2014 Outlook: The points are not as impressive as some other fantasy forwards that will still be available in your draft when you are looking at Bergeron, but the Bruins have helped turn this two-way forward into the closest thing the NHL has to a plus/minus machine. Bergeron is a plus-80 during the past three seasons, with no rating lower than a plus-20. On a line with Brad Marchand, both are defensively aware and offensively skilled. It makes no matter whether Jarome Iginla or Loui Eriksson end up being the third member of the line as Bergeron and Marchand have made their system work with an array of linemates.
2014 Outlook: Brown is another NHLer who doesn't get the love he deserves in fantasy because none of his categories are particularly impressive. Instead, Brown earns his value through across-the-board results in all the ESPN standard game categories. Playing on the Kings' top line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams is exactly where Brown has become comfortable, and exactly where he will play again this season. If you have taken some risks with your first few picks in your fantasy draft, Brown becomes even more attractive an option. He never misses time and picks up his points like clockwork.
2014 Outlook: Yet another increase in responsibility and ice time is due to Couture this season. Each time in his career that he has been pressed to take on more for the Sharks, Couture has responded. Playing apart from the top names like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau more often than not, Couture is a star in his own right. But with the final linemates still to be determined for the Sharks top six, Couture's star is still on the rise. Whether he plays with Thornton, Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Martin Havlat or super prospect Tomas Hertl, Couture will find a way to score. In fact, Couture may end up being the one the others are vying for ice time with. It's still safer to consider Thornton -- and maybe even Marleau -- ahead of Couture in fantasy drafts, but it would not be a surprise at all to see Couture have more value than the other Sharks this season.
2014 Outlook: There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a star by association if a player is 100 percent locked into his role alongside a star. Moulson is about as locked to the side of John Tavares as any two players are in the NHL. The result has been Moulson as a 30-goal scorer every season since he joined Tavares and the Islanders. Once again in 2013-14, Moulson will be right there beside Tavares, scoring when needed and assisting when called upon. As with Tavares, expect a modest improvement coming this season for Moulson as a result of the overall improvement of the Isles' offense. There are a lot of good young players looking to take the next step and one of them may even line up alongside Tavares and Moulson.
2014 Outlook: The captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs led his squad in even-strength and power-play minutes in 2013, collecting 12 points during five-on-five situations and 16 with the man advantage in 48 games. Plus, Phaneuf averaged over 25 minutes per contest and topped all Leafs defensemen (at least, those not named Mark Fraser) in time spent in the penalty box. Altogether, a consistent, well-rounded fantasy performance deserving of placement among the Top 10 fantasy blueliners.
2014 Outlook: No one logged more minutes for the Detroit Red Wings last season than Kronwall, at even strength or with the man advantage. And his numbers (29 points in 48 games) well represented all that time spent on-ice. Projected to anchor the Red Wings' top power-play unit alongside import forward Daniel Alfredsson, Kronwall is facing another prodigious campaign. A 50-point season is well within reach for the 32-year-old Swede.
2014 Outlook: His checkered injury history with the Minnesota Wild feels like ancient history, but it is easy to remember Gaborik's struggles last season with the New York Rangers. Prior to being traded to the Blue Jackets, Gaborik managed a pedestrian nine goals and 19 points in 35 games for the Rangers. His eight points in 12 games for the Blue Jackets was an improvement, but still not anything up to his previous standard. Gaborik is still only one season removed from a 40-goal season, and has achieved that target in two of the past four campaigns and three of the past six. But with plenty of question marks surrounding the budding Blue Jackets offense, Gaborik has to be viewed as a bit of a risk. There is plenty of talent for Gaborik to work with on the roster, but almost all of it is unproven. He is one of the few draft selections you can probably make outside the first five rounds that has a legitimate shot at returning first-round value. However, he could just as easily underperform that draft value. Feeling lucky?
2014 Outlook: First off, we can't trust Lupul to play in all 82 games based on recent history. Secondly, can we be sure he will be playing on the first line? We cannot. Despite having an absolutely beastly 2011-12 season alongside Phil Kessel, Lupul did not play much on a line with Kessel last season; instead, when his arm wasn't broken, Lupul was placed alongside breakout rookie Nazem Kadri. The result was still rock solid for Lupul in the 16 games he played last season, as he notched 11 goals and 18 points. But over the long haul, is he going to be that successful if he is not paired with Kessel? But risks aside, Lupul is firmly entrenched in a top-six role for the Maple Leafs that will be very dangerous with the addition of David Clarkson and Dave Bolland to the offense (though they might not be on a scoring line themselves). As long as you bank on some missed time for Lupul, you will be rewarded for taking him in your draft.
