Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Playoff Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Daily Fantasy
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Western Conferece role changes

Rotowire.com
  •  

Last week we began our preparations for the upcoming Fantasy hockey season with a look at players who have moved on to new teams, or others who will play more prominent roles with Eastern Conference teams this year. This week we complete the same exercise in the Western Conference.

Central Division

Chicago: The defending Stanley Cup champs will have a new look at center ice this season as Brandon Pirri, as their second-round draft pick from 2009, looks to take hold of the second line role behind captain Jonathan Toews. Pirri has made three brief appearances with the Hawks, but he has shown steady improvement with their Rockford (AHL) affiliate and should be ready to take the next step in his pro career. Brandon Saad will get the chance to build on a solid rookie campaign (10 g, 17 a in 46 games) if he can make the jump into the top two forward lines. He hopes to challenge playoff hero Bryan Bickell for playing time on the left wing. Veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will be the backup goalie to playoff MVP Corey Crawford.

Colorado: First overall draft pick, Nathan MacKinnon will start the season as the number 3 center behind Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny, while another good scoring center, Ryan O'Reilly may be moved to a wing position in the early going. Alex Tanguay returns for a second stint in Colorado after spending the last six years between Calgary, Tampa and Montreal. He will provide valuable experience and secondary scoring help, possibly competing for a top six forward role on this young roster. Tyson Barrie is smallish defenseman (5'10”, 190 lbs) but he has been targeted as an offensive talent on the blue line here. He had 2 goals and 13 points in 32 games with the Avs last season, but also tallied 29 points in 38 games with Lake Erie (AHL) last year.

Dallas: The Stars picked up Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley, who both ended last season on Boston's bottom two forward lines. Seguin, a former 2nd overall draft in 2010, will finally get a shot at a center ice posting on the top line and spending much of his first three pro seasons as a winger. Peverley will also move up as a scoring option on the second line in this revamped lineup. Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin are two youngsters who each scored seven goals last year and are both poised to move up to scoring line duties this season as well. Veteran power play quarterback Sergei Gonchar signed a big contract with the Stars and should invigorate his likely complement Alex Goligoski in the Stars' blue line attack.

Minnesota: The Wild season took a tough downturn due to injuries late last year but they are optimistic that a full healthy season from Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley will solidify their offense this season. Kyle Brodziak needs to rebound from a dreadful campaign (8 goals, -18 rating) if he wants to hold on to a second line center role. He will be challenged by second-year pro, Mikael Granlund (2 g, 6 a, in 26 games last year). Minnesota acquired former first round pick Nino Niederreiter from the Isles and want to give him a scoring line role to see if he can rediscover the form he showed to merit the fifth overall pick in the 2010 Draft. The Wild also need more offense from the blueline behind Ryan Suter and hope that Jonas Brodin (2 g, 9 a, in 45 games) can build off of a decent rookie season.

Nashville: The Predators traded for Filip Forsberg (the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, by Washington), to address the need for more offense from the center position. He will be given the chance to challenge Mike Fisher for a second line role. Viktor Stalberg comes over from the Hawks to provide speed and depth at a wing position. The defense rich Predators didn't hesitate to draft highly touted blueliner Seth Jones (fourth overall in the 2013 Draft) as many observers had him pegged as the top player in Major Junior hockey last year. This kid has it all, size, two-way skills and toughness that should give him a long prosperous NHL career. Patric Hornqvist is back to start the season after splitting his time in the Swedish Elite League last year. He will resume his front line right wing role with the Predators.

St. Louis: The free agent signing of Derek Roy gives the Blues a fourth offensively capable center to further bolster this deep offense. Inexperienced talent dots the wings here. Jaden Schwartz (10th overall draft in 2010) had seven goals and six assists in 45 games last year and Magnus Paajarvi scored nine goals and seven assists (for Edmonton) before being dealt to St Louis in the off-season. Both will challenge for scoring line duty. Jay Bouwmeester resigned a long-term deal with the Blues and will hopefully soon be rejoined by Alex Pietrangelo (currently an RFA) to anchor a deep and talented defense corps.

Winnipeg: The Jets added Devin Setoguchi (13 g, 14 a in Minnesota last year) to give the Jets solid left wing depth, along with Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. They also added Michael Frolik, who had been a depth player with Chicago last year (3 g. 7 a) but he also has 2-20-goal seasons in his early years with Florida on his NHL resume. The Jets defense will look much improved if they can keep Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian healthy this year. They missed a combined 41 games played last season, leaving a huge hole in the depth on the Jets blueline.

Pacific Division

Anaheim: 25-year old Nick Bonino will get the chance to play on a scoring line in the hopes of building on the 13 points he scored in 267 games played last year. The Ducks acquired Jakob Silfverberg from Ottawa in the offseason Booby Ryan trade, expecting the second-year NHLer to move up to the top line and improve on his 10 goals and nine assists in 48 games played last year. The ageless Teemu Selanne (24 points in 46 games) will decide later this week if he will return for another season. If Selanne doesn't return, look for Kyle Palmieri (21 points in 42 games) and former first-round draft pick (in 2010) Emerson Etem to battle for second line minutes.

