2017 Outlook: Steen has delivered three straight 50-plus point seasons, but that's about to end. He's starting on the downslope of his career, so fantasy owners should draft him expecting 45-50 points rather than 55-60. Steen enters the season on injured reserve after undergoing left shoulder surgery in early June, and is bound to miss 10-15 games. Injuries really aren't new to this talented winger -- he hasn't played 80 or more games since 2008-09. But this injury will put him on the outside of the top six looking in, especially if Robby Fabbri continues his ascension to stardom. This talented Swede will probably start -- and stay -- on the third line for a chunk of the season. Steen can bring you value, but only if you have reasonable expectations.
2017 Outlook: Fantasy owners know exactly what they are going to get out of Hornqvist, perhaps more than any other player on the Penguins. And that's a 40-plus point scorer (he has reached this mark in six of his last eight seasons) who will outwork his opponents, get into the dirty areas to bang home goals, and agitate every netminder not wearing black and gold. The last pick in the 2005 draft (No. 230 overall) by Nashville, he has become the go-to player alongside the first overall selection from that class, Sidney Crosby. In addition to his even-strength contributions, the winger racked up nine goals and six helpers on the power play, and averaged nearly four minutes of ice time per game with the man advantage. As long as he continues to be lined up next to Crosby, and there are no indications of that changing, Hornqvist is worth a look as a middle-round selection in all fantasy formats.
2017 Outlook: Scheifele showed signs of life early and often last season, crushing his previous career highs with 29 goals, 32 assists, and a team-best plus-16 rating. The 2011 No.7 overall pick is currently slotted on the second line but will get enough offensive opportunities to build upon his success, especially potential phenom Patrik Laine and a decent threat in Drew Stafford by his side. The Jets clearly have faith in Scheifele, as they rewarded him with an eight-year, $49 million deal in July, so perhaps a feature role for him beside fantasy superstar Blake Wheeler is possible down the line. Either way, the Jets' top six boasts a good enough supporting cast for Scheifele to find twine 30-plus times in 2016-17, especially if he eclipses 200 shots on goal and his 14.9 percent scoring rate from last season.
2017 Outlook: For much of 2015-16, it looked as if Zetterberg's age was starting to catch up to him. His scoring was down from the previous season, when it had already taken a step down from his prime. But he cratered during the Wings' final 24 games, recording only one goal, eight assists and a brutal minus-18 rating. The final result was easily the Swede's worst statistical season since his rookie campaign. Considering he'll turn 36 shortly before the new campaign begins, it's hard to see Zetterberg taking a turn back toward his old point-per-game level, but it's also hard to believe the long-time star has totally fallen off a cliff. He's a solid bet to hit 50 points as Detroit's top center.
2017 Outlook: After spending eight years in Beantown, Lucic put up 20 goals and 55 points in his lone season with the Kings before signing a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Oilers this summer. He'll be expected to use his brute size and strength to create time and space on a scoring line for Edmonton, including next to superstar sophomore Connor McDavid, where Lucic would surely benefit from McDavid's creativity and elite dishing abilities. Lucic should be good for his typical 50-60 points, around 80 PIM, and a handful of power-play goals. Where he'll finish up in the plus/minus department remains to be seen, but playing with the likes of McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should help lessen the blow of playing for a historically weak defensive club.
2017 Outlook: As a 19-year-old with almost no AHL experience after being taken 15th overall in the 2014 draft, Larkin made the Red Wings' roster last season and was given a premier role alongside Henrik Zetterberg. The results came instantly -- he opened his career with a five-game point streak and racked up 38 points and a plus-26 rating in his first 52 games. Like many of his teammates, Larkin went cold down the stretch; in his final 28 contests, he netted only seven points, and produced a minus-15 rating. Still, a 23-goal, 45-point rookie season from a player of Larkin's pedigree is no small feat, and the gifted Michigan native should build on that in his age-20 campaign as Detroit's top-line left winger.
2017 Outlook: Spending a decade with the Blackhawks has done wonders for Sharp's career, as he hoisted Lord Stanley's chalice on three occasions (2010, 2013, 2015). A move to Dallas starting with the 2015-16 campaign proved to be a seamless transition as Sharp dialed in 20 goals, 35 helpers, and 24 man-advantage points in 76 contests. Sharp has 13 seasons of NHL experience on his resume, and he continually reaps the rewards of playing on the top line with tantalizing phenom Tyler Seguin down the middle and opposite Jamie Benn, who finished second in the league in points (89) last season. Sharp managed to record a minus-3 rating in 2015-16, despite the Stars scoring more than any other team, but the occasional defensive hiccup is tolerable considering he provides for fantasy owners in the key offensive categories.
2017 Outlook: Parise is the heart and soul of the Wild and their most attractive fantasy option. He throws a ton of rubber on net (234 shots last season), is productive on the power play, and is usually a threat for 30 goals and 60-plus points. However, his 0.76 points per game last season were the lowest in a full NHL season since his rookie campaign way back in 2005-06 with the Devils, so there's some reason to be concerned in the State of Hockey. The Wild have brought in a new head coach in Bruce Boudreau and top-six pivot Eric Staal for 2016-17, so a new mindset behind the bench and a different look at center might work wonders for Parise. Parise is determined and as hardworking a player as any in the league, so expect him to come out flying in October as Minnesota's most dynamic offensive weapon looks to lead his team back to the playoffs.
