Complete 2014 Projections

Position: All | All Skaters | F | C | LW | RW | D | G
     
PROJECTED 2014 SEASON STATS
16. Jamie Benn, Dal LW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics41122133-12401019:55110168
2014 Projections82284472-7761920:00235291
2014 Outlook: While not the dominant fantasy asset that was hoped for, Benn has proven to be a solid role player at the top of the Stars' depth chart. He remains near the top headed into this season, but with the bonus of having Tyler Seguin at his side. Benn broke out late in the 2010-11 campaign, turned in a solid, if unspectacular season in 2011-12, but struggled on a weak overall offense in 2013. The Stars have turned things over again, with the acquisition of Seguin and hope that the two standouts can form a dynamic top line with veteran Ray Whitney (or maybe Erik Cole or rookie Valeri Nichushkin). Benn wasn't a great fantasy forward last season, but is a great candidate for a post-hype breakout with Seguin at his side.
17. Jason Spezza, Dal CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics523532219:111223
2014 Projections622538638272020:00179259
2014 Outlook: Spezza's lost-to-injury 2013 campaign wouldn't be so annoying if he hadn't missed at least 20 games in three of the past four seasons. The injury-riddled past is more than enough to take a player that is a threat to score 100 points and leave him outside the first four rounds of your fantasy draft. From a what-if-he-is-healthy perspective, losing Daniel Alfredsson as a potential linemate isn't so bad when Spezza now has Bobby Ryan, Cory Conacher and Mika Zibanejad to choose from alongside he and Milan Michalek. But it remains difficult for a fantasy owner to do any less than bank on Spezza being absent for a quarter of the season. There is a huge payoff to be had if he stays on the ice, but fantasy owners will have to consider how much risk they will take on to get him.
18. Derek Stepan, NYR C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4818264425121020:55108212
2014 Projections8025396415201719:00183259
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.
19. Joe Thornton, SJ CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics48733406262118:2385177
2014 Projections8116547010393119:00145273
2014 Outlook: Thornton's numbers don't show a sharp decline in recent seasons, but there is a steady decline happening from the time when he was a threat for 100 points. If you bank on fewer than 20 goals and in the range of 50 to 55 assists, Thornton will not let you down as a fantasy centerman. As players like Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski continue to take on more responsibility for the Sharks, Thornton is relied on less in key situations. There is no immediate threat to his ongoing role as a top-line player though, so expect another quality season of production from Thornton.
20. Johan Franzen, Det RW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4114173113411218:05116151
2014 Projections7530275719591918:00229250
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.
21. Patrice Bergeron, Bos CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics421022322418419:18125148
2014 Projections8222426438291119:00223247
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.
22. Logan Couture*, SJ CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics48211637741218:06151221
2014 Projections8235316610182119:00268289
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.
23. Matt Duchene, Col CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics47172643-1212920:55132222
2014 Projections823042722221720:00238293
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.
24. Ryan Kesler, Ana C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics174913-512518:573666
2014 Projections822834626612420:00229266
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.
25. Mike Ribeiro, Pho CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics48133649-4532717:5063230
2014 Projections80205575-3713119:00130296
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.
26. David Backes*, StL CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics4862228562519:37100143
2014 Projections82213859161021820:00202237
2014 Outlook: While the numbers weren't what we expected from Backes last season, it can hardly be considered a major low-point for the Blues' leader. He put in an 82-game pace of 48 points, which is only down a tad from what we have come to expect from Backes. What did shift was the focus on goals to assists as the Blues continue to stockpile other players to put the puck in the net. Backes would have set a new career high for assists in an 82-game season last season, but he would have also fallen well short of the 30 goals most fantasy owners bet on. As the offense continues to develop through players like Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, expect to see that trend continue for the versatile Backes. All the while, he will contribute more penalty minutes than most other scoring forwards, and make you happy to select him in the middle rounds.
27. Nazem Kadri, Tor C, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics481826441523816:03107199
2014 Projections7226346018341017:00160242
2014 Outlook: Kadri was one of the biggest draft day values in the league last season. He turned in 44 points in 48 games with a plus-15 on the side. Perhaps the most interesting part is that he didn't play much with Toronto's top sniper, Phil Kessel. Kadri did his damage on the ice with the likes of Leo Komarov, Clarke MacArthur and, late in the season, Joffrey Lupul. That kind of production with lesser linemates and fewer minutes on the ice is why fantasy owners should trust in investing in Kadri. Given the situations in which he produced nearly a point per game in 2013, there is tremendous upside with what Kadri can do with more responsibility and stronger linemates.
28. Mikko Koivu, Min CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics481126372261321:06127167
2014 Projections771847656442521:00200256
2014 Outlook: Koivu remains underrated for what he brings to the table for fantasy players. Just as solid a bet for good playmaking numbers as Mike Ribeiro and not far behind Joe Thornton, Koivu still has untapped potential we haven't seen. Perhaps the deepening Wild depth chart will help Koivu realize his chances for a true breakout campaign in fantasy circles. Of course, Koivu has to be wary that Mikael Granlund will be looking to supplant him as the team's top centerman in the coming seasons, but Koivu has enough to hold off the charge for at least one more season as top pivot with Zach Parise. The team also has upgraded flanking options such as Jason Pominville, who looked rock solid beside Koivu after last season's trade deadline.
29. Brad Richards, Chi C, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics46112334814918:49110177
2014 Projections792449737262721:00233294
2014 Outlook: Richards could use a bounce-back season more than most players. After spending parts of four seasons scoring at a better than point-per-game for the Dallas Stars, Richards parlayed his success into a big free agent deal with the Rangers. And despite an array of pretty incredible linemates, he has managed to underwhelm both the Rangers and fantasy owners for two seasons. The troubling part is that we know Richards hasn't lost the skills that make him a threat for 60-plus assists in a season, but he just hasn't found the right chemistry with the Rangers. We can't even blame coach John Tortorella, as Richards had some of his best seasons under Tortorella with the Lightning about a decade ago. That said, fresh blood behind the bench in Alain Vigneault might be just what the doctor ordered to get Richards scoring again. While his stats from the last two seasons might not merit top-60 forward consideration, history and hope suggest that is where he should go in most drafts.
30. Tomas Plekanec, Mon CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2013 Statistics471419333241519:13133161
2014 Projections80213758-1502120:00226237
2014 Outlook: The bad news is that Plekanec had his nice bounce-back season last season alongside Michael Ryder (no longer with Montreal) and Brian Gionta (injured to start the 2013-14 season). The good news is that the Canadiens run pretty deep with high-upside wingers that can play with a solid setup man like Plekanec. For starters, Danny Briere will be looking for a linemate that can help make plays, and Plekanec certainly fits that bill. But no matter where he slots in, Plekanec has the skills to be a 20-goal, 35-assist fantasy asset with potential for better returns in the right situation.