Description: Devils center Adam Henrique's biggest obstacle to taking his fantasy game to another level is fellow centerman Travis Zajac.
Insight: Henrique proved last year that he can score 20 goals with Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe as linemates, but Henrique would be far more productive if he received playing time with Jaromir Jagr and Mike Cammalleri. Henrique is a handcuff that fantasy owners hope will see more playing time on the top line.
Description: Devils center Travis Zajac will have to be more productive this season if he expects to keep his top-line center position.
Insight: The Devils are hoping the addition of Michael Cammalleri on the wing along with Jaromir Jagr will increase Zajac's production. It better because Zajac was somewhat inefficient with 48 points while averaging 20 minutes a game. Even though other players might do more with the same opportunity, Zajac is still a quality fantasy play as long as he can keep his top line spot.
Description: Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is likely to miss the final two preseason games according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it cannot be good either. Malkin will now go into the regular season without playing a single exhibition game, and one has to wonder about whether he will be ready to go on opening day.
Description: Toronto center Nazem Kadri could be in line for a breakout year.
Insight: He had a career-high 50 points (20 goals, 30 assists) last season. And playing at 24-years-old this year, will look to increase those numbers. Kadri is a sleeper pick, that owners should target atthe end of drafts.
Description: Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak is coming off a career year.
Insight: While playing only 58 games, Bozak produced a career-high in numbers all across the board (19 goals, 30 assists, +2 rating). Heading into drafts, Bozak should be considered a sleeper, with potential to hit the 60-point mark, if he can stay healthy.
Description: Lightning center Valtteri Filppula looks to build off a strong 2013-14 season.
Insight: In his first season in Tampa Bay, Filppula produced 25 goals and 33 assists. He should be able to at least duplicate those numbers, and as a result should be taken starting around the 15th round of your drafts.
Description: Lightning center/winger Alex Killorn will start the season on Tampa Bay's second line.
Insight: He is expected to start at left wing this year, and after coming off a 41-point season, will have a chance to improve upon those numbers. However, Killorn holds nothing more, than sleeper potential.
Description: Center Steven Stamkos debuted Friday night againstthe Stars.
Insight: He managed an assist in a 6-3 win, and seems to completely healthy, after suffering a broken leg last season. Assuming Stamkos stays on the ice, he should be looking at another 50-goal, 90-point season. Stamkos should go later than the third overall pick in drafts.
Description: Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau is very familiar with Florida's new head coach Gerald Gallant.
Insight: Huberdeau had an amazing junior career while playing under Gallant with the Saint John Sea Dogs. After winning the Calder Trophy in 2012-2013, Huberdeau struggled somewhat with the poor team performance last year. Look for Huberdeau to rebound under his old coach and with a pleathora of young talent around him.
Description: Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad became the first rookie to lead the team in scoring last year.
Insight: Bjugstad had 16 goals and 22 assists in 76 games this season. His 38 points was also the lowest amount to ever lead a NHL team in an 82-game season. We see him increasing those totals this year, but it is unlikely he leads the team in scoring again with a healthy Aleksander Barkov and the addition of Jussi Jokinen.
Description: Panthers forward Brad Boyes feels much more comfortable at training camp this season than he did a year ago according to Miami Herald.
Insight: Boyes was stuck in a hotel in training camp last year, and he also said it was nice to see familiar faces rather than worried about fitting into a new locker room. He led the team with 21 goals a season ago and could do so again this year.
Description: Panthers center Alexsander Barkov has the potential to score 30 goals this season.
Insight: Our projections have him scoring between 15 and 20, but his high upside makes him a good gamble in the middle rounds of the draft. Barkov is just 19 years old and how productive he is will depend greatly on how much the Panthers can improve under new head coach Gerald Gallant. Barkov will be the top-line center.
Description: Kings center Jeff Carter knows how to put the pick in the next and that won't change in 2014-15.
Insight: He lit the lamp 27 times last season and we are predicting 28 goals in 2014-15 playing on the second line with youngsters Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. He's not back to his Philadelphia days, but he's still a rock-solid fantasy option.
Description: Kings center Anze Kopitar will play between Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams this season which could help him break into the next level.
Insight: Kopitar scored 29 goals and 70 points in 82 games last season and has scored at least 61 points in every full season. But he's only cracked 80 points one time. The addition of Gaborik might change that.
Description: Flyers center Claude Giroux returned to practice on Thursday according to Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News.
Insight: He still won't play in the team's preseason game against the Devils on Thursday. Flyers coach Craig Berube wants to get Giroux some playing time in preseason, but he did not give Giroux a timetable to return.
Description: Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky could be a great fantasy find late in drafts this year.
Insight: Columbus traded for Scott Hartnell, so Dubinsky will likely be a second-line regular, but he excelled in that role last season with 16 goals and 34 assists. We expect him to do all the little things to put up solid numbers: 18 goals and 35 assists are our projections, no matter where he is in the lineup.
Description: Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen lowered his contract demands by more than $2 million per season according to Sportsnea.ca.
Insight: The latest report says Johansen is asking for two years, $4.7 million per year. The Blue Jackets would still like their center's demands to lower even more before they begin serious negiotiations. We think Johansen will easily repeat his 2013-2014 numbers, 33 goals, 30 assists, and 237 shots, if a contract is agreed upon before the season, but we are still concerned that woun't happen.
Description: 19-year-old Elias Lindholm has moved to center to fill the void left by the injured Jordan Staal.
Insight: New coach Bill Peters was already moving his forwards around, trying out several different combinations and the injury to Staal will only further cause Peters to move players into different positions. He tested Lindholm out on a line with Jeff Skinner and Jiri Tlusty. That would be a good line for Lindholm, but even if he doesn't play with those guys, he shoud see an increase of production in his second year.
