Complete 2015 Projections

Position: All | All Skaters | F | D | G
     
PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
1. Erik Karlsson, Ott DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics82205474-15363127:0425791
2015 Projections81194766-3403027:0625595
2015 Outlook: Karlsson's numbers are equal to those of a star fantasy forward, so the fact he plays defense puts him head and shoulders above his colleagues. In fact, if his plus/minus had been better in 2013-14, there would be an argument for him as the first overall fantasy draft pick. Alas, he plays for the Senators, and his plus/minus is probably not going to get any better this season. He still stands out as the best fantasy blueliner, though. Karlsson scored 20 goals, played more than 27 minutes per night and led the Sens in shots on goal (257). His 74 points are almost 20 points better than the next returning Senator.- SA
2. Shea Weber, Nsh DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics79233356-2522626:5419584
2015 Projections791839578482226:3821788
2015 Outlook: For a team built from the blue line out, it's no surprise to see Weber as the Predators' top fantasy asset. Weber plays a ton of minutes, can approach 20 goals from the point, has power-play production through the roof and is defensively sound to round out the total package. With the skilled Roman Josi roaming the ice beside him, Weber reached new heights in 2013-14 with a ridiculous total of 23 goals. Don't expect that kind of performance again, but the 50 points are more than a reasonable expectation. Also, with a healthy Pekka Rinne tending twine, look for an improved plus/minus from Weber to increase his overall value. Erik Karlsson is the best fantasy defenseman, but Weber is in the argument for second best. - SA
3. P.K. Subban, Mon DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics82104353-4812324:3720473
2015 Projections801238506712125:0321078
2015 Outlook: Still just coming into his prime, Subban is in the same place as fellow franchisee Carey Price. And that place would be in the conversation as a top-three fantasy asset at his position. Subban is definitely in the same range as Erik Karlsson and Shea Weber as the most valuable fantasy blueliner. We think the conversation is a bit shorter than with goaltenders (as Karlsson is a bit ahead of the other two), but that's beside the point. Subban, aside from some defensive growth needed to stabilize his plus/minus, is the complete package. He shoots, he scores, he gets penalty minutes and he plays big minutes on and off the power play. It will cost fantasy owners a high draft pick this offseason to acquire Subban's services.- SA
4. Kris Letang, Pit DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics37111122-8161224:1410827
2015 Projections7116304614522324:2519983
2015 Outlook: One of the premiere offensive defensemen in the league, Letang is no worse for wear after suffering that terrifying stroke in January, as made evident during last season's playoff run. The only prospective threat to Letang's numbers in 2014-15 is the possibility of being bumped from the top power-play unit by offseason signing Christian Ehrhoff. Even then, there's likely enough scoring to go around in Pittsburgh to suit everyone. - VM
5. Mark Giordano, Cgy DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics6414334712632025:1418084
2015 Projections78124052-1811925:1621172
2015 Outlook: He has taken a while to come into his own, but Giordano is a bona fide fantasy star now. The 30-year-old blueliner was only seven points off leading the Calgary Flames in scoring despite being a defenseman and missing 18 games. He did this despite a relatively young supporting cast, which is good because the Flames still don't have a lot of experience up front. The added scoring was accompanied by an increase in shots, which supports Giordano sustaining his pace. The Flames could be an upstart squad this season, and Giordano will no doubt be one of their fearless leaders. His numbers in 2013-14 prorate to a 60-point pace over 82 games. Giordano is easily a top-10 defenseman coming into this season, and we would argue him as top five. - SA
6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ari DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics80152944-4502225:5419968
2015 Projections821338514462125:5321977
2015 Outlook: If we had to pick one current Arizona player to draft to our real world expansion club, it would be Ekman-Larsson. He might be our top selection in the fantasy realm as well (possible exception: Keith Yandle). With four NHL seasons under his belt, and still only 23 years old, Ekman-Larsson is arguably one of the best all-around blueliners in the league. A top-pair defenseman entrenched on the Coyotes' No. 1 power-play unit, the minute-munching Swede is a marvelous bargain at an average annual salary of $5.5 million until 2019. His production grows by a noteworthy percentage every season. - VM
7. Keith Yandle, Ari DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8284553-23633124:0924163
2015 Projections821143546521824:1722278
2015 Outlook: The Coyotes' top offensive defenseman, and No. 1 overall fantasy performer the past couple of seasons, is as consistent as they come. Averaging over 24 minutes per game this past season, Yandle tied Ottawa's Erik Karlsson for most power-play points (31) from a defenseman, finished third in shots (241), and matched Montreal's P.K. Subban for fifth in total points (53) among blueliners. Those numbers weren't out of the ordinary for the 28-year-old; only his minus-23 was a severe departure from preceding campaigns. Most importantly, he hasn't missed a regular-season contest since 2008-09. Yandle is a top-10 fantasy defenseman in any standard league. - VM
8. James Wisniewski, Cls DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics75744510612822:3716680
