The other position of scarcity for scoring in fantasy hockey is right wing. Much like left wing, right wing is rather top-heavy, led by dynamic scorers in Patrick Kane, Marion Gaborik, and Jarome Iginla. Three young guns – Corey Perry, Alexander Semin, and Phil Kessel – enter the top ten after stellar 2009-2010 campaigns.
The list is rounded out by stalwart veterans Martin St. Louis and Daniel Alfredsson. The final addition is Ales Hemsky, who despite playing just 22 games last season, was a point-per-game performer.
Here’s a look at each one of the top ten individually:
# 1 – Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
• 2009-2010: 82 GP, 30 G, 58 A, 88 Pts (29 PPP)
• 3 year average: 81 GP, 25 G, 51 A, 77 Pts (31 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 82 GP, 35 G, 55 A, 90 Pts (34 PPP)
Patrick Kane continued his vault into stardom in 2009-2010, leading the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in virtually every offensive category. He chipped in 30 goals, 58 assists, 88 points and added 29 points on the power play. In the playoffs, Kane continued to shine, scoring 28 points in 22 postseason games.
In the upcoming 2010-2011 campaign, look for Kane to be even more productive, as he could threaten the 100 point mark. He skates nightly with center Jonathan Toews and left wing Patrick Sharp. On the man advantage, he is joined by Toews, Sharp, defenseman Duncan Keith and right wing Marian Hossa. With these combinations, Kane could vault into the elite of the league.
• 2009-2010: 76 GP, 42 G, 44 A, 86 Pts (26 PPP)
• 3 year average: 57 GP, 32 G, 32 A, 64 Pts (19 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 75 GP, 40 G, 45 A, 85 Pts (29 PPP)
Marion Gaborik’s success or failure is directly tied to his health. After several years with the Minnesota Wild – mainly of them injury plagued – Gaborik signed a five-year deal with the Rangers worth $37.5 million. There was a lot of concern about his health, because in 2009-2010, Gaborik only played 17 games for the Wild, scoring 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists). He then missed the rest of his final season in Minnesota due to a lower body injury that led to hip surgery in January 2009.
With the Rangers, Gaborik did not disappoint, as he scored 42 goals and recorded 44 assists for 86 points, with 26 points being on the man advantage. In 2010-2011, Gaborik will skate with center Eric Christensen and left wing newcomer Alexander Frolov on the first line. On the man advantage, Gaborik will be joined with Frolov, defenseman Michael Del Zotto, and wingers Brandon Dubinsky and Vinny Prospal.
# 3 – Jarome Iginla, Flames
• 2009-2010: 82 GP, 32 G, 37 A, 69 Pts (21 PPP)
• 3 year average: 82 GP, 39 G, 52 A, 85 Pts (29 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 82 GP, 37 G, 50 A, 87 Pts (31 PPP)
Iginla continues to be a stellar point producer despite the Flames going through transitions at the pivot in the past few seasons. Iginla has been on lines with the likes of Olli Jokinen, Matthew Lombardi, and Craig Conroy in the past few seasons and continued his remarkable production. Despite these changes, Iginla has had career seasons in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, scoring 94 points and 98 points, respectively. In 2010-2011, Iginla managed just 69 points (32 goals, 37 assists), but he still shot the puck early and often, recording 257 shots on the season. The Flames’ offense runs through Iginla and 2010-2011 won’t be any different.
In the upcoming campaign, look for Iginla to skate with Jokinen once again, who returned to Calgary in the offseason after being traded to the Rangers to finish out last season. Jokinen failed to be a difference maker for New York and he returns to familiar ground on the pivot with Iginla and left wing Alex Tanguay. Iginla should continue to produce regardless of who centers the top line in Calgary.
# 4 – Corey Perry, Ducks
• 2009-2010: 82 GP, 27 G, 49 A, 76 Pts (23 PPP)
• 3 year average: 77 GP, 29 G, 38 A, 66 Pts (21 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 82 GP, 34 G, 47 A, 81 Pts (28 PPP
Corey Perry is probably the most underrated member of the top line in Anaheim. Last season, however, Perry was without his usual center pivot in Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf missed sixteen games in February due to an ankle, but Perry continued his point per game production, scoring nine points in February (three goals, six assists) and 13 points in March (5 goals, 8 assists). Perry also had 111 PIMs on the season for leagues that count such in-game infractions.
In 2010-2011, the Ducks are looking to spread out their production and that could lead to the breakup of the Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line, with Bobby Ryan moving to the pivot position on the second line. This should not affect Perry too much, but he will potentially have a second year man in Matt Beleskey on the left side. Perry should continue his point-per-game production and is a staple on the power play unit that includes Ryan, Getzlaf, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and right wing Teemu Selanne.
