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. Corey Perry*, Ana RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8143398232651819:29280154.9
2015 Projections8237387515612219:54277118.1
2015 Outlook: Perry is about as solid a puck possession forward as you can find when there is a crowd in the offensive zone. Combine that with his scoring ability, and you can quickly understand why he is a consistent top-10 fantasy hockey forward. Thanks to his continued connection with Ryan Getzlaf, fantasy owners can join the Ducks in hanging their fortunes on Perry's numbers. A return to 100-plus penalty minutes would immediately make Perry a top-four contender in fantasy hockey. Perhaps Ryan Kesler's presence on the Ducks power play can boost Perry's scoring in that department to make up for showing a more reserved side when it comes to the sin bin. - SA
3. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics6023497210623020:04191117.2
2015 Projections703147788512919:13283117.1
2015 Outlook: The 28-year-old's trophy case is already teeming with evidence of his on-ice accomplishments. We don't need to sell you on his talent or skill set; the superstar's durability is our only concern. But even though Malkin has played just one close-to-full regular-season slate since 2008-09, he remains a top-five fantasy selection overall. - VM
4. Tyler Seguin, Dal C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8037478416182519:21294140
2015 Projections8135458010202619:33301117.5
2015 Outlook: Given his own offense to lead, Seguin did exactly what most folks predicted last season: He became elite. Exploding for 84 points in 80 games, Seguin had great chemistry with Jamie Benn and was a fantasy star in almost every category. Any criticism of his maturity level seems to have disappeared following such a great debut with the Stars. Now, with an All-Star playmaker such as Jason Spezza set to join Seguin on the power play, one has to wonder if he will push the ceiling even higher this season. Certainly having a budding star in Valeri Nichushkin on the other wing can only help, as well. We think Seguin is a first-round fantasy pick this season and probably every season going forward while he is in his prime. - SA
5. 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
6. Patrick Kane, Chi RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics692940697222519:37227110.8
2015 Projections8130417110362520:01252107.1
2015 Outlook: A leg injury cut short yet another elite regular season from the offensive whirlwind that anchors the Blackhawks' second line. Kane still managed 69 points in 69 games, as he has more than settled into his role to make the Hawks' second line better than it might be viewed on paper. Playing with linemates like Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Kris Versteeg and Michal Handzus while Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp all hang out together on the top line doesn't even really seem fair. But Kane thrives with the role. The interesting news is that Brad Richards, although seemingly on the decline, still brings more to the table than Kane's linemates of recent seasons. This could help propel the 25-year-old Kane to dizzying new heights. We've argued for Kane to go in drafts in the early second round, but no one is going to fault you if you pick him sooner. - SA
7. Phil Kessel, Tor RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics82374380-5272020:40305120.2
2015 Projections82324375-2262320:21307104.1
2015 Outlook: If anyone on the Leafs' current roster is going to punch through the 90-point mark in a regular season, it will be Kessel. And such a notion isn't all that fanciful, especially with James van Riemsdyk as a linemate. Plus, Kessel's durability is underrated; he hasn't missed a game since 2008-09. - VM
8. 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
9. Nathan MacKinnon, Col C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics8224396320261717:21241111.3
2015 Projections7827386510261818:0825195.1
2015 Outlook: With a total of 63 points and a Calder Trophy in the closet, MacKinnon debuted in the NHL to rave reviews from fantasy owners. It certainly helps that the Avalanche were able to provide him with a steady role on a line with Paul Stastny and fellow recent Calder winner Gabriel Landeskog. Stastny is gone, but in as a possible replacement is Jarome Iginla. Having a goal scorer with Iginla's history would not only help MacKinnon now, but likely advance his development for the long term. Fantasy owners will have to invest early to get MacKinnon, since expectations will be high for an improvement. He is a No. 3 fantasy forward that you can get in the fourth round for this season, but don't be surprised if he goes sooner. - SA
10. Blake Wheeler, Wpg RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics822841694631918:41225126.6
2015 Projections792437610562318:5121390.1