2015 Projections77842507672422:1117381
2015 Outlook: Considering his shot and potential for an up-and-coming Blue Jackets squad, Wisniewski actually has upside to his already lofty fantasy value. His career high of 10 goals is not indicative of his true scoring capability, and the Jackets' power play could do more to aid Wisniewski's value. He's still a borderline top-50 overall fantasy player, so to describe his ranking as conservative should say a lot about his potential value if the Blue Jackets continue to improve. Even Wisniewski's defense partner, Ryan Murray, will bring more potential counting stats to Wisniewski's total once he gets better at the NHL level. The bottom line is Wisniewski is a pretty solid anchor to your fantasy defense, and he'll probably be gone by the sixth round of your draft. - SA
9. Duncan Keith, Chi DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics796556122282124:39198108
2015 Projections809404920331625:0219886
2015 Outlook: Log as much ice time as Keith with the ridiculously talented Blackhawks group of forwards and it's no surprise he can run up 60 points in a good season. A great skater with one of the best first passes in the NHL, Keith has a perfect situation to be among the top five fantasy defensemen every season. Luckily for Keith, the Blackhawks haven't developed any competition for his role on the power play, but keep in mind he could be challenged if the team ever acquires a true offensive-minded defenseman. But going forward as things are, Keith is as steady as it gets for top fantasy defenseman value. Feel free to lock him up before the fifth round of your draft is over. - SA
10. Victor Hedman*, TB DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics751342555531422:2617082
2015 Projections8011435412611623:0217586
2015 Outlook: The 23-year-old Swede is the epitome of how it often takes longer for a young, talented defenseman to blossom at the NHL level, in comparison to a counterpart at forward. After four relatively uninspiring (at least on paper) campaigns in the NHL, Hedman erupted for 55 points in 75 games last season. He also led Tampa D-men in shots (170) and TOI (time on ice). Look for Hedman to man the point on the Lightning's top power-play unit again in 2014-15. VM+
11. Kevin Shattenkirk, StL DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics811035451382620:3418878
2015 Projections8213334611552221:0819979
2015 Outlook: Unlike most other young, developing defensemen, Shattenkirk has been productive since nearly the onset of his NHL career. On a season-by-season basis, he has been consistently productive. Moreover, as the regular quarterback with the Blues' top power-play unit, it won't be long before the 25-year-old breaks through the 50-point barrier. VM
12. Zdeno Chara*, Bos DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics7717234025661524:3916884
2015 Projections8113284117681524:3616674
2015 Outlook: Chara had a slow start to the 2013-14 season, but by the time the final buzzer sounded, he was the same No. 1 fantasy defenseman we have come to know and love. His size and shot combine to make for one of the best choices you can make for your fantasy squad after the elite scoring defensemen are off the board. Chara brings penalty minutes and plus/minus to go with a very strong output in the scoring categories as well. He is getting up there at age 37, but hasn't shown signs of slowing down too much. Though Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton continue to improve and challenge for Chara's power-play time, you can count on getting other categories from Chara that will keep his value to your team. - SA
13. Niklas Kronwall, Det DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics79841490442524:1911075
2015 Projections8211364710642224:1112080
2015 Outlook: Kronwall can turn in a 50-point season from the blue line in any given season, but he is not a typical offensive defenseman. His points come overwhelmingly from assists and playing big minutes on and off the power play. He won't take a ton of shots, but there will be power-play points thanks to his passing. He's been a scoring machine ever since Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement, and that won't change for this season. He is right on the bubble between a No. 1 and No. 2 fantasy defenseman. Finding a steady defense partner might go a long way to stabilizing Kronwall's production. He flipped regularly between Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith last season.- SA
14. Drew Doughty, LA DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics7810273718641625:4317774
2015 Projections8011324310541626:0719370
2015 Outlook: Because Doughty is such a strong defensive leader for a two-time Stanley Cup-winning franchise, it's easy to forget that his statistics aren't all that fancy for fantasy owners. He plays a lot of minutes and, sure, 37 points isn't anything to sneeze at, but his name is so easily associated with the elite of the NHL we can forget that he is better in real life than he is for fantasy purposes. Don't get us wrong, we'd be happy to have Doughty on our fantasy teams, but only so long as doesn't cost much more than a fifth- or sixth-round pick. It has been five years since Doughty turned in a season worthy of a No. 1 fantasy defenseman. But don't overlook the fact that he is a rock-solid, consistent No. 2 fantasy defenseman. - SA
15. Alex Pietrangelo, StL DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics818435120321825:2216491
2015 Projections8210384813351825:1417880
2015 Outlook: The top defenseman for the Blues overall, Pietrangelo takes a slight back seat to Kevin Shattenkirk in shots and power-play proficiency, but that's it. The future Norris Trophy winner (throwing it out there) habitually leads his fantasy-friendly teammate in overall scoring and ice-time, and this past season's plus-20 was a nice bonus. - VM