Buffalo Sabres 2009-10 Fantasy Hockey Preview

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 8:  Thomas Vanek #26 and Tim Connolly #19 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate Vanek's  third-period goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL action at the Air Canada Centre April 8, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

We are now less than a month away from the start of the 2009-10 NHL regular season, and I think it's a great time to start publishing my fantasy preview articles for each NHL team.

When looking at a player and predicting how he will fare offensively this season, there are a many things to consider. Is the player at an age where he will improve or decline? Is he playing with new line mates this year? Did his team acquire some players who may push them down the depth chart?

Those are just a few of the questions needed to be asked and I believe I can accurately predict a player's point totals for the upcoming season. Of course, things like injuries are impossible to predict, so these are best case scenarios.

2009-10 Depth Chart

Forwards

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Drew Stafford
Clarke MacArthur-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville
Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad-Jochen Hecht
Dan Paille-Adam Mair-Patrick Kaleta

Defense

Andrej Sekera-Toni Lydman
Chris Butler-Craig Rivet
Henrik Tallinder-Steve Montador

Goalies

Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime

Sure Bet: Thomas Vanek

Only 25 years of age, Vanek is a pure goal scorer, as evidenced by the fact that he scored 119 goals in the last three seasons combined. He scored 40 goals last season, despite missing nine games with a broken jaw.

Dark Horse: Tim Connolly

A very talented player, Connolly scored at a point per game pace last season. There is just one problem: injuries. This guy has only played in 100 games over the last three seasons and is always a concern.

2009-10 Scoring Projections

Player                       GP-G-A-P
1. Thomas Vanek        80-44-36-80
2. Derek Roy              82-27-48-75
3. Jason Pominville      79-28-45-73
4. Tim Connolly          68-21-44-65
5. Drew Stafford        81-23-35-58
6. Clarke MacArthur    75-19-23-42
7. Dan Paille              77-13-21-34
8. Craig Rivet            79-4-30-34
9. Jochen Hecht        74-10-23-33
10. Andrej Sekera      80-7-24-31
11. Paul Gaustad       75-10-19-29
12. Toni Lydman       81-5-22-27
13. Nathan Gerbe      76-10-13-23
14. Adam Mair          74-5-13-18
15. Henrik Tallinder    77-3-10-13
16. Chris Butler         78-5-7-12
17. Patrick Kaleta      68-3-8-11
18. Steve Montador   79-1-10-11

Goalies
1. Ryan Miller 39-25-6 .920 SVP 2.47 GAA
2. Patrick Lalime 4-5-3 .903 SVP 2.86 GAA

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