Calgary: After splitting time between Calgary and the Swedish Elite League last year, Mikael Backlund begins this season as the Flames #1 center. He has only scored 62 points in 170 NHL games, so that's looking like a tall order. Sven Baertschi (3 g and 7 a, in 20 games) hopes to continue develop as the Flames hoped when they chose him with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. The Flames are going to take a long look at goalie Karri Ramo, who spent the last five years in the KHL, to see if he is a worthy successor to Miikka Kiprusoff, who was rumored to retire this summer but hasn't yet filed his official retirement papers.

Edmonton: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a former first overall draft pick in 2011, needs to be much better than the guy who scored only four goals (and 20 assists) last year. Sam Gagner was re-signed to a three-year deal as the Oilers continue to hope for the former first round pick (6th overall in 2007) to make a significant breakthrough. He had 38 points in 48 games last season. David Perron was brought in to boost the offense (25 points in 48 games with St. Louis last year). He will get a scoring line role here. The Oilers signed Andrew Ference early in the free agency period this summer in the hopes of solidifying the rearguard with a quality shutdown defenseman.

Los Angeles: The depth of the Kings was evident as they only tinkered around the edges of their roster this offseason. An offseason trade saw them parlay the departure of their backup goalie last season, (Jonathan Bernier) into the addition of a depth scorer in Matt Frattin and a new backup goalie (Ben Scrivens). In addition, they have added more toughness in the veteran presence of the rugged Daniel Carcillo. After a decent regular season (16 points in 45 games) and a strong playoff, Jake Muzzin may be ready to join Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov, in leading a high scoring group on defense.

Phoenix: Mike Ribeiro (49 points in 48 games last year) signed up as a free agent an immediately slides into the first line center role for the Coyotes this season. That's pretty much it for new faces in the desert. But who's kidding who? The big story here is off-ice stability ushered in by a new NHL ownership. We will soon know if hockey will survive here. The Coyotes generated a buzz at the NHL Draft by using their first pick 12th overall) to select Max Domi, who was highlight-reel scorer in Junior with London (OHL) last year.

San Jose: In a potentially important development for Fantasy players, Brent Burns will play as a winger this season as opposed to his usual defense position. He may even get a shot at a role on the top two scoring lines. The spillover from that change means that the trio of Jason Demers, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin will be competing for more ice time on the top two defense pairings. Raffi Torres, who's been a frequent visitor to the league's disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, may find himself in a more prominent on-ice role as he is expected to get second line minutes to start the year.

Vancouver: In the biggest surprise of the summer, Roberto Luongo is now slated to be the number one goalie here, once again as the Canucks dealt Corey Schneider to the Devils for the ninth pick in the 2013 Draft, selecting skilled forward Bo Horvat. The intrigue around Luongo has continued because the line of communication between him and team management has been damaged by the year-long rumors of his impending departure. He may not be happy to be returning to Vancouver after all the nonsense. The other big change will be behind the bench where John Tortorella begins his tenure here after a volatile time in New York City. On the ice, the biggest intrigue surrounds the first line right wing slot. Will Zack Kassian win the role or does it revert back to Alexandre Burrows? It will likely be training camp decision which will have significant implications in your Fantasy pool.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jay Rosehill
Rosehill Stays With Flyers On AHL Contract
Jay Rosehill, LW, PHI
4:35 PM
News: Jay Rosehill signed a one-year, AHL-only contract with the Flyers' affiliate in Lehigh Valley, Dave Isaac of the South Jersey Courier-Post reports.
Analysis: Jay Rosehill will stick around in the Flyers organization for a fourth straight season, but expect him to skate exclusively with Lehigh Valley, as was the case for all of 2013-14. As an enforcer with limited offensive ability, Rosehill is becoming an increasingly poor fit in the modern NHL, and could very well have played his last minute in the league.

Cody Eakin
Eakin Agrees To Four-Year Extension With Stars
Cody Eakin, C, DAL
8/28/2015
News: Cody Eakin agreed to a four-year, $15.4 million contract extension with the Stars on Friday, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: The 24-year-old was a solid producer for the Stars in 2014-15, registering 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 78 games with the team. He will likely return to his role centering the Stars' third line this season, and should produce similarly barring significant injury.

Elias Lindholm
Lindholm Signs Two-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Elias Lindholm, C, CAR
8/27/2015
News: Elias Lindholm signed a two-year, $5.4 million contract extension with the Hurricanes on Thursday.
Analysis: Elias Lindholm was a solid contributor in his first full NHL season in 2014-15, registering 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 81 games with the team. He will return to his role as a top-six forward with Carolina this season, and should have a great shot at improving upon his offensive numbers from a year ago as he continues his development as an NHL forward.

