season), but expect around 55-60. Will be the best forward in Nashville very soon.
3. Penner - one more step in his game and he is a star. LeClair-esque at times.
4. O'Sullivan - dynamic, skilled and gritty. The total package at centre, should centre the second unit.
5. Brule - the best under-sized forward prospect in quite some time. Think Roenick circa Chicago days.
6. Wolski - should be the key on the Avs 2nd line. Very good in the playoffs for the most part.
7. Kessel - will be a top 6 player in Boston, but is he NHL ready?
8. Barker - if he impresses at Hawk camp, could be on the 1st PP unit.
9. Carle - after an impressive College year he was good in the NHL. Has elite offensive upside.
10. Kopitar - He may force his way onto the Kings second line this season, think Dany Heatley with defense.

TOP 10 UNDER THE RADAR ROOKIES
- with a sentence on why

1. Kalus - if there is an injury in the top 6, expect to see him there. He could make the Bruins as a bottom 6 player as well.
2. Smid - has a great shot at earning a top 6 spot out of camp with the Oilers.. if he sticks all season, 20-30 points.
3. Bourret - he will play a role on Atlanta, but in what capacity?
4. Stastny - same goes for him as Bourret (but on Colorado), will be be in a scoring role?
5. M. Green - elite offensive upside (like Carle), but may not see a ton of ice-time yet.
6. Kahnberg - the Blues got him over here from Europe, now they need to find him somewhere to play.
7. Schremp - not sure if he makes the team but will be the first call-up.
8. Ryan - could earn a top 6 spot, and push Corey Perry down the depth chart.
9. Mihknov - if the Oilers sign him he could crack the top 6 and contribute right away.
10. Schultz - Sedins' future line-mate? Decent shot at that happening.

TOP 10 FANTASY BUSTS - FORWARDS
- with a sentence on why

1. A. Carter - wherever he goes, don't expect anywhere near 33 goals (this is an obvious one)
2. Knuble - I think Calder or even J. Carter are going to be the top wingers on PHI and bump Knuble down.
3. Malone - He could easily get bumped out of the top 6 on Pittsburgh by Pivko/Christensen/someone else and is a useless player if he isn't scoring.
4. Lindros - nothing left in the tank.. maybe 40 points.
5. Holmstrom - I can't see a repeat of last season, he is great on the PP but just isn't top 6 material.
6. Cullen - is a great speedster and defensive forward, but don't expect anything over 50 points. Immonen and Dubinsky are on his heals for the 2nd line centre gig.
7. Nedved - just no. Avoid at all costs.
8. Nieuwendyk - Weiss may take the 2nd line spot from him, has chemistry with Olesz but is also old and may take on a more defnesive role.
9. Turgeon - anything left in the tank?
10. Smolinski - see Nedved.

TOP 15 CONTRACT YEAR PLAYERS
- with a sentence on why

1. Bertuzzi - last contract year, 46 goals and 95 points. He has the linemates and the talent to repeat.
2. Nagy - wanted more than the 3 mill he got in arbitration, has the talent to get 90 points.
3. Kariya - wants one more big contract, has to build on what he started in Nashville last season.
4. Datsyuk - elite regular season talent, will have to shed the choker label if he wants big money.
5. Markov - elite defensive talent, will command 5-6 with another expected big season.
6. Morrow - teams are going to be lining up to sign him; will want to prove he can be a 70+ point plaer.
7. Briere/Drury - Buffalo is going to have to let one of them go. Both are going to have big seasons. Drury is more valuable to the Sabres in my opinion.
8. Gomez - elite playmaking talent, will be top 5 in assists in the NHL. Will want a long-term deal around 6-7 per most likely.
9. Modin - look for a big year in Columbus, 30-35+ goals.
10. B. Stuart - will be sought after by a number of teams. #1 defenseman who can move the puck very well. 55 points, maybe more depending on PP time.
11. Doan - Phoenix will have fun trying to get him and Nagy under contract. The gritty winger will have teams lining up and will want to prove this season that he is a capable first line winger.
12. Sturm - 35 goals this season will certainly help his cause. He is in a perfect environment to do so.
13. Ekman - playing on Sid or Malkin's LW, 70 points is not out of the question. Solid top 6 winger.
14. Bulis - he has said how he wants to show his offensive game in the NHL. Will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he puts up.. could be anywhere from 45-70.
15. Timonen - Nashville won't have the room for him on defense with their promising rookies, so he will want to prove his worth around the league with another 50 point season.

TOP 15 GOALIES
- I took into consideration wins, SV%, GAA, etc.
- Nabokov will be added once he is dealt, or something happens there.
- Hasek is just too injury-prone for me to include.
- This isn't neccesarily the BEST, as guys like Kolzig are on weak teams.

1. Kiprusoff - best goalie in the game right now.
2. Vokoun - weak Central division means lots of wins (CONTRACT YEAR).
3. Luongo- workhorse goalie has a solid team infront of him and lots of money in his pockets.
4. Brodeur - still has it, and will continue to have it for at least three more seasons.
5. Miller - Buffalo is my pick to win the East, and Miller is going to be a big part of that.
6. Lundqvist - stellar rookie season, arguably the best goalie in the Eastern Conference, expect the same or more.
7. Giguere - Anaheim has a stellar team and Pronger/Niedermayer would make any goalie happy.
8. Fernandez - Minnesota plays an airtight defensive system, now with scoring the under-rated Fernandez will shine.
9. Ward - The Conn Smythe winner is the man in nets for the high-flying Hurricanes. Great career ahead of him.
10. Huet- Can he prove last year wasn't a fluke? Bank on another solid campaign.
11. Toskala - looks very good on paper.. will Nabokov be moved? Toskala is the better keeper right now.
12. Turco - Stats have been in a decline the past few seasons, Dallas might slip this year. Still a workhorse in nets
13. Gerber- Will see 55 games most likely, lots of wins and good stats playing behind the skilled Senators team.
14. Lehtonen - If he stays healthy, the Thrashers have a real shot at the playoffs. Sky is the limit in terms of upside.
15. Toivonen - Boston will be much improved with their off-season acquisitions. Toivonen will love the Chara signing more than anyone.

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Anaheim Ducks

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Penner-McDonald-Selanne
Chistov-Getzlaf-Perry
Kunitz-Pahlsson-Niedermayer
Fedoruk-Green-Marchant
Moen

Niedermayer-Beauchemin
Pronger-O’Donnell
O'Brien-DiPenta

Giguere
Bryzgalov

Overview:
Anaheim possesses a wealth of young forward talent. Penner/Chistov/Kunitz all come in to camp and could potentially earn a spot on any of the top 3 lines. I have Kunitz on the 3rd line because he is much better defensively than the other two. McDonald and Selanne have terrific chemistry, and I am expecting big things from Getzlaf, more so than Perry. Keep an eye on Bobby Ryan and see how he does at camp, he may force Burke to open up a spot for him on the right side.

Chistov is also a wildcard; he has the talent and appears to have the drive back after signing a 2 year deal with the Ducks for 800k per season. Anaheim should be one of the top goal scoring teams in a few seasons, with talent like Getzlaf/Perry/Ryan up front. This is still the Selanne/McDonald show for at least 1-2 more seasons. Penner was just dominant in the playoffs, and if he gets one more gear in his skating is going to be a star.

On defense, you have two franchise players. Pronger and Niedermayer can both long near 30 minutes a night, and they will have to as the depth after them isn’t great. Both should have big offensive years playing with such skilled forwards. Beauchemin has a huge point shot and could benefit too. He won't be a one-year wonder, his play really impressed me in the post-season vs. Calgary. After those three there are no offensive threats whatsoever on the blue-line. The Ducks have two studs, a solid top 4 guy, and cheap depth after that. I expect one of Bryz or Giguere to get traded, so I will have to update this page when that happens.

Fantasy stud: Teemu Selanne. Comeback player of the year after a horrendous season in Colorado. Selanne should hit 85 points and provide solid leadership for the younger Duck forwards. One of the best forwards of the past decade, Selanne still has a few years left to be an offensive force in this league.

Player to keep an eye on: Ryan Getzlaf Him or Chistov for this spot, chose him. Getzlaf has a wicked shot, sees the ice well, and his flat out huge. He could have a big offensive year, either this season or next. Definitely watch to see how he starts off the season. The Ducks have big plans for him. Depending on PP time and ES time, he could hit 30 goals this season. If not, 25 is a good number to expect.

Don’t underrate: Francois Beauchemin His PP time will take a hit with Pronger on board, but Beauch is the real deal. He really stepped up in the playoffs vs. Calgary, especially in the physical department. He should improve on his point total next year, so don’t write him off because of the Pronger acquisition. Beachemin has a huge point shot and could work as a passing target for either Pronger/Niedermayer on the PP. Expect similar assist numbers but 5-6 more goals at least.

Don’t overrate: Corey Perry. Great young talent, but is still 2-3 years away from being a main offensive contributor. If he can’t hold up the 2nd line duties, watch the Ducks to move up Niedermayer, and keep tabs on how Bobby Ryan does. Perry is going to be very good, just not for a few seasons. He could get bumped down to the 3rd/4th line if he can't keep up offensively. Perry is still pretty raw as an NHL player at this point.

Projections:
McDonald (31 goals, 53 assists, 84 points)
Selanne (36 goals, 46 assists, 82 points)
Niedermayer (11 goals, 53 assists, 64 points)
Pronger (14 goals, 48 assists, 62 points)
Getzlaf (27 goals, 33 assists, 60 points)
Penner (17 goals, 34 assists, 51 points)
Chistov (19 goals, 26 assists, 45 points)
Beauchemin (13 goals, 29 assists, 42 points)
Perry (19 goals, 24 assists, 43 points)

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Atlanta Thrashers

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Kozlov-Rucchin-Hossa
Kovalchuk-Metropolit-Slater
Sim-Holik-Bourret
Larsen-Kapanen-Mellanby

Sutton-Havelid
deVries-McCarthy
Exelby-Vishnevsky

Lehtonen
Hedberg

Overview:
Altanta has a lot of line-up question marks heading into training camp. Many expect rooke sparkplug Alex Bourret to earn the 2nd line RW spot. Glen Metropolit is someone to keep an eye on, he is a very good playmaker and is coming off a very good season in Europe. Playing with Kovalchuk could really help his assist totals. Another player to keep a watch on is Jim Slater. He could earn a top 2 centre spot if Rucchin and/or Metropolit don’t look ready or get injured. Kovalchuk and Hossa are the two fantasy studs, Kozlov a decent 60 point player and everyone else is a question mark. Jim Slater has 50-70 point offensive upside but for now will contribute his hussle and speed to the top 6 on Atlanta. Don't expect to see Jon Sim on a scoring line unless there is multiple injuries. Holik is better suited for the third line and at this point don't expect anything over 45 points.

Steve McCarthy was on a tear to finish the year after coming over from Vancouver in a trade. 40 points is not out of the question, he is good on the PP and has a very hard shot. He also could work well as a set-up man for Kovalchuk’s deadly one-timer. I wouldn’t even consider picking anyone else on the defense from a fantasy perspective, unless it is a deep league. Havelid and deVries should hit 30 points each. Lehtonen should get pushed by Hedberg, buit if he stays healthy the #1 job is his and many are hoping he can show why he has been so hyped around the hockey world.

Fantasy stud: Ilya Kovalchuk AND Marian Hossa. I had to do two. Both are first round forwards, Kovalchuk being a better player from a points perspective. Both should hit 90-100 points with further upside depending on linemates. Hossa is a bull and is the most dangerous PK forward in the NHL right now. Losing Marc Savard will probably hurt Hossa’s goal total a bit, but that remains to be seen. If you need SH points, take Hossa as he should lead the NHL in SHG. Kovalchuk is a menace on the PP and whoever is setting his one-timers up is going to reap the rewards (skyrocketing assist totals).

Player to keep an eye on: Glen Metropolit The smooth pivot sees the ice well and could get 40-50 assists if he suits up on one of the two lines. Atlanta brought him over to hopefully replace some of the production lost from Marc Savard. He is not suited for a bottom 6 role, and by all indications Atlanta is very confident he will be the 2nd line center. Definitely a great sleeper if you are in a very deep league.

Don’t underrate: Ilya Kovalchuk This may look weird having Kovalchuk in an “underrated” category, but I can see him being right up there with Thornton, Crosby and Ovechkin for the Art Ross this season. He is an underrated playmaker and has the best one-timer in the entire league. Bank on 100 points, and depending on how well is linemates perform 110-120 is not out of the question.

Don’t overrate: Steve Rucchin. He should start off as the top center, but has a lot of young players behind him on the depth chart. If he starts to slip up or gets hurt, he could quickly find himself on a checking line and just taking faceoffs. Even though he could line-up alongside Hossa and Kozlov, I would stay away from him if he can't stick on the top line. If he does, 50 points is a reasonable expectation.

