Description: Penguins center Brandon Sutter is still looking for his scoring touch he had with Carolina five years ago.
Insight: At just 20-years-old, Sutter scored 21 goals and 40 points in 72 games during 2009-2010. He did score five goals and two assists in 13 playoff games last spring, so Pittsburgh hopes he can built upon that. Sutter will lliekly be the team's third-line center.
Description: Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis has played in just 87 games over the last two seasons.
Insight: Dupuis missed 43 games last year due to a torn MCL and ACL. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports his knee feels 100 percent in training camp. Although Dupuis and Sidney Crosby had great chemistry when Dupius was healthy, we would suggest owners to use the wait-and-see approach.
Description: Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta had a very nice rookie season with nine goals and 20 assists.
Insight: Pittsburgh would love to give Maatta some more playing time, but the Penguins have plenty of good defenseman. Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff will get the power-play minutes and Paul Martin is likely still the team's best overall defenseman. Maatta might not be a start worthy defenseman on draft day, but check back if one of those first three players get injured.
Description: Penguins left winger Steve Downie made it clear that "there won't be any liberties on those players this year," according to the team's website.
Insight: "Those players" refer to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Downie's role will be an enforcer as he will protect the Penguins' stars. He should rack up the PIM and have a respectable amount of points.
Description: Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has a great chance to play on the team's power-play line this year.
Insight: Ehrhoff scored six goals and 27 assists with the Sabres last year, so it is safe to expect those numbers or even greater based just on the fact Ehrhoff will benefit from playing with Sidney Crosby and company. At the very least he should see a huge improvement in plus/minus. Ehrhoff's was -27 a year ago.
Description: Penguins new right winger Patric Hornqvist is poised to be one of the biggest fantasy sleepers this season.
Insight: Hornqvist is expected to skate on a scoring line with Evgeni Malkin and the team's top power-play line. The 27-year-old scored a career-high 53 points last season, and we expect him exceed that total by 10 points or more. Hornqvist could also challenge his career-high 30-goal mark he set back in 2009-2010 with Nashville.
Description: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will be back at full strength in 2014-2015.
Insight: Letang missed significant time last season after suffering a stroke in January, but he returned for the playoffs. Letang is one of the best offensive defenseman in the league, and even with the addition of Christian Ehrhoff, who could take some time away from Letang on the power play, Letang is a top-15 defenseman.
Description: Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz scored a career-high 35 goals and 68 points last season.
Insight: Kunitz has averaged 0.81 points per game in his five-plus seasons with the Penguins. It is hard to assume those numbers will again go up this year, but even at 35 years old, Kunitz has shown no signs of slowing down.
Description: The only concern surrounding Evgeni Malkin for fantasy owner's is his health.
Insight: Malkin has not played a full season since the team won the Stanley Cup in 2008-2009. His talent speaks for itself, however, and the there is just too much skill to not take Malkin at least in the first five picks.
Description: Penguins center Sidney Crosby is the top fantasy option once again in 2014.
Insight: The only other player owners should really consider with the No.1 pick is Alex Ovechkin but that is because Ovechkin provides higher value as a winger than Crosby does as a center. Crosby is the best hockey player in the world and is feeling good after offseason wrist surgery.
Description: Flyers left wing R.J. Umberger posted four straight 20-goal seasons from 2008-2012.
Insight: Umberger did all that with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This year, Umberger will have the challenge of holding off the up-and-coming players on the Flyers roster. Umberger has experience and is a player both the Flyers and fantasy owners can comfortably fall back on, but his ceiling is pretty low. He scored just 34 points last year in 74 games.
Description: Fantasy owners should not overlook 34-year-old center Vincent Lecavalier on draft day.
Insight: He isn't a fantasy starter, but he should provide some depth off the fantasy bench. Lecavalier's biggest issue over the last four years has been staying healthy. Last year, he did play in 69 games, the most since 2009-2010, and he scored just 37 points while posting a plus/minus of -16. He isn't poised for a bounce back season, but Lecavalier has the potential to be better than that this year.
Description: Flyers defenseman Mark Streit is a middle-of-the-road fantasy defenseman.
Insight: Streit hasn't been the same player since he missed the entire 2010-2011 season with a shoulder injury. He turns 37 this season, and Philadelphia's defensive defenseman and power-play specialist Michael Del Zotto will continue to cut into Streit's ice time.
