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 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
Ray Whitney-Eric Staal-Erik Cole
Sergei Samsonov-Jussi Jokinen-Tuomo Ruutu
Chad Larose-Matt Cullen-Zach Boychuk
Tom Kostopoulos-Rod Brind'Amour-Scott Walker
Tim Gleason-Joe Corvo
Joni Pitkanen-Aaron Ward
Andrew Alberts-Niclas Wallin
Sure Bet: Eric Staal
Only 24 years old, Staal has scored 153 goals in the last four years combined. He is also very durbale as proven by the fact that he has played all 82 games in a season for the last four years.
Dark Horse: Erik Cole
Struggled last year after being traded to Edmonton, but picked up his play after being traded back to Carolina before dropping off in the play-offs. He should have a good year playing with Staal the entire season.
2009-10 Scoring Projections
1. Eric Staal 82-44-45-89
2. Ray Whitney 80-22-43-65
3. Tuomu Ruutu 76-20-32-52
4. Erik Cole 79-24-26-50
5. Matt Cullen 77-19-27-46
6. Jussi Jokinen 80-15-27-42
7. Joni Pitkanen 78-9-31-40
8. Sergei Samsonov 77-14-24-38
9. Joe Corvo 78-10-25-35
10. Rod Brind`Amour 63-12-22-34
11. Chad Larose 82-17-15-32
12. Tim Gleason 80-3-19-24
13. Zach Boychuk 42-6-16-22
14. Tom Kostopoulos 76-7-14-21
15. Scott Walker 60-5-15-20
16. Niclas Wallin 74-2-11-13
17. Aaron Ward 76-1-11-12
18. Andrew Alberts 80-1-8-9
1. Cam Ward 37-24-7 .918 SVP 2.39 GAA
2. Michael Leighton 5-6-3 .903 SVP 2.86 GAA