2013 Stat Predictions for This Year's Top 10 NHL Free-Agent Signings

Nick KrapfContributor IIIOctober 9, 2012

2013 Stat Predictions for This Year's Top 10 NHL Free-Agent Signings

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    Even though there currently is no season, it still fun to predict “what could have been” or what may happen if the NHL does make a deal soon.

    With an offseason that saw plenty of deals made between players and their new franchises, it will be great to see them play in their new setting whenever hockey resumes.

    However, for now, one can only have fun and try to predict how the top free-agent signings would have performed this season under a normal 82-game regular season.

    Here are 2013 stat predictions for the top 10 free-agent signings of this year.

1. Zach Parise

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    Zach Parise hasn’t netted more than 30 goals in only one year, and that was his rookie season. His 30-plus goal streak will continue, but his numbers may drop off slightly.

    Last year, Parise played all 82 games, scored 31 goals and has 69 points as he helped lead the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Considering Minnesota hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2007-08 season and has a lower talent level than the Devils, his stats will be low the first year as he tries to find chemistry with his new teammates. Good thing Minnesota has him for 12 more years after that.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 30

    Assists: 35

    Points: 65

2. Ryan Suter

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    Ryan Suter posted 46 points, which was a career high.

    Suter was also the second best defenseman on his team when he played for the Nashville Predators. With him being the best defenseman on the Minnesota Wild, expect him to play a lot more and have more opportunities on offense.

    That means a lot more points will be racked up by Suter this year.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 8

    Assists: 45

    Points: 53

3. Alexander Semin

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    Many were surprised this offseason when the Carolina Hurricanes signed Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million deal (via Adam Gretz of CBS Sports).

    Semin has great offensive talent when he is motivated. He would be linemates with the Staal brothers (Eric and Jordan). It would be hard to share the puck, but I think they would make it work.

    After all, Semin did play alongside Alexander Ovechkin and scored 38, 26, 34, 40, 28 and 21 goals. Clearly, Semin can share and play well with others.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 32

    Assists: 26

    Points: 58

4. P.A. Parenteau

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    Long Island was a great setting for P.A. Parenteau. In two years, Parenteau posted 58 and 67 points playing on the same line as Matt Moulson and John Tavares.

    In Colorado, he potentially will be featured on a line with Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog—two great young forwards. Parenteau will find some first-year success with the Avs.

    While he won’t be relied on to score a lot of goals like he did on Long Island, he will play the role of playmaker, trying to set up Duchene and Landeskog for goals. It should be no problem for Parenteau to rack up 50 assists or more.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 11

    Assists: 50

    Points: 61

5. Matt Carle

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    Matt Carle’s first go-round with the Tampa Bay Lightning was unimpressive. In 12 games, he posted only two points.

    After three healthy seasons with the Philadelphia, the Lightning signed him again to a six-year, $33 million deal (per Adam Gretz of CBS Sports).

    While his projected stats may not look “sexy," it is his defense that will make him a great signing for the Lightning.

    In the end, he doesn’t really need to score. The Lightning still have Steven Stamkos, who scored 60 goals last year.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 2

    Assists: 25

    Points: 27

6. Jiri Hudler

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    Last year, Jiri Hudler had 25 goals and 25 assists. He cashed in, inking a four-year, $16 million deal with the Calgary Flames (via Adam Gretz of CBS Sports).

    Hudler’s 25 goals was a career-high for the 28-year-old. With a new change of scenery, he will find himself in a bigger offensive role. With that said, I expect him to improve on the offensive side.

    While Hudler has struggled with consistency since coming back to the NHL in 2010, Flames fans shouldn’t be worried, although make sure he is completely healthy before he steps onto the ice. Hudler recently sustained an injury to an abdominal muscle while playing overseas (via RIA Novosti).

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 26

    Assists: 31

    Points: 57

7. Shane Doan

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    While there was plenty of uncertainty surrounding Shane Doan and his future with the Phoenix Coyotes, the captain re-signed with the Coyotes on a four-year, $21.2 million deal (via Adam Gretz of CBSSports.com).

    The deal may bite the Coyotes in the butt, and they will feel it right away. Last year, Doan posted 22 goals and tallied 50 points. I would expect his numbers to slightly drop off.

    Age is one of the bigger factors why Doan’s numbers would drop. Also, losing Ray Whitney did not help Doan’s case one bit as he is basically the Coyotes offense.

    However, two things you get with Doan are consistency and leadership. While the numbers may drop, the Coyotes will gladly accept those two things if they help bring them back to the playoffs.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 21

    Assists: 24

    Points: 45

8. Jason Garrison

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    Out of all the signings this offseason, I felt this one was the most overrated. To me, one good year from Jason Garrison doesn’t warrant a six-year, $27.6 million deal (via Brian Stubits of CBSSports.com).

    Still, the Vancouver Canucks gave the hometown hero the money after posting 33 points in 77 games, which included 16 goals—a Florida Panthers record for a defenseman.

    More players around the league are aware of Garrison’s rocket shot, which is why I think production will drop a slightly. Still, he will be consistent on defense, like he has been throughout his career. Also, he should be effective on the power play, even if he is used as a decoy.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 13

    Assists: 10

    Points: 23

9. Ray Whitney

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    The Dallas Stars have a much improved team, and it starts with the signing of Ray Whitney this past offseason.

    Whitney’s stats were truly amazing last year, posting 24 goals and 77 points. He bounced back from two down years with the Carolina Hurricanes and Phoenix Coyotes, posting 58 and 57 points, respectively.

    Whitney should be a great mentor for all the young guys and should still produce quality numbers, especially playing alongside two young forwards in Jamie Benn and Lou Eriksson, who are quickly becoming stars in this league.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 22

    Assists: 54

    Points: 76

10. Jaromir Jagr

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    Last year, Jaromir Jagr proved he still had it, even at the age of 40.

    In 77 games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Jagr posted 19 goals and 54 points. That was enough to gain attention from the Dallas Stars, which signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million deal (via Adam Gretz of CBSSports.com).

    I project Jagr’s stats will slightly drop, as he doesn’t have Claude Giroux passing him the puck (Giroux had 65 assists). Jagr proved he still has a little magic left in that stick and can get it done at a high level.

    However, if no season is played this year, who knows if Jagr will even come back if a deal is done for the 2013-14 season. It would be a lost not only for fans, but the NHL. So please, let’s get this deal done soon.

     

    2013 Projected Stats

    Goals: 16

    Assists: 40

    Points: 56