Description: The Flyers are hoping center Sean Couturier will be more invovled offensively this season according to Comcast SportsNet.
Insight: Couturier has played great defensively, but Philadelphia has placed him on the same line with Wayne Simmonds in hopes of jump starting him offensively. Couturier scored 13 goals and 39 points last season, and we expect about the same totals again this year.
Description: Flyers center Brayden Schenn is a high-risk, high-reward fantasy investment this year.
Insight: Schenn showcased his skill at just 22 last year, scoring 41 points while playing fewer than 16 minutes per game. The problem is that other centers Vincent Lecavalier and Sean Couturier will also be in the mix on the second line. If Schenn can beat them out for the job, he has big splash potential.
Description: Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek should easily repeat his totals from 2013-2014.
Insight: Voracek was a bit disappointing considering his skill and the talent around him. That means Voracek could improve upon his 23 goals and 39 assists from a year ago. Voracek and center Claude Giroux have great chemistry together, and it should not matter who replaces Scott Hartnell at the other wing position on the first line.
Description: Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds should be a potent power play winger once again and perhaps even earn a top-line role at even strength.
Insight: Simmonds played on the second line last year, but the departure of Scott Hartnell allows for a different winger to step up and play alongside Claude Giroux. Simmonds finished third in power-play goals last year and also had 106 penalty minutes and 209 shots on goal.
Description: Flyers center Claude Giroux will be able to put up the same kind of numbers from last season even without his linemate Scott Hartnell.
Insight: The Flyers traded Hartnell to the Blue Jackets, so Giroux will need a new winger, but we still expect him to finish with around 90 points. Giroux played in his first preseason game on Tuesday and although he was rusty, his lower body injury did not effect him. The Philadelphia center is a first-round fantasy pick.
Description: Rangers winger Carl Hagelin will top last year's 15 goals and 16 assists numbers.
Insight: We expect a lot from Hagelin, who is one of the fastest players in the NHL. There is a chance that he will play with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard this year. If that happens, we like the combination of Haelin's speed and Zuccarello's grittiness to score a bunch of goals.
Description: Rangers left wing Mats Zuccarello had a breakout season last year, so now fans are wondering if he can repeat that success.
Insight: Zuccarello scored 19 goals and had 40 assists playing with Benoit Pouliot and Derick Brassard last season. He will again play with Brassard, but Pouliot left via free agency. The pair will likely be a part of the Rangers second line, but stay tuned because they could also end up in a checking-line role. Either way, Zuccarello is worth stashing on your team.
Description: Defenseman Dan Boyle has some sleeper potential in the 2014-2015 fantasy season.
Insight: Boyle is 38 years old and has shown signs of slowing down, but the Rangers hope he can be rejuvenated in the new scenery. Boyle will compete with fellow defenseman Ryan McDonaugh for playing time on the power play.
Description: Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonaugh really surprised fans with the amount of offensive production last season.
Insight: McDonaugh scored 14 goals and 43 points while adding another four goals and 17 points in the playoffs a year ago. He had the opportunity to play more offense and he took advantage. Veteran free agent signee Dan Boyle will likely take a part of that role away from McDonaugh this season, but McDonaugh is still expected to about 13 goals and 30 assists.
Description: Rangers winger Martin St. Louis' fantasy value will greatly depend on linemate Rick Nash.
Insight: St. Louis disappointed Rangers fans with just eight points in 19 games after the trade deadline move last year. He then scored 15 points in 25 playoffs games. Not bad, but considering St. Louis has averaged a point per game over the course of seven seasons, it's not particularly good. St. Louis misses playing with Steven Stamkos and will need Nash to reemerge as a great scorer to make St. Louis a top fantasy forward.
Description: Rangers winger Rick Nash should be a player owners can pick late on draft day.
Insight: Nash had a below average regular season which turned into a horrible playoffs last year. He had 39 points in 65 games and then just three goals in 25 playoffs games. We believe Nash can bounce back, but owners should not be picking him early. Take the upside he offers late in the draft.
Description: Rangers winger Chris Kreider is poised for a breakout fantasy season in 2014-2015.
