Complete 2015 Projections

Position: All | All Skaters | C | LW | RW | D | G
     
PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
1. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh RW, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics78512879-35483920:33386143.9
2015 Projections82534396-4603820:34379149.5
2015 Outlook: Even a tepid, "over-the-hill" Ovechkin knocks the fantasy stuffing out of everyone except a small handful of players. During an exhausting 2013-14, including a massive Olympic letdown, the Russian star finished in the NHL's top 10 in scoring and was second overall to Washington teammate Nicklas Backstrom in power-play points; Ovechkin led the league outright with 386 shots and 51 goals. Aside from a brutal minus-35, Ovechkin enjoyed an excellent personal campaign. So who are you drafting before the Capitals' captain? Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos, sure. Maybe John Tavares and Corey Perry. Perhaps Evgeni Malkin. The list ends there. Unless a goalie (see: Tuukka Rask) is plucked exceptionally early (bold!), Ovechkin shouldn't last beyond the fifth overall selection. And no, we're not concerned about Barry Trotz's influence on the prolific forward. Trotz is defensive-minded, not foolish; he knows where his goal-scoring bread is buttered. - VM
2. Henrik Zetterberg, Det C, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics4516324819201720:3315180.8
2015 Projections8024547815492920:32237118.9
2015 Outlook: On a per-game basis this past season, Zetterberg was a fantasy stud. As scary as back problems can be, Zetterberg has said he feels great this offseason and is ready to come back strong. He missed almost half of 2013-14 with back issues that ultimately resulted in corrective surgery. When healthy, Hank is absolutely dominant for fantasy owners. His past two seasons, though shortened, have both finished with Zetterberg scoring at better than a point-per-game clip. What is even better for Zetterberg's prospects this season is the emergence of Gustav Nyquist. With a healthy Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, Nyquist adds the necessary fourth body to give the Red Wings two legitimate scoring lines. However the lines are split up, it's a fair bet that Zetterberg will remain one of the best options in fantasy drafts. The high praise of his health this offseason helps give confidence to drafting him as a No. 1 fantasy forward. - SA
3. Patrick Sharp, Chi LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8234447813402518:53313129.2
2015 Projections8132376919352218:42298111
2015 Outlook: The Blackhawks have a bevy of highly skilled forwards, and it might be surprising to see Sharp at the top of the list. But based on consistency and overall output, he is the best fantasy forward the Hawks have to offer. Take out the 2013 season for Sharp -- which was shortened by the lockout and an injury -- and he has three consecutive 30-goal seasons with at least 68 points. Except for that marred campaign, Sharp has scored at least 25 goals going back to 2007-08. Thanks to his role next to all-around star Jonathan Toews, Sharp is a lock for top-tier fantasy production and is a sneaky pick to anchor your offense. - SA
4. Joe Pavelski, SJ C, LW, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8241387923323119:51225146.2
2015 Projections8235377217302319:30244114.5
2015 Outlook: Before you pencil in Pavelski for another 40-goal season, keep in mind the 30-year-old maintained the highest -- by a wide margin -- shooting percentage of players who registered more than 170 shots. To put Pavelski's 18.2 shooting percentage (on 227 shots) into perspective, the closest player to near that mark, Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins, enjoyed a 16.1 shooting percentage on 221 shots. We're talking about a difference of over two percentage points here. This suggests the Sharks forward relished an exceptional goal-scoring campaign in 2013-14, and is unlikely to repeat. Also, Pavelski has never reached the 40-goal mark before, in his eight-year career. So there's that too. VM
5. Jamie Benn*, Dal LW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8134457921641919:09279145.2
2015 Projections763034646542319:23262100.9
2015 Outlook: Benn loved having Tyler Seguin as a linemate. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs' and Boston Bruins' top trios generated more goals at even strength last season than the combination of Benn, Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin. And you can look at Nichushkin's final totals to realize that the Benn-Seguin combination is what really matters. Improvement from Nichushkin can only help, but it doesn't need to happen for Benn to repeat as a star fantasy forward. He should go in your draft as a top-tier No. 2 fantasy forward and would make a nice one-two punch with Seguin in fantasy if the opportunity presented itself.- SA
6. Chris Kunitz, Pit LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics7835336825662219:09218141.8
2015 Projections8031316220472118:37222102.7
2015 Outlook: Coveted for the on-ice company he keeps (see: Sidney Crosby), Kunitz probably doesn't get the full respect he deserves as an individual talent orfantasy asset. But who cares? Since joining the Penguins, the winger has averaged 0.81 points per regular-season game. At 34 years old, he doesn't seem to be slowing down; Kunitz scored more goals (35) in 2013-14 than ever before. - VM
7. Zach Parise, Min LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics6729275610302020:26245107
2015 Projections7032326412361920:31274101.1
2015 Outlook: The Wild are still looking for Parise to hit that extra gear that makes him a dangerous point-per-game sniper in the NHL. Now three seasons removed from his knee surgery and two seasons removed from the New Jersey Devils, we wonder if Parise still has that extra gear. We are going to find out this season, for sure. The Wild have added free agent Thomas Vanek, which will give Parise an elite winger to complement him on the other side of Mikko Koivu. The trio could prove to be a deadly combination, and Vanek's finishing skills should be enough to push Parise back toward the elite level that he maintained prior to his knee surgery. If he can't score a point per game in this situation, it's a sign that Parise simply doesn't have that gear anymore. - SA
8. Taylor Hall, Edm LW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics75275380-15441720:01250109.4