Patrik Berglund
Blues' Berglund To Require Shoulder Surgery
Patrik Berglund, C, STL
8/27/2015
News: Patrik Berglund aggravated a dislocated right shoulder while working out and is set to undergo surgery Friday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He'll require at least four months of recovery time.
Analysis: Patrik Berglund first dislocated the shoulder in 2013-14, and required surgery last offseason to address the issue. The center was able to recover in time from that procedure to play on Opening Night last season, but given how late in the offseason calendar the setback occurred this time around, it looks like Berglund won't take the ice again until the calendar flips to 2016. His extended absence could allow prospect Robby Fabbri to claim third-line center duties out of training camp, with veteran Scott Gomez also in the mix if coach Ken Hitchcock prefers a more experienced option for that role.

Scott Gomez
Gomez Signs PTO With Blues
Scott Gomez, C, NJ
8/27/2015
News: Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer with the Blues on Thursday, Andy Strickland of FOX Sports Midwest reports.
Analysis: After failing to garner a contract in free agency for the second straight offseason, Scott Gomez will again head to training camp on a PTO, as he did last season in New Jersey. Though he wasn't able to crack the Devils' Opening Night roster, he continued to work out with the team after the tryout period ended and was eventually signed to the team when injuries opened up an opportunity in late November. Gomez would end the season as one of the more productive contributors on the offensively challenged Devils, finishing third on the team with 34 points. The Blues boast a far deeper roster of forward talent, but with the news surfacing after Gomez's signing that Patrik Berglund would miss at least four months following shoulder surgery, an opening on the third line could exist for the 35-year-old.

Max Pacioretty
Habs' Pacioretty Still On Schedule With Rehab
Max Pacioretty, LW, MON
8/27/2015
News: Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said recently that Max Pacioretty (knee) remains on schedule in the rehabilitation process, Arpon Basu of LNH.com reports.
Analysis: Max Pacioretty sustained the knee injury while working out in Florida in early July, and was given a projected recovery timetable of 10-to-12 weeks. Given the length of the timetable, Pacioretty is expected to sit out all of training camp, and while his availability for the Oct. 7 regular-season opener in Toronto remains possible, he'd likely be subjected to limited minutes in the early going as he looks to build endurance. Once back to full health, Pacioretty should reemerge as the Habs' most dangerous offensive option after he potted 37 goals and a career-high 67 points in 2014-15.

Ladislav Smid
Flames Expecting Smid Back For Training Camp
Ladislav Smid, D, CGY
8/27/2015
News: The Flames' front office believes Ladislav Smid (neck) will be ready to skate during the team's first on-ice session at training camp in September, the Calgary Sun reports.
Analysis: Ladislav Smid's season came to an end last January when he required surgery on his neck, but his communication with the Flames to this point in the offseason suggests he has recovered well from the procedure. If healthy, Smid will compete in camp with Deryk Engelland for a spot as Calgary's sixth defenseman.

Sidney Crosby
Pens' Crosby Likely To Play Next To Kessel
Sidney Crosby, C, PIT
8/27/2015
News: Coach Mike Johnston said earlier this week that Sidney Crosby is expected to play next to Phil Kessel to begin training camp, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis: The Penguins have cycled in a number of right wingers next to Sidney Crosby throughout his career, and while Patric Hornqvist proved capable in that capacity last season, he's not nearly as prolific at finding twine as Kessel, a five-time 30-goal scorer. With his health concerns beginning to fade away after missing only seven games over the last two seasons, Crosby once again looks like a reasonable choice at No. 1 overall in fantasy drafts, even after scoring only 28 goals in 2014-15, his lowest total in any year he's suited up for at least 60 contests. Crosby probably won't come close to approaching the 51-goal peak he reached in 2009-10, but a slight uptick in his anomalous 11.8 shooting percentage coupled with the likely increase in assist opportunities with Kessel blitzing the net could make a return to 100 points conceivable.

Mike Richards
Charges Announced For Ex-King Richards
Mike Richards, C, LA
8/27/2015
News: Mike Richards was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance while entering Canada stemming from a June 17 border stop by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Analysis: The Kings determined the incident gave them just cause to release Mike Richards for a "material breach" of his 12-year contract, a decision that prompted the NHL Players Association to file a grievance. The nature of the border stop likely won't affect the outcome of that legal battle, as both the NHLPA and the Kings were aware of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Currently a free agent, Richards is able to sign with any team while the grievance remains underway, but his steep decline in performance over the last few seasons coupled with this ongoing dispute probably has few organizations interested in his services.

Kyle Okposo
Isles Begin Contract Talks With Okposo
Kyle Okposo, RW, NYI
8/26/2015
News: Kyle Okposo and the Islanders have begun talks on a new contract, according to Islanders Point Blank.
Analysis: Both sides are hoping to get an agreement done before the start of the season but the parameters on a new deal could be difficult to negotiate. Kyle Okposo will make $4.5 million this season and could command a deal north of $6 million per year on the open market, a figure the Islanders may not be willing to approach at this time. If the two sides can't come to an agreement before the start of the season then Okposo's name will be one we will hear quite often in trade rumors.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings