Complete 2015 Projections

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PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
31. Jacob Trouba, Wpg DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics65101929443322:26121
2015 Projections781228403441723:17138
2015 Outlook: Following a remarkable rookie campaign, Trouba enters 2014-15 with augmented expectations resting on his 20-year-old shoulders. Additional minutes in all situations, including a more prominent role with the man advantage, await the Calder Trophy long-list finalist. Barring a sophomore slump, Trouba will see a healthy increase to his 29-point total in 65 games last season. To remain competitive, the Jets will require a lot from their young blueliner. - VM
32. Dan Boyle, NYR DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics75122436-8321821:17154
2015 Projections801125369281821:41172
2015 Outlook: He's 38 years old and has shown definite signs of slowing down these past two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, but it's not as if Boyle couldn't be rejuvenated in the right situation. The Rangers are offering him a chance at a fresh start, and Boyle could quickly claim the top power-play role on the blue line from Ryan McDonagh. But does McDonagh's youth win out over Boyle's experience on the man advantage? Do they both play the blue line on the power play? We will have to wait and see what coach Alain Vigneault has in store for us, but bet that Boyle will have some sleeper value after two poor campaigns suppressed his draft value. - SA
33. Marek Zidlicky, NJ DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics81123042-3601821:39128
2015 Projections721032424581721:16117
2015 Outlook: While Eric Gelinas will eat into more of Zidlicky's production this season, we don't think the veteran blueliner is done being fantasy relevant just yet. At 37 years old, Zidlicky still packs a big point shot and will be the default power-play quarterback to start the season. Paired with Bryce Salvador at even strength, Zidlicky won't be a liability in the plus/minus department and, although he doesn't take as many shots as he should, makes up for it with decent power-play production. He'll be a high-end No. 3 defenseman. - SA
34. Matt Niskanen, Wsh DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8110364633511521:18162
2015 Projections80931404551320:55167
2015 Outlook: If you believe Niskanen's unprecedented eruption for 46 points (and a plus-33) with the Penguins in 2013-14 was an example of an offensive defenseman finding his scoring groove slightly later in his NHL career, then draft him as your No. 3 fantasy blueliner (in average-sized leagues). If, however, you cynically consider the impressive output as no more than an anomaly from the 27-year-old -- a blip on a mostly pedestrian resume -- then don't. Either way, keep in mind that Mike Green will battle Niskanen for the opportunity to anchor the Capitals' top power-play unit, so temper man-advantage expectations accordingly. - VM
35. Justin Schultz, Edm DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics74112233-22161223:21109
2015 Projections80143044-7272023:40160
2015 Outlook: The epic offensive numbers that Schultz debuted with in the AHL during the lockout haven't shown up in the NHL yet -- but that doesn't mean they aren't on their way. The Oilers have a deep roster of defense-first defensemen ... and Schultz. He is the team's only legitimate offensive blueliner and will get every opportunity to put up big points. However, the team as a whole has to be better at preventing goals in order to gain more opportunities to score them. And the Oilers need a power-play conversion percentage better than 17.0 percent given the talented players on the ice. There is a scenario where Schultz becomes a No. 2 fantasy defenseman this season, but a lot of things have to break in his favor to make that happen.- SA
36. Erik Johnson, Col DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics80930395611423:00157
2015 Projections81633393531322:20163
2015 Outlook: Earning his fantasy value through long minutes more than offensive acumen, Johnson will do enough to be a No. 3 fantasy defenseman on your team, but it's time to stop expecting more from him. Forty points is a good baseline for what Johnson can provide, though the numbers may actually slip if Tyson Barrie is ready to take the next step in his development. But even if he loses out of some offensive opportunities, Johnson plays enough minutes to rack up decent counting stats and should be in your plans, provided you wait until the middle rounds of your draft. - SA
37. Jason Garrison, TB DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8172633-5571520:54181
2015 Projections801225373461421:17177
2015 Outlook: Acquired via offseason trade with the Canucks, Garrison easily supplants Matt Carle on Tampa's fantasy defenseman depth chart. Unless Radko Gudas makes an aggressive (and successful) play for the role, look for Garrison to hold down the point as the lone D-man on the Lightning's secondary power play. What's more, the 29-year-old likes to shoot; anticipate a return to double digits in the goals department in 2014-15. - VM
38. Jack Johnson, Cls DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8252833-7481824:41147
2015 Projections80725324481325:18152
