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Fantasy Hockey: Breaking down the top NHL wingers

Dobber Hockey
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Continuing with this week's series of fantasy-related content, we'll take a look at some of the wingers in the year ahead.

The Obvious…

Again, I won't get too in-depth here. If you don't know what to expect from these guys, then you probably clicked the wrong link by accident…

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks - He had 23 assists because the stars around him had off-years. But his 37 goals and 277 shots tell me that his year, at least, wasn't so 'off'.

Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins - Steady numbers, last two years.

Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres - Offense centers around these two vets.

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames - Until we actually see a big decline, don't expect one.

Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes - C/LW eligible, and playing with his brother…gold!

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Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks - Sharp is steady as she goes and Kane also has his range - 66 to 88 points his entire career.

Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche - An all-around player who should improve steadily throughout his 20s.

Loui Eriksson and Jaromir Jagr, Dallas Stars - Jagr may take a small hit this year, but Eriksson has proven to be very consistent.

Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings - See 2011-12.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers - Should match last year's breakout, and then some.

Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers - Last year was a coming out party for both of them. Look for a repeat.

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Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild - After a season off, last year's numbers were to be expected. Now it's time for 75-plus points again.

Max Pacioretty, Montreal - The go-to winger on the Habs, clicking nicely with David Desharnais and Erik Cole.

Martin Erat, Nashville Predators - Consistently inconsistent. Has hot/cold streaks like nobody's business, but in the end his range is steady at 49 to 58 points.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils - You've seen these stars long enough to know what they bring.

Matt Moulson, New York Islanders - Still improving each year as his superstar buddy John Tavares comes into his own.

Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers - A new city for Nash will mean another 10 points, just don't have your heart set on 80. He can do it, just don't bank on it. Callahan's production has leveled off now.

Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers - A repeat of the perfect fantasy season is a lot to expect, but no reason why he can't at least come close.

James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins - Fortunes ride on Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. If either one stays healthy, Neal will repeat.

Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks - You know what you're getting here.

T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues - Oshie has potential for more, but in St. Louis points may be capped at 60.

Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell, Tampa Bay Lightning - Lots of gas in the tank of the former, and the latter still has a bit more to give.

Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs - The dynamic duo will thrive again, as long as Lupul stays healthy.

Daniel Sedin and Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver Canucks - Sedin may not get back to 100 points again, but he's a steady 80-plus points while Burrows is a steady 50-plus.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals - Two words: Re Bound.

Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets - He's established his range now.

Boom or Bust

Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

It's simple. If Hossa avoids injury, he proved last year that he can flirt with a point per game. That's a big, fat, doubtful 'if'. You say 75 I say zero…or I say 75 and you say zero. Either one of us could be right.

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers

Three injuries in his young career that have taken him out of the lineup for significant chunks of time. That's a bad sign, especially given his hard-core style of play. And Hall's tremendous upside makes his value very high in fantasy hockey. Too high for me to risk a pick in the round I would need to take him.

Peter Mueller, Florida Panthers

A concussion away from perhaps calling it a career. Yet he took care of his last one very well. The intrigue here is what we saw last year from Tomas Fleischmann when Florida took a chance on him. Mueller is a very talented player, but it all comes down to health. Probably best not to draft him until the 'bench' rounds, if at all. If someone else takes a chance on him earlier, good for them.

Devin Setoguchi, Minnesota Wild

With all the gold that just fell into Minnesota's lap, you'd think that Setoguchi would benefit at least a little bit. Then again he's had plenty of good linemates over the last three years and has yet to see a 42-point season during that time.

Brad Boyes, New York Islanders

It's been a slow, steady walk down Suckitude Lane for Boyes, who is coming off a career-low 23-points. Either he plays with Tavares or he doesn't is like saying he either gets 23 points or 50-plus.

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Martin Havlat, San Jose Sharks

Havlat has undergone a rigorous offseason regimen in which he has been practicing getting on and off the ice via hopping the boards. He's almost got it nailed and should be ready for puck drop. If not, it could be a long season for Havlat owners.

Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues

He only played 60 games or more once in the last four seasons. So yeah, it comes down to health.

Nazem Kadri, Toronto Maple Leafs

The patient Toronto fan will tell you that the 21-year-old Kadri is right on track. Unfortunately, those fans don't exist. Either he shows something this year, or the pitchforks come out. Hey, I'm just the messenger.

Wojtek Wolski, Washington Capitals

Put Wolski with talented linemates and he'll produce. Put him with scrubs and expect him to check and that's like hooking up a plow to your Ferrari and taking it out into the field. You'll know by November how the Caps will use him.

Surging

Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks

It's looking as though Ryan could be traded at some point. Draft him like he'll be a first-line player on a new team by midseason.

Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes

One has a lot to prove while the other is coming off of a tough, injury-plagued season. They are potentially linemates, which would make up one of the best second lines in hockey.

Magnus Paajarvi, Edmonton Oilers

Use the term "surging" very loosely here. All this means is that Paajarvi got the short end of the stick last year, and should be a candidate to get 35 points or more in the season ahead. From my fantasy guide:

"He didn't get the bounces he needed in order to maintain his position on the roster. Team shot percentage when he was on the ice was almost the lowest in the league at 3.56%. A couple of those pucks go in, ice time doesn't get reduced…positive domino effect that would have changed everything. Point is — don't give up on him."

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings

He had 45 points in his last 43 regular season and playoff games. He won't be a point-per-game guy, but this at least shows that he has a hell of a lot more to give.

Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators

The Preds have rushed Wilson and put far too much responsibility on his shoulders early in his career. Oh wait, no it's the opposite of that. Look for a career high, as his ice time ekes upward. Patience will be rewarded.

Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders

If Boyes fails, then the Isles will turn to Okposo for the right wing on the big Tavares line. So yeah, the Isles will turn to Okposo for the right wing on the big Tavares line.

Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

Claude Giroux will do to Voracek what he did to Jaromir Jagr. No, not extend his career. I meant in terms of production. Take Voracek and assume 55-plus points, and when he gets 70 try to keep your eyes inside their sockets.

Mikkel Boedker, Phoenix Coyotes

How long are the Coyotes going to keep Boedker in check? Well, for as long as they have other options, such as Ray Whitney and Shane D - oh. Yeah, so this is the year.

Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets

Each of these young stars have more to give. You haven't seen their peak yet, not even close.

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Don't overrate

Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks

Usually, you're playing with fire when you predict a big drop for the ageless superstar. But the time has finally come. His points-per-game dropped from 1.10 to 0.80 last season, and at the age of 42 I'd be surprised if he topped 60 points.

Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

Marchand had better production when Rich Peverley was out of the lineup. Now that Peverley is healthy - and Nathan Horton, for that matter - Marchand is out of the power-play mix.

Marcus Foligno, Buffalo Sabres

Think you've found your sleeper? With 13 points in 14 games it was certainly a nice debut for Foligno, but it's out of character. He should be a fairly productive player, but if you count on 50 points as a rookie you will be disappointed.

Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames

A new team! Finally! Hudler is out of the shadows of his talented Detroit brethren. Actually what he is, is off the Henrik Zetterberg line. That's an ouchy. Should still do well with added ice time, but the loss of Zetterberg is tough so don't expect miracles.

Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks

An impressive rookie last year in many facets of the game, but his 23 points in 37 games may be overstating what his role will be. I think he'll get 40 points, but don't see many more than that.

Jamie McGinn, Colorado Avalanche

After eight goals in 17 games for the Avs and a 20-goal season overall, McGinn may be overrated. Because the bottom line is, who are the Avs going to give the PP time to? David Jones and PA Parenteau? Or Jamie McGinn? I'd put my money on the money. We all know that highly-paid Jones and Parenteau aren't there to kill penalties.

Vinny Prospal, Columbus Blue Jackets

His consistent up/down trend hasn't failed me in a decade. This is a "down" year. That's all I need.

Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers

The speedster made a big splash in his NHL debut, notching 37 points in 54 games. But then he ended the year with a point in 10 games, and in the postseason he managed just three in 17. When Marian Gaborik returns (late November), Hagelin is out of the top six.

David Booth, Vancouver Canucks

Another quote from my fantasy guide:  " Booth has just 83 points in 163 games since being out with a concussion back in 2009. Before the hit, he had 103 in 154."

Sleepers

Rich Peverley, Boston Bruins

Peverley posted a career high 0.74 points-per-game average in 2011-12, really coming into his own. He thrives on virtually any line, and prior to last year's injuries (which included a sprained MCL), he had played over 200 straight games.

Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes

So the Hurricanes added Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin, it doesn't mean the steadily-improving Tlusty takes a step back. He's out of the top six, but will be the first player slotted back in there when there's an injury. He showed some chemistry with Eric Staal, so he may worm his way back on that line anyway. Regardless, at 24 he's just entering his prime and he now has a 17-goal season under his belt. The next step is 20 or 25.

Michal Frolik, Chicago Blackhawks

Undraftable. I'll make that clear from the start. But be very quick with the WW trigger finger if this guy ever gets traded or even gets an opportunity. Frolik had 11 minutes of power play time last year - total. Eleven minutes…for a player who doesn't offer a whole lot outside of the power play!  There's no justice when Scott Gomez gets 2:20 per game of PP time…and Frolik gets 10 seconds per game.

Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets

He played the last 22 games with the big club and ended the season with 10 points in six games. I've been on the Atkinson bandwagon for over a year now, but even I'm surprised at how quickly he's adapted to the pro game.

Bobby Butler, New Jersey Devils

Butler shouldn't be drafted unless he makes the team out of training camp (two-way contract). But he should be plucked quickly off the wire at the first sign of life. His M.O. is scoring goals, so any NHL time he gets should be on a scoring line. He'll do nothing if he's expected to be a checker, but will surprise if he gets to play with the likes of Elias or Kovalchuk.

Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia Flyers

With Sean Couturier established as a center, Schenn has been bumped to the wing. And with Jagr off to Dallas, all the wingers slide up a notch on the depth chart. Now Schenn is in the top six, and after seeing what he did in the postseason, it's clear that he's primed for a breakout.

Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks

This guy increased every year he'd been in the league - until 2011-12. His production slipped after a facial injury and he later admitted playing through a concussion. Now healthy, a rebound is in store to the tune of 55 or 60 points.

Benoit Pouliot, Tampa Bay Lightning

The slowly improving Pouliot was acquired to play on the second line with Vincent Lecavalier. This doesn't mean that he'll be a 60-point player, but he should get the opportunity to notch 40 or more, including 20 goals.

Completely lockout-proof, take a look my seventh annual fantasy hockey guide. Tips, projections, sleepers, advanced stats breakdowns and more - updated until the puck drops.

*Note: Rookies will have their own column later in the week.

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Dobber is the resident fantasy hockey know-it-all for Puck Daddy, and founder of Dobber Sports - which includes DobberHockey, DobberProspects, DobberFootball and DobberBaseball. You can follow him on Twitter @DobberHockey

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