Severed Heads 2013
The Severed Heads
L: D.Sedin-Vcr, Ryan-Ana, Tanguay-Cgy RFA / Latendresse-Ott RFA, Forsberg-Wsh P2
Sedin slots in well as arguably the best non-FP LW in the league. Ryan is elite for a #2LW, and would be an average or just below average #1 in his own right. Tanguay has been a #1 in the past, but is now a solid second line FUNHL winger. Latendresse gives the Heads a replacement level winger should someone get hurt, but they are clearly counting on never playing him. Forsberg is a future scoring line winger for the Caps currently ripping it up overseas, and is at least one more year away. Good chance Forsberg is switched to center on arrival as he has played that position the most in junior.
C: Malkin-Pit FP, Datsyuk-Det, Backes-StL, Read-Pha RFA, Lindholm-Swe P1, Shinkaruk-WHL P1
Malkin is coming off an Art Ross and is arguably the only player in the conversation next to the Croz for best player in the world. Datsyuk is a bona-fide #1 on his own right and gives the Heads a terrific 1-2 punch up the middle. Backes is one of the elite 5 or so TG's, capable of producing dressable offense while also being a legitimate goon. His blended stats qualify him as a below average 1st liner. Read is a crafty overaged sophmore who has won himself a 2nd line scoring role in Philly. He's a below average guy for a FUNHL third line, but is only expected to play in case of injury. Lindholm is a top 10 prospect for the upcoming draft who had a terrific WJC for Sweden. Shinkaruk didn't make the Canadian team (should have IMO), but his talent is pretty obvious as he is tearing up the WHL despite his less than ideal NHL size. Shinkaruk is most likely to see NHL success converted to LW.
R: Seguin-Bos P3, Iginla-Cgy FP, Hemsky-Edm RFA, Downie-Col, Connolly-TBay P3, Kuznetsov-Wsh P3, Bennett-Pit P1
Seguin is emerging as a top flight offensive player for the Bruins, though it still seems likely he'll be switched to center at some point. Iginla is at the polar opposite of the spectrum, an aging power winger exiting his prime. His game so far has been quite a surprise compared to the previous two years as he seems more engaged than in a long time. Hemsky can still make elite plays from the perimeter but the days of hoping he'd go above a ppg are probably past. Downie has torn most of the connective tissue in his knee and requires season ending surgery. Connolly didn't get an invite to camp and was tasked with dominating in the AHL - something he has been doing so far at a ppg pace. He's a call-up by the Bolts should injuries hit, but is a year away still from regular duty. Kuznetsov can step into a top 6 role on the Caps tomorrow, but his contract with the KHL won't let him out till next season. Considered the best player not in the NHL by the Hockey News. Beau Bennett is a scoring winger who needs to add mass before getting a shot one of the wing spots next to Malkin/Crosby. Was a very late roster cut by the Pens.
D: Doughty-LA, Green-Wsh, Gonchar-Ott, White-Det RFA, Smith-Det P3, Kaberle-Mtl RFA, Visnovsky-NYI, Gunarsson-Tor RFA, Pouliot-Pit P1
Doughty has started slow, but is among the elite offensive defenseman when things are right. Green is rebounding from a pair of poor seasons running, but appears to be past the concussion effects that have slowed him so much from his FP days. Gonchar is agelessly putting up points in Ottawa as shotgun for superstar Karlsson. White will play a large role for the Wings once he returns from the freak injury that sidelined him just a pair of games into the season. Smith is an up and coming beast, but the Wings break their rooks in super-slowly, so there could be a prolonged transition period. Kaberle was once a dominating powerplay presence but has slipped into being a 2nd unit/bottom pair D-man. The end is nearing. Visnovsky is a potential top 4 guy languishing in Europe taking care of some 'personal matters' and working furiously to get himself traded off the Island. Gunarsson is a replacement level guy at best right now, but his youth gives promise that a larger role might be in his future. Puliot is a Kris Letang style smurf rearguard. Working the Pens powerplay point is the goal for his future development.
G: Rask-Bos, Crawford-Chi RFA
Rask has seamlessly taken over the starting position in Boston from the self-disgraced Tim Thomas, and playing behind a D corps headlined by Chara should put him in the top end of league goaltenders. Crawford has been lights out for the Hawks so far, and could be a starter in the FUNHL for a tean struggling in net.