2015 Outlook: There were definitely two Johnsons in the 2013-14 season. In 2013, Johnson had 11 points in 40 games and was largely irrelevant to fantasy owners (despite a high price on draft day). In 2014, Johnson had 22 points in 42 games and was a solid fantasy producer for his owners. Still just coming into his own, it's justifiable to look at Johnson from a perspective of the glass being half full. He's somewhat young (27), skilled beyond most defenseman when in possession of the puck and playing big minutes on a team that is getting better by the season. But even with all of that in mind, Johnson still hasn't had that true star fantasy season that would bump him into No. 1 fantasy defenseman status. In fact, with James Wisniewski and his powerful shot still roaming the point, we think it's safer to draft Johnson as a No. 3 fantasy D-man. - SA
39. Alexander Edler, Van DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics6371522-39501223:17178
2015 Projections70102535-5631321:36204
2015 Outlook: A knee injury was a concern last season; a league-worst minus-39 in 63 games was another. Yikes. Fortunately, Edler can blame -- justifiably or not -- that miserable integer on failed bench boss John Tortorella and turn a fresh page with new coach Willie Desjardins. The Canucks believe Edler can return to his former glory as one of the game's better top-pair offensive defenseman and power-play anchors. Otherwise they would've traded him -- and his six-year, $30 million deal -- this offseason. VM
40. Eric Gelinas, NJ DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics6072229-3221716:55124
2015 Projections77132639-4472217:22168
2015 Outlook: Despite playing 20 fewer games and almost five fewer minutes per game, Gelinas was within one point of Marek Zidlicky for the team's most power-play points from a blueliner. He also took only four fewer shots than Zidlicky. We love Gelinas' upside as a new offensive D-man for the Devils. Zidlicky is getting older (37) and Andy Greene only has so much potential on offense. Gelinas showed true offensive desire for just a 21-year-old last season. His pedigree isn't that of a big-time point producer, but he ran with the opportunity when it was presented last season. We think he can build on the results from this past season and be the Devils' top fantasy defenseman. - SA
41. Jake Gardiner, Tor DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics80102131-3191121:05136
2015 Projections811031413281720:42154
2015 Outlook: The emergence of the young Gardiner-Morgan Rielly duo was about all Leafs fans had to celebrate in the waning, playoffs-ain't-happening days of 2013-14. With perceived permission to break out at their own discretion, these young defensemen demonstrated why Toronto wasn't willing to move either of them via trade at recent deadlines. We should get a more substantial taste of this exciting power-play pairing -- likely on the secondary unit -- in 2014-15. And while Rielly is still a bit wet behind the ears, Gardiner is just starting to approach his prime as a weathered 24-year-old. - VM
42. Mark Streit, Phi DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics821034443441520:39121
2015 Projections82929384431620:54134
2015 Outlook: Streit faces an uphill battle when it comes to fantasy value. Simply put, the Flyers' stable of defensive defensemen are getting the bulk of the ice time. The reduced minutes last season cut into both Streit's and Kimmo Timonen's overall value for fantasy owners, not only in the ice time category itself, but in overall counting stats. Now Streit will have to jostle with power-play specialist Michael Del Zotto hanging around, as well. Streit is turning 37 years old this season and his numbers have been down since missing the entire 2010-11 season to fix his shoulder. He scores enough to be in your fantasy lineup, but he shouldn't be a high-profile pick. - SA
43. Brent Seabrook, Chi DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics82734412322922:16149
2015 Projections8210283815221022:06145
2015 Outlook: There is something to be said for reliability over upside. We've seen what Seabrook's ceiling is as a fantasy contributor. While it's not all that appealing, there is a consistency to his No. 4 fantasy defenseman status that can be somewhat attractive in your draft -- especially when other owners are gambling on unproven commodities. Seabrook will aim for 40 points and bring a solid plus/minus to the table. He won't do much else, but that is enough when the pickings start to get slim on the blue line. - SA
44. Christian Ehrhoff, Pit DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics7962733-27381223:55161
2015 Projections82628345371123:30160
2015 Outlook: The Pittsburgh Penguins are not the Buffalo Sabres. For that reason alone, the 32-year-old defenseman will see a substantial bump in personal statistics over the past three seasons. Remember how dangerous Ehrhoff was with Alex Edler back in Vancouver? Now substitute Kris Letang in for Edler as top-pair partner -- with Sidney Crosby & Co. up front -- and just imagine the production possibilities. A prospective role on the Pens' top power-play unit offers extra incentive to draft Ehrhoff early. VM
45. Dougie Hamilton, Bos DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics64718252240619:06114
2015 Projections808233118451019:16126
2015 Outlook: It looked like Hamilton was a liability at the beginning of this past season, when his defense partner, Zdeno Chara, wasn't living up to his usual potential on the blue line. But all was right by the end of the season. Hamilton improved by leaps and bounds and Chara's season turned around with him. Hamilton finished with a modest 25 points in 64 games, but the potential is there for many more. Hamilton had 11 points in 10 games during a hot streak in March. Likely to partner up with Chara and continue to be the second-unit power-play quarterback, this should bring about increased numbers for Hamilton in his third NHL season. He should be taken confidently as a No. 4 fantasy defenseman for your squad.- SA