The beginning is nigh! Yes my dear readers we’re drawing near to the start of the season so I won’t waste your time with a long blurb to kick this post off. I will say that this list is pretty comprehensive and if you can’t fill out your D based on this list you’re either playing in the deepest of leagues of you’re not very good at this fantasy hockey thing and should take up knitting. I covered as many guys as I could, but when I hit around the 65th rearguard there wasn’t much to say about the last ten guys so they became the honorable mentions. I guess that makes this a top 65 in some ways, but whatevs. There’s 75 names and sets o’ projections so I’m sticking to my guns. Plus, 75 sounds so much better than top 65, you know? As usual if I missed your guy or you have any questions, hit me up in the comments! At any rate, without further ado (there’s that word again), here are the 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 75 Defensemen:

1) Erik Karlsson was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 20

2) P.K. Subban was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 20

3) Shea Weber was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50

4) Duncan Keith was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50

5) Ryan McDonagh was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 50

6) Victor Hedman was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

7) Drew Doughty was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

8) Alex Pietrangelo was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

9) Zdeno Chara was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

10) Keith Yandle was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

11) Oliver Ekman-Larsson was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

12) Kris Letang was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

13) Mark Giordano was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

14) Ryan Suter was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

15) Kevin Shattenkirk was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Top 100

16) Niklas Kronwall ended up tied for sixth overall in powerplay points among defenseman despite an anemic Wings powerplay that finished 18th He’s one of the best defenseman in the league and Mike Babcock deploys him accordingly as he led all Wings skaters in TOI with ~24 minutes a game with over 3 minutes of time with the man advantage. I doubt any of that changes this season but Detroit’s injury woes limit his ceiling a bit. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 10 G, 36 A, 46 PTS

17) James Wisniewski finally had a healthy season and finished tied for seventh overall in defenseman scoring last season while posting a beastly 28 points with the man advantage, good enough for third overall among his kind. Last year wasn’t the first time Wiz broke the 50-point marker, he matched last year’s 51 points back in 2010-11. Fo’ reals?! Fo’ sho. There are two knocks against Jimmy this season; he rarely stays healthy and his team isn’t looking quite as strong as it normally would with Ryan Johansen still unsigned. If you draft him, expect to compensate for some missed time due to injury, but if healthy he can match last year’s totals again. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 9 G, 34 A, 43 PTS

18) Brent Burns acquitted himself well with the year-long experiment with shifting him to the wing, but with Dan Boyle gone you can expect Burns to be back on the blue line again in 2015. It was an up and down season for Burns who suffered through a few injuries and hot and cold streaks that ultimately saw him lose all his powerplay time and sink to a season low 12 minutes and change a game by season’s end. Basically the only good thing to come of last year’s run on the wing is the dual eligibility he’ll carry into this season. Enjoy it while it lasts peeps because he’ll be San Jose’s top PP QB for many moons to come. 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 15 G, 27 A, 42 PTS

19) Mark Streit finished tenth among NHL defesenman in even strength points with 29 last season, Streit fit right in on the Flyers after signing a four-year deal in 2013. With Kimmo Timonen on the verge of retirement due to a blood clotting disorder the 36-year old Streit will inhereit a good chunk of his minutes, so expect an uptick from his 15 powerplay points in 2014. He’s as durable as they come having not missed a game in the last four seasons, but I’m a bit concerned about his age catching up with him sooner than later, especially with the big minutes he’ll be asked to fill this season. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 11 G, 35 A, 46 PTS

20) Roman Josi didn’t just take a step forward, he leapt light years ahead of what he’d done in the past post career highs across the board and that’s despite suffering a concussion to start the year that robbed him of a handful of games. The Preds deployed Josi as a defensive first guy and he spent most of his 5 on 5 time in the defensive zone, how fitting. That makes his 40 points even more impressive. Sadly I doubt that changes this season but he’s a likely pair with the beastly Shea Weber again and that bodes well for another 40-point season. 2015 Projections: 76 GP, 10 G, 32 A, 42 PTS

21) Matt Niskanen isn’t the superstar defenseman that the Caps signed to that massive 7-year, $40 million dollar deal; so don’t draft him like he is. The Caps wanted Niskanen’s two-way game more than the 46 points he put up last season. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a serviceable fantasy defender, but there are better options out there than a guy whose numbers were largely propped up by the high scoring circus that is the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s going to be hella overvalued on draft day; don’t get caught up in the hype. 2015 Projections: 81 GP, 5 G, 30 A, 35 PTS

