Complete 2014 Projections

Position: All | All Skaters | C | LW | RW | D | G
     
PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
1. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics31924335361819:429953.4
2014 Projections8237599613783920:00316129.8
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.
2. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics483224562362720:5322091.9
2014 Projections804941904463721:00376115.1
2014 Outlook: Ovechkin had one of the most incredible finishes to a fantasy hockey season we have seen in many a season in 2013. His 14 goals in 13 games to finish the month of April were particularly impressive. The tear he went on was enough to make him the most valuable forward in all of fantasy for the 2013 campaign. It seems as though Ovechkin finally found a groove under coach Adam Oates, and we should expect more of the same headed into this season. But wait & why isn't Ovechkin the clear-cut choice for No. 1 overall? His play was so good at the end of last season there can be a tendency to view Ovi through rose-colored glasses, but we need to remember how low the lows were. Don't forget that he went on a skid from 109 points, to 85 points, all the way to 65 points in the 2011-12 season. While we believe that coaching was almost solely responsible for the lack of fantasy production from Ovechkin, it still checkers his past just a touch.
3. Corey Perry, Ana RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4415213610721019:0412864.9
2014 Projections7931346581392120:0024993.4
2014 Outlook: Perry has a secret weapon that none of the other top-flight fantasy forwards possess: his penalty minutes. Thanks to Perry's agitating style of play, he will spend upwards of 120 to 150 minutes inside the NHL's sin bins this season. This makes him one of the only forwards to perennially top 100 penalty minutes, 30 goals and 65 points. There may be a tendency to recall Perry's 50-goal season from 2010-11, but recall it as an aberration and not the norm. Perry has shown a 30-to-35-goal pace again for two consecutive seasons. Take him for his combination of offense and PIMs, not for the Rocket Richard Trophy in his closet. Perry only needs Ryan Getzlaf at his side to continue to produce and the pair should have no problem picking up where they left off last season.
4. Phil Kessel, Tor RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics48203252-3182119:4916170.7
2014 Projections8241468710253220:00309110.5
2014 Outlook: What has Kessel managed to do the last couple seasons? Well, despite what the fan base in Toronto might tell you, Kessel has earned heaps of respect in the fantasy hockey world by becoming a consistent 40-goal threat with an array of linemates. We are still awaiting the perfect storm to see Kessel shoot past 40 goals, and this coming season with a very respectable Maple Leafs club could be just the right situation. The Leafs are returning a healthy Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk as top offensive threats, and Nazem Kadri is on the rise. While added pieces like David Clarkson and David Bolland might not be first-line options to directly aid Kessel, they will bolster the ranks and ultimately give him more space to operate by keeping opponents in check. Still just 25 years old headed into this season, he's just entering his prime.
5. Patrick Kane, Chi RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics472332551181720:0313874.8
2014 Projections8233518412262420:00245104.6
2014 Outlook: Boy, did Kane have a nice bounce-back season last season. That's right, Kane's stellar performance in the 2013 lockout-shortened campaign was not a breakout; it was a bounce-back. Kane's prorated numbers from last season bring him back up to (and a little beyond) the pace he put up in the 2009-10 NHL season. To be sure, he was on a 40-goal pace for an 82-game season last season, but his overall points would have been just seven more than he had in his third NHL season. The bottom line is that we've seen this before from Kane, and he still sunk down to the 23-goal, 66-point season he had in 2011-12. Now, maturity issues outside the rink are not something we tend to analyze, but Kane's antics have certainly been well documented. It does make sense that he would turn a corner as a 24-year-old, and will be here to stay as a first-round worthy fantasy fixture. That said, he scored the same number of goals the past two seasons despite the fact he played 82 games in one of them and only 47 games in the other. At the end of the day, Kane is an elite offensive weapon on the defending Stanley Cup champions that are still loaded in the top six. Here's betting on at least a point-per-game pace.
6. Dustin Byfuglien*, Wpg D, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4382028-1341024:2414250.6
2014 Projections77174158-2822524:0028277.7
2014 Outlook: Unlike in years gone by, Byfuglien looks positively svelte going in to camp this September. Still physically intimidating, and very "Big Buff"-like, just not sporting as much unnecessary padding as before. This bodes well for the Winnipeg Jets and his fantasy owners, alike. Fitness is a big factor in Byfuglien's case; the more he plays, the more he produces. A full 82-game campaign would conceivably see the imposing 28-year-old flirt with the 60-point mark, all the while racking up nearly 300 shots and around 80 PIM.
7. James Neal, Nsh LW, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics402115365261617:2813662.4
2014 Projections813833719682818:0028396.3
2014 Outlook: Though Neal's second season with the Penguins wasn't as spectacular as the first, it is a better example of what we should expect going forward. While Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz will create a dangerous top line for the Pens, Evgeni Malkin and Neal are more than an adequate secondary attack. Then there is the power play, where Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin and Neal all come together to create a force that few teams can stop. Neal will generate plenty of his fantasy value from the power play, top it off at even strength and give you great return on your investment. As with Kunitz, there is less risk to Neal's star by association status with the Penguins because the team boasts two superstar centerman. If one goes down, you can be sure that a top supporting talent like Neal will join with the other.
8. Tyler Seguin, Dal C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics481616322316617:0116153.2
2014 Projections823440745322719:0029593.2
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.