Insight: Kreider has had problems staying on the ice, but when playing, he might be the best offensive force the Rangers have. He scored 13 points in 15 playoffs games despite missing time with injuries. Kreider will miss Stepan the first part of the season, but he is still a guy owners want in their lineup.
Description: Rangers center Derek Stepan played three fewer minutes per game under first-year head coach Alain Vigneault last season.
Insight: Stephan fractured his fibula last week, so his fantasy value has already taken a huge hit, but even before the injury, his value was slightly dipping. Stepan really struggled last season, and there were questions about the Rangers depth chart coming into training camp. The injury certainly does not help Stepan's cause.
Description: Islanders winger Anders Lee could get minutes with center John Tavares.
Insight: The Islanders know Tavares and 26-year-old Kyle Okposo will play together on the first line, but other wingers are battling for the other spot. Players are also competing for power play minutes with Tavares. Lee should land on one of the top-two scoring line and make a fantasy impact, but his value is obviously a lot higher if he plays on the top line.
Description: New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic will man the first D-line with Lubomir Visnovsky this season.
Insight: Nothing changes as the two have played together for awhile. Even at 38-years-old Visnovsky will be the more offensive defenseman, so he is the one to own in fantasy. Hamonic had three goals and 15 assists a year ago.
Description: It will be difficult for Islanders center Frans Nielsen to score 25 goals and 58 points again this year.
Insight: Nielsen made his money on the power play's top line a season ago, but New York has Ryan Strome, Anders Lee and added Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin, alll of whom will likely cut into Nielsen's power play minutes. We project Nielsen to score 21 goals and 49 points this year and even that seems to be on the high-end of what to expect from Nielsen this season.
Description: Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski looks to man the second-line and have a role on the power play in 2014-2015.
Insight: Grabowski scored 13 goals and 22 assists last year, but his fanasy value this year lies in how much playing time and how effective he can be on the power play with John Tavares. He is a guy that can give fantasy rosters depth and an occasional start.
Description: Islanders forward Ryan Strome is a fantasy flier to be taken late in drafts.
Insight: Last season, Strome showed flashes of the skill that led to 49 points in 37 games as a 20-year-old in the AHL, but overall he could not land on a scoring-line. He has a slight chance to play on the top line with John Tavares, and if he does, his value goes through the roof. The likelihood of that happening, however, is not very high.
Description: Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is the Islanders best fantasy defenseman by default.
Insight: Visnovsky is 38-years-old and has seen his offensive numbers decrease over the last few years. He will likely still run the point on the power play because no other defenseman seems poised to take the job. If he does run the power play, he could see big fantasy numbers with John Tavares scoring a lot. Therefore, Visnovsky is a high-risk, high-reward player on draft day.
Description: Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo will have a chance to score 30 goals this year.
Insight: It took a few extra years to develop, but Okposo has become a true star winger playing alongside John Tavares. Okposo creates space for Tavares, who also compliments Okposo perfectly to make him better. Okposo scored 27 goals and 69 points last year. If Tavares is healthy the entire season, expect Okposo to hit those numbers again or even exceed them.
Description: Islanders center John Tavares said he is happy to be playing in preseason games after missing the end of the 2013-2014 with a knee injury according to New York Newsday.
Insight: Tavares broke his leg skating for Team USA at the Olympics, which prevented him from finishing last season. Many experts believe that Tavares will be in the Art Ross Trophy conversation this year. He scored 24 goals and 66 points in 59 games last season.
Description: Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky is a high-end No. 3 defenseman in fantasy this year.
Insight: Zidlicky will start the year playing the point on the Devils power play. Eventually, we expect youngster Eric Gelinas to take that role sometime this year, but Zidlicky should produce on the power play and put up solid plus/minus numbers with D-partner Bryce Salvador.
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 defenseman Eric Gelinas has a chance to be New Jersey's best fantasy defenseman in 2014-2015.
Insight: Gelinas showed tremendous potential for a 21-year-old last year. He scored just one fewer point and took just four fewer shots than Marek Zidlicky despite playing in 20 fewer games. Gelinas is New Jersey's future at the blue line and look for him to take over the point on the power play this year.
Description: Devils winger Michael Ryder looks poised for a bounceback season in 2014-2015.
