Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
With the NHL season just a day away, we continue our five-part series, ranking the best fantasy players by position. In the first four installments of the series we evaluated the goaltenders, defensemen, centers and left wingers. Today we will look at the right wingers.
Skaters contribute to six of the 10 fantasy categories -- Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus Rating, Penalty Minutes, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal.
Let's evaluate the Top 10.
Dany Heatley, San Jose -- Heatley probably won't again hit the 50-goal mark as he did in Ottawa back in 2006 and '07, but he's still a potent talent on a good offensive San Jose club. He improved his plus/minus rating by 25 last season -- from minus-11 to plus-14 -- and he could get close to 300 shots this season. That's certainly worth a late first or early second-round selection.
Patrick Kane, Chicago -- Kane set career highs in points (88), goals (30), assists (58), shots (261) and plus/minus rating (+16). He'll be starting his fourth season, owns a Stanley Cup and is still just 21 years old. The best is yet to come and he could easily be the No. 1 right winger by season's end. He is the best value at the position based on his ADP of 23.
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay -- Having signed a contract extension over the summer, St. Louis should be primed for another excellent season. He's been very consistent over the last four, with not less than 25 goals, 50 assists or 80 points. The only thing keeping him from being the best fantasy right winger is a mediocre plus/minus rating -- he hasn't been better than a plus-7 since 2003-04.
Corey Perry, Anaheim -- At 25 years old, Perry is one of the mainstays of the Anaheim offense and should be able to contribute in every category. He's been a consistent 70-plus point man with 20-plus power play points, around 275 shots and more than 100 penalty minutes over the past two seasons and should improve on those statistics in 2010-11.
Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers -- Playing for the first time in New York, the Rangers' speedster was "as advertised." He tied his career high in goals (42) and set new marks in assists (44) and points (86). There is a question as to whether he can increase those numbers based on the uncertainty of his linemates, but he'll likely reproduce similar numbers to last season which is certainly worthy of a third-round selection.
Jarome Iginla, Calgary -- We used to be able to count on Iginla for around 90 points, but last year he contributed only 69, his worst season since 2005-06. Calgary struggled to score goals and traded linemate Olli Jokinen at the deadline which could be the reason for Iginla's drop in production. Unfortunately, the offensive outlook for Calgary in 2010-11 isn't much better though they did get Jokinen back which should help some, but 80 points might be about the best you can expect this season.
Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa -- Alfredsson isn't the same guy who scored 103 points in 2006-06, but he's still a pretty good facsimile at age 37. He missed 12 games last season due to a sports hernia, but should be healthy for the season opener. Given that he'll play on Ottawa's first line, power play and penalty killing units, he should top 70-plus points for the 10th consecutive season.
Chris Stewart, Colorado -- Stewart was an unknown in 2009-10 and surprised most fantasy owners by posting 28 goals and 36 assists for 64 points. He scored 52 points in the team's final 54 regular season games. With a strong group of young players around him, Stewart should be a 70-plus point scorer and an excellent bargain as a sixth-round selection.
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim -- In his second full season, Ryan posted career-highs in points (64), goals (35), assists (29), penalty minutes (81) and shots (258) and his numbers should continue to climb in 2010-11. Now with a five-year contract in hand, he could end up with "Perry-like" numbers and be a top-five winger.
Nathan Horton, Boston -- Horton will likely benefit from the change in scenery, after spending his first six NHL years in Florida, and having been installed on the first line, should improve on last year's 20-goal, 57-point season.