Complete 2015 Projections

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PROJECTED 2015 SEASON STATS
1. Sidney Crosby, Pit CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics80366810418463821:58259
2015 Projections81426310524383821:32271
2015 Outlook: The captain of the Penguins is the best hockey player in the world, and the top fantasy asset available. What's more, he's feeling great following offseason wrist issues. If you hold the first overall draft selection, you're picking Crosby. - VM
2. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh RW, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics78512879-35483920:33386
2015 Projections82534396-4603820:34379
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
3. Steven Stamkos, TB CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics372515409181320:15124
2015 Projections8247368312423521:45315
2015 Outlook: Second only to Sidney Crosby in our estimation of fantasy value, the elite sniper might be without equal in his ability to rifle the puck in the net. After wetting his rookie feet in 2008-2009, Stamkos has surfed well above the point-per-game mark, while averaging 0.63 goals per regular season contest. Moreover, his full recovery from a broken tibia suffered this past November is progressing well. In early September, Stamkos told his club's website the right leg feels much stronger. "It's amazing week after week how much better it feels and how much closer it's getting to where it was before. I'm excited about that." Us too. VM
4. John Tavares, NYI CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics59244266-6402521:15188
2015 Projections823651875452820:43278
2015 Outlook: A season-ending knee injury at the Olympics aside, Tavares really stepped into his own in 2013-14. He was averaging better than a point per game when his season ended, with 66 points in 59 games. He was on pace for numbers that truly had him among the top five fantasy players. So that's where he now belongs. Tavares has built chemistry with Kyle Okposo, and the duo will be joined by a yet-to-be-determined winger on the other side. Regardless of how his line is built, Tavares has developed into a true star whose skill is reflected in his fantasy production. Owners should not hesitate to anchor their squad on Tavares' star power. - SA
5. Claude Giroux, Phi CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics822858867463720:26223
2015 Projections812760878413220:35229
2015 Outlook: Though he started slow -- very slow -- last season, Giroux had doubters eating crow by the end of the campaign. After notching a mere six points and a minus-7 rating through 11 October games, Giroux exploded to finish with 86 points in 82 games by the end of the season. He is the elite of the elite playmakers in the NHL and is a fantasy first-rounder. While Giroux lost his wingman with the trade of Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets, life will go on. The Flyers have plenty of candidates to replace Hartnell, including players who have a similar skill set to the power forward. Look for the same fantasy anchor stats from Giroux this season, with maybe just the slightest of concerns for the Flyers' power play without Hartnell. But it's only the slightest of concerns. - SA
6. Corey Perry*, Ana RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8143398232651819:29280
2015 Projections8237387515612219:54277
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
7. Nicklas Backstrom, Wsh CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics82186179-20544419:48196
2015 Projections812458827403919:53203
2015 Outlook: Alex Ovechkin's playmaking buddy isn't a top-five fantasy center -- that company is too elite -- but he's top 10 in leagues that put a premium on power-play production. No player logged more points with the man advantage last season; and you can rely on Backstrom for a hearty bounty of assists, year in and year out. As for last season's limp minus-20, hopefully new coach Barry Trotz helps guide Backstrom in re-fluffing that figure. - VM
8. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics6023497210623020:04191
2015 Projections703147788512919:13283
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
9. Henrik Zetterberg, Det C, LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics4516324819201720:33151
2015 Projections8024547815492920:32237
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
10. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana CYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics7731568728312321:17204
2015 Projections8030497922372520:44216
2015 Outlook: Getzlaf approaching 90 points in 2013-14 wasn't a surprise by any means -- he scored 91 in 2008-09, after all -- but fantasy owners were rewarded with a Hart Trophy-nominated season after sticking with Getzlaf through some down seasons. The 31 goals would be the biggest surprise, but that can probably be attributed partially to the lack of another finishing option on the top line with Corey Perry. All those chances were being generated by the duo of Perry and Getzlaf, yet Dustin Penner -- the most frequent left winger on the line -- managed only 13 goals with the Ducks before his trade to the Capitals. If a budding new option for the line connects, Getzlaf's goal totals could dwindle, but that would be made up for with more assists. Forget about the 11-goal, 57-point Getzlaf of three seasons ago. This is an MVP centerman back at his peak and ready to lead your fantasy squad in all offensive departments. - SA
11. Tyler Seguin, Dal C, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8037478416182519:21294
2015 Projections8135458010202619:33301
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
12. Patrick Sharp, Chi LWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8234447813402518:53313
2015 Projections8132376919352218:42298
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
13. Erik Karlsson, Ott DYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics82205474-15363127:04257
2015 Projections81194766-3403027:06255
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
14. Joe Pavelski, SJ C, LW, RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics8241387923323119:51225
2015 Projections8235377217302319:30244
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
15. Patrick Kane, Chi RWYEARGPGAPTS+/-PIMPPPATOISOG
2014 Statistics692940697222519:37227
2015 Projections8130417110362520:01252
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