2015 Projections74294978-7462119:55248104.1
2015 Outlook: Say what you want about the other young Oilers players taking a step back in 2013-14, but Hall is a steady rock star for fantasy owners. He proved that he not only has point-per-game ability in the NHL, but he proved he can do it with his teammates all on a downward spiral. To put things in perspective, the top producing line for the Oilers last season was Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The second top producing trio? Well, that was Hall, Sam Gagner and David Perron. That's right, Hall was on the best and second-best line for his team. Fantasy owners should bank on continued elite scoring from Hall and be aware that he still hasn't peaked for value. With linemates back on track and an overall improved team defense, Hall could push into No. 2 fantasy forward territory this season; he's a lock as a No. 3 fantasy forward. - SA
9. Daniel Sedin, Van LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics731631470381820:3622477.6
2015 Projections7324355910362619:4022692.6
2015 Outlook: We've heard the melancholic warnings about the Sedins slowing and breaking down as they enter their "golden years," but a 33-year-old Sedin is still worth more than most 25-year-old non-Sedins (as the old saying goes). And we're excited about watching Daniel (along with brother Henrik) respond to new coach Willie Desjardins, who reportedly aims to bring a fast-paced offense back to Vancouver. As long as Daniel remains healthy -- and that has become a legit concern of late -- he should see an increase in production across the board, particularly in the goal-scoring department. - VM
10. Thomas Vanek, Min LW, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics782741687461819:21248107.3
2015 Projections7025335811402219:2224291
2015 Outlook: After bouncing around the NHL in 2013-14, ultimately assisting the Montreal Canadiens with a Cinderella playoff run, Vanek signed with the Wild this offseason. He provides an instant upgrade over every winger on the team save for Zach Parise, and should play with Parise on the team's top line. Despite suiting up for three different teams, Vanek managed 27 goals. But key in on his time with the New York Islanders, when he played with an elite player in John Tavares and you'll see the potential Vanek has with Parise. Vanek had 17 goals in 47 games with the Isles, scoring points at nearly a point-per-game clip. There is tremendous potential for Vanek to return to elite levels this coming season. - SA
11. Max Pacioretty, Mon LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics733921608351718:29270118.7
2015 Projections793327604402018:1928594.5
2015 Outlook: Pacioretty has embraced his role as the Montreal Canadiens' offensive leader, and has put up consistent numbers that place him as a solid No. 3 fantasy forward. In fact, he's arguably a top-30 overall player, thanks to propensity for shooting and abilities when there is extra room on the ice for the power play. Will he have the same linemates? Probably not, as P.A. Parenteau's arrival throws off the dynamic of the top six, but you can bet Pacioretty will be surrounded with the best talent available. He has a nice rapport with David Desharnais, but could use an upgrade at center if he wants to push into the next echelon of value. If Lars Eller were ever to realize his potential, he could be the centerman Pacioretty might need. In the meantime, Desharnais has been reliable enough to make Pacioretty a star. The bigger threat is Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher staging a coup to become the new top line, but we think that is still another season away. - SA
12. Patrick Marleau, SJ LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics823337700182320:31285119.2
2015 Projections772933623212120:1827592.6
2015 Outlook: Consistent and durable, Marleau shoots a ton, scores an above-average number of goals and assists, and plays on a line with Logan Couture. The 35-year-old isn't ready to slow down quite yet. You'd be lucky to snag him late in the third or early in the fourth rounds of most standard fantasy leagues. VM
13. Alexander Steen, StL LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics6833296217461720:17211118.2
2015 Projections6725285312441619:1424587.9
2015 Outlook: While another 30-point campaign may be a bit much for the asking, a full, healthy season from Steen should result in numbers close to that mark, particularly if the 30-year-old gels with free agent recruit Paul Stastny on the Blues' No. 1 forward line. VM
14. Scott Hartnell, Cls LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics78203252111032016:53207110.2
2015 Projections7724305431011317:1621386.1
2015 Outlook: As long as fantasy owners put a blinder over Hartnell's 2011-12 season, expectations should be right in line with what he can do on a new team. The Blue Jackets will get a similar dose of no-nonsense, power forward play from Hartnell that the Philadelphia Flyers enjoyed for so many years. Fantasy owners will benefit from his across-the-board contribution to stats and ever-valuable combination of points and penalty minutes that few players can achieve. Hartnell's 2011-12 season was unreal for his fantasy owners, but that incredible production won't be repeated. The Jackets are an improving team, and if things break right, Hartnell should be a top-line and top power-play forward for the club. Just don't jump too early in your draft for him. Lining up with Ryan Johansen won't be the same as Claude Giroux. - SA
15. Jeff Skinner, Car LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics71332154-14222017:1227484.7
2015 Projections763427610222217:2526191.2
2015 Outlook: For Skinner to have finished as arguably the most valuable fantasy asset on the Hurricanes in 2013-14 is a pretty significant feat. Why? He continues to get little by way of a supporting cast on the Canes' second line. Eric Staal continues to hog all the top talent on the team, leaving Skinner to finish last season with Riley Nash and Elias Lindholm as his most effective linemates. Nevertheless, Skinner scored 33 goals in only 71 games and recorded the highest shot total of his career. A new head coach means a clean slate, and Skinner is bringing the most upside to the table for Bill Peters to work with in the lines. Look for Skinner to stop playing second fiddle and possibly even join Staal as a co-headliner.- SA