# 5 – Martin St. Louis, Lightning
• 2009-2010: 82 GP 29 G, 65 A, 94 Pts (37 PPP)
• 3 year average: 82 GP 28 G, 58 A, 86 Pts (30 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 82 GP, 31 G, 55 A, 86 Pts (32 PPP)
At the age of 34 last season, St. Louis tied his second-best point total of his career, tallying 29 goals and 65 assists to total 94 points to rank sixth in the league. This rivals his 94-point production in 2003-2004 when he scored 38 goals and tallied 56 assists, leading the Lightning to the Stanley Cup championship that season. In 2009-2010, St. Louis was stellar each month, as he totaled at least 12 points from October to March. His best month was March, when he scored five goals and added fourteen assists, good for 19 points. St. Louis chipped in 37 points on the power play as well, tied for fourth in the league with Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom.
In 2010-2011, the Lightning are looking to improve their overall team play, despite the performance of their top line. St. Louis will continue to be a focal point of the offense, despite his advancing age. He has great chemistry with budding superstar Steven Stamkos. He also skates with rugged right wing Steve Downie. With the man advantage, St. Louis is joined by Stamkos, center Vincent Lecavalier, defenseman Pavel Kubina, and newcomer Simon Gagne.
# 6 – Alexander Semin, Capitals
• 2009-2010: 73 GP, 40 G, 44 A, 84 Pts (27 PPP)
• 3 year average: 66 GP, 33 G, 35 A, 68 Pts (26 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 75 GP, 42 G, 48 A, 90 Pts (32 PPP)
It’s a good thing that Semin’s numbers don’t reflect the playoff performance. Known as “the other Alex” in certain circles in the District, Semin had a stellar 2009-2010, Semin’s 84 points was good for 13th in the league and his 40 goals was good for seventh in the league. Last season, Semin started off fast, scoring 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) in October, but disappeared in November with just four points (two goals, two assists) in seven games. The low point output could be attributed to a sore wrist. Semin returned productive in December, scoring 15 points, but busted out in January with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists).
Look for Semin to enter 2010-2011 with a chip on his shoulder, as he wants to shake away the criticism levied on him from his playoff performance that only saw two points, both assists, in the seven game series against Montreal. Semin will also look to shake the label of “injury prone” and play the entire season. At even strength, Semin skates on the second line with left wing Brooks Laich and center Tomas Fleischmann. Semin, however, is part of the top power play unit with Alex Ovechkin, right wing Mike Knuble, center Nicklas Backstrom, and defenseman Mike Green.
# 7 – Marian Hossa, Blackhawks
• 2009-2010: 57 GP, 24 G, 27 A, 51 Pts (7 PPP)
• 3 year average: 68 GP, 31 G, 32 A, 63 Pts (20 PPP)
• 2010-2011: 82 GP, 34 G, 40 A, 74 Pts (22 PPP)
In recent years, Hossa has been a hired gun of sorts, having played in the Stanley Cup finals in consecutive years – for the Penguins in 2007-2008 and for the Red Wings in 2008-2009. Last summer, Hossa signed a 12-year contract with the Blackhawks worth a total of $62.8 million in hopes to find his final team as his career reaching its twilight stages. His tenure in Chicago, however, got off to a late start, as he missed almost the first two months of the season following off-season shoulder surgery, making his season debut November 25 against the Sharks. He scored two goals in that game and then picked up his play dramatically. He scored 12 points in December and 16 points in January and finished the season just off the point-per-game pace.
In 2010-2011, Hossa should increase his production should he stay healthy for the majority of the season. He is still a productive scorer despite the injury bug and can score 70-80 points. The Blackhawks will skate Jonathan Toews and grinder Tomas Kopecky with Hossa in the upcoming season. On the man advantage, Hossa is on the first unit with Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Patrick Sharp.
# 8 – Daniel Alfredsson, Senators
• 2009-2010: 70 GP, 20 G, 51 A, 71 Pts (31 PPP)
• 3 year average: 73 GP, 28 G, 50 A, 78 Pts (28 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 75 GP, 23 G, 55 A, 78 Pts (33 PPP)
Alfredsson had a “bad for him” kind of season in 2009-2010, as he only scored 20 goals while tallying 51 assists for the Senators. A lot of this can be attributed to the overall bad play of the Senators on most nights. Alfredsson started off the season with a bang, scoring 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in the first twelve games. For the rest of 2009, however, Alfredsson managed just 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games. He battled a sports hernia for much of the second half of the season as well and he still had his second best month in March, scoring 21 points (2 goals, 19 assists) in 19 games. In the playoffs, he led the team in scoring with 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in their six game series loss with Pittsburgh.