2014 Outlook: It still feels like we are on the verge of a true breakout by Duchene, but the stats -- and therefore logic -- dictate that we treat him otherwise. Yes, he showed improvements for two seasons and, yes, last season was a good step in the right direction as well. But, boy, was that third season horrendous. If you will recall, the 2011-12 season was almost a complete write-off for the young Avs centerman. On the other hand, Duchene has made incremental improvements to his stats in all but one season during his young career. And during that one bad season, he suffered an ankle injury that he never let fully heal before returning, which dragged down his numbers. So really, Duchene's star may be more on the rise than it seems at first glance. There is definitely potential for a positive return on Duchene if he lasts until the middle rounds of your draft.
2014 Outlook: One of the league's premier jack-of-all-trades defensemen, Keith satisfies all of ESPN's standard categories with aplomb. A few more shots and power-play points would be nice, and the 30-year-old isn't playing nearly half a regulation game like before (which is probably a good thing altogether), but he remains one of the most well-rounded assets. Just be wary of a potentially sluggish start to 2013-14. Keith was slow out of the gates the season following his first Stanley Cup win (2010).
2014 Outlook: Marleau started off last season so hot that he broke our brains for a while. Unfortunately, the nine goals in his first five games were followed up by eight goals during the remaining 43 contests. While his finish to the season was certainly disappointing, Marleau remains a 30-goal, 60-point fantasy threat with a good supporting cast on the Sharks. His days of approaching 40 goals are behind him, but Marleau has a track record of strong power-play performance that makes him a better choice for your team than some other 30-goal targets in the middle rounds.
2014 Outlook: Vanek had a blistering start to the lockout-shortened season, with a ridiculous 15 points in his first six games and 27 points in his first 20 games. But things slowed down considerably from there, and Vanek would end up missing 10 games as well. That said, it was a reminder that the former 40-goal threat may not be done turning heads yet. Now, that doesn't mean you necessarily want to draft Vanek as if he were a 40-goal scorer again. He did turn in three straight seasons of closer to a 30-goal pace, so that has to factor into your decision. Especially because longtime partner in crime, Jason Pominville, is no longer a member of the Sabres. The team is full of talent, but a lot of it is only a little proven in the NHL (and some is not proven at all). Vanek could have a big season as he helps lead a rejuvenated Sabres attack. Or, he could suffer as the team struggles to find an identity. Or, he could wind up on another team via trade, which would force us to re-examine his stock. The good news is that even a struggling Vanek will find a way to light the lamp about 30 times. As long as you don't jump the gun too early on Vanek, he is a great addition to your forward group, with decent upside.
2014 Outlook: Who knows who Kesler will play with now that John Tortorella is coaching the Canucks? Only Torts knows that, but the good news is that it should matter little to Kesler's fantasy outlook. Kesler is still the natural choice to join the Sedin twins on the power play, which is where a lot of his value will be. And, if you really think about it, it's not as if the Canucks depth is worse now than it was when Kesler scored 70 points in consecutive seasons. For example, Kesler played with Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson during the 2010-11 season. Is that any worse than Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian? The answer is a firm no, and the resulting conclusion is that Kesler will find a way to get his points, especially with so much time off to recover from his many ailments at the beginning of last season. Heck, maybe Tortorella even makes Kesler play with the Sedin twins at even strength and he works on a career season? Crazier things have happened under Tortorella, after all.
2014 Outlook: Ribeiro is an assist machine no matter where he goes, and he will probably do more to make his teammates better than your fantasy team. There will come a point in your draft where his 55-assist potential becomes too tantalizing not to draft him, though. Just be sure you are not looking at Ribeiro's elevated goal pace from last season as a baseline. It has happened in his career a couple of times, but there is no reason to bank on his shooting percentage spiking by about five percent. Instead, expect a more typical 20-goal pace, and exceptionally helpful 55 assists that Ribeiro will bring to the table for the Coyotes. There is no shortage of talent for him to work with on the Coyotes, and the real key to his presence in the desert will be how much better he makes his eventual linemates.
2014 Outlook: The only member of the Philadelphia Flyers' blue line to put up unfailingly good numbers the past handful of seasons, Timonen shows no indication of slowing down. In fact, the 38-year-old is contemplating signing on for another season beyond 2013-14, his last under contract. Only three forwards in Philly -- Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds -- earned more points than Timonen (29 points in 45 games) in 2013.