Insight: Ryder scored 35 goals, a career high, three years ago in Dallas, but scored just 16 in an injury-plagued season in 2012-2013 and then only 18 goals last year in his first season with New Jersey. Ryder wants to make amends and has been playing like he means it this preseason.
Description: Devils winger Patrik Elias is the last player left from the Devils 2003 Stanley Cup Champion team.
Insight: With the departure of Martin Brodeur, Elias is the last man left to have won the Cup with the Devils. Jagr, or course, won it as a youngster with the Penguins. If Elias can play a full season for the first time since 2011-2012, he could see an increase in production, but it seems unlikely he will suit up for 82 games at the age of 38.
Description: Devils coach Pete DeBoer is not 100 percent sure free agent signee Michael Cammalleri will play with the top line this year according to the Bergen Record.
Insight: DeBoer actually said that he is not sold on Travis Zajac, Jaromir Jagr and Cammalleri as his top line and one has to assume that Cammalleri would be the odd man out. Zajac and Jagr had pretty good chemistry last season. Still, Cammalleri was brought in to help the Devils score, so he is still the best bet to occupy a top-line spot.
Description: Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr continues to find the fountain of youth in his 21st season in the NHL.
Insight: Jagr told The Bergen Record that he isn't even close to thinking about retirement and that he wants to play until he is at least 50. He also said he wants to continue to get better and not play just to play. It's hard to argue with him as he led the Devils with 67 points and scored 24 goals last season at the age of 42. He comes into the season in great shape once again.
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: Winger Patrick Maroon is practicing on the first line with center Ryan Getzlaf and winger Corey Perry.
Insight: Maroon is taking the place of the injured Dany Heatley, who is out with a groin injury. Maroon is a player worth keeping an eye on because there is no timetable for Heatley's return. If Maroon plays well, he may even stay on the first line when Heatley does return.
Description: Defenseman Brad Stuart has agreed to a two-year, $7.2 million contract extension with Colorado.
Insight: This does not really effect fantasy owners. He had just 11 points in 61 games with San Jose last season. Colorado traded a 2016 second round pick and 2017 sixth round selection to acquire him. He is not fantasy relevant.
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: Toronto winger Joffrey Lupul is looking to bounce back this season.
Insight: He still had 22 goals and 22 assists last year, but also had a -15 rating. If Lupul is able to stay healthy, he will have the opportunity to produce 60 points. Target him, staring around the 12th round.
Description: Toronto right wing Phil Kessel should be targeted early in fantasy drafts.
Insight: Kessel is a machine and should have no issue duplicating his 80-point mark from a season ago. Look to draft him in the second round, while targeting him at the end of the first, is not a ridiculous move as well.
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: Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin is expected to make team once he returns from a thumb injury.
Insight: The third overall pick of the 2013 draft is dealing with fracture, which should keep him sidelined for another 2-3 weeks. As of now Drouin is penciled in, as the left wing on Tampa's top line. If he is able to stay there, Drouin holds major sleeper potential.
Description: Penguins right wing Beau Bennett is expected to miss six weeks, according to coach Mike Johnston.
Insight: Anther bad break for Bennett who missed 51 games last season with a wrist injury. He was set to play on a line with Evgeni Malkin which is always a good thing for his fantasy value, but now he could miss 20 games.
Description: Panthers Brian Campbell is the team's best defenseman, but he is not a worthwhile fantasy player.
Insight: Campbell logs heavy minutes but does not take many shots and is very disciplined, so he does very little to help fantasy teams. He might be able to score some on the power play, but Dmitry Kulikov and Aaron Ekblad are better offensive options.
Description: Panthers winger Tomas Fleischmann is a worthy bench player for your fantasy hockey team this season.
Insight: Fleischmann had an awful 2013-2014 season with 28 points, which is his lowest in seven years. In his first season in Florida, he scored 27 goals and 34 assists, both career highs. We don't expect him to get very close to his 27 goal total from three years ago, but 60 points is not out of the question.
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 defensman Drew Doughty is a solid two-way player who can also add decent scoring to your fantasy lineup.
Insight: The 24-year-old posted just 37 points in 2013-14, but we see improvement in 2014-15. And you have to love his big plus/minus numbers. He's only posted 40 or more points one time, but we think he cracks it this season.
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 winger Justin Williams should get the cushy spot on the first line with left winger Marian Gaborik and center Anze Kopitar.
