Complete 2014 Projections

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PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
1. Steven Stamkos, TB CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics48292857-4321822:01157
2014 Projections825345980643122:00285
2014 Outlook: There is something to be said for the kind of consistency and greatness that Stamkos brings to his fantasy hockey owners. Will one of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin probably finish ahead of Stamkos when all is said and done? Maybe. But recent history also suggests two of the other three will suffer down seasons or injury. Do you want to take a lottery ticket with your first overall pick or do you want the guy who has consistently been just behind the eventual winner for most valuable fantasy forward each season? When the sure-thing bet isn't a huge step down from the lottery ticket, you take the sure thing every time. Stamkos will get 50 goals, take a run at 90 points and produce on the power play. Other players will have similar gaudy numbers, but only Stamkos brings a resume with the consistency to achieve them every season.
2. Sidney Crosby, Pit CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics3615415626161721:06124
2014 Projections72357210734393521:00256
2014 Outlook: Can we blame Crosby for suffering yet another injury-shortened campaign last season? It's difficult to say he is brittle when it's an errant puck that slammed into his face. Then again, it has been four seasons since Crosby graced us with a full campaign. It did appear as though he was back to full speed from his head-injury woes last season, but there is always a lingering risk of re-injury with such ailments. We do know that Crosby will put up drool-worry fantasy stats when he is on the ice, to the extent that we would suggest using the second-overall pick to acquire him. His ability to completely dominate the game stuffs almost all the relevant fantasy categories you are looking for. If Crosby can play all 82 games, he will be in contention for the Art Ross Trophy, but we suspect he will miss a game here or there due to his all-out style of play.
3. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics31924335361819:4299
2014 Projections8237599613783920:00316
2014 Outlook: The upside is so scary good with Malkin, but the injury history is almost more troubling than that of teammate Sidney Crosby. While Crosby's particular head injury was perhaps more troubling from a long-term perspective, Malkin has provided us with just one healthy and productive campaign in the past four seasons, and even that season saw him miss seven games. But in that 75-game campaign in 2011-12, Malkin provided fantasy owners with a glimpse of just how great he can be. Those 50 goals and 109 points just two seasons ago are not to be dismissed in a fantasy draft. The Penguins are still stacked enough on offense to keep Crosby and Malkin both busy, even on separate lines. And it's inevitable that the dynamic duo will be paired on the power play, which was as dominant as ever in 2013. We could split hairs all day over the order in which Crosby, Malkin and Alex Ovechkin come off the board, but we'll take Malkin's recent performance history as a trump card on Ovechkin.
4. John Tavares*, NYI CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics48281947-2181620:46162
2014 Projections804143842343221:00291
2014 Outlook: An ever-improving supporting cast, a winger who responds perfectly with his chemistry and a track record of consistent improvement make Tavares a tantalizing choice after the Big Four are off the board in your fantasy hockey draft. While there can be an argument to go goaltender at the No. 5 overall draft position, Tavares has certainly made a case for being considered in the same discussions as the elite forwards. Tavares took a big step forward with his goal scoring during the lockout-shortened campaign and even more help is on the way to make the Islanders' offense command some respect. Between newcomer Pierre-Marc Bouchard, rookie Ryan Strome and the still-improving Kyle Okposo, Tavares and Matt Moulson will find a new threat for their top line that could help Tavares boost his overall numbers into that upper echelon of fantasy forwards.
5. Claude Giroux, Phi CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics48133548-7222121:10137
2014 Projections822670960383721:00229
2014 Outlook: He will come darn close to leading the league in assists, and Giroux will find a way to do it without an elite-scoring winger on his line. Whether he does it by turning Jakub Voracek into a pseudo-superstar or by re-igniting the scoring flame in Vincent Lecavalier, Giroux will find a way to get his assists and, therefore, the bulk of his fantasy value. Having turned in solid fantasy seasons with linemates ranging from the combination of Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr to the duo of Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, one thing Giroux has proven is his ability to rise to the top regardless of surroundings. So whether he is reunited with Hartnell, paired with Lecavalier or remains with Voracek, the Flyers' centerpiece on offense will find the scoresheet. The question of how his plus/minus will fare is an entirely different conversation, and one of the reasons he could fall out of the first round of your draft.