Description: Rangers center Derek Stepan fractured his fibula and will be out four-to-six weeks according to the Bergen Record.
Insight: Stepan will likely miss the first seven games of the regular season, but it should take much longer for him to get back into the swing of things. Missing training camp is never a good thing. Even if he returns in four weeks, his fantasy value has taken a hit.
Description: Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis announced that center Jordan Staal suffered a broken bone in the lower part of his right left during Tuesday's preseason game against Buffalo according to NHL.com.
Insight: Staal was traveling back to Raleigh to undergo further tests. We do not yet know the extent of the injury. Regardless, this is terrible news.
Description: Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is expected to miss the next four-to-five weeks with a separated shoulder according to MLive.com.
Insight: We were hoping Datsyuk would be able to stay healthy this season, but after just one preseason game, he is already hurt. He played in just 45 games last season, the fewest in his 12-year career.
Description: Boone Jenner played center in his first preseason game.
Insight: With Ryan Johansen still unsigned, the Blue Jackets are giving Jenner an opportunity to play his natural position of center. Playing winger in his rookie year, Jenner had 16 goals and 29 points in 72 games. At just 21-yeard-old, the sky is the limit, and he should be owned in all leagues.
Description: Montreal center Tomas Plekanec should be in line for another 20-goal season.
Insight: He finished last season with 20 goals and 23 assists, combined with a +11 rating. While he will probably not reach the 70-point mark ever again, Plekanec should still be targeted around the 14th round of your drafts.
Description: Hurricanes winger Jiri Tlusty may not play on the top line this season.
Insight: Everything is up in the air in Carolina due to the new head coach in Bill Peters. Tlusty has been a solid fantasy player the last few seasons, but he is heavily reliant on playing with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. If that does not happen, he could be moved to the third line, where fantasy hockey players go to die.
Description: Hurricanes new coach Bill Peters is considering playing the Staal brothers on the same line according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Insight: Peters also had Eric Staal playing alongside Jeff Skinner and second-year player Elias Lindholm, so obviously Peters is thinking of every possible combination. If the Staal brothers do play together, that will provide a huge boost for Jordan's fantasy value. In all likelihood, Eric will play with Skinner or his mates from last season, Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin.
Description: The Hurricanes are looking for Elias Lindholm to make major strides in his second season in the league.
Insight: The 19-year-old scored nine goals and 12 assists as a rookie last season. Captain Eric Staal said he thinks Lindholm improved as the season went along. With new head coach Bill Peters, it is possible Lindholm sees some time on the top line with Staal. That would make him a tremendous steal late in drafts.
Description: Hurricanes center Eric Staal started training camp at center in between wingers Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Insight: Carolina coach Bill Peters said do not read into the early season combinations, but fantasy owners like what they see so far. Skinner could again lead Carolina in goals and Lindholm has tremendous potential, being the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft. Expect Staal to lead the team with around 65 points.
Description: Calgary winger Sean Monahan posted a solid 22-goal rookie season and we expect him to improve on that total this season.
Insight: If the soon-to-be 20-year old lands on a line with Jiri Hudler he could take a significant jump, though at this time we think he'll be on the second line. We still like a five-goal improvement.
Description: Sabres center Cody Hodgson looks like he will have a lot of upside playing on Buffalo's top line this season.
Insight: The Sabres have a lot of young, and they, hope up-and-coming players, and it is unclear how they will use them all. Hodgson should benefit from Matt Moulson's presence on the power play, but he needs to show more two-way ability to see more playing time overall.
Description: Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle should be the third member of Edmonton's top line along with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Insight: Eberle (28 G, 37 A) has been a solid points producer for the last three seasons and as long as he stays on this line should be a viable fantasy option, but he's not trending upward like Hall. Another Oiler with a bad plus/minus rating.
Description: Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins produced career-best number sin 2013 with 56 points.
Insight: He's only 21-years-old, starting his fourth season, and should be on both the first line and power play unit, so 60-70 points is possible. We'd like him and the Oilers to play better defense as the -12 rating isn't helping his ADP.
Description: Bruins center David Krejci is ready for a career-year in 2014-15.
Insight: Fresh off a six-year, $43.5 million extension, Krejci will be centering Boston's top line this season. Coming off a 62-point season (19 goals, 50 assists), he will be a solid target starting around the seventh round of fantasy drafts.
Description: Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri suffered a high ankle sprain to his right leg and is expected to miss about two weeks.
Insight: That timetable would return him to the lineup just around opening day. He had 14 goals and 17 assists in 71 games last season - not everyday start-worthy, but a nice fill-in option for fantasy owners.
Description: Dallas center Tyler Seguin came into his own in his first season with Dallas and alongside winger Jamie Benn became a dynamic top line.
Insight: The 22-year-old produced career-best numbers in goals (37), assists (47), points (84), PPG (11) and shots (294). He also averaged a career high 19:21 minutes on ice. If Valeri Nichushkin continues to improve as the third member of the line, these numbers could go even higher.
Description: Kings head coach Darryl Sutter believes that center Anze Kopitar does not get the recognition for his offensive game according to the Orange County Register.
Insight: Kopitar scored 29 goals and 70 points in 82 games last season. He also led the Stanley Cup playoffs in points. The center will certainly draw attention in standard fantasy leagues as he should go pretty early.
Description: Penguins center Sidney Crosby will miss the start of training camp due to an undisclosed injury according to Penguins.nhl.com
Insight: Crosby's injury is apparently not related to his wrist, which he had surgery on this summer. Whatever it is, it is considered minor. The Penguins will be cautious with their captain once training camp begins. No point in pushing Crosby at this point. This should not at all effect Crosby's fantasy draft position.