Insight: Williams played like an elite winger in the playoffs (9 goals, 16 assists), now fantasy owners want to see that same level of production in the regular season. He posted 19 goals, 24 assists and 239 shots on goal in 2013-14. Nice, but we need more and our projection have him reaching the 60-point mark for the first time with Los Angeles.
Description: Kings left winger Marian Gaborik could be in for a very good season on a line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams.
Insight: Gaborik showed what he could do for LA in the postseason posting 14 goals and 22 points in 26 games. Now if he can just stay healthy and play a full season, he played 41 last year, the sky's the limit. TSN's projection have him scoring 32 times for 54 points.
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: Left wing Clarke MacArthur should be a solid contributer this season for the Senators.
Insight: He is coming off a 55-point season, and is firmly in the prime of his career, at 29-years-old. MacArthur could eventually see time on Ottawa's top line, making him a potential steal late in drafts.
Description: Senators winger Bobby Ryan will look to score 30 goals, yet again.
Insight: He had a somewhat down year during his first season with Ottawa (23 goals, 25 assists). Look for Ryan to be closer to the 60-point mark in 2014-15. Target him starting anywhere from the fifth round.
Description: Senators left wing Milan Michalek looks to improve in 2014-15.
Insight: He had decent scoring numbers, with 17 goals and 22 assists. However, Michalek had a rough -25 rating. Heading into the season, it would seem he will go undrafted, but could turn into a solid waiver pickup.
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 defenseman Ryan Murray skated in full-gear on Thursday, but did say he doesn't want to rush back from his knee injury according to Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch.
Insight: Murray had a knee scope in June and still isn't ready to return to the Blue Jackets' line up.The Blue Jackets are counting on the 20-year-old to be a key component to the defense this season. He scored four goals with 17 assists last year.
Description: Blue Jackets right wing Nathan Horton is out indefinitely with a back injury that he has been dealing with all summer according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Insight: Not a good sign for Horton, who played in only 36 games last season, the fewest in his 10-year career. He also had a career-low five goals and 19 points in 2013-2014. He will likely miss all of training camp and could miss the start of the regular season.
Description: Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno could be a quality fantasy bench player this year.
Insight: Foligno has the talent to be a good fantasy contributor, but he has to be in the right situation. Foligno might not begin the season on a scoring line due to the additon of Scott Hartnell and other young developing players for the Blue Jackets. If Columbus suffers a couple injuries or the Ryan Johansen holdout becomes a bigger issue, Foligno is more than capable of getting more ice time and producing.
Description: Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson has tremendous potential this season if he plays alongside new teammate Scott Hartnell.
Insight: Atkinson scored 21 goals last year, but the team has gone on record that the forward's potential is closer to 30 goals per season. Atkinson has struggled with his lack of size, which is why playing with the big bruiser, Hartnell, will help Atkinson so much. No one knows yet if indeed Atkinson and Hartnell will be paired together but better to be proactive in the draft than reactive later on during the season.
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 winger Scott Hartnell will score more goals and points in the 2014-2015 season than he did last year.
Insight: Our projections have Hartnell scoring 24 goals and 34 assists in his first year in Columbus. Hartnell should continue to provide across-the-board contribution to all stats, in particular, to the power play. Even still, do not draft him too early because it might take awhile for Hartnell to gain a rapport with Ryan Johansen, especially if Johansen is not in training camp.
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: Montreal right wing Brendan Gallagher is coming off a career-high 41 points.
Insight: He had 19 goals and 22 assists, and is just 22-years-old. Gallagher should continue to improve, as he plays on Montreal's top line. His current 14th round value, could turn into a steal of a pick.
Description: Hurricanes coach Bill Peters may be juggling his offensive lines, but he has the perfect top defensive line in Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera.
Insight: Faulk and Sekera compliment each other extremely well both offensively and defensively. Sekera will likely lead the duo in goals and points, but Faulk should be on your fantasy radar as well. We project him to get around 35 points.
Description: Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera was a huge bright spot for Carolina last season.
Insight: In his first season in Carolina, Sekera nearly scored more goals than he had in his previous four seasons in Buffalo. He had 11 goals, 44 points and managed a plus-4 on a team that really struggled on defense. Paired with Justin Faulk once again, Sekera can prove that those numbers were no fluke.