- Jarome Iginla (82-50-48-98-83) Jarome Iginla is a Top 5 overall fantasy hockey commodity. The guy does it all, and he does it all well. Iginla is a steady player who contributes in all categories, and he should probably be the first person off the board who isn't named Crosby or Ovechkin.
- Marian Gaborik (77-42-41-83-63) Gaborik is the only other player on this list who I would consider a true goal scorer. Gabby is going to be facing a ton of attention this season unless he signs a new contract with the Wild. If he intends to test free agency in the off-season, then big numbers would surely help his cause, and that could turn into 50 goals for lucky fantasy owners.
- Daniel Alfredsson (70-40-49-89-34) Sooner or later age will catch up with the Ottawa captain and he will have a bad season, but it shouldn't be this year (as long as he stays healthy). Alfredsson will be skating with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley again, and that should translate into another high scoring season.
- Alexei Kovalev (82-35-49-84-70) This was a tough call between Kovalev and Hossa, but I'm giving Alex the nod here. He is more of a central part of the Montreal offense than Hossa is in Detroit and that should increase his scoring opportunities. Kovalev will also give you a lot more in the power-play point and PIM columns.
- Marian Hossa (72-29-37-66-36) The big prize in this summer's free agent market should fit right in with his new teammates. The question from a fantasy point of view is if the depth in Detroit will water down Hossa's numbers. He should still have a good year, but I would not expect the kind of numbers he put up in Atlanta, and that drops him to the five spot on this list.
- Martin St. Louis (82-25-58-83-26) Little Marty is the last of the "sure things" on this list. St. Louis is a tremendous offensive talent and Tampa figures to be running and gunning all season long. With all of the forwards brought in this off-season by the Lightning it seems unlikely that the coaching staff will not be able to find someone to mesh with St. Louis and Lecavalier. St. Louis could get back to triple digits in points this season with a little luck.
- Corey Perry (70-29-25-54-108) Picking between Perry and Shane Doan in this spot was tough. It really came down to two things that lead to me going with Perry. First, 100+ PIM is nothing to sneeze at from a scoring winger. Second, I think Perry has a higher scoring ceiling than Doan. I could see Perry getting near the 40-goal neighborhood this season, a place I don't think Doan will ever get close to in his career.
- Shane Doan (80-28-50-78-59) Shane Doan had by far the best offensive season of his career last season, and I would not look for a repeat. If I were to guess, I would say that Doan's point total this upcoming season will be closer to 60, but that his PIM total will probably be back up around 100. That could work out as a decent trade off for many fantasy owners.
- Jason Pominville (82-27-53-80-20) Pominville and linemate Derek Roy were on fire in the second half of last season. If Pominville can continue to play at that high level while improving his goal scoring efficiency he could end up being one of the unsung heroes of the fantasy season. Rolling the dice and drafting both Roy and Pominville could even turn out to be a winning formula this season.
- Patrick Kane (82-21-51-72-52) The Blackhawks will be a year older this season, and should be a year better. This Chicago team reminds me a lot of where the Penguins were a couple years ago. The big difference is that management has raised the expectations in Chicago by bringing in some big name free agents during the summer. If the kids in the windy city can handle the pressure then Kane, Toews, and company could have a big impact in fantasy circles.
Chris Yarbrough the GFH Fantasy Guru for the 2008-09 season. You can read more from Chris on his own blogs, Taking One for the Team and The Flower Shop.
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