In 2010-2011, Alfredsson will look to rebound and reach the 80-point mark for the first time since 2008-2009, when he scored 40 goals and tallied 49 assists for 89 points. Last season, he definitely missed Dany Heatley and had to adjust to newcomer Milan Michalek, who himself struggled with injuries. Look for Alfredsson to skate with center Jason Spezza and Michalek on even strength. On the power play, he will be on the top unit with Spezza, Michalek, defenseman Sergei Gonchar and potentially left wing Nick Foligno or right wing Alex Kovalev.
# 9 – Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs
• 2009-2010: 70 GP, 30 G, 25 A, 55 Pts (16 PPP)
• 3 year average: 74 GP, 28 G, 22 A, 50 Pts (13 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 78 GP, 32 G, 28 A, 60 Pts (19 PPP)
Kessel’s 2009 offseason was interesting, as he battled the Bruins over a contract situation and battled rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. Both events were expected to keep Kessel out for a good portion of the first half of the season. The contract dispute was settled in late September 2009, when the Bruins traded Kessel to Toronto for 2010 first and second round picks and a 2011 first round pick. Kessel made his Toronto debut November 3, 2009 and had a career high in shots with 10 against the Lightning in that game. Kessel ended up scoring 11 points in each of his first three months with the Maple Leafs, totaling 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 44 games. He also had a good March, scoring 13 points (9 goals, 4 assists) in the month.
In 2010-2011, Kessel is expected to be the focal point of the offense for Toronto. He skates on the top line and will be joined by young center Tyler Bozak and budding left wing Nikolai Kulemin. On the man advantage, the Leafs will send Kessel, Bozak, Kulemin, defenseman Tomas Kaberle, and possibly defenseman Dion Phaneuf or left wing Clarke MacArthur to the ice. Kessel could approach 75-80 points if healthy all season, as he looks to put his tumultuous 2009-2010 campaign in the past.
# 10 – Ales Hemsky, Oilers
• 2009-2010: 22 GP, 7 G, 15 A, 22 Pts (8 PPP)
• 3 year average: 56 GP, 17 G, 36 A, 53 Pts (23 PPP)
• 2010-2011 proj: 76 GP, 26 G, 47 A, 73 Pts (26 PPP)
Hemsky is on this list for one reason – he is a proven point-per-game performer. Last season, despite missing 60 games after being checked hard by Kings center Michal Handzus. The check injured his left shoulder and it later required surgery. Hemsky is vastly talented, but he has the tendency of getting injured often, as he missed ten games in 2008-2009 with various ailments.
Hemsky could be a forgotten man in Edmonton this coming season. With the influx of elite rookie talent in Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Magnus Paajarvi, Hemsky could be transitioning to more of a support role. Injuries are always a concern with him as well. Look for Hemsky to still get top-six minutes, but his best attribute – assists – are solely in the hands of the learning curve for the Edmonton rookies.
• Patric Hornqvist, Predators (’09 – ’10: 80 GP, 30 G, 21 A, 51 Pts) – Hornqvist led the Predators last season in goal scoring with 30 markers and tied for team lead in points with Steve Sullivan with 51 points. He played most nights with Jason Arnott, but he was shipped to New Jersey during the offseason. Nashville did sign free agent center Matthew Lombardi, who is a good playmaker in his own right, and Hornqvist’s production shouldn’t be hurt. Projection: 82 GP, 35 G, 24 A, 61 Pts.
• Chris Stewart, Avalanche (’09 – ’10: 77 GP, 28 G, 36 A, 64 Pts) – Stewart had shown flashes of his scoring touch prior to last season, scoring 11 goals and 19 points in his first extensive look with the Avalanche. In 2010-2011, however, Stewart put all the pieces together, leading the Avalanche in goals with 28 and second in points with 64. Stewart was a big part of the surprise contenders last season and he will be a focal point in 2010-2011. Projection: 82 GP, 32 G, 33 A, 65 Pts.
• Jakub Voracek, Blue Jackets (’09 – ’10: 81 GP, 16 G, 34 A, 50 Pts) – Voracek has been highly touted since his days in the QMJHL, where he scored 86 points and 101 points in two seasons. He came to the Blue Jackets with tempered expectations, yet he was supposed to show a resemblance of that production in the NHL. In 2008-09, Voracek started slow, scoring just 39 points (9 goals, 29 assists) in 80 games for Columbus. Last year, he began to show some offensive flair, scoring 50 points (16 goals, 34 assists) in 81 games, skating most nights one the second line with center Derick Brassard. Look for a jump into the 65 point range in 2010-2011. Projection: 82 GP, 22 G, 40 A, 62 Pts.