Projections:
Kovalchuk (53 goals, 49 assists, 102 points)
Hossa (45 goals, 50 assists, 95 points)
Kozlov (21 goals, 43 assists, 64 points)
Rucchin (14 goals, 32 assists, 46 points)
McCarthy (10 goals, 31 assists, 41 points)
Slater (17 goals, 20 assists, 37 points)
Havelid (5 goals, 29 assists, 34 points)
deVries (5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Bruins

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Sturm-Bergeron-Boyes
Kessel-Savard-Murray
Axelsson-Primeau-Donovan
Karsums-Mowers-Kalus

Chara-Jurcina
Mara-Stuart
Alberts-M.Stuart

Toivonen
Thomas

Overview:
The first line developed great chemistry as soon as Sturm came over from San Jose in the Thornton deal, and they will build off of last season. Savard is an elite playmaker and very well could help Murray hit 35-40 goals once again. Bergeron, fresh off a brand new 5-year deal will look to improve off of his stellar second year. Him and Boyes have great chemistry together, and Sturm compliments that line very well. Phil Kessel will most likely earn the second line LW spot, and it will be very interesting to see if he is NHL ready at this point. Watch for a bounce back year from Murray. The fourth line is still a huge question mark, and I would be suprised if both Karsums and Kalus made it as bottom 6 players on the Bruins this season. Axelsson is a terrific two-way forward and forms a very good shutdown line with Primeau and Donovan.

The defense is very offensive (in a good way), especially the Mara-Brad Stuart pairing. Both are excellent skaters and should play the first PP unit. Chara is also solid offensively and will contribute 40 points. He is also great for leagues that count PIM's and other stats. Mara should put up a good number of goals for a defenseman, him and Stuart both have a shot at 50-55 points this season, especially with Stuart being in a contract year.

Fantasy stud: Marc Savard. You may be able to nab him later on in pools because some might expect his points do drop after leaving Atlanta. He may drop 10-12 points at the most. Savard is an elite center with good hands and even better vision. He takes bad penalties but should turn whoever he plays with into more prolific goal scorers. Due to his sometimes undisciplined play, he will get good PIM totals which helps in different fantasy leagues. He is the best offensive player on the Bruins as of right now, and depending on who he plays with, should get the bulk of the offensive minutes.

Player to keep an eye on: Glen Murray The big sniper should get a sniff of 35-40 goals with Savard as his centre. Savard is an elite playmaker and him and Murray should work very well together. Murray is worth taking mid-late rounds, especially if you need goals. His wicked one-timer and Savard's playmaking seem like a natural fit to work together.

Don’t underrate: Marc Savard Savard should be on the #1 PP unit in Boston and could very well match or even surpass his point total from last season. Many falsly assume that Kovalchuk/Hossa carried him in Atlanta. Savard is the best offensive forward in this roster and would be the #1 center if it weren’t for the great chemistry between Sturm, Bergeron and Boyes. His point total may dip due to not playing with an eite winger anymore, but I wouldn't expect a huge drop off.

Don’t overrate: Phil Kessel For all the hype, don't expect him to come in and tear the league up just yet. He will most likely hit 20 goals and 40-50 points, but don't expect anything Crosby/Ovechkin like from him. If he does indeed make the Bruins, his learning curve had better be a steep one.

Projections:
Savard (24 goals, 60 assists, 84 points)
Bergeron (36 goals, 46 assists, 82 points)
Boyes (31 goals, 45 assists, 76 points)
Sturm (32 goals, 33 assists, 65 points)
Murray (30 goals, 31 assists, 61 points)
Mara (14 goals, 35 assists, 49 points)
Stuart (11 goals, 38 assists, 49 points)
Chara (14 goals, 29 assists, 43 points)
Kessel (22 goals, 20 assists, 42 points)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Buffalo Sabres

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Vanek-Connolly-Kotalik
Hecht-Briere-Afinogenov
Roy-Drury-Pominville
Paille-Gaustad-Mair

Tallinder-Lydman
Spacek-Campbell
Kalinin-Numminen

Miller
Biron

Overview:
The Sabres have one of the deepest and most potent offenses in the NHL. They possess taleneted scorers from lines 1 through 3. The only downside is that some players won’t get as many points as they would on other teams, due to lack of PP and even strength ice time. Buffalo is a team I would consider drafting multiple players from in a pool, just because of their talent level and style of play. Buffalo has the best trio of scoring centers in the entire NHL with Briere/Connolly/Drury, not to mention Derek Roy (who will be playing at wing most of the season). My Buffalo projections at the bottom seem very high as it is almost impossible you can have such a high scoring team.. however the Sabres have an unreal amount of talent and their top 3 lines should all have 50+ point scorers for the most part.

On defense, the Sabres possess a lot of talent as well. The main offensive threat is Brian Campbell, who could hit 60 points playing on the PP. Kalinin is another talented defenseman but his offensive game hasn’t developed as many hoped. Spacek should from the #1 PP unit with Campbell. He has a great shot and is good on the PP, which is the main reason Buffalo went after him in free agency.

Fantasy stud: Daniel Briere. Briere is talented and finally emerged as an elite star last season. He will be the go-to guy for this offense and could hit 100 points depending on ice-time, provided he stays healthy for the majority of the season.

Player to keep an eye on: Tim Connolly The Sabres gave him a 3 year deal so obviously his concussion issues don’t worry them too much. Connolly is extremely gifted offensively and has some of the best hands in the entire league. Could hit 80-90 points if he stays healthy, which is a big if. Derek Roy is also another player to watch for, could hit 60-70 points with enough opportunities. Connolly is the best non-Russian stickhandler in the NHL, his goals are usually of the highlight-reel variety.

Don’t underrate: Thomas Vanek Vanek did not play a ton in the post-season and this may hurt his draft value. He had a great second half to the season but couldn’t adjust to the speed and physicality of the playoffs. 30-40 goals could be expected as he has terrific hands, and a great shot. Lazy play dogged him during his rookie campaign, but many rookies take a year or two to adjust to the NHL style of preparation and play.

Don’t overrate: Ales Kotalik You may look at the big contract he signed and hope for a huge year, but Kotalik shouldn't be counted on for more than 65 points right now. On another NHL team he could hit 75+, but due to Buffalo's depth at forward he won't get the ice-time to do so. He has a great shot and finally came together for the most part last season. It wouldn't suprise me to see him hit 70+ points, but he is fighting with Afinogenov, Pominville, Vanek, Roy, etc. all for ice-time. I think Buffalo will roll three even lines and distribute PP/ES time pretty evenly.

Projections:
Briere (38 goals, 54 assists, 92 points)
Afinogenov (27 goals, 53 assists, 80 points)
Connolly (18 goals, 49 assists, 67 points)
Drury (25 goals, 39 assists, 64 points)
Kotalik (28 goals, 30 assists, 58 points)
Roy (21 goals, 36 assists, 57 points)
Vanek (31 goals, 25 assists, 56 points)
Hecht (19 goals, 34 assists, 53 points)
Spacek (15 goals, 33 assists, 48 points)
Campbell (14 goals, 33 assists, 47 points)
Pominville (21 goals, 23 assists, 44 points)
Tallinder (6 goals, 28 assists, 34 points)
Kalinin (5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points)

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Calgary Flames

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Friesen-Tanguay-Iginla
Huselius-Langkow-Kobasew
Lombardi-Lundmark-Amonte
Nilson-Yelle-McCarty

Hamrlik – Phaneuf
Regehr - Zyuzin
Warrener - Ference

Kiprusoff
McLennan

Overview:
Calgary should remain the class of the Northwest division with some solid off-season pick-ups. Getting Tanguay provides them with a star offensive player behind Jarome Iginla, and he should immediately pay dividends next season. Lombardi could be someone to watch for as he has the speed to keep up with Calgary’s top forwards. I kept Huselius and Langkow together because they showed terrific chemistry last season. Lundmark is also someone worth keeping an eye on, he has a ton of talent but hasn’t put it together at the NHL level yet. It will be interesting to see if Jarome Iginla can hit 50 goals, he certainty ahs the talent and now the line-mates to do so. Friesen could have a bounce-back year of sorts if he can stick on the top line. He is not old by any means, has great speed and solid scoring insincts, but has been pretty brutal the past few seasons for whatever reason.

The defense is led by Robyn Regehr, but Phaneuf is the heart of the PP. He possesses one of the best one-timers in the NHL and can just pound the puck at the net. He should be good for 20-25 goals this year, which is just scary considering it is his second year in the league. Zyuzin is someone worth keeping tabs on, he has talent and could get a shot if Hamrlik struggles or gets injured. Kiprusoff doesn't even need to be discussed really, he is clearly the best goaltender in the NHL right now.

Fantasy stud: Jarome Iginla. Iginla should return to his dominant self with two very talented line-mates at his side. Tanguay has elite vision and that should help Iginla hit 40-50 goals. I can't see him getting 95+ points, just because playing in the Northwest is going to bring down point totals of many players, due to such good goaltending. 80 points is reasonable, maybe 85-90 if clicks with Tanguay right off the bat.

Player to keep an eye on: Jamie Lundmark. He impressed me in the limited time I saw him play last year, and could move up if there is an injury or someone isn’t performing. He can play winger as well as center so his versatility should help. Keep an eye on where he is playing at camp.

Don’t underrate: Daymond Langkow He may get bumped to line two, but Langkow is 50-60 points and you can take that to the bank. He plays a very solid game at both ends of the ice and could move up if Sutter wants to shift Tanguay back to LW. He also developed great chemistry with Kristian Huselius last season, and those two would finally give Calgary secondary scoring that they have been after for some time.

Don’t overrate: Roman Hamrlik He is getting up there in age and hasn’t been able to stay healthy lately. Still possesses talent but Zyuzin could push for PP time if Hamrlik is struggling. I wouldn’t put much stock in him having a big year, too risky at this point. If he finds a way to play 70+ games he could get a good number of assists playing with Phaneuf, but if you pick him and he gets hurt, you can say I told you so.

Projections:
Iginla (38 goals, 41 assists, 79 points)
Tanguay (23 goals, 55 assists, 77 points)
Huselius (20 goals, 45 assists, 65 points)
Langkow (24 goals, 38 assists, 62 points)
Phaneuf (22 goals, 33 assists, 55 points)
Kobasew (28 goals, 19 assists, 47 points)
Lundmark (14 goals, 31 assists, 45 points)
Friesen (15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points)
Lombardi (15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points)
Hamrlik (7 goals, 28 assists, 35 points)
Ference (5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points)

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Carolina Hurricanes

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Whitney-Staal-Cole
Ladd-Brind'amour-Williams
Willis/Bayda-Letowski-Walker
Adams-Adams-LaRose

IR: Stillman

Hedican-Commodore
Kaberle-Wallin
Wesley- Tverdovsky

Ward
Grahame

Overview:
The Cup Champs return poised to defend their title. They lost vets Doug Weight and Mark Recchi back to their respective teams, but a healthy Erik Cole, along with a more mature Eric Staal and Justin Williams should provide the bulk of the offensive load. Watch for second year player Andrew Ladd to step up offensively, he played more of a grinding role last year and had limited offensive opportunity. There is a reason he was drafted 4th overall. Brind’Amour, Stillman and newly acquired Scott Walker should provide a solid veteran presence and some points. Ray Whitney is also someone worth watching, he is pretty consistent and if you need a solid late round player he could be worth picking up. No one on the fourth line has any value offensively, but it is a great energy line. With word on Stillman's shoulder injury, expect a dip in Staal/Cole's points (not a large one). Whitney should be able to fill in on the top line until Stillman is able to return.

On the blue-line, the Canes possess solid depth but no gamebreaking talent offensively. The only player I would consider taking is Frank Kaberle, but even that is risky because the Hurricanes really balance their ice-time evenly so it is hard for one blue-liner to rack up the points. Tverdovsky could be worth keeping an eye on if he sticks in the line-up, he has a lot of offensive talent but was on the outside looking in last year in Carolina. Ward should see 55 starts in goal and will post solid numbers, Grahame is a legit back-up and nothing more.

Fantasy stud: Eric Staal Should be a high first-rounder, but don’t look for him to get much more than the 100 points he did last year. He really slowed down offensively during the stretch run and the cup run, due to closer checking and increased attention from the opposition, as well as his favourite target (Cole), getting injured. I would bank on 95-105 points for Staal. He may see 110, depending on how well Cole performs. Losing Stillman for any extended period of time may hurt him a bit.

Player to keep an eye on: Erik Cole. Was having a terrific campaign before he broke his neck, he should be good for 40 goals. One of the most tenacious scoring forwards in the NHL, Cole puts it all on the line to get the goals. He could have a huge year, 90 points sounds like a stretch but him and Staal had great chemsitry and something special will happen if they can both stay healthy for 82 games.

Don’t underrate: Rod Brind’Amour.Sometimes players really regress after signing a large contract, and maybe you look at his age and stay away, but Brind’Amour is a freak. He is the best conditioned athlete in the NHL and I would bank on him putting up nearly the same point total from last season.

Don’t overrate: The defense. The Hurricanes defense was stellar during the cup run, and that means that they will get more attention from poolies. Stay away, this is a solid group but none of them should put up numbers worth taking in points pool. Kaberle may get 45 points due to PP time, so I suppose he would make a solid fantasy player. Just don't expect one player to have big numbers, they take more of a defense by committee approach in Carolina.

