1.Jaromir Jagr– (Capitals) Jagr, who is one of the top players in the world, was traded to Washington during the off-season. Jagr, who struggled last year, played terrible in the playoffs, only notching two goals. The NHL’s highest paid player will once again challenge for the scoring title.
2.Mark Recchi– (Flyers) Recchi, who suffered from a concussion in the early part of the season, had an excellent second half. Playing along with the Flyers explosive offence, Recchi should regain his ’99-00 form, when he registered 91 points.
3.Patrik Elias– (Devils) Elias, who is only 25, has found his niche playing on a line with Petr Sykora and Jason Arnott. Elias had a career year last year, will probably float around the 90-point range this season.
4.Pavel Bure– (Panthers) Bure, who will be playing on the same team as his brother for the first time in the NHL, had a great second half last season. Bure is a sure bet to score over 50 goals, but will only have around 35 assists.
5.Paul Kariya– (Ducks) Kariya will be with out line mate Temmu Selanne for the first time in many years. If Kariya can overcome foot problems, there is no reason why the 26-year old winger will not score more than 85 points.
6.Alexi Kovalev– (Penguins) Kovalev, who finally played to his potential last season, benefited a lot from the play of Mario Lemieux. Kovalev scored 37 of his 95 points on the power play last season, and he will take the role of the team’s top winger this season. A slight point drop-off is expected, but Kovalev should still reach the 85-point plateau.
7.Teemu Selanne– (Sharks) Selanne, who had injury problems last year, should benefit from playing for a serious contender. Selanne, who should see a ton of time on the man advantage, will crack over 80 points.
8.John LeClair– (Flyers) LeClair, who body has taken a toll from being a power- forward, is still a valuable assent to the Flyers. With the addition of Jiri Dopita and Jeremy Roenick, LeClair will have a solid 80-point season.
9.Milan Hejduk– (Avalanche) It only took three years for Hejduk to become one of the league’s top 10 wingers. Hejduk averaged a point-per game in last year’s playoffs, and should repeat his 79-point total he had last year.
10.Tony Amonte– (Blackhawks) Amonte, who had a dreadful season last year, looks to rebound back to his form of two years ago. With a new coach and new hairstyle, Amonte should return to his old form.
11.Petr Sykora– (Devils) Sykora had a career high’s in almost all statistical categories. Sykora is likely to have a 75-point season, with of those being assists.
12.Ziggy Palffy– (Kings) Palffy, who was in many trade rumors during draft day weekend, has a history of injury problems and had a bad second half of the season. Although he almost hit the 90-point mark last year, he could have a 15-point drop-off this season.
13.Theo Fleury– (Rangers) Fleury, who was among the league leaders in points at mid-season, entered a rehab program and missed the final 20 games of the season.
If he comes back and has a good camp, he could be the Rangers leading scorer next season. He could also, god-forbid, become the Darryl Strawberry of the NHL.
14.Brendan Shanahan– (Red Wings) Shanahan, who is entering his 15th season in the NHL, dropped 10 goals off his ’99-00 total. It looks as if Shanahan will repeat last year’s numbers and end up back in the 75-point range.
15.Jarome Iginla– (Flames) Iginla, who is the Flames top Winger, should improve on last years 71 points. Since the Flames offence isn’t that dynamic, Iginla will be another player who should total around 75 points.
16.Keith Tkachuk– (Blues) Tkachuk, who was sent to the Blues in a deal at last year’s trade deadline, had 79 points last season and will be returning to the Blues for another year. Tkachuk, a power-forward with tons of talent, could hit 80 points, but that’s if he can stay healthy. An increase in goals, but a decrease in points is possible.
17.Radek Dvorak– (Rangers) Dvorak, still only 24, increased his point total by 17 last year. “The Czech line” was the most productive Rangers line last season, and Dvorak should break 70 points for the first time in his career.
18.Markus Naslund– (Canucks) Naslund, who only needed 72 games to reach a career-high’s in goals and points, might struggle in the beginning of the year due to a broken leg during the final part of last season. Watch out though, because as soon as he gets back into game shape, he will be a threat once again.
19.Owen Nolan– (Sharks) Nolan, who only played in 57 games last season, should have a decent season this year. No, he won’t get the 84 points he scored two years ago, but a 35-goal, 35-assist year would be decent.
20.Bill Guerin– (Bruins) Guerin, who had constant contract arguments this season with the Bruins, had a spectacular season last year when he notched 85 points. Guerin, who is going into his 11th year in the NHL, will not put up those numbers again, but like Nolan, a 35-goal, 35-assist year is more likely.
21.Pavol Demitra– (Blues) Demitra, who played in only 44 games last season, has a history of being injury-prone. When healthy, Demitra is a threat to opposite teams, and can put the puck in the net. He will score 75 points if he can get in at least 70 games.
22.Marian Hossa– (Senators) After getting over the Bryan Berard tragedy, Hossa had a good start but couldn’t keep it up for the whole season. The 75 points he scored last year might be repeated or might drop a little. Hossa is a very talented player, and at 22, he looks to have a long and successful career.
23.Chris Drury– (Avalanche) Drury, who is entering the prime of his career, is playing on the 2nd line of a great team. Drury, an exciting player who works hard every night, looks to increase his 65-point total of last year at least 5 points.
24.Shane Doan– (Coyotes) With the loss of Roenick and Tkachuk many people think that Doan will not produce the way he did last season. Others believe that Doan, who at age 24 already has 6 years of NHL experience, will benefit from added ice time and responsibility. Doan should be able to at least hit 70 points, and maybe even more.
25.Alexander Mogilny– (Maple Leafs) One word that describes Alexander Mogilny is inconsistent. In ’92-93, when Mogilny scored 76 goals, people figured that he would be a future Hall-of-Famer. The year after that, though, he only had 32 goals. After having an 83-point season last year, it is his tradition to follow it up with a poor season.
Look for the following articles in the near future!
-Top 25 Defenseman
-Top 15 Goalies
-Top 10 Sleepers
-Top 10 Busts
-Top 10 Rookies
I am also proud to announce that Hockey’s Future has started a Fantasy Hockey section so please send any comments or ideas that you may have at Dbnyi@hotmail.com.