Toronto Maple Leafs: Statistical Projections for Their Top 6 Forwards in 2012-13

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Statistical Projections for Their Top 6 Forwards in 2012-13
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Although the Toronto Maple Leafs don't possess a superstar such as Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin, their top-six forwards have proven themselves capable of lighting the lamp with regularity.

Beyond sniper Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul experienced a resurgence last season much to the delight of Leafs' brass.

Mikhail Grabovski anchors the second line and provides adequate secondary scoring.

The off-season addition of James van Riemsdyk provides the Leafs with another scoring option up front, as well as the big-bodied forward they've been lacking in recent years.

While the aforementioned players will be entrenched within the top six, the final two spots are up for grabs.

Tyler Bozak has found some success playing alongside Phil Kessel, but he isn't the answer to Toronto's No. 1 center question. Nikolai Kulemin had a disastrous 2011-12 campaign and will be expected to rebound.

Clarke MacArthur and Matt Frattin have both seen time on the top two lines, while prospect Nazem Kadri has the skill to contribute if given an expanded role.

For the purposes of this article, the top-six forward group will be comprised of Kessel, Lupul, Grabovski, van Riemsdyk, Bozak and Kulemin.

Of course, injuries, poor play and other unforeseen circumstances generally arise throughout the NHL season. This often means a team's top-six forwards are generally in flux and players move in and out of the lineup, or up and down on the depth chart.

However, the statistical projections assume they play a majority of the season within the top-six and don't experience a shortened season due to injury or a lockout.

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