Projections:
Staal (41 goals, 59 assists, 100 points)
Cole (44 goals, 40 assists, 84 points)
Williams (33 goals, 42 assists, 75 points)
Stillman (21 goals, 50 assists, 71 points)*
Brind’Amour (23 goals, 41 assists, 64 points)
Whitney (17 goals, 41 assists, 58 points)
Kaberle (7 goals, 36 assists, 43 points)
Walker (17 goals, 25 assists, 42 points)
Ladd (15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points)

* on the IR (3-4 months, shoulder surgery).

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Chicago Blackhawks

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Ruutu-Handzus-Havlat
Smolinski-Sharp-Vrbata
Salmelainen-Arkhipov-Bochenski
Bourque-Nordqvist-Lapointe

Aucoin-Barker
Seabrook-Cullimore
Keith-Vandermeer

Khabibulin
Lalime

Overview:
Chicago should be quite a bit better than last season, but that doesn’t say much. They are still a ways away from being a playoff club, but should be much more exciting to watch. They lost two core players in Mark Bell and Kyle Calder, but got considerably more talented, getting Havlat and Michael Handzus. Tuomo Ruutu is still a RFA, but I am going to assume he signs. The 3rd and 4th lines are pretty soft, but full of guys with a ton of potential. Keep an eye on Patrick Sharp, he may overtake Smolinski for the 2nd line centre spot, he has some potential to be a 50-60 point threat consistently. Great sparkplug with some offensive potential. Chicago is FULL of sleeper forwards, very intriguing team to watch from a fantasy perspective.

On defense, Cam Barker may force the Hawks to make a move. He should earn a top 6 spot. One guy to also watch for is Kukkonen, who I would have in this line-up over Cullimore, but I can’t see them sitting a multi-million dollar player. Seabrook should continue to improve on his stellar rookie campaign. He is right up there with Mezaros, Ballard in the group a notch below Dion Phaneuf. Expect a great offensive year from him. Khabibulin MUST play well and stay healthy for this team to do anything at all.

Fantasy stud: Martin Havlat. Havlat has never even hit 70 points in his career, but that will change this year. He is the focal point of this offense (even moreso than Ruutu) and could hit 90+ points if he has the drive. He got paid superstar money, now it is up him to deliver.

Player to keep an eye on: Tuomo Ruutu Ruutu has the talent to get 90-100 points in the NHL, unfortunately his back disagrees. Injury trouble has really hampered him but IF he can stay relatively healthy I would expect big things from the uber-gritty winger.

Don’t underrate: Radim Vrbata Vrbata has a ton of talent and is the Hawks best 2nd liner by a long shot. Watch to see who is linemates out of camp are, as the Hawks have a ton of skilled players who have yet to show their potential. Vrbata could even slide up to the top line if there is an injury. Definitely take him mid-late rounds if you can.

Don’t overrate: Bryan Smolinski. Smolinski struggled to put up points on a sick Ottawa team. Don’t expect much of anything from him.. he is done from an offensive standpoint. Avoid him unless your league has very, very large rosters.

Projections:
Havlat (42 goals, 39 assists, 81 points)
Ruutu (31 goals, 34 assists, 65 points)
Vrbata (27 goals, 38 assists, 65 points)
Handzus (16 goals, 42 assists, 58 points)
Sharp (20 goals, 29 assists, 49 points)
Seabrook (10 goals, 36 assists, 46 points)
Salmelainen (17 goals, 21 assists, 38 points)
Aucoin (6 goals, 30 assists, 36 points)
Barker (5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points)

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Colorado Avalanche

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Brunette-Sakic-Hejduk
Wolski-Arnason-Svatos
Richardson-Turgeon-Stastny
Konowalchuk-Laperriere-Laaksonen

Skrastins-Leopold
Clark-Liles
Väänänen-Brisebois

Theodore
Budaj

Overview:
Colorado has been the team most hurt from the salary cap. Last year they had to walk away from Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg, and this year they had to move Tanguay because of his contract demands. Rob Blake also bolted to greener pastures. Ths team could be in trouble for the season coming up, depending on who does (or doesn’t) step up. The offense will obviously be lead by Joe Sakic, but how many years does he have left? Hejduk should bounce back with 35 goals, and Brunette is the perfect compliment for those two. He plays a strong game down-low and can work the boards very well. The second line is a bit of a mess, the Avs are hoping Svatos’ shoulder can hold up, and are hoping for a big year from rookie Wojtek Wolski. If Turgeon falters, watch for Arnason or even Stastny to center the second line. Brad Richardson also has a shot, but won't be a top six forward for a few seasons.

Colorado does have a fantasy stud on the blue-line. JM Liles should hit 60 points this season, he sees the ice very well and moves the puck exceptionally. Leopold should put up some more points after a disappointing offensive season in Calgary. Beyond those two, the defense is average at best. Theodore is the key to the Avalanche, though. He really looked brutal last year, and if he doesn’t regain even a bit of his Hart Trophy form, this team could be in trouble.

Fantasy stud: Joe Sakic. Do NOT take him top 5, Joe just isn’t a dynamite fantasy player anymore. He should be good for around a point-per-game, but anything on top of that is gravy. He could get more assists than last year with a full year of Hejduk. If Sakic and Hejduk don’t produce, Colorado is going to be counting on a rookie and an injury-prone player to supply the offense… yikes.

Player to keep an eye on: Marek Svatos. He can dangle with the best of them, however his shoulder problems are very worrying. He could hit 35-40 goals easy if he plays a full year, but that is asking for way too much. Expect .5 goals per game, for whatever his games played total is. (ie. 50 games played, 25 goals).

Don’t underrate: Milan Hejduk. A former 50 goal scorer, he had an average year at best after coming back from knee surgery. His skating stride was not up to par, and I think an off-season to get ready should help him out. I would expect 70 points minimum for him.

Don’t overrate: Joe Sakic. For those thinking Joe is going to get 100 points, stop. He is not the same player he was. Still worthy of a late first rounder because his downside is minimal, but expect a point-per-game and not much more. He could prove me way wrong and have a few more stellar seasons, but I Colorado just doesn't have the forward depth to give him enough space in the offensive zone. Don't worry about Tanguay's loss; Sakic actually had MORE points with Brunette instead of Tanguay on his left-wing.

Projections:
Sakic (29 goals, 53 assists, 82 points)
Hejduk (35 goals, 40 assists, 75 points)
Brunette (21 goals, 42 assists, 63 points)
Liles (16 goals, 43 assists, 59 points)
Svatos (33 goals, 19 assists, 52 points)
Arnason (17 goals, 34 assists, 51 points)
Wolski (18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points)
Konowalchuk (17 goals, 28 assists, 45 points)
Leopold (7 goals, 35 assists, 42 points)
Clark (8 goals, 27 assists, 35 points)

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Modin-Fedorov-Zherdev
Nash-Brule-Vyborny
Chimera-Malhotra-Fritsche
Shelley-Svitov-Balastik

Foote-Hainsey
Berard-Westcott
Klesla-Johnson

Leclaire
Norrena

Overview:
Columbus has a real shot at being a playoff club for the first time in franchise history. Freddy Modin was a very good pick-up, he should be good for 30 goals and hard-work. Rookie sniper Gilbert Brule could really have a big year, he has the skills and the drive to do so. The only major issue at this point in time is the Zherdev negotiations. I still think he will be signed, but if not I will have to adjust this post later on. Columbus has a very good top 6, but the bottom 6 is a bit weak. Vyborny is one of the most underrated wingers in the league, he really plays a complete game. He should be good influence on Brule, and he is a good playmaker which should help Nash approach 50 goals.

On the back-end, Berard should rack up the points. He is basically a 4th forward, so if it is a points only league, grab him. He will continue to leave his partner covering on 2-on-1’s and should have a poor +/- rating. The Jackets are hoping Ron Hainsey can step up his offensive game and take over for Berard in a few years. Foote is the leader of this squad, unquestionably. Klesla is worth keeping an eye on, but he appears to be more of a defensive d-man at this point. He has the talent to put up points, but the Jackets are going to be happy if he can continue to play solid defense for now.

Fantasy stud: Rick Nash. Nash should have his assist totals come a bit closer to approaching his goal totals, thanks to playing with much better line-mates. He is a decent passer but his bread and butter is scoring goals. 50 is not out of the question, he has the size and skill to do so.

Player to keep an eye on: Gilbert Brule The sniping rookie completely destroyed the WHL last year and should translate that success to the NHL. He has one of the best shots I have ever seen in the juniors, and he is a wrecking-ball on the ice. Think Jeremy Roenick, circa his Chicago Blackhawk days. 70 points is not out of the question. The only real question mark is whether he can put on some weight to handle the rigors of the NHL game.

Don’t underrate: Sergei Fedorov Fedorov really turned his game around after the trade to Columbus. I think he has one or two 60+ point seasons left. He can still skate and dish the puck, but he should play more of a defensive role with two offensive wingers like Zherdev and Modin. He is going to be counted on as the veteran presence for a very young top 6 group of forwards.

Don’t overrate: Nik Zherdev He has a ton of potential but appears to be a few years away from developing consistency. Couple that with the questions of him holding out, things do not look good right now for Zherdev in Columbus.

Projections:
Nash (49 goals, 37 assists, 86 points)
Zherdev (23 goals, 40 assists, 63 points)
Vyborny (22 goals, 40 assists, 62 points)
Fedorov (18 goals, 43 assists, 61 points)
Modin (28 goals, 31 assists, 59 points)
Berard (14 goals, 39 assists, 53 points)
Brule (20 goals, 31 assists, 51 points)
Malhotra (13 goals, 27 assists, 40 points)
Hainsey (5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points)

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Dallas Stars

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Jokinen-Modano-Lehtinen
Morrow-Lindros-Miettinen
Hagman-Halpern-Barnes
Barnaby-Ott-Tjarnqvist
Stefan

Sydor-Zubov
Daley-Boucher
Modry-Klemm

Turco
?

Overview:
Dallas hopes that Eric Lindros can stay healthy and make-up for some of the production lost when Jason Arnott signed with Nashville. Dallas is not deep at forward, so they will be counting on their top line to produce the bulk of the points. Dumping Guerin was a bonus, and there is an outside chance Loui Eriksson makes the team out of camp. Watch for that. The bottom 6 does not really possess any offensive threats, Halpern and Miettinen could hit 40 points tops.

The defense is pretty deep and balanced, and Zubov is a fantasy stud back there. Boucher should be good for 40 points, and watch for Trevor Daley to pick up his offensive game. The Stars have a few spare d-men like Robidas and will most likely move one for a pick before camp starts. Turco leads the way in goal, but the back-up situation is a bit cloudy.

Fantasy stud: Sergei Zubov. Zubov still has a few years of solid play left in him. He sees the ice better than any defenseman not named Lidstrom, and should be good for 70 points. He is the focal point on the PP, and should have another solid season. Best puck-moving defenseman in the NHL.

Player to keep an eye on: Brenden Morrow. The gritty LW is entering a CONTRACT YEAR and could put up 70+ points. He will be the focal point of the second line, and should see some time on the top line should Jussi Jokinen falter or get injured. Morrow is a great grinding forward with some untapped offensive potential in him.

Don’t underrate: Trevor Daley Hey may not have put up amazing point totals last year but he was playing pretty solid near the end of the season. Try and grab in late in your pools, if the Stars move a blue-liner he could hit 40 points next season. Don’t let the low point total from last year fool you, he has serious offensive potential.

Don’t overrate: anyone besides Modano, Morrow and Jokinen. I really don’t like the look of this Dallas team, not just from a fantasy perspective. Lehtinen is great defensively and is 50 points guranteed, but with Miettinen, Eriksson, etc on the horizon his offensive opportunities will decrease.

Projections:
Zubov (12 goals, 57 assists, 69 points)
Modano (24 goals, 42 assists, 66 points)
Morrow (28 goals 37 assists, 65 points)
Jokinen (19 goals, 42 assists, 61 points)
Lindros (22 goals, 25 assists, 47 points)
Lehtinen (24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points)
Halpern (15 goals, 29 assists, 44 points)
Miettinen (16 goals, 25 assists, 41 points)
Boucher (10 goals, 29 assists, 39 points)

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Detroit Red Wings

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Holmstrom-Zetterberg-Samuelsson
Hudler-Datsyuk-Draper
Maltby-Lang-Williams
Cleary-Johnson-Franzen

Lidstrom - Kronwall
Schneider - Markov
Chelios - Lilja

Hasek
Osgood

Overview:
The Red Wings still have a few moves to make, but this will give you a good idea of what they will look like next year. They will be adding another top-6 forward in all likely hood. The offense is undoubtedly lead by Zetterberg and Datsyuk. The Wings have good two-way wingers that should mix around on the top 9. Lang has a few good seasons left in him but needs to play much better than last season. Zetterberg is one of the best two-way forwards in the league, and he/Datsyuk should help any winger that they play with. Hudler is worth taking in a late round, he is a great little player with lots of skill

On defense, Lidstrom still has 2-3 big seasons left, and a healthy Kronwall could see 60 points in a year or two. Schneider is another great offensive threat. Markov won’t get many points but he is nasty and solid defensively. The Wings hope Hasek has a year left in him, he played very well when he was healthy last year.