2017 Outlook: The process took longer than anticipated, but Hoffman is now locked up for four seasons with the Senators after erupting for 29 goals, 30 assists and 13 power-play points last season. The 26-year-old aligns well with other young talent on the Sens and places him safely in the top-six conversation, with those talks potentially leading to a cemented role on the first line, depending on new -- and familiar -- coach Guy Boucher. Skating for a career-high 17:33 per game last season, the winger was demoted at times for uninspiring play, but he comes into 2016-17 with a clean slate and the hunger for a 60-point campaign. Whether he has Kyle Turris or newcomer Derick Brassard by his side -- and scorers Mark Stone or Bobby Ryan flanking the wing – Hoffman is realizing his offensive gift entering his prime seasons with Ottawa. The 2009 fifth-round pick can do damage with more time on the power play, and if that's the case, say hello to a 30/30 season with uncapped upside.
2017 Outlook: Ryan is enjoying life as a Senator, having compiled 158 points in three seasons, with 22 goals and 34 assists capping off an excellent campaign in 2015-16. The 29-year-old has been able to keep a clean bill of health, while hovering around 20-plus tallies and posing as a consistent threat to create for his teammates. The second overall draft pick of 2005 has quite the arsenal around him on the second line, with Mike Hoffman and newcomer Derick Brassard figuring to be key complementary weapons on the attack. Power-play minutes are locked in for Ryan (six markers and 10 helpers with the man advantage last season), and he is quite effective around the goal. The veteran has the potential to reach 70 points for the second time ever, but a total in the high 50s is a more realistic expectation for the winger entering his 10th season in the NHL.
2017 Outlook: After consecutive 43-point seasons, Henrique stepped his game up a notch last season, reaching the 30-goal mark for the first time and the 50-point mark for the second time in his career. It helped that he averaged nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game, and he's more than likely going to see heavy minutes again this season -- but this time, with marquee offseason acquisition Taylor Hall on his left wing. That should mean a big increase in production for the 26-year-old Henrique. It's probably wise not to expect him to wind up among the league leaders in scoring, but Hall has an 80-point season on his resume and Henrique could quite conceivably ride his coattails to 60-plus points, especially if they can make things happen on the power play. They'll be joined by the similarly offensive-minded Kyle Palmieri with the man advantage, who should also open up the season on their line at even strength, so the fantasy prospects are most definitely looking up in New Jersey heading into 2016-17.
2017 Outlook: Injuries limited Couture to just 52 regular-season games in 2015-16, and the 27-year-old forward struggled to hit his stride offensively as a result, notching a subpar 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) over that span. The 2007 first-round pick was fully healthy heading into the postseason, and it showed, as Couture led all San Jose scorers with an impressive 30 points in 24 playoff contests. Health is always a legitimate concern with Couture, as he's missed a total of 47 games over the past three seasons. However, when he's available, the Ontario native is one of the best second-line centers in the NHL and a key contributor on the Sharks' top power-play unit, bolstering his fantasy value in all formats. Fantasy owners willing to roll the dice on the oft-injured forward could be rewarded with 60-plus points and 230-plus shots on goal if Couture is able to stay relatively healthy in 2016-17.
2017 Outlook: If you don't have your eyes on Johansen come draft day, heed this warning: he's a flat-out performer. He didn't show any signs of a decline once the Predators courted him from the defensive-hungry Blue Jackets last January, as he joined Nashville's top line and put his exceptional ice vision to good use. While it took a few outings to adjust, the 24-year-old scored eight times, adding 26 helpers and a plus-10 rating in 42 games with the Preds, and he also put up 11 points on the power play. In total, Johansen reached 60 points for the third straight season, which can now be considered a safe floor. That guaranteed ice time on the man advantage is fantasy gold, but don't forget that the fourth overall pick of 2010 has Filip Forsberg and James Neal on either wing to finish out plays on a regular basis (33 and 31 goals, respectively). It won't be a surprise when the BC native pushes for a top-10 spot among centers in 2016-17.
2017 Outlook: As Landeskog enters his age-23 season, the jury's still out on just what type of player he is. Is 2011's No. 2 pick just a very good power forward, or does he have it in him to emerge as one of the stars in the league? So far, he's mostly only made arguments for the former, as the Swede's scoring took another dip to 20 goals and 53 points, his second straight season of declining production since a 65-point campaign in 2013-14. He took fewer shots last season, continuing a gradual decline from his rookie-season high of 3.29 per game to just 2.25. Draft him looking for a combination of points, hits and PIM and you won't be disappointed, but Landeskog doesn't have the high-end offensive talent that his pedigree implies. If the youthful, developing Avs can improve as a team, however, it's not unreasonable that he could hit 60 points again.
2017 Outlook: The top pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is not only a lock to start the season in Toronto, but he'll be one of the league's top-10 players within a couple short seasons. Auston Matthews is that good. He already plays a complete, two-way style and there are no major holes in his game. Matthews is lethal in tight spaces, as his footwork and agility rival that of soccer great Lionel Messi. He seems to have X-ray vision and can already thread passes as well as the NHL's best playmakers. And his hockey smarts let him read the game several plays before they even happen. Leafs' coach Mike Babcock has Matthews ticketed to center the Leafs' third line to start 2016-17, but it's safe to say this young star is quickly going to push Tyler Bozak for the second-line gig. And who knows, Matthews may already be better than Nazem Kadri, the team's current top pivot, will ever be. Count on 55 points and maybe even a bit more from the Calder Trophy contender.