2015 Outlook: Often undervalued, the Jets' leading scorer brings a well-balanced resume to the fantasy table. Since joining the franchise from the Bruins partway through 2010-11, the speedy winger has averaged 2.75 shots per game and 0.82 points per game, with a plus/minus in the black, all the while missing only two regular-season contests. Nothing jaw-dropping here, just steady, reliable production. - VM
11. Jarome Iginla, Col RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics7830316134471418:13209129.6
2015 Projections7526376319371318:0620295.7
2015 Outlook: He's not getting younger, but at 37 years old, Iginla is showing no signs of slowing down, either. What's a good way to stay young on the ice? How about skating with two of the past three NHL rookie of the year winners. That's a very real possibility for Iginla, which has actually been mused about by Avalanche coach Patrick Roy. Iggy's goal-scoring acumen next to the speedy Nathan MacKinnon and visionary Gabriel Landeskog might be something to see. What if that plan doesn't work out? Well, Plan B would see Iginla on a line with former teammate Alex Tanguay. The last time they played a full season together with the Calgary Flames in 2010-11, Iginla had 43 goals. Yeah, Iginla should do all right in Denver. Fantasy owners should consider him the same old superstar headed into the season. - SA
12. Kyle Okposo, NYI RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics71274269-9511520:26195102.4
2015 Projections79264571-6501720:0422694.5
2015 Outlook: Okposo's rise to the role of a true star winger was slow and steady, but he's there now. The 26-year-old was a hit playing consistently alongside John Tavares in 2013-14 and is now the go-to winger for the superstar center. Playing 20 minutes per game, Okposo creates space for Tavares and has offensive skills to make a run at 30 goals in a full season. It might feel like a big jump to be considering him as a No. 3 fantasy forward for this season, but he was always expected to grow into the role at some point in his career. - SA
13. Jeff Carter, LA RW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics722723508441418:5725695.6
2015 Projections7627204714441618:5025881.9
2015 Outlook: Carter found his groove again in 2013-14 with the Los Angeles Kings. While not back to his epic 300-shot season with the Philadelphia Flyers, Carter had 256 shots and 27 goals despite missing 10 games. His pace continued into the postseason, where he had 10 goals and 25 points in 26 games. At the tail end of the season and into the playoffs, Carter was playing with young guns Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, a line that could very well be reunited this season. But either way, Carter will earn his points thanks to his propensity for getting open and taking shots. Health will be the only thing that keeps Carter from scoring 30 goals, and he has an outside shot at 40. - SA
14. Marian Hossa, Chi RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics7230306028201318:16241114.4
2015 Projections7128315913161818:1124394.1
2015 Outlook: He's probably not a safe bet for a point-per-game pace anymore, and betting on a full season of games played is also ill advised. But that's not to say you won't get most of a season with an elite scoring clip from Hossa. He's explosive on offense and finishes any play set up by linemates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. Concussions have been a concern in the recent past, but Hossa tends to be valued with that discount already accounted for. If you can get over the health concern, Hossa is likely to finish as a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy forward. But because he has a history of injuries, take him as a No. 4 fantasy forward after the elite players are gone. - SA
15. Ryan O'Reilly, Col RW, CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOGPTS
2014 Statistics80283664-122219:49201101.2
2015 Projections822337609162019:5120689.6
2015 Outlook: O'Reilly showed some versatility this past season, adding a 28-goal campaign to his resume. Playing with Matt Duchene is a big part of his value, but the two have chemistry and are unlikely to be separated anytime soon. A new linemate in the form of Jarome Iginla, Daniel Briere or a healthy Alex Tanguay could even increase the value O'Reilly brings to fantasy owners. But to take the argument one step further, those additional names are a bit of a threat to O'Reilly because he is a better two-way forward than any of them. If defense becomes an issue for the Avs, O'Reilly might be the first candidate to help improve the team's shutdown line -- which isn't usually a scoring line. And at the end of the day, O'Reilly just doesn't have the pure firepower of Duchene, Iginla or Nathan MacKinnon and is probably also behind Gabriel Landeskog for power-play time. He'll still provide solid, start-worthy fantasy stats, but O'Reilly should be selected a little bit later. - SA