Fantasy stud: Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg is going to be one of the best players in the NHL very soon. He reminds me of a younger Daniel Alfredsson. Should be in Selke contention too, just a great player all over the ice.

Player to keep an eye on: Nicklas Kronwall He is the exact opposite player of Lidstrom. Kronwall makes dangerous plays and his a great hitter, he is going to be a star in the NHL and would have been last year if not for his injury. I would take him in leagues where you need a few defensemen, I think he is one season away from consistently hitting the big numbers offensively.

Don’t underrate: Pavel Datsyuk People are going to remember his brutal post-season, but that shouldn’t affect his fantasy value. Datsyuk has a sick amount of talent and could hit 100 points soon. Him and Zetterberg are clearly the offensive leaders on this team and both of them are legit fantasy studs. I just like Zetterberg’s game a bit more.

Don’t overrate: Matt Schneider I don’t see him hitting 60+ points, especially with a healthy Kronwall taking more of his minutes away. He should be good for 50 points for a few more seasons, but I don’t think his elite production will continue much longer (in Detroit, anyways).

Projections:
Datsyuk (30 goals, 62 assists, 92 points)
Zetterberg (41 goals, 44 assists, 85 points)
Lidstrom (14 goals, 55 assists, 69 points)
Williams (20 goals, 37 assists, 57 points)
Lang (19 goals, 35 assists, 54 points)
Schneider (14 goals, 35 assists, 49 points)
Holmstrom (24 goals, 25 assists, 49 points)
Hudler (14 goals, 30 assists, 46 points)
Kronwall (8 goals, 34 assists, 42 points)

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Edmonton Oilers

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky
Torres-Stoll-Lupul
Mikhnov-Pouliot-Sykora
Moreau-Reasoner-Pisani

Tjarnqvist-Smith
Hejda-Staios
Bergeron-Greene

Roloson
Markkanen

Overview:
Edmonton may have the best young forward core in the Western Conference. They have three scoring lines and a solid 4th line with some skill. I am not sure Lupul can play LW but him and Hemsky would be absolutely lethal together. Sykora provides nice skill to go with the gritty Stoll and Ryan Smyth. Horcoff emerged as a #1 center last year and was very impressive during the Oilers cup run. Keep an eye on the big Russian kid Mihknov, if he signs and comes over, he will contribute right away. The Oilers may move a forward for a defenseman, but they have a great group right now and most likely will stick with it. Hemsky is a stud and is going to be a 100-point player very, very soon. Look for Edmonton to bring Mikhnov over to North America, and try and roll three lines ala Buffalo. They will be a very hard team to match up against defensively.

The defense is full of question marks but could be alright depending on who steps up. They have no #1, and Smith is a borderline #2. Hejda should be a solid depth pick-up, and you know what you get with Staios and Bergeron. Tjarnqvist is a reliable two-way defenseman. The Oilers are definitely going to have to play defense by committee. Matt Greene had a good rookie year but needs to improve his foot speed, as most big defensive blue liners have to early on in their careers. Keep an eye on Ladislav Smid, he could make the team out of camp and should get 30+ points if he plays enough games. Roloson gives them a solid option in nets for the entire season after last years mess.

Fantasy stud: Ales Hemsky. Hemsky reminds me of a faster Markus Naslund. He still has a lot of growing to do with defensive play and such, but he is a game breaking offensive talent that is a treat to watch. Expect big things next year, and maybe even this year. He has the talent to dominate this league for a long, long time.

Player to keep an eye on: Joffrey Lupul Lupul gives something the Oilers that they lacked before; a big talented sniper. He has one of the best releases in the entire NHL and if he suits up with playmakers like Horcoff and Hemsky, he could get a sniff of 50 goals sooner or later. He should be the go-to guy most of the time when he is on the ice. If the Oilers were smart they would find a way to get him and Hemsky on the same line.

Don’t underrate: Marc-Andre Bergeron Bergeron is not great defensively, but should get his fare share of points this year as he is easily the most talented blue-liner. He will be on the #1 PP unit and should rack up the assists playing with the insanely talented forward group on the Oilers. 50 points should be expected from him.

Don’t overrate: Jarrett Stoll From an offensive standpoint. I think Stoll came close to his offensive peak last year, even though he is still young. I can see 50-70 points every year while playing great defensive hockey and owning the league on the face-off dot.

Projections:
Hemsky (25 goals, 62 assists, 87 points)
Horcoff (22 goals, 51 assists, 73 points)
Lupul (37 goals, 26 assists, 63 points)
Sykora (27 goals, 34 assists, 61 points)
Smyth (29 goals, 30 assists, 61 points)
Stoll (18 goals, 42 assists, 56 points)
Bergeron (11 goals, 39 assists, 50 points)
Torres (24 goals, 19 assists, 43 points)
Staios (7 goals, 24 assists, 31 points)
Tjarnqvist (4 goals, 26 assists, 30 points)

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Florida Panthers

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for.)

Stumpel-Jokinen-Bertuzzi
Olesz-Nieuwendyk-Horton
Peltonen-Weiss-Roberts
Gelinas-Gratton-Kolnik

Salei-Bouwmeester
Van Ryn-Allen
Mezei-Jackman

Auld
Belfour

Overview:
Florida definitely has a new franchise player, with the departure of Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks back in June. Olli Jokinen is the cornerstone of this team, and as he goes, the Panthers go. No player is looking forward to next season more than the much-maligned Todd Bertuzzi. Coming off a very inconsistent and trouble-filled season with the Vancouver Canucks, the snarly winger hopes to fly under the radar on the ice, but directly into the radar on it. Bertuzzi plays a power game and should complement Jokinen and some of the skilled LW’s on Florida beautifully. Bertuzzi is also in something that is very key for hockey pools, a contract year. Players magically seem to produce better when money is on the line. Many believe that he should return to his dominant self as he will be able to better put his off-ice issues away. Florida possesses a solid base beyond these two, with playmaking winger Jozef Stumpel the easy choice for the top line LW duties. Ville Peltonen has shown he has great chemistry with Olli Jokinen in international play, so that may push Bertuzzi to play with a different center. Beyond him is an array of talent featuring Rusty Olesz, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, and the veteran duo of Gary Roberts and Joey Nieuwendyk. Olesz should earn the 2nd line LW spot, he is a great talent and so polished for a rookie. Him and Nieuwendyk displayed great chemistry and could be paired together with Horton or even Todd on the RW. The player who should benefit most from the Bertuzzi trade besides Jokinen is young forward Nathan Horton, who could learn a thing or two about playing a true power game. He has the size, just needs to get a bit of an edge (and stay healthy).

Florida is anchored on defense by Jay Bouwmeester and the unheralded Mike Van Ryn. Ruslan Salei should provide a soilid veteran presence and log 20-22 minutes a game, good pick-up by the Panthers here. Just don’t ask him to try and produce any offense… yikes. Also coming over in the Bertuzzi trade is the big and tough Bryan Allen, who should stabilize the top 4 for the Panthers. Offensive specialist Ric Jackman is worth keeping an eye on, as he posted un-wordly stats with Pittsburgh for a stretch a season ago. Each of my proposed pairings has an offensive and defensive player, which makes sense. The biggest change is in nets, where second year Alex Auld looks to build off of a solid season with the Canucks. He is joined by Ed Belfour, who should play 20-30 games and help mentor Auld and help him improve his craft.

Fantasy stud: Olli Jokinen. This guy really came into his own two seasons ago and is the focal point of this offense. He brings it all to the ice, and should be good for 40 goals and at least 90 points, don’t be surprised to see him hit over 100.

Player to keep an eye on: Besides Bertuzzi (obviously), but one player to really watch for is Stephen Weiss. He really hasn’t delivered at the NHL level, due to a myriad of issues. He has the talent to succeed and excel at this level, just hasn’t. Hell, he hasn’t even hit 30 points in his NHL career before, so he could be a HUGE sleeper. He seems like the type of player who may fit well with Bert if the Panthers decide they want to balance the offensive production more evenly.

Don’t underrate: Jay Bouwmeester. I can’t believe how much I see him at the bottom of lists for the top young d-man. Bouwmeester has developed into an excellent defensive player, and the offense is going to come around. He really improved from the beginning to the end of last year, especially positionally. He is going to be an elite player and could break-out offensively now that he has more than figured out the defensive side of the game.

Don’t overrate: Joe Nieuwendyk. He is getting up there in age, and if he gets injured could lose his spot FAST to a number of players. He must stay healthy to produce, and that could be a question mark. I would avoid him in hockey pools, its just too risky with the depth Florida has to offer. He has developed chemistry with Olesz and may get 50 points, but is very risky.

Projections:
Jokinen (40 goals, 48 assists, 88 points)
Bertuzzi (28 goals, 53 assists, 81 points)
Stumpel (16 goals, 41 assists, 57 points)
Horton (26 goals, 29 assists, 55 points)
Bouwmeester (9 goals, 46 assists, 55 points)
Nieuwendyk (17 goals, 31 assists, 48 points)
Weiss (14 goals, 33 assists, 47 points)
Van Ryn (9 goals, 36 assists, 45 points)
Olesz (17 goals, 23 assists, 40 points)
Roberts (15 goals, 22 assists, 37 points)


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Los Angeles Kings

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Frolov-Conroy-Cammalleri
O’Sullivan-Belanger-Brown
Thornton-McCauley-Willsie
Avery-Armstrong-Kostopoulos

Gleason-Blake
Norstrom-Sopel
Visnovsky-Miller

Cloutier
Garon

Overview:
Los Angeles should be an exciting team to follow at camp. They have two rookie sensations in Patrick O’Sullivan and Anze Kopitar who both could make the camp. Word out of LA is GM Lombardi is not planning on either to make the team, but leaving off O’Sullivan is almost impossible in my estimation. Frolov is a talented winger, but his inconsistent play and inability to shoot the puck is somewhat of a concern. Willsie is a solid defensive player and I have read a few articles that say he might play on the top line as a defensive presence. Watch for this, and maybe grab him late in drafts if he does stick on that line. Dustin Brown is a year or two away from breaking out, but he possesses oodles of offensive talent. For now, expect 40-50 points and a ton of huge hits. LA could go with a very young second line. Belanger is someone who could get a look at a top six role, he is a terrific skater and may have some untapped offensive potential.

On defense, Lubomir Visnovsky is one of the best fantasy defensemen to have. He is dazzling offensively, and solid in his own end. Brent Sopel is also very good offensively and has a great one-timer from the point. Rob Blake can still get it done, and by all indications will form the #1 PP unit with Visnovsky.. Cloutier is the starter most likely but Garon should see his fair share of games.

Fantasy stud: Lubomir Visnovsky. In my view the most talented offensive defenseman in the game right now. Could hit 20+ goals and 70+ points. Sees the ice very well, and pinches at the right time. Take him early if you need a defenseman. He would be the first defensemen picked by me.

Player to keep an eye on: Patrick O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan tore up the AHL during his rookie campaign and many were shocked that the Wild gave him up to get Demitra. O’Sullivan is gifted in all facets offensively; he can stickhandle in a phone booth and has a laser of a shot. He could hit 70 points if he gets enough ice-time. I think he may even move up to the first line and out-play Frolov this year.

Don’t underrate: Brent Sopel Sopel had a poor year and finished playing in LA with an injury. He is great on the PP, passes well and has an uncanny ability to always hold the puck in at the line. As long as he is paired with a defensive partner like Norstrom, he could see 40-50 points again. Many people slag on him for his defensive blunders but once he gets in a comfortable setting on a team his play really takes off.

Don’t overrate: Craig Conroy Conroy’s favorite target in Demitra is gone. He also has a duo of talented stars behind him on the depth chart, and should O’Sullivan and/or Kopitar both impress, Conroy could move down and play more of a defensive role for the Kings. Don’t expect over 65 points, but he brings a great work ethic and terrific defensive play to this team.

Projections:
Visnovsky (18 goals, 52 assists, 70 points)
Frolov (30 goals, 35 assists, 65 points)
Cammalleri (28 goals, 34 assists, 62 points)
Conroy (18 goals, 38 assists, 56 points)
O’Sullivan (19 goals, 36 assists, 55 points)
Blake (13 goals, 35 assists, 48 points)
Belanger (18 goals, 27 assists, 45 points)
Sopel (9 goals, 29 assists, 38 points)
Brown (18 goals, 19 assists, 37 points)

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Minnesota Wild

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Gaborik-Demitra-Parrish
Bouchard-White-Rolston
Dupuis-Walz-Radivojevic
Veilleux-Koivu-Weinhandl

Johnsson-Carney
Schultz-Nummelin
Skoula-Burns
Foster

Fernandez
Harding

Overview:
Minnesota really revamped their team this off-season. They landed Demitra from the Kings, but had to part with top prospect Patrick O’Sullivan in the process. Acquiring Demitra helped them lock-down franchise forward Marian Gaborik to an extension. The Bouchard-White-Rolston line should be kept together as they had great chemistry last year. Keep an eye on Roman Voloshenko, and if he makes the team out of camp, try and nab him. He is going to put up 70+ points in a few years. If Gaborik and Demitra really click, these point projections could be really conservative. Parrish is a consistent 55 point player. Great around the net.