6. Henrik Zetterberg*, Det C, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics461137482182320:31173
2014 Projections822361847413521:00313
2014 Outlook: Zetterberg stuffs stats across the board, with a slight emphasis on his playmaking ability. The result in fantasy hockey is an often-overlooked Top 10 forward who could use a little more respect. Even in campaigns which can be considered "down" seasons for him, Zetterberg churns out fantasy value for the Red Wings with goals, assists, power-play production, shots on goal and, often times, plus/minus. The Red Wings have brought in some new toys for the offense this season, including veteran scorer Daniel Alfredsson and consistent center Stephen Weiss. It will be an improvement on last season's offense, and offer a chance for Zetterberg to find better chemistry than he ended up having with Damien Brunner in the NHL last season (despite the duo's chemistry in the Swiss league).
7. Anze Kopitar, LA CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics4710324214161620:2998
2014 Projections8229558411253021:00227
2014 Outlook: Kopitar brings a complete game to the ice and the result is often a strong fantasy performance for the defense-first Kings. As a consistent presence on the ice with Dustin Brown and Justin Williams, Kopitar has found a groove that will inevitably bring him close to 30 goals and 80 points each season. The result for fantasy owners is consistent, if unspectacular, performance from the 26-year-old fantasy second-round staple. Should we continue waiting for another step forward from the Kings' top centerman? No, but that doesn't mean his production is anything to sneeze at. Just like Steven Stamkos has used consistency to edge into the top spot in our rankings this season, Kopitar is using consistency to stick around as a Top 12 forward.
8. Pavel Datsyuk, Det CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics4715344921141620:11107
2014 Projections8126578330212820:00190
2014 Outlook: It certainly makes Pavel Datsyuk's mantle-full of Frank J. Selke Trophy's more impressive when you consider that he isn't just one of the top defensive forwards, but one of the best fantasy forwards around, too. Datsyuk's creativity with the puck makes him a threat every time he is on the ice, and makes his linemates better. A virtual lock for a point-per-game pace, Datsyuk also contributes on the power play, and is liable for a rock-solid plus/minus. Though he doesn't appear to be a threat to approach 100 points like he was five or six seasons ago, Datsyuk's reliability make him a great choice as your first forward if you are picking late in your draft.
9. Henrik Sedin, Van CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics4811344519241319:2170
2014 Projections8217688528432919:00124
2014 Outlook: While the Sedin brothers may have peaked in the 2009-10 season, they -- by no means -- are plummeting in value. Both a threat for 85 to 90 points, the twins are still a great anchor for your fantasy squad. Henrik, as you will recall, is the playmaking brother that will finish with close to 75 assists and chip in upward of 20 goals. So if the ESPN Standard Game and most other fantasy leagues put a premium on goal scoring, why is Henrik ranked better than Daniel? Because Daniel's goal-scoring did plummet last season. In fact, Henrik scored 11 goals to Daniel's 12 last season, completely nullifying Daniel's only advantage in the battle for twin supremacy. If Daniel isn't going to threaten to double-up Henrik's goal tallies, then we'll take Henrik's extra assists as the difference when ranking them.
10. Jonathan Toews, Chi CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics472325482827619:21143
2014 Projections7535397434371320:00227
2014 Outlook: Toews has quickly transformed into a point-per-game, versatile centerman that can take over a game when he needs to. Already a two-time Stanley Cup champion captain at the age of 25, Toews will continue to lead the dynamic Blackhawks offense and pick up plenty of fantasy value along the way. It is even conceivable that if Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp manage to stay healthy, the Hawks' offense -- and therefore, Toews -- could even put up improved numbers when compared to the last couple seasons. One notable trend when selecting Toews to anchor your fantasy offense is the lack of power-play production when compared to other elite forwards. The Blackhawks' glut of talent has limited Toews' power-play points in recent seasons. With a similar offense returning and coach Joel Quenneville set in his ways, that doesn't appear likely to change.