22) Andrej Sekera really had no business coring 11 goals last year and if you don’t believe me scope out the last four years before his breakout 2013 campaign. Here, I’ll save you the trouble; he tallied 10 goals in those four seasons. Combined. In fact, he hadn’t reached the 30-point mark or scored more than four goals in any season in his career until last season. That all being said, he led the Canes’ d-corps in just about every offensive category, so that’s something. A return to earth is expected this season, don’t draft for last year, draft for this year and avoid Sekera. 2015 Projections: 74 GP, 5 G, 26 A, 31 PTS

23) Alex Goligoski finally had a decent season for the Stars since coming over via trade a few years ago finishing 16th in the league in ice time and 9th among defenseman with 36 helpers. He’s going to go the Duncan Keith route again this season with tons of offensive weapons for him to distribute the puck too and little competition for PP TOI, I figure he racks up helpers, adds some decent points with the man advantage, but I never like guys whose worth is largely tied into whether his teammates can score. If Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky go down and Seguin and Benn are split up, the fearsome Stars won’t look so scary and Goli will have a hard time reaching my projections, but hey, I’m the optimistic type. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 6 G, 40 A, 46 PTS

24) Torey Krug is one of my favorite young players and that’s only half my Michigan State alumnus bias talking here (Go Green!). Tiny Torey may be undersized but his numbers won’t be. Zdeno Chara is old and getting older and while he’s still a stud, he’s fading and the B’s are looking to transition some of the offensive burden off Big Z’s mighty shoulders onto Krug’s this season. He has the ability to mature into a 50-point defenseman, but he’s not there quite yet. Still, there’s a lot of value in the little fella so don’t let him slip too far down your cheat sheets. 2015 Projections: 81 GP, 13 G, 29 A, 43 PTS

25) Christian Ehrhoff left the Sabres and joined the Pens and that alone will boost his value significantly this year. I mean, lets be honest, playing for the Sabres is like an instant handicap and it definitely slowed Ehrhoff’s production. Now he’ll spend his time on the top powerplay unit for the Pens and as part of their top pairing on D in general. That means great things for the 10-year vet who should see a return to mid-40s point production, and even flirt with 50. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 8 G, 37 A, 45 PTS

26) Marek Zidlicky is old, man. Like, real old. Dusty old bones old. Or more accurately he’s 37 going into the season. 37?! Someone get this guy a walker. Do walkers work on ice? Probably not, but it would be hee-larious to see. Zidlickme had a renaissance season in 2014 playing in 81 games and posting 42 points powered by 12 goals. Tasty. I doubt he returns to that form this year, though. What do you think is going to happen? He’s going to age like a fine wine and get better with time? 2015 Projections: 72 GP, 5 G, 30 A, 35 PTS

27) Brent Seabrook saw a slight uptick in his overall production last season but in general hit his career averages, more or less. I suppose more or less is average, so that works. So does Seabrook, as a solid third and low-end second defenseman. Some roster shuffling will rob him of powerplay minutes so you can expect an overall drop in his production. His real value is found in hits and blocks, two categories where he excels, so if you’re in a league that counts either, bump him up a few slots. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 4 G, 30 A, 34 PTS

28) Erik Johnson was supposed to be the next big thing back when he played for the Blues, but that didn’t really pan out. After years of injuries and failed expectations EJ found himself and had a solid season for the Avs in 2014 posting 39 points in 80 games. Unfortch that did not signal the beginning of his ascent to elite status, so don’t draft him that way. Still, he’ll provide you with blocks, hits and a solid crop o’ points. Time on the powerplay may be a bit more limited than some would hope, but he’s still a great value pick In mid-to-late rounds. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 6 G, 31 A, 37 PTS

29) Mike Green was once the premier fantasy defenseman in the world, but those days are long gone. Injuries both plague and haunt him like he’s the protagonist in a Greek tragedy, so I rank him this high because I might just be high! Seriously, the offensive talent is still there he just can’t stay healthy. He did dress for 70 games last year, so that’s a good sign, and you’ll notice by the 38 points he put up in those games, if he dresses, he’ll find a way to score. He drops down to the third pairing and the second powerplay unit this year, but could find his way to the first powerplay unit if he starts off well. 2015 Projections: 71 GP, 8 G, 34 A, 42 PTS

30) Tyson Barrie had a solid season bouncing from the AHL to the NHL early due to some poor play. Despite that he finished plus-17 to lead all Avs defenseman and nearly tipped the scales with 40 points, but it’s not all birthday cakes and rainbows for the young blueliner who played sheltered minutes against less than the best his opponents had to offer. Still, he established himself as the primary QB for the Avs’ powerplay and that’s likely to continue this season. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 11 G, 28 A, 39 PTS