Minnesota paid big-time for a puck-moving defenseman, and got one in Johnsson. Carney should provide a solid defensive partner. Nummelin is coming over from Finland and could put up big point totals on the PP, he moves the puck very well. Minnesota has great depth on defense, Foster would make most top 6’s, but I couldn’t break up the Skoula-Burns pairing.

Fantasy stud: Marian Gaborik. One of the most skilled players in the NHL, he is also the fastest. Playing with Demitra, he could hit 50 goals. I would be wary of that kind of production, just because the Wild have been known as a defensive club. If they open their game up, watch Gaborik take off.

Player to keep an eye on: Roman Voloshenko. Had a stellar AHL campaign, he plays a very solid game with a lot offensive sparkle. If there is an injury, he would be the first call-up. If he has a big camp, the Wild may be forced to make a move to fit him in. He plays a gritty game too, not just an offensive scorer.

Don’t underrate: Mikko Koivu. He has not had much of an offensive opportunity thus far, but could move up and take the 2nd line roster spot from White. 40-50 points is not out of the question if he can earn a top 6 roster spot. If not, he should continue to stagnate offensively on the 3rd or 4th line.

Don’t overrate: Todd White. White could very easily lose his 2nd line center spot out of camp. He is a solid player but not outstanding in any area. I wouldn’t take him in an offensive pool, even though his linemates should continue to put up big numbers.

Projections:
Gaborik (51 goals, 40 assists, 91 points)
Demitra (23 goals, 59 assists, 82 points)
Rolston (35 goals, 43 assists, 78 points)
Bouchard (16 goals, 50 assists, 66 points)
Parrish (25 goals, 28 assists, 53 points)
Johnsson (10 goals, 32 assists, 42 points)
Nummelin (11 goals, 31 assists, 42 points)
White (15 goals, 25 assists, 40 points)

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Montreal Canadiens

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Higgins-Koivu-Ryder
Samsonov-Ribeiro-Kovalev
Perezhogin-Plekanec-Johnson
Murray-Bonk-Begin

Markov-Komisarek
Souray-Rivet
Bouillon-Dandenault

Huet
Aebischer

Overview:
The Habs return to the ice basically the same team as before, but with a new 2nd line left-winger and 3rd line right-winger. The rest of the line-up remains unchanged for the most part. Kovalev still is the best offensive forward, and it will be interesting to see the chemistry between him and Samosnov. Ribeiro’s point totals could go way up depending on the play of his two Russian wingers. Higgins is hoping to translate is great finish to last year into this season. 30 goals is a good number for him to shoot for. Ryder could hit 35, he seems to build every year and he has a great shot. Koivu is Koivu, you know what is he is going to give you. Kostitsyn is someone to watch for in camp, he could earn a spot. Watch for him to start the season in the AHL though. I don’t think Latandresse can crack this team yet, maybe next year. He needs to work on his defensive play as there are no open spots in the top 6 right now.

Markov will have a huge year on defense. He is terrific at both ends of the ice, and by the end of the year should be the Habs best player (if he isn’t already). Souray is the other offensive threat, he has a booming shot and should get a decent amount of goals. Beyond him the rest are depth/defensive-oriented players.

Fantasy stud: Alexei Kovalev. Kovalev should benefit playing with two playmakers like Ribeiro and Samsonov. 35 goals is not out of the question, around 30 what I expect. He is very talented but takes nights off sometimes.

Player to keep an eye on: Mike Ribeiro Ribeiro is enemy #1 among most Hab fans, for his soft and lazy play at times. He could be worth taking a late round flyer on, mostly because of who he will be playing with. A high assist total could very well be the outcome if this. Ribeiro could also flop and force Gainey to trade him, as Tomas Plekanec seems primed to take over the 2nd line center spot.

Don’t underrate: Michael Ryder With all of the young wing talent in Montreal, Ryder is often forgotten about. This is a 30-goal scorer in the NHL. While he is not the fastest, flashiest, or biggest player, he gets goals. He is good for 30 goals at worst, and gives his line-mates a solid finisher to put the puck away. He gets a bad rep because he isn’t really noticeable besides scoring goals. Goals are goals, and Ryder is a solid fantasy player.

Don’t overrate: Sergei Samsonov. Don’t expect 40 goals. Hell, don’t expect 30 goals. Samsonov is a dangler and a speedster, but a finisher he is not. He can create plays with his skill, but often has trouble finishing them. Gets tagged a sniper at times because he is Russian, but Samsonov is more of a playmaker than a finisher. Keep that in mind when you are drafting.

Projections:
Kovalev (29 goals, 41 assists, 70 points)
Samsonov (21 goals, 43 assists, 64 points)
Ryder (35 goals, 29 assists, 64 points)
Koivu (22 goals, 40 assists, 62 points)
Higgins (29 goals, 27 assists, 56 points)
Ribeiro (16 goals, 40 assists, 56 points)
Markov (14 goals, 41 assists, 55 points)
Johnson (15 goals, 32 assists, 47 points)
Plekanec (16 goals, 27 assists, 43 points)
Souray (11 goals, 28 assists, 39 points)


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Nashville Predators

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Kariya-Arnott-Dumont
Erat-Legwand-Sullivan
Hartnell-[Vasicek-Radulov
Upshall-Fiddler-Tootoo

Weber-Timonen
Zidlicky-Hamhuis
Klein-Suter

Vokoun
Mason

Overview:
Nashville could have a very explosive team next season. Rookie Alexander Radulov is going to be a star and could force his way onto the top line. Erat is an intriguing player, he has showed me flashes of dominance with his stellar puck control, but he has to breakout soon. Arnott gives them some size down the middle, as does the acquisition of Vasicek. Sullivan and Kariya are good for 70-80 points maybe more. Erat and Radulov are the two up front to keep a close eye on. Signing Dumont gives the Preds even more offensive depth up front.

Nashville on the back-end is equally as explosive. Zidlicky is a dynamite offensive threat and sees the ice well. Timonen also is good on the PP, and rookie Shea Weber has a hueg blast that they may use on the 1st unit. The defense is pretty young; so don’t be surprised to see a veteran brought in. Hamhuis is going to be the #1 if he isn’t already; he is just a rock at both ends of the ice. It sounds like Vokoun is going to be healthy, and that gives them a legit stud in net. Nashville has to be the out-right favorites for the division crown.

Fantasy stud: Paul Kariya. I was contemplating on putting Radulov here, I think he could have a 80+ point season. Kariya is a dynamite talent and is good for 80 points at the worst, and should see lots of ice-time with some very skilled line-mates.

Player to keep an eye on: Martin Erat Erat has been on my radar as a sleeper pick for the past two seasons, and it is only a matter of time before he breaks out. He possesses a wicked shot, great puck skills, and Jagr-like puck strength at times. 35+ goals is not out of the question if things fall into place for him.

Don’t underrate: Marek Zidlicky Don’t underrate him from a top-end perspective. In a points only league, he should be one of the first defensemen picked. Zidlicky could get 70 points playing with this much talent on the PP. He and Weber could form a solid PP duo if the Preds want to use Weber’s cannon. His passing skills and offensive awareness in general is simply superb.

Don’t overrate: Kimo Timonen. Timonen had an off-year and there is a (small) chance he gets traded. I think he will bounce back and play better on the defensive side of things, but don’t overrate him from a fantasy perspective. Zidlicky is unquestionably the best PP option on the team, and Weber/Hamhuis/Suter/Klein all could see some PP time at different times throughout the season.

Projections:
Kariya (25 goals, 53 assists, 78 points)
Sullivan (34 goals, 41 assists, 75 points)
Arnott (31 goals, 40 assists, 71 points)
Zidlicky (15 goals, 48 assists, 63 points)
Dumont (27 goals, 30 assists, 57 points)
Radulov (22 goals, 31 assists, 54 points)
Erat (24 goals, 28 assists, 52 points)
Legwand (15 goals, 37 assists, 52 points)
Hartnell (22 goals, 27 assists, 49 points)
Timonen (10 goals, 39 assists, 49 points)
Hamhuis (9 goals, 33 assists, 42 points)
Vasicek (13 goals, 23 assists, 36 points)
Weber (10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points)

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New Jersey Devils

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Mogilny-Gomez-Gionta
Elias-Parise-Langenbrunner
Pandolfo-Madden-Brylin
Rasmussen-Rupp-Tallackson

White-Martin
Hale-Rafalski
Greene-Malakhov

Brodeur
Clemmenson

Overview:
The Devils will look different than this come October so I will be editing this. They still have a few cap issues to sort out, and a number of unsigned RFA’s (Gionta for one). The offense will be lead by Elias/Gomez/Gionta, one of the best lines in the entire league. Langenbrunner and Parise should help with the secondary offense. Keep an eye on college star Barry Tallackson, he should earn a top 6 spot and could contribute right away. Niklas Bergfors may make the club, but if not watch for him as a call-up. He is going to be a star in this league in a few years. Parise should have a stellar sophomore campaign. Mogilny is coming to camp and he may earn a spot, I have heard that he is training hard and wants to leave the NHL on a high note. Travis Zajac could also earn a spot, but will most likely start in the AHL. Gionta IS the real deal. Anyone projecting a huge slump from him is out to lunch. He owns the new game, gritty, small, and has great offensive awareness.

The defense is lead by Rafalski. Paul Martin should help with the offense. The Devils have solid veterans, but there are a ton of question marks surrounding Malakhov and McGillis. A few young guys should have a shot, the best is probably college star Andy Greene. Keep an eye on feisty Swedish rear-guard Johnny Oduya, he could earn a spot out of camp. The Devils will most likely move Lukowich and I have no idea with Malakhov at all. Stay tuned for futher updates as news comes out. Brodeur will see the bulk of games in net, I am not even sure who his back-up will be at this point.

Fantasy stud: Patrik Elias. You could have any of Elias/Gomez/Gionta for this spot. The three are going to carry this team offensively, and Elias is arguably the best all-around LW in the entire NHL. He is just a pure winner who has no weaknesses in his game.

Player to keep an eye on: Alex Mogilny Mogilny may earn a spot because no matter what the Devils have to pay him this year. He has been working out hard in hopes of getting a top 6 spot on the team, and who knows, he could have a year or two of solid NHL play left in him. The talent is there, and we will see if the drive is as well.

Don’t underrate: Alex Mogilny If he earns a roster spot, he still has some gas left in the tank. Watch for 50+ points if he makes the Devils, he could be a sweet sleeper pick later on in drafts.

Don’t overrate: Paul Martin Martin is going to be playing 2nd PP time, which will be a very weak unit in NJ. He also is going to play more of a defensive role with Colin White as his partner. He is a great puckmover but isn't in a good situation to break out offensively.

Projections:
Elias (45 goals, 52 assists, 97 points)
Gomez (26 goals, 59 assists, 85 points)
Gionta (44 goals, 39 assists, 83 points)
Langenbrunner (26 goals, 33 assists, 59 points)
Parise (20 goals, 32 assists, 52 points)
Mogilny (18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points)
Rafalski (7 goals, 40 assists, 47 points)
Martin (7 goals, 32 assists, 39 points)

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New York Islanders

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Hunter-York-Satan
Blake-Yashin-Nilsson
Bates-Sillinger-Kozlov
Simon-Hilbert-Asham

Zhitnik-Campoli
Witt-Poti
Martinek-Hill

Dipietro
Dubielewicz

Overview:
It looks like Bergenheim is going to play this year in Russia, which is a blow to the Islanders offense. This is going to be one of the weaker offenses in the NHL, but it will be interesting to see how Yashin responds under Ted Nolan. Will he show us what everyone expected from him when he signed that huge contract, or will it be another 60-70 point year with more questions surrounding his drive? York/Blake/Satan are all solid vets, and Robert Nilsson has a ton of potential, but is still a few years away from 70+ points. Hilbert is another player worth watching, he has a ton of talent but has had a few roadblocks so far in his career. If he can put it together, he could be an offensive star in the NHL. Avoid the Islanders from a fantasy perspective, just like I said with Dallas earlier. Just not that much talent right up front right now, too many second/third line forwards and raw rookies.

The defense will be better than last year, and each pairing has an offensive guy and a stay at home type. Watch for youngster Bruno Gervais in a couple of years, he has 60 point potential. Campoli and Poti are going to lead the PP from the back-end, and beyond them is solid veteran players like Witt, Hill and Zhitnik. DiPietro is the man in nets and should get a ton of starts. The Isles may want to acquire a better back-up.

Fantasy stud: Miroslav Satan. Probably the only Isles forward you can expect good offensive numbers from. He is still a great sniper and should hit 70 points this season. Satan is much more consistent and offensively gifted than the other Isles wingers (which doesn't say much).