11. Eric Staal, Car CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics48183553554920:60152
2014 Projections81325385-5752122:00273
2014 Outlook: When provided with an improved supporting cast last season, Staal showed renewed vigor on the ice. In fact, his numbers were better than a point-per-game for the first time since his sophomore season in 2005-06. Alexander Semin proved to be a potent linemate for Staal and his actual value last season was closer to that of a Top 5 forward. But we can't draft him in that realm without some reservations. For one thing, relying on another player for value is a dangerous game, especially a player with Semin's injury history. Staal is, however, an exceptional talent, and as close to a lock for 75 points as you can find in the NHL. Drafting him will be an exercise in just how much faith you have in the Hurricanes' offense this season. The nice part about Staal is that if you take your chances on him and things don't work out, you aren't stuck with a dud. Worst-case scenario you are stuck with a Top 25 forward instead of a Top 15.
12. Tyler Seguin, Dal C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics481616322316617:01161
2014 Projections823440745322719:00295
2014 Outlook: Being dished off to the Stars does two major things for Seguin in the upcoming campaign. It establishes him as the clear-cut top forward on a franchise, which will result in increased minutes on the ice. It should also motivate him to make the Boston Bruins sorry. Seguin has a respectable selection of linemates to choose from, including the exceptionally-skilled Jamie Benn. If Seguin can score 29 goals as the second-line winger on the Bruins as a sophomore, here's betting he can pot a few more than that two seasons later as the keystone of the Stars' offense. Will the plus/minus be what it once was with the Bruins? No, but Seguin's increased power-play responsibility should help offset the value. There is a limit to Seguin's overall potential, however, as the Stars will be hard-pressed to have significant secondary scoring to help take the focus off the Seguin-Benn combo.
13. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics4415344914411520:1299
2014 Projections8122598111702621:00180
2014 Outlook: As was somewhat expected, Getzlaf bounced back to form last season during the lockout-shortened NHL campaign. Getzlaf's 49 points in just 44 games was just eight points shy of the 57 points he scored in 82 games during the 2011-12 season. Playing with Corey Perry, we expect more of the same fantasy goodness out of Getzlaf as coach Bruce Boudreau continues to deploy the team in an offense-first fashion. New potential weapons such as Jakob Silfverberg or Emerson Etem could be huge for maintaining the Ducks' strong offense, but with Teemu Selanne to help on the power play, the younger options don't absolutely have to perform. What of the 91-point Getzlaf we saw in 2008-09? Well, he could return in the right situation. If Silfverberg, Etem or another option happen to fit in perfectly with Getzlaf and Perry, the Ducks could be in for a very potent first line. So even though Getzlaf is safer as a third-round pick in your draft, he has upside.
14. Taylor Hall, Edm LW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics451634505331418:37154
2014 Projections753045751492219:00256
2014 Outlook: We still don't have a full season of Taylor Hall statistics to look at following his three campaigns in the NHL. He has two injury-shortened campaigns and one lockout-shortened campaign, however, that all tell us he is the best of the Oilers' dynamic young offensive players. It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that Hall can make the jump into the elite group among the fantasy forward hierarchy this season. He'll probably play with Jordan Eberle again and from there, the team can choose sniper Nail Yakupov, puck wizard David Perron or elite passer Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to join them. No matter what, Hall is due for a big season. Holding him back is the track record of playing the game hard and getting hurt; that's been the case in Hall's career thus far. There is also a risk that with so many young weapons on offense that all have so much upside, Hall turns out to be a secondary piece of the puzzle. After all, Yakupov and RNH both have untapped potential as superstars. We think Hall will be the best fantasy asset on the Oilers, but it's not crazy to think there is another answer.
15. Nicklas Backstrom, Wsh CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2013 Statistics48840488201819:5482
2014 Projections8119678611383120:00165
2014 Outlook: As Alex Ovechkin's value goes, so goes the value of Nicklas Backstrom. Luckily for Backstrom, Ovechkin's value is on the upswing thanks to his offense returning late last season under coach Adam Oates. Backstrom showed that his injury issues from the prior season were behind him, and that he can be the playmaker to Ovechkin's sniper again going forward. Is there another 100-point campaign in Backstrom? There very well could be if Ovechkin is all the way back. That said, Backstrom isn't going to get to triple digits by scoring 30 goals again. Look for typical elite playmaker numbers in the range of 20 goals and upward of 75 assists from Backstrom, and you will walk away happy. The only question mark that remains is whether a third member of the line could take Ovechkin and Backstrom's numbers up another notch. But no matter who the third member of the line is, their numbers are not going to go back down.