31) Cam Fowler is only 22 years old and entering just his 5th season in NHL this year. It seems like he has been around for a lot longer than that doesn’t it? That’s because he was drafted at the ripe old age of 18. For you math majors that’s four seasons ago and since then he’s slowly developed into a solid defenseman for the Ducks and fantasy owners alike. Fowler plays in all situations getting significant time on the man advantage (3:23) as well as the PK (2:41) so he’ll get opportunities, that being said, he only fired 100 shots last year and we’d like to see that come up some in 2015. He’s too young and too talented on too good a team to not take another step forward this season. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 8 G, 34 A, 42 PTS

32) John Carlson is as streaky as he is talented and he’s pretty talented. I like Carlson in roto, but he’s going to be a pain in the arse in H2H leagues, so beware. Unlike Roy and Barrie in Colorado, Adam Oates loves to roll Carlson and his good buddy Karl Alzner out against the best their opponents have to offer; Carlson spent a ton of time killing penalties last season but that’s likely to change with Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen in town. Look for some more favorable match ups and more opportunities to step up in the offensive zone. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 11 G, 30 A, 41 PTS

33) Slava Voynov was supposed to break out last season but he regressed a bit instead, but look out for the breakout season we expected last year to show up this year. He’s proven himself to be a consistent point producer and will be a steady rearguard for the Kings and fantasy owners alike this season. Playing on one of the best possession teams in the league. He doesn’t skate with Drew Doughty much, but he should take another step forward and hit the 40-point marker, or better. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 5 G, 35 A, 40 PTS

34) Justin Schultz has all the tools to be an offensive powerhouse in the NHL and this year might be the year he steps up into that role. He is still working on his defensive positioning and at times was caught out of position last season, so he can be a defensive liability. On any other team that might hurt his TOI, but the Oil need him out there scoring and he’ll get every opportunity to do so this year. He’ll be the team’s top powerplay QB and go-to rearguard for point production. He only fired 109 shots on goal last year so he’ll need to pick up the pace there to meet my (hopeful) expectations. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 12 G, 28 A, 40 PTS

35) Brian Campbell plays for the Cats, so you can’t really expect much more than he gave you last season. Yes, the team is loaded with young talent, and yes, at some point if they keep the core together they’re going to be exceptionally good. However, that’s not right now. Campbell plays tons of minutes in all situations and will remain the top option on the blue line for the Cats this season. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 8 G, 30 A, 38 PTS

36) Justin Faulk has so much upside I’m getting vertigo. Entering his fourth season he’s consistently improved each year posting 15, 24 and 32 points in each of his three seasons respectively. He led the Canes in even strength ice time and he’ll settle in on the first powerplay unit along side good buddy Andrej Sekera, but the Canes had one of the league’s worst powerplays so don’t expect miracles there. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 6 G, 30 A, 36 PTS

37) Jake Gardiner is another young defenseman with tons of upside. He matched his 2012-13 season in the AHL with the exact same numbers in the NHL last season (10 G, 21 A, 21 PTS), so it’s reasonable to expect he’ll take another step forward this season. He’ll need consistent TOI to realize his potential though, which is something he didn’t get much of last season. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 8 G, 30 A, 38 PTS

38) Jay Bouwmeester was basically a first half guy last year scoring most of his 37 points in an early streak when he put up 19 points in 25 games. He fell off pretty hard after that, though. His team is beast and they’ll spread the scoring around, but I doubt as much of it will go to Jay this season as it did last season. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 4 G, 26 A, 30 PTS

39) Andrei Markov finished 10th in powerplay points with 21 and 17th overall in points with 43, but he’s 35 going into this season, so I’m not expecting a ton from Markov this season. He’ll stick with Subban on the Habs’ top pair, but that doesn’t help him a ton as most of the offensive opportunities for the blue liners will default to Subs when he’s on the ice. On top of his age, and despite of two healthy seasons in a row now, he suffered some serious injuries in the past that are likely to catch up with his old bones sooner or later. Do you know what this year is? Sooner! 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 8 G, 24 A, 32 PTS

40) Dan Boyle is another guy that’s just plain old and only gets ranked this high because he’s the top option to QB the Rangers’ anemic powerplay. That isn’t exactly an endorsement on my part, in fact I’d take it as a word of caution. The Rangers can’t score and with Derek Stepan out for a while now, it gets even worse. Boyler was streaky and injury riddled last year and played on a much better offensive team and still only managed 20 points. Yes, we’re just one full season removed from a 48-point season from him, but those days are long gone. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 9 G, 25 A, 34