Player to keep an eye on: Alexei Yashin The enigmatic Russian is almost an afterthought in most hockey pools these days. People forget that he still has 90+ point potential. Nolan pushes his players hard so it will be interesting to see how Yashin responds. I am NOT saying he will have a huge year, but sometimes a coaching change can work wonders for certain players.

Don’t underrate: Trent Hunter Expect a return to 50 points this season. Last year was a huge dissapointment for him after a stellar 2003-2004 season. He's good for 22-28 goals this season. Seems like the kind of player that Nolan really appreciates; the hard worker who will do anything to help the team win. 2006-2007 will be Hunter's return to 50+ points.

Don’t overrate: Mike Sillinger I can’t see Sillinger repeating the year he had last season offensively. He is a solid veteran and has good offensive instincts, but don’t draft him unless you are in a deep league. If the Islanders move York to LW and bump Sillinger into the top 6, 50-55 points is a realistic outcome (depending on PP time). There are a few other Islanders who fit the bill for this category. In general, don't pick any Islanders if you have a similar alternative on another team.

Projections:
Yashin (26 goals, 40 assists, 66 points)
Satan (33 goals, 32 assists, 65 points)
York (16 goals, 40 assists, 56 points)
Blake (24 goals, 30 assists, 54 points)
Hunter (26 goals, 26 assists, 52 points)
Nilsson (17 goals, 27 assists, 44 points)
Campoli (9 goals, 30 assists, 39 points)
Poti (5 goals, 31 assists, 36 points)

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New York Rangers

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Straka-Nylander-Jagr
Prucha-Cullen-Shanahan
Hossa-Immonen-Hall
Hollweg-Betts-Ward

Malik-Roszival
Tyutin-Kasparitis
Ward-Rachunek

Lundqvist
Weekes

Overview:
The Rangers were one of the surprise teams in the NHL last season, and could be even better in 06-07. Shanahan is still a 30-40-goal scorer and adds some grit and leadership. Cullen and Ward are coming off the cup win in June, so they should be riding high. New York also has a lot of young players like Jarkko Immonen that could surprise offensively. You know what you are going to get with Straka-Nylander-Jagr, and that is a ton of points. Shanahan could play LW on that line, so watch and see what happens in training camp. Prucha was one of the top rookies last year, but needs to bulk up if he wants to stay healthy and continue to play that buzz-saw style of game. Keep tabs on Brandon Dubinsky and watch him in camp/when he gets called-up.

The defense is very well balanced and Ward adds some toughness. Rachunek was signed after a stellar year in the Russian Super League, and he could hit 40+ points playing on the PP. Fedor Tyutin is the most skilled blue-liner, but had battles with consistency last season. In goal, Lundqvist is a stud and Weekes is a more than capable back-up. This is a very solid looking roster.

Fantasy stud: Jaromir Jagr. Jagr still has at least 2 more big production years, and is a top 5 fantasy pick. H racks up the points at will and should be good for at least 110 points this coming season. Always look to see who he is playing with and try and draft them.

Player to keep an eye on: Fedor Tyutin The talented Russian blue-liner has elite level skills and should have a big breakout year very soon. He should get a lot of assists playing on the PP with so much talent up front. Tyutin is definitely worth taking in fantasy leagues, especially if they are of the keeper variety.

Don’t underrate: Petr Prucha Prucha has great hands around the net and is fearless. He needs to get bigger or he will get hurt every season. If he manages to play 70+ games, he has a very good shot at 40 goals.

Don’t overrate: Matt Cullen The speedster had a career year with the Hurricanes last season, but don’t expect a repeat. He has never been a big offensive producer and could lose some offensive PP time to Immonen/other. Cullen is terrific defensively and very fast, but I can’t see him getting over 50 points, even if he plays with terrific linemates. Cullen just isn’t a consistent offensive threat.

Projections:
Jagr (47 goals, 60 assists, 107 points)
Nylander (21 goals, 53 assists, 74 points)
Shanahan (29 goals, 35 assists, 64 points)
Straka (21 goals, 43 assists, 64 points)
Prucha (34 goals, 19 assists, 53 points)
Cullen (21 goals, 23 assists, 44 points)
Immonen (16 goals, 27 assists, 43 points)
Rachunek (6 goals, 35 assists, 41 points)
Tyutin (7 goals, 29 assists, 36 points)


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Ottawa Senators

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson
Vermette-Kaigorodov-Eaves
Schaefer-Fisher-Neil
McAmmond-Kelly-McGratton
Schubert

Redden-Corvo
Priessing-Phillips
Volchenkov-Meszaros

Gerber
Emery

Overview:
Ottawa will be much different compared to last season, but their offense should be just as explosive. Havlat only played a handful of games last year. Ottawa has the best line in hockey, but may put Eaves on there and balance the lines by playing Alfredsson on the second line. Schaefer-Fisher-Neil is a tremendous energy line with lots of offensive pop. Spezza and Heatley form one of the most dynamic duos in the entire NHL. Heatley could lead the NHL in goals next year, he has a great shot and is very talented offensively as well. Spezza has a real shot at the Art Ross this season. It looks as if Alexei Kaigorodov is coming to the NHL this season, and he should be pencilled in for the second line centre position. Good playmaker in the RSL, if he plays with Vermette and Alfredsson he could hit 50-60 points.

Losing Chara hurts on defense, but the Senators are relying on Meszaros and Phillips to pick up some of his play. Corvo was over-paid but is a dynamic offensive defenseman. Preissing is very solid and was underrated league wide all season in San Jose. Ottawa is hoping Gerber can give them solid goaltending and Emery can continue to develop his game.

Fantasy stud: Jason Spezza. Spezza is one of the most purely talented players in the entire league. He should hit 100 points this year and be near the top of the NHL in assists. He makes all the players around him better. Take him early and expect results.

Player to keep an eye on: Patrick Eaves If the Senators decide to balance the lines Eaves could see a huge rise in production playing with Heatley/Spezza. Definitely watch to see what happens with this team during training camp at the RW position. If he sticks on the top line he will score 30 goals.

Don’t underrate: Joe Corvo He got thrashed for poor defensive play at times, but a few games I saw he was the best player on the ice. Corvo needs to improve his consistency but should get a ton of points playing on the PP and the attacking Ottawa style. He has a large amount of talent and will display it this year. I was conservative with his point projections.

Don’t overrate: Andrej Meszaros. Offensively, that is. With Corvo and Preissing, Meszaros won’t see a ton of PP time. Don’t expect a huge increase of points on last years numbers. He is ythe 2nd best defenseman on this roster and will get ample PK and 5 on 5 minutes. Very polished for such a young player.

Projections:
Spezza (29 goals, 82 assists, 111 points)
Heatley (55 goals, 46 assists, 101 points)
Alfredsson (38 goals, 51 assists, 89 points)
Redden (13 goals, 43 assists, 56 points)
Eaves (28 goals, 26 assists, 54 points)
Fisher (23 goals, 27 assists, 50 points)
Schaefer (18 goals, 29 assists, 47 points)
Priessing (9 goals, 37 assists, 46 points)
Kaigorodov (16 goals, 30 assists, 46 points)
Vermette (21 goals, 23 assists, 44 points)
Corvo (14 goals, 27 assists, 41 points)
Meszaros (8 goals, 31 assists, 39 points)


Last edited by hockeyfan125: 09-20-2006 at 07:26 PM.
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Philadelphia Flyers

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Gagne-Forsberg-Knuble
Calder-Richards-Carter
Sanderson-Umberger-Kapanen
Robataile-Nedved-Murray

Pitkanen-Rathje
Meyer-Hatcher
Gauthtier-Baumgartner

Nittymaki
Esche

Overview:
Philadelphia got some good news on the Forsberg front, as his foot injuries were not as bad as expected. They should have 3 solid scoring lines and a 4th line made up of spare parts. Carter will most likely move to RW and he could be in for a very big year offensively. Calder was a great pick-up, he is a heart and soul player with enough skill to play a top 6 role. Sanderson was also a great pickup for the price; he can score goals and has blazing speed. Gagne should sign soon and he gives the Flyers a legit sniper.

If the defense improves, Hatcher and Rathje must adjust to the new game. Baumgartner was a solid signing; verpaid but he was great as a #5 in Vancouver last year. Joni Pitkanen is a star and should have a big year, he is immensely talented and is easily the best blue liner on this club. Meyer was very impressive as a rookie and should continue to be a great puck-mover on the back end. Nittymaki is the starter most likely, and watch for Esche to be dealt sometime during the season. Watch for Lars Jonsson, the unsigned Bruins first rounder who Philly snatched up. He is NHL ready and may force Clarke into making a move to give him a roster spot.

Fantasy stud: Peter Forsberg. Forsberg is going to get over a PPG, it just depends how many games he plays. He is a very risky early pick, but if he slips nab him. If he suits up for 60+ games, he could get a sniff at 90-100 points. Gagne relies on Forsberg for the majority of his points, so if Forsberg is healthy (biggest IF in the entire league), Gagne will have elite production as well.

Player to keep an eye on: Jeff Carter After battling mono off last year, he really picked his play up as the year went on. The Mats Sundin clone should have a big sophomore year offensively and 30+ goals should be expected. Moving him to RW will allow him to do more offensively.

Don’t underrate: Peter Forsberg He is the forgotten superstar, just due to his absurd amount of injuries. He is still the best player in the league and if he can stay reasonably healthy expect another big year. If he slips into the mid rounds draft him.

Don’t overrate: Mike Knuble Knuble has been a solid winger for stars during his career. He may drop off the top line if Carter and/or Calder emerge as better options. He has some guys right behind him wanting those #1 minutes, so he could see a dip in points.

Projections:
Gagne (44 goals, 42 assists, 86 points)
Forsberg (17 goals, 63 assists, 80 points)*
Carter (31 goals, 34 assists, 65 points)
Pitkanen (17 goals, 48 assists, 65 points)
Calder (24 goals, 31 assists, 55 points)
Knuble (23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points)
Umberger (23 goals, 24 asssists, 47 points)
Sanderson (18 goals, 23 assists, 41 points)
Meyer (8 goals, 28 assists, 36 points)
Baumgartner (6 goals, 29 assists, 35 points)

* 60 games or more.

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Phoenix Coyotes

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Nagy-Comrie-Roenick
Sjostrom-Reinprecht-Doan
Saprykin-Scatchard-Nolan
Gratton-Ricci-Laraque

Jovanovski-Morris
Michalek-Ballard
Boynton-Seidenberg

Joseph
Leneveu

Overview:
Phoenix is going with a veteran forward core and is banking on a few bounce-back years. Roenick and Nolan are both high risks at this point, but could pay off if they are really committed to getting in shape and putting the effort in. Nagy, Comrie and Doan should lead the offense, and Steven Reinprecht looks to build off his chemistry with Doan. Nagy should put up big numbers if he can stay healthy, he has a ton of talent and Comrie is a very solid playmaker.

Jovanovski is a huge risk on defense. He hasn’t been the same player the past few seasons, as he has been hurt and his physical game has really gone away. He has the talent to be an elite point producer but is very risky. A 5-year deal for him was a horrible move. Morris and Ballard should provide lots of scoring as well. Ballard is one of my favorite players; he is exciting to watch at both ends of the ice. The defense on paper is one of the best in the NHL, but time will tell if they can gel together. Cujo was stellar last year until a late season melt down.

Fantasy stud: Ladislav Nagy. Nagy has been on the verge of big things, only to get injured the past few seasons. If he can play 70+ games I would expect big numbers. He has elite talent and a great shot, and is easily the most dynamic offensive weapon on the Coyotes.

Player to keep an eye on: Steven Reinprecht After putting up 29 points in 52 games with Calgary, Reinprecht put up 23 in 28 games with the Coyotes. He developed great chemistry with Shane Doan right off the bat, and could be a PPG player this year if that duo continues to play well together. Worth taking in the late rounds of a draft, he is a very solid player and the offense should be there consistently this year.

Don’t underrate: Jeremy Roenick Roenick had a brutal year in LA and hopes to put it behind him this season. He has said he is working out like crazy and wants to do what Selanne did in Anaheim. He is worth watching early on in the year and maybe nabbing late in drafts, definitely. JR still has the talent to be a solid producer for a few more seasons.

Don’t overrate: Ed Jovanovski The Coyotes gave him a ton of money to be their top defenseman and PP QB. Jovanovski has been riding on hype for the past few seasons and has really been injury-prone. Don’t expect a huge year unless he plays all 82 games. Morris and Ballard are also solid offensively so if Jovanovski goes down the Coyotes won’t lose too much production. He still has elite talent and could hit 60+ points, but this is just a warning, don’t take him early.

