L: Lucic-Bos FP, Parise-Min FP, Foligno-Clb RFA, Pearson-LA P1, Raffl-Pha P1
Lucic is the perfect combination of brute force and goal scoring touch. As a TG, he's over a PPG for the last few years and has been mostly legit as an FP. Parise however, has had his ups and downs, but still has to be considered one of the top LWs in the game, with the biggest downside being a propensity for collecting injuries. Foligno is a replacement level player with backup toughness, andshouldn't see much ice-time so long as Pearson is lighting it up. Pearson is part of the 'next wave' of Kings forwards, boasting terrific hands and a solid two-way game. Raffl might be the best Austrian born player in NHL history, so he's got that going for him.
C: Kreicji-Bos, Datsyuk-Det, Koivu-Min, Carter-LA RFA, Hayes-NYR P1, Lazar-Ott P1, Rackell-Ana P1
When your team isn't blessed with having an FP at the center spot, you have to adapt. The Shadowmen adapted by drafting three quality 2nd line (FUNHL speaking) Cs. Kreicji is about as solid as they come, but his ceiling isn't particularly high. Datsyuk has the high ceiling, but is at the stage of his career where he is injured, recovering from injury, or preparing to get injured. Koivu shares the same health concerns as Datsyuk, but has the lower ceiling of Kreicji as well. Still, no C FP, no cry. Carter is an excellent 4th liner and if he gets hot (like he is right now) he could be the best on the roster. Biggest issue with him is that he is way, way beyond streaky and will go ice-cold for months at a stretch. Hayes, Lazar, and Rackell were all detailed in my prospect review, no help forthcoming from these guys.
R: Hornqvist-Pit, Ericksson-Bos, Purcell-Edm RFA, Boyes-Fla RFA, Nieto-SJ P1
Hornqvist looks like a nice fit in Pittsburgh, but he is the definition of 'line dependent'. The good news is there are two good lines in Pitt for him to be dependent on, and only two bad. Ericksson is a multi-talented weapon who can play both sides of the ice, a lower-case Marian Hossa. He also suffers from the same unfortunate frequency of hospital visits. Purcell is a nice fit on the 3rd line, and should get lots of burn in Edmonton as they figure out what they have in the big winger. Boyes is a pure sniper whose wheels are fading away. Nieto was covered in my prospect review, and no help is forthcoming from him.
D: Pietrangelo-StL, Muzzin-LA, DelZotto-Pha RFA, J.Johnson-Clb, Stralman-NYR RFA, Bogosian-Wpg RFA, deHaan-NYI RFA, Tanev-Vcr RFA, Hanifin-USNTDP P1, Ouellette-Det P1
Peitrangelo is an all-round stud and borderline FP. Muzzin is emerging as a fancystats darling (he plays against the best of the best and the river is getting pushed back), but he has yet to fully emerge as a FUNHL scorer. DelZotto is a nice bet to rediscover his offense in Philly who are so shorthanded on the blue that DZ will get as much ice-time as he can reasonably, or unreasonably, handle. As much as the fancystats love Muzzin, they detest Jack Johnson. A modern day Al Iafrate, Johnson is somehow much, much less than the sum of his parts. Bogosian has the tool kit to be an all-round monster, but injuries have persistently derailed him. If he needs another wrist surgery it might be career threatening. deHaan has nowhere to go but up on the emerging Islanders team, he might even be protected through WD1. Tanev is a solid, and utterly unspectacular replacement level defensman. Hanifin is prime trade bait. His name will be the third mentioned all year long when pundits talk about the upcoming draft, and Bob will surely use that popularity to extort something nice in a deal. Isn't dressable for three years. Ouellet is an offensive defensman being slowly decanted in the RedWings cloning factory, an on any given day he could wake up and know kung-fu.
G: Quick-LA, Jones-LA RFA
Normally I'd prefer to hand out a 5 when a team has two starter quality goaltenders, but Quick is barring injury, the best goaltender in the league given enough starts. Should Quick get hurt, Jones is the guy who will get to play behind Drew Doughty and reap the benefits.