• J.P. Dumont, Predators (’09 – ’10: 74 GP, 17 G, 28 A, 45 Pts) – Dumont had been a consistent performer for Nashville in recent seasons, topping 60 points in three seasons prior to last year’s colossal flop. Dumont’s 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) was his lowest offensive output as a Predator and his lowest since 2002-2003, when he scored just 35 points in 76 games for the Buffalo Sabres. Dumont could be challenged for his top-six role by second-year man Colin Wilson as the Predators look more toward younger stars for production. Projection: 82 GP, 19 G, 27 A, 46 Pts.
• Tomas Holmstrom, Red Wings (’09 – ’10: 68 G, 25 G, 20 A, 45 Pts) – For years, Holmstrom has had a place in front of the net for the Red Wings while skating with center Pavel Datsyuk and winger Henrik Zetterberg. Holmstrom always had a knack for chipping in the rebound off the goalie after a blast from the blueline. In the past three seasons, however, injuries have derailed Holmstrom’s season. He has not topped 50 points since 2006-2007 and managed just 45 points last season (25 goals, 20 assists). Holmstrom is certainly showing his age as well. Projection: 65 GP, 17 G, 28 A, 45 Pts.
• Alex Kovalev, Senators (’09 – ’10: 77 GP, 18 G, 31 A, 49 Pts)
SOPHOMORES – SHINE OR SLUMP?
• Steve Downie, Lightning (’09 – ’10: 79 GP, 22 G, 24 A, 46 Pts, 208 PIMs) – Downie has come back from a rough beginning to his NHL career to become a serviceable scoring outlet as well as a good source for PIMs. With the Flyers, Downie was notorious for bad judgment and a mean streak and that led to his departure from Philadelphia in a trade that sent him to the Lightning in November of 2008. Last season, Downie found himself skating on the line with superstars Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos for much of the season and responded with career highs in scoring, notching 22 goals and 24 assists in 79 games. In 2010-2011, expect Downie to continue among the top six and increase his scoring. Projection: 82 GP, 28 G, 24 A, 52 Pts, 195 PIMs.
• Claude Giroux, Flyers (’09 – ’10: 82 GP, 16 G, 31 A, 47 Pts) – Giroux started slow in 2009-2010, scoring just four points (one goal, three assists) in eleven games in October. In November and December, he started to ignite his scoring, recording 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) in 28 games. He was relatively quiet the rest of the way in the regular season, but he showed the Flyers what to expect going forward as he scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 23 postseason games. Look for Giroux to carry over that momentum into the 2010-2011 campaign as he continues his role as a top-six forward in Philadelphia. Projection: 82 GP, 27 G, 33 A, 60 Pts.
• Nathan Gerbe, Sabres (’09 – ’10: 44 GP, 11 G, 27 A, 38 Pts in AHL; 10 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts in NHL) – Gerbe has been a player to watch for a couple seasons now in Buffalo. In his first stint with the Sabres, he had just one assist in ten games. Last season, he showed flashes of offensive potential, scoring two goals and three assists in ten more games. In the preseason, Gerbe is making a case for a roster spot, having scored two goals in three exhibitions thus far. Gerbe could get an even more extended look in 2010-2011. Projection: 55 GP, 14 G, 21 A, 35 Pts.
• Michael Grabner, Panthers (’09 – ’10: 38 GP, 15 G, 11 A, 26 Pts in AHL; 20 GP, 5 G, 6 A, 11 Pts in NHL) – Grabner made an impression with the Canucks, scoring 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 20 games in the NHL. With the Manitoba Moose, Grabner scored 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) in 38 games. Grabner was acquired by the Panthers in the offseason for defenseman Keith Ballard and he has come into a good situation. Grabner could play his way into a top-six forward spot on Florida. Projection: 60 GP, 17 G, 28 A, 49 Pts.
• Oscar Moller, Kings (’09 – ’10: 43 GP, 15 G, 18 A, 33 Pts in AHL; 34 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 Pts in NHL) – Moller had what would constitute as a “cup of coffee” with the Kings, playing in 34 games will registering seven points (four goals, three assists) playing mostly on the third line. In 2010-2011, Moller could get more of a look as he battles Scott Parse for duties on the second line with veterans Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams. Moller had a successful year with the Manchester Monarchs last season, notching 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games before his call up to the NHL.