Projections:
Nagy (36 goals, 48 assists, 84 points)
Doan (33 goals, 37 assists, 70 points)
Comrie (29 goals, 41 assists, 70 points)
Reinprecht (22 goals, 38 assists, 60 points)
Jovanovski (8 goals, 41 assists, 49 points)
Ballard (11 goals, 35 assists, 46 points)
Nolan (18 goals, 26 assists, 44 points)
Roenick (17 goals, 25 assists, 42 points)
Morris (9 goals, 29 assists, 38 points)

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Pittsburgh Penguins

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Ekman-Crosby-Armstrong
Malone-Malkin-Recchi
Ruutu-Moore-Petrovicky
Leclair-Talbot-Roy

Gonchar-Orpik
Whitney-Eaton
Welch-Melichar

Fleury
Thibault

Overview:
The Penguins are going to be one of the more interesting teams to follow early in the season. Malkin and Crosby form an insane 1-2 punch down the middle, and all of the scoring wingers on Pittsburgh should benefit regardless of which superstar they line-up along side with. Pittsburgh also went out and got some solid character bottom 6 players like Ruutu, Petrovicky, and Moore. They should be much improved as they have two franchise players up front who should help each other get even better.

Gonchar had a great second half offensively last season and with the talent Pittsburgh has up front could get a ton of points. He was a relative disappointment offensively on the whole last year but he is one of the – if not the – best PP QB in the NHL. Ryan Whitney was very impressive upon his call-up and should get 40+ points. Fleury is the man in nets and has the potential and drive to be one of the best goaltenders in the league.

Fantasy stud: Sidney Crosby. Scoring over 100 points as an 18 year old on a mess of a hockey team is just unreal. Crosby impresses me more and more every time I see him play, he can be a sniper or a playmaker. He has no weaknesses in his game and should contend for the Art Ross at the age of 19. He reminds me of a cross between Dale Hawerchuck and Peter Forsberg with better vision. Unreal talent and I would take him first overall no question in a keeper league.

Player to keep an eye on: Evgeni Malkin Who else. The slick Russian pivot will hit the NHL in October. He combines size, physical play, and an unreal skillset. Malkin was great at the Olympics and like Crosby, has no holes in his game and such a young age. His towering frame and long reach combined with an unreal hockey sense and slick puck-handling make for a dominant, dynamic offensive force. If he adjusts to the NHL game very quickly, he has a shot at 95+ points.

Don’t underrate: Sergei Gonchar After Visnovsky, Gonchar would be the defenseman I would pick in fantasy pools. He had a poor season last year but finished strong. He is never going to be strong defensively, but he has wicked offensive skills and should QB one of the best PP’s in the NHL. If you need to worry about +/- in your league… maybe reconsider. If not, take him early.

Don’t overrate: Colby Armstrong. I plan on drafting him in any of my drafts, but this is just a general warning (and I’m sure 99% of you know it): don’t take him if he is pushed out of the top 6. He has great chemistry with Crosby. Hell, I’ll give a general warning, don’t take any Pittsburgh winger playing on the 3rd or 4th line.. Malkin and Crosby in particular can add on a ton of points to players with decent offensive instincts.

Projections:
Crosby (43 goals, 70 assists, 113 points)
Malkin (37 goals, 50 assists, 87 points)
Gonchar (12 goals, 53 assists, 65 points)
Armstrong (32 goals, 32 assists, 64 points)
Ekman (25 goals, 36 assists, 61 points)
Recchi (21 goals, 33 assists, 54 points)
Whitney (9 goals, 40 assists, 49 points)
Malone (22 goals, 23 assists, 45 points)

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San Jose Sharks

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Bell-Thornton-Cheechoo
Michalek-Marleau-Bernier
Goc-Brown-Grier
Nieminen-Smith-Rissmiller

Hannan-Gorges
McLaren-Carle
Murray-Ehrhoff

Nabokov
Toskala

Overview:
It should be quite amazing watching Thornton work his magic on the west coast for a full season. As much as him and Cheechoo dominated last season, acquiring Mark Bell really pushes that line over the top. Thornton has two very good goal-scorers at his arsenal, and Bell plays a very similar game to the other two. Watch for this line to dominate along the boards, and for Bell/Cheechoo to really open up space to let Thornton operate. San Jose also boasts perhaps the best second line in the NHL. It features a pair of young, dynamic talents in Milan Michalek and Steve Bernier. Patty Marleau centers this line, and it should be there to provide secondary scoring (and then some). Bernier really took the NHL by storm once he was called up last year, he plays a power-forward game, which meshes well with the speed of Marleau and Michalek. San Jose definitely is the class of the NHL when it comes to top-six talent. They also possess a solid bottom-six, with solid grinders and role players who should pot a fair number of goals.

The defense will be lead by Scott Hannan and Kyle McLaren, and is very young beyond those two. Young does not necessarily mean bad, as Hobey Baker winner Matt Carle should really help the PP. Christian Ehrhoff is also a player that really caught my eye at times last year, and I expect big things from him points-wise. I would expect one of Nabokov or Toskala to be traded before the season starts in early October, and I may have to alter my numbers depending on the return. I would assume the Sharks are looking to move Nabokov and let Toskala start.

Fantasy stud: Joe Thornton. Easily a top-3 fantasy pick, he has the skill and linemates to surpass his dynamite season of last. Bank on at least 115 points, most likely more. Thornton is the definition of a fantasy superstar.

Player to keep an eye on: Matt Carle. The silky smooth defenseman potted 6 points in 12 games last year after leaving DU. He could hit 50 points this season with the appropriate amount of ice-time. Him and Ehrhoff are clearly the two offensive blue-liners on the San Jose defense, but Carle in particular is someone worth keeping an eye on, especially because this will be his first full NHL season.

Don’t underrate: Patrick Marleau. I realize it is tough to under-rate him after he is coming off a career year of 86 points, but some will. Marleau will have Bernier to feed his passes to for a full season, and a full season of Big Joe taking away the tough defensive match-ups. Marleau (provided he stays healthy) could hit 100 points this season, don’t be surprised.

Don’t overrate: Jonathan Cheechoo. Now I am not saying don’t pick him, because he should still be good for 40 goals at the worst. I just think now with acquiring Bell, Thornton has a new target for his passes, and this may take away 10-12 goals from Cheechoo.

Projections:
Thornton (29 goals, 88 assists, 117 points)
Cheechoo (47 goals, 42 assists, 89 points)
Marleau (32 goals, 53 assists, 85 points)
Bell (36 goals, 34 assists, 70 points)
Bernier (31 goals, 28 assists, 59 points)
Carle (9 goals, 37 assists, 46 points)
Michalek (22 goals, 22 assists, 44 points)
Ehrhoff (7 goals, 33 assists, 40 points)

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St. Louis Blues

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Tkachuk-Cajanek-Orszagh
Rucinsky-Weight-Guerin
Mayers-McClement-Stempniak
Drake-Johnson-Hinote

Brewer-McKee
Jackman-Backman
Wideman-Salvador

Sanford
Legace

Overvew:
St. Louis is one team you want to avoid fantasy wise. The only player I would consider would be Keith Tkachuk, and maybe Weight/Guerin in the later rounds. The Blues have a lot of players at forward that no one has heard of, but could be worth keeing an eye on. Lee Stempniak finished last year pretty good and could get 50 points if he gets the ice-time, the same goes for Magnus Kahnberg who they acquired in the Doug Weight trade with Carolina. The "re-building" Blues are also one of the oldest teams in the NHL.

Brewer, Backman and Wideman could all get 30-40 points, depending on who gets the most PP time. Maybe draft one of them three if you are desperate for a defenseman, Wideman is probably the best option. Legace and Sanford are going to split time most likely. Sanford really impressed me last season, especially in the games vs. the Canucks where he had our number.

Fantasy stud: Keith Tkachuk. Tkachuk still has a few years left in him, he should be good for 70 points this season. He has been a very productive fantasy player throughout his career, and he is the main offensive weapon on this team.

Player to keep an eye on: Magnus Kahnberg Looking at his stats, he was a very productive player in the Swedish Elite League, and should get a chance at a top 6 role in St. Louis. The Blues acquired him from Carolina in the deadline deal that sent Doug Weight the other way. Keep an eye on him at camp to see if he earns a top 6 spot on this roster. If he doesn't make the team, ignore all of this.

Don’t underrate: Bill Guerin He had a brutal campaign in Dallas, but could approach 60-70 points again in a new situation. Guerin still has the talent, so don’t count on him having another horrible year like he did in 05-06.

Don’t overrate: Martin Rucinsky Had a terrific PPG number last year, due to playing on the Rangers first PP unit. He is a solid second line winger but will not get anything close to what he was on pace for last season.

Projections:
Tkachuk (31 goals, 41 assists, 72 points)
Weight (17 goals, 49 assists, 66 points)
Guerin (23 goals, 28 assists, 51 points)
Rucinsky (17 goals, 32 assists, 49 points)
Cajanek (14 goals, 31 assists, 45 points)
Orszagh (18 goals, 24 assists, 42 points)
Backman (8 goals, 25 assists, 33 points)
Wideman (10 goals, 23 assists, 33 points)
Brewer (6 goals, 23 assists, 29 points)

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Tampa Bay Lightning

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

St. Louis-Richards-Afansenkov
Fedotenko-Lecavalier-Prospal
Craig-Karlsson-Tarnasky
Reid-Taylor-DiMaio


Boyle-Ranger
Kuba-Sarich
Richardson-Pratt

Denis
Burke

Overvew:
$20 million for three forwards! Now that we have that out of the way, we can analyze the Bolts roster. Richards is the best player on the team, night in and night out. Lecavalier is close behind, but is still too inconsistent. St. Louis needs to bounce back from a down year, and Prospal/Fedotenko are solid depth scoring forwards. Youngster Ryan Craig is worth keeping an eye on, he could stick on a scoring line because of his hustle and willingness to go to the net. He seems to be a good fit for Tampa’s more skilled snipers. The bottom six is a huge guess at this moment in time and will be sorted out at training camp (like a lot of teams will be). The top three (and Prospal) are going to have to carry the load offensively, guys like Craig/Fedotenko will provide decent secondary scoring.

On defense, Dan Boyle is the offensive catalyst. Kuba was signed to be more of a steady influence than a point producer. Paul Ranger could be someone to watch for, he has offensive skill and should get the ice-time to put up a good number of points. Sarich is also solid, but does not provide much offense.

Fantasy stud: Brad Richards. Top 5-10 fantasy pick. Good for 90-100 points, should have another small break-out year and push it even higher soon. No weaknesses in his game, sees the ice exceptionally and has a laser of a shot.

Player to keep an eye on: Paul Ranger The young blue-liner really caught my attention in the Ottawa series, he showed he had good speed and moved the puck very well. Should have a bigger offensive role with Kubina gone. Could hit 40 points provided he gets the opportunity to do so. He could also hit 20-30 and not have a big year for a few more seasons, but he is worth taking in a deep draft if you need a defenseman.

Don’t underrate: Martin St. Louis He is much better than a 60 point player. Don’t expect another Hart winning year, but 80 points is definitely within reach. St. Louis for whatever reason just didn’t get the points last year, but he should have a bounce-back year. The new NHL suits his speedy, in your face game. Bounce back year, I say.

Don’t overrate: Vincent Lecavalier It seems we have been forever waiting for a breakout year. He makes superstar money, but has yet to put up superstar numbers. Is this the year? Lecavalier has 45+ goal potential but needs to become more consistent.

Projections:
Richards (24 goals, 67 assists, 91 points)
St. Louis (34 goals, 47 assists, 81 points)
Lecavalier (35 goals, 44 assists, 79 points)
Prospal (22 goals, 50 assists, 72 points)
Boyle (12 goals, 40 assists, 52 points)
Craig (22 goals, 26 assists, 48 points)
Fedotenko (21 goals, 22 assists, 43 points)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto Maple Leafs

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Steen-Sundin-O'Neill
Antropov-Wellwood-Ponikarovsky
Tucker-Peca-Stajan
Kilger-Pohl-Belak

Kaberle-McCabe
Kubina-Colaiacovo
Kronwall-Gill

Raycroft
Tellqvist/Aubin

Overview:
The Leafs decided to go deep on defense and are going to rely on a few rookies to help Sundin carry the offensive load. O’Neill has a few decent years left but at this point isn’t really a fantasy player. Steen has upside, but I think he is a few years away from reaching it. Tucker and Ponikarovsky should also help out, both have enough offensive talent to alternate between the 2nd and 3rd lines. Sundin is still the leader and has a few good years left, definitely a fantasy star for now. Alexander Suglobov and Jeremy Williams both will come into camp looking to earn a spot on the roster. Suglobov is on a one-way deal so for the Leafs sake he better make the squad.

The Leafs boast a great top 3 on defense, but not without a cost (over 15 million combined in salary). Gill was seen by many around the league as a poor signing; but he won’t matter for fantasy purposes. He will provide solid work on the PK, though. Kaberle and McCabe are elite offensive blue liners and Kubina is also very solid in the offensive zone. Colaiacovo and Kronwall/White should contend for the final spots and decent numbers should be expected. Raycroft needs to bounce back for this team to go anywhere. Tellqvist is the back-up, and the Leafs may have to carry three goalies or put Aubin on waivers/trade him.

Fantasy stud: Mats Sundin. Sundin is still the focal point of this Leafs team and has a few 80+ years left in him. Worth an early-mid pick, he will help out his line mates so watch to see who plays with him coming out of camp.

