It's commonly said that the hockey in the Western Conference is stronger than in the Eastern, so it shouldn't be a surprise that it has more players of note.
Note that those leagues whose owners are mainly in the East sometimes have some of the West's better players get drafted below their average draft position, since those owners typically do not see those players as much on TV against their favorite teams.
San Jose Sharks
A Sharks power play that was second in the league last year but lost Dany Heatley might still be as proficient, thanks to the acquisition of Brent Burns.
The defenseman got 14 of his 46 points with the man advantage in Minnesota and should complement Dan Boyle at the point. Burns' presence should allow Joe Pavelski to move off the point and closer to the net, meaning the right wing could be in line to exceed his 20 goals from last season.
Detroit Red Wings
The Wings were dealt with an unexpected departure in the offseason when Brian Rafalski retired.
That prompted the signing of Ian White, who's in line to take over Rafalski's 3:32 on the power play. In his first stint with a good team last year, White tallied 10 points in 23 games with San Jose.
It feels odd to label Pavel Datsyuk a sleeper, but he might not be at the forefront of many owners' minds after a 59-point season. That was, of course, in only 56 games due to injury.
In the playoffs, the Russian produced 15 points in 11 games, which is more indicative of his ability.
St. Louis Blues
Think of Blues defensemen, and Alex Pietrangelo rightly should come to mind first.
But don't sleep on Kevin Shattenkirk. The rookie garnered 26 points in 46 games with Colorado, then upped his scoring clip to a more impressive level (17 points in 26 games) after being traded to St. Louis.
He should man a point again for the Blues and should be a nice fifth or sixth fantasy defenseman, barring a sophomore slump.
A good goalie can really turn a team's fortunes around, so look out for Semyon Varlamov to make a big impact in Colorado, which ranked last in goals against average (3.50) last year.
The Avs thought enough of him to give up several high draft picks for the Russian, whose 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage (in 27 games) both ranked among the top six last season.
A candidate to piggyback on Varlamov's success could be Erik Johnson, who thrived after a midseason trade from St. Louis. The former top draft pick had only 19 points in 55 games with the Blues, but got nearly a point every other game (10 in 22) with his new team.
His minus-five should go into plus territory if Varlamov can be steady between the pipes.
Should Be Drafted Higher, but Generally Aren't
Chicago's Patrick Sharp and Nashville's Pekka Rinne are among the best at their position but won't be drafted accordingly.
Sharp's 71 points put him among the league's top 20 scorers, but he likely won't be among the first 20 forwards taken—he should be a steal in the fifth or sixth round.
Rinne ranked second in GAA (2.12) and third in save percentage (.930), but he'll likely go after some bigger names like Henrik Lundqvist or Ryan Miller.
Injured D-men Who Could Provide Big Value
Veterans Ryan Whitney (Edmonton) and Marek Zidlicky (Minnesota) both had injuries limiting them to less than half a season.
When healthy, Whitney was sizzling with 27 points in 35 games. After he was out for the year, a young Edmonton went into the tank. A healthy Whitney could boost the fantasy production of their many young forwards.
While Zidlicky was not as hot, putting up a credible point every other game (to me, the standard of an offensive-minded blueliner), he could be in line for a solid season, as he'll take over as the No. 1 D-man on the power play after Burns's departure and Heatley's addition.
Columbus Blue Jackets
There's a reason I put their two most interesting players at the bottom of this slide—this is more of a buyer-beware note.
Jeff Carter was not psyched to be traded from a potential Cup contender to one of the worst teams, so I worry about his motivation and drive.
He put up 46 goals and 84 points three years ago, but that was in Philly. Even in orange and black, Carter averaged 35 goals and 64 points the last two years—don't overdraft him just because Rick Nash will be his line-mate.
As for the other notable, James Wisniewski is a D-man who's shown he can score more than a point every other game, but I worry about his plus/minus.
He's never been that good in his own end, and I am not a believer that Steve Mason can get his mojo from three years ago back.
As someone who owned him last year, I know he could wind up being a bit of an occasional fantasy starter like when he was with the Islanders, rather than when he was a near must-start after being traded to the Canadiens.