9. Rick Nash, NYR LW, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics442121421626919:5817669.2
2014 Projections813636727441720:0032692.4
2014 Outlook: The fact that we had a lockout-shortened NHL season definitely muted the fact that Nash had the best season of his career. Nash's 82-game pace of 39 goals and 39 assists to go with an improved plus/minus were a significant improvement on his recent seasons with the Blue Jackets. While Nash did not hit things off with Brad Richards the way that was hoped, he didn't need to. Derek Stepan proved to be a more than formidable linemate for Nash as he bounced around different configurations under coach John Tortorella. With the steady hand of Alain Vigneault taking over, expect Nash to be the focal point of the Rangers' attack. Could he bust the ceiling on his previous career highs? It's possible. But without significant improvements in the Rangers' offense -- and with the threat of a Stepan contract holdout -- it is best to draft Nash for his high floor (as opposed to that high ceilng) heading into the season.
10. Alexander Semin*, Car RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics441331441446920:5715064.6
2014 Projections7924497320741619:0023598.4
2014 Outlook: Semin's first season as a member of the Hurricanes was a roaring success. Paired with Eric Staal on offense, Semin helped propel Staal to new heights while picking up his own fair share of fantasy value along the way. The duo will, no doubt, be back again for the Hurricanes this season and with potential for an improved secondary attack, the top line should have no trouble repeating its success from last season. Now, Semin has changed as a fantasy player from his days with the Capitals. His wicked wrist shot still exists, but he doesn't use it as much anymore. Look for reduced goal numbers, and a continued increase in Semin's assists for the coming season. Another factor in whether Semin outperforms his draft day value will be the success of the Hurricanes' power play. It struggled mightily last season and an improvement would be a boon to Semin's numbers. Here's hoping Ryan Murphy can help change things on the man advantage.
11. Martin St. Louis, NYR RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics481743600142021:5911278.9
2014 Projections78265985-1172821:00188100.2
2014 Outlook: St. Louis is still as dangerous a playmaker on the ice with Steven Stamkos as any of the young bucks in the league. His damaging reduction in power-play assists from the 2011-12 season proved to be an aberration, and St. Louis was back to his old tricks in the lockout-shortened campaign. Why isn't he higher in the forward rankings? For one thing, St. Louis is 38 years old now and not getting any younger. We don't think he will slow down just yet, but the downside of the hill is getting closer. To that end, the Lightning added Jonathan Drouin at the top of the entry draft this offseason and he may start getting work with Stamkos as early as this season. Don't knock the veteran St. Louis too far down your draft lists, but remember his best days are behind him.
12. Marian Hossa, Chi RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics401714312016618:0211656.1
2014 Projections7228336124251619:0021587.5
2014 Outlook: There has been nothing keeping Marian Hossa from being an elite fantasy asset with the Blackhawks other than the health of Marian Hossa. Some of his health issues have been far from his own fault, but with just one nearly-complete season in four attempts with the Hawks, there is clearly some cause for concern. The stats are there when Hossa is on the ice, and he consistently plays with an elite talent in Jonathan Toews. Really, the only aspect that should give you pause when looking at Hossa is the games played. Hossa does have a history of consistent health and that should encourage fantasy owners to invest in him; just don't do it before some other reliable options are off the table.
13. Derek Stepan, NYR C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4818264425121020:5510878.7
2014 Projections8025396415201719:0018386
2014 Outlook: Stepan missed much of the preseason in a contract holdout, but things were settled just in time for him to be ready for the regular season. He'll head into the season as a linemate with Rick Nash, and that generally comes with the potential to set career highs across the board. Stepan has shown great chemistry with top players, and the Rangers will need him to be a consistent performer. Stepan won't light the world on fire with his goal totals, but his on-ice awareness means he will get points, and plenty of them at that. Just beware the expectations of a lofty plus/minus, as the stat can be quite fickle for fantasy prognostication.
14. Johan Franzen, Det RW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4114173113411218:0511654.6
2014 Projections7530275719591918:0022981.9
2014 Outlook: With 30 goals and a dozen power-play goals a near-lock for Franzen, he makes for a safe and steady selection on your fantasy team. The Mule will miss a handful of games, but that comes with the territory of playing around the net. Franzen will take to the ice with either Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk (or possibly both) and now could have an improved supporting cast with Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss in town. The continued development of Gustav Nyquist is yet another threat that the Red Wings boast. But don't worry, Franzen can only be helped by more skilled players firing pucks at the net for him to rebound.
15. Jakub Voracek, Phi RW, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics48222446-7351717:1412960.7
2014 Projections82324375-3482218:0024089.3
2014 Outlook: Voracek's 2013 numbers were bolstered by a blistering hot February in which he managed 21 points in 15 games. But even when that month is removed from his numbers, we are left with a physical, scoring winger that plays regularly with one of the league's better playmakers in Claude Giroux. Sure, Voracek's numbers are boosted thanks to Giroux, but it is not as if the Flyers have other options. He'll play with Giroux again -- on the top line and top power play -- and Voracek will be prone to more hot streaks to boost his totals while doing so. It's not as if Voracek doesn't come with pedigree. He was a former Top 10 draft pick that put up gaudy numbers in junior. While he is for real as a fantasy asset, Voracek is likely due for a slight regression on a per-game basis. But, he's still a solid Top 30 forward.