Player to keep an eye on: Alex Steen Steen is a gifted two-way player who developed great chemistry with Sundin and is probably the Leafs best winger at this point in time. He should hit 50 points and 60-70 if he has a very good campaign.

Don’t underrate: Jeff O’Neill O'Neill had a poor season last year (38 points), but still has it in him to hit 50 points. He has a great shot and good offensive instincts, so don’t be surprised to see him have a small bounce-back year. He will be the finisher for Steen and Sundin on the top line most likely.

Don’t overrate: Darcy Tucker I don’t see him getting over 30 assists again, but he should hover around 25 goals. He is in a contract year so I may be wrong, but with Steens emergence and O’Neill’s return to 50-60 points, I don’t see Tucker getting the same opportunities as before.

Projections:
Sundin (31 goals, 50 assists, 81 points)
McCabe (19 goals, 45 assists, 64 points)
Kaberle (9 goals, 53 assists, 62 points)
Steen (23 goals, 31 assists, 54 points)
Wellwood (16 goals, 38 assists, 54 points)
Tucker (24 goals, 26 assists, 50 points)
O’Neill (23 goals, 23 assists, 46 points)
Antropov (15 goals, 28 assists, 43 points)
Ponikarovsky (17 goals, 24 assists, 41 points)
Kubina (8 goals, 31 assists, 39 points)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vancouver Canucks

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Naslund-Morrison-Bulis
Sedin-Sedin-Schultz
Pyatt-Kesler-Cooke
Santala-Chouinard-Linden
Burrows

Ohlund-Bieksa
Bourdon-Salo
Mitchell-Krajicek

Luongo
Flaherty

Overview:
Vancouver has a wealth of players that could potentially earn the top two RW spots, so this line-up is VERY tentative. One gem to keep an eye on is Jesse Schultz, he could earn the spot in the Sedin line and pot 15-20 goals. He really has improved his skating and defensive play while playing in the AHL. Naslund and Morrison should both bounce back after forgetful years. I would expect increased production from both, especially Naslund. Two more players to really watch for another big production jump are the Sedins’. You may think losing Carter to free agency may mean less assists, I just think it means more goals for Daniel. He has the talent of a finisher but never really used it, I think he becomes the finisher for that line too. Henrik Sedin should have been a Selke finalist last year and is going to surprise a lot of people with his huge season coming up. Keep an eye on who earns the RW spots, as those players should put up 40-50 points minimum.

Ohlund should benefit from the Mitchell signing on defense. He will be allowed to play a bit more offensive as Mitchell becomes the premier shut-down player. Sami Salo is good for 15-20 goals if healthy, in my view. He has really harnessed the accuracy of his slapper and should be a focal point on the PP. Lukas Krajicek is a wildcard as he has the talent to be a 50 point defenseman down the road. Keep tabs on his progression throughout the eason.

Fantasy stud: Sedin(s). Draft them in your hockey pools and thank me later. They are the Canucks best players, and should be the #1 PP unit. They are both elite playmakers, dominant down low, and can finish plays off. I would expect 80+ for each, and maybe more given their line-mates finishing ability. Naslund is no longer the main focal point on offense.

Player to keep an eye on: whoever plays RW with the Sedins Pretty straight forward, whoever earns this spot is going to instantly get a large production increase. The Sedins’ can turn a decent player into a good player, and so on. They really see the ice well and can find an open linemate to finish plays off. Schultz could hit 20 goals playing with them, or be a call-up. Guyes like Bulis, Pyatt, Cooke, Kesler, etc all have a chance to earn this spot out of camp. Big big dark-horse is draft pick Michael Grabner but I would bet on another year in the WHL.

Don’t underrate: Henrk Sedin I think he is primed for a big year. He is one of the best two way forwards in the NHL, and is dominant along the boards and down-low. I would try and nab him with a mid-round pick and reap the rewards. He is the teams go-to player, but Naslund will get more points because Sedin plays PK and has to match-up against the top opposition. He is the kind of player you win championships with. No weaknesses in his game. Very similar write-up to Daniel, but I see something a bit more in Henrik, he will be a top 10 center by the end of this season.

Don’t overrate: Markus Naslund. Although he is good for 85-95 points, he is not a franchise stud like he used to. Don’t expect 100 points or you will be disappointed. The Sedins’ are the Canucks main offensive players and since Daniel is a left-wing, this should take away from Naslund’s productivity. A bounce-back year in terms of quality of play is going to happen, I just don't expect 100 points.

Projections:
H. Sedin (23 goals, 62 assists, 85 points)
Naslund (35 goals, 50 assists, 85 points)
D. Sedin (30 goals, 51 assists, 82 points)
Morrison (25 goals, 40 assists, 65 points)
Salo (15 goals, 33 assists, 48 points)
Bulis (23 goals, 21 assists, 44 points)
Cooke (17 goals, 23 assists, 40 points)
Ohlund (13 goals, 24 assists, 37 points)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Washington Capitals

Team out-look:
(projected roster. Players in bold are the ones I have done projections for).

Ovechkin-Zubrus-Clark
Semin-Beech-Zednik
Pettinger-Sutherby-Clymer
Brashear-Laich-Bradley

Pothier-Morrisonn
Heward-Eminger
Muir-Green

Kolzig
Johnson

Washington should get a bit better this season from an offensive standpoint, as Ovechkin now has a bit more help on the roster. Zednik should get the top RW spot by default, and should be good for 60 points minimum there. Semin is the top offensive weapon beyond Ovechkin, and could see 30-35 goals on the 2nd line. The 2nd line C spot is very wide open, many are still speculating that the Caps may go out and acquire a legit center, or just let Beech/Laich/etc battle it out in camp. Fleischmann also has to prove he can handle the NHL game, many view him as too small still.

On defense Pothier should be the main guy on the PP, but Eminger/Morrisonn/Heward are all solid puck-movers. Rookie Mike Green has tremendous talent and could be a 60-point guy in the future. I don’t see him getting a ton of ice-time, but if he does he could be worth taking a late round flyer on. Eminger is 2-3 seasons away from being a 50 point defenseman.

Fantasy stud: Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin will be a top 2-3 pick in most every hockey pool. He will get you a ton of points, guaranteed. He also will get Zubrus and whoever his RW is a ton of points as well. Keep a close eye on whoever is playing with Ovechkin, their point totals should increase dramatically.

Player to keep an eye on: Kris Beech He has the talent and skill to be a star at the NHL level, but has not put it together at all. This is his last shot, and if he comes to camp and earns the 2nd line center spot, the sky is the limit. Could see some time with Ovechkin, who know. Worth watching how Beech does in camp and early on in the season.

Don’t underrate: Brian Pothier You may think his point totals will go down now that he doesn’t have the elite talent on Ottawa to play with on the PP, and the fact that he won’t be playing such soft minutes now. Pothier has pretty good offensive talent and could get 50 points playing with Ovechkin/Semin and co. Washington paid him big bucks and I think they see something in him. If you need a defenseman in the mid to late rounds, don’t hesitate and take Pothier.

Don’t overrate: Danius Zubrus. As long as he is playing with Ovechkin, expect similar point totals to last season. But if he gets hurt or the Caps adjust the lines, don’t take him. He is a solid two-way center but he does not have a ton of offensive talent. Ovechkin will make him a pool pick, so just keep that in mind.

Projections:
Ovechkin (63 goals, 54 assists, 117 points)
Semin (30 goals, 36 assists, 66 points)
Zubrus (21 goals, 42 assists, 63 points
Zednik (27 goals, 22 assists, 49 points)
Pettinger (20 goals, 19 assists, 39 points)
Pothier (4 goals, 29 assists, 33 points)
Eminger (7 goals, 22 assists, 29 points)


Last edited by hockeyfan125: 08-27-2006 at 01:14 AM.
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07-30-2006, 01:24 PM
  #3
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keep up the good work!
btw, which team is up next?

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07-30-2006, 01:29 PM
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San Jose.

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07-30-2006, 01:50 PM
  #5
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I doubt Stumple will play on the first line, it'll be either Olesz or Horton. Also Peltonen has all the skills to be a 60 point player so keep an eye on him.

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07-30-2006, 01:52 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuomo#1 View Post
I doubt Stumple will play on the first line, it'll be either Olesz or Horton. Also Peltonen has all the skills to be a 60 point player so keep an eye on him.
It is just a projected roster, as there are a large number of players who could play on each line (especially on Florida). I based my line-up on who I think would fit the best.

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07-30-2006, 02:06 PM
  #7
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San Jose is up.

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07-30-2006, 02:11 PM
  #8
Aerolanche
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Nice work Hanky. Here are my line combinations for the Avs, if you don't already know them.

Brunette - Sakic - Hejduk
Wolski - Turgeon - Svatos
Richardson - Arnason - Stastny
Konowalchuk - Laperriere - Laaksonen

May, Rycroft, McCormick

Skrastins - Leopold
Clark - Liles
Väänänen - Brisebois

Klee, Sauer

Theodore
Budaj

You can get other versions (including mine, with reasons) here:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=275462

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07-30-2006, 02:13 PM
  #9
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Thanks, Avalanche. The Avs are one of the teams I am closer to being finished on because their roster is all but set.

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07-30-2006, 02:35 PM
  #10
Caspian
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Cool.

But just a comment, I think Peltonen could get the top LW spot beside Jokinen. Didn't they play together at the Olympics & World Championships and have success?

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07-30-2006, 02:48 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Caspian30 View Post
Cool.

But just a comment, I think Peltonen could get the top LW spot beside Jokinen. Didn't they play together at the Olympics & World Championships and have success?
Yea he could. So could Olesz, Horton (if he shifts to LW), hell maybe even Kolnik. This is just a prediction, and I put Stumpel there because he is the best playmaking forward on this roster.

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07-30-2006, 02:56 PM
  #12
Abyss
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cool stuff (jtuzzi), this sure is a lot more in depth then the one you did last year.

I'm looking forward to all 30 teams.

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07-30-2006, 02:58 PM
  #13
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cool stuff (jtuzzi), this sure is a lot more in depth then the one you did last year.

I'm looking forward to all 30 teams.
Thanks, I really appreciate it, especially with you being the Fantasy Guru around here.

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07-30-2006, 03:14 PM
  #14
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An interesting read even though I might not bother getting into pools this year. Keep it up!

PS: Ottawa's roster isn't set yet (Kaigorodov and a possible free agent pending), so I'd hold off on them for a while.

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07-30-2006, 03:25 PM
  #15
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Originally Posted by Peter_Schaefer View Post
An interesting read even though I might not bother getting into pools this year. Keep it up!

PS: Ottawa's roster isn't set yet (Kaigorodov and a possible free agent pending), so I'd hold off on them for a while.
They are one of seven teams I haven't even started on yet.

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07-30-2006, 03:27 PM
  #16
Blades of Glory
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Good work HFF.

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07-30-2006, 03:28 PM
  #17
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Good job.

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07-30-2006, 03:30 PM
  #18
Static
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Carle is projected to score 16 goals? Thats quite a lot isnt it?

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07-30-2006, 03:32 PM
  #19
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Carle is projected to score 16 goals? Thats quite a lot isnt it?
Yea it is. I think with the team he is on, he should get lots of opportunity to put in quite a few goals. I know it isn't much but he had 3 goals last year in his first 12 games, not bad for someone playing in his first 12 pro-hockey games.

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07-30-2006, 03:34 PM
  #20
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Carle is projected to score 16 goals? Thats quite a lot isnt it?
He's probably going to be a #1 PP pairing guy with Christian Ehrhoff. He'll get a ton of chances, though 16 goals is fairly high.

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07-30-2006, 03:35 PM
  #21
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Quote:
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Don’t overrate: Jonathan Cheechoo. Now I am not saying don’t pick him, because he should still be good for 40 goals at the worst. I just think now with acquiring Bell, Thornton has a new target for his passes, and this may take away 10-12 goals from Cheechoo.

I think this could go either way. He'll either lose 10-12 goals, or he'll score 10-12 goals more, as that line may produce a lot more goals than it did last year. Example: Lets say the line last year scored 100 goal by itself, for only 3/4th's of the season. Next year it's possible, that for the entire season, adding a better player on the LW, the line could produce 120 goals.

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07-30-2006, 03:46 PM
  #22
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Good stuff, I'm a hockey pool buff and I always love reading the projections be it via McKeen's, Forecaster, or wherever. Keep up the good work. Speaking of those magazines, shouldn't they be out soon?

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07-30-2006, 03:49 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by FreeFromSantaFe View Post
Next year it's possible, that for the entire season, adding a better player on the LW, the line could produce 120 goals.
I have them at 114 goals right now. Not far off.

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07-30-2006, 05:17 PM
  #24
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I don't know if its just me, but I don't like Dallas at all from a fantasy standpoint.

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Old
07-30-2006, 06:47 PM
  #25
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I appreciate what you are doing, and I look forward to future updates.

And to save you some time when you analyze the Devils, Jay Pandolfo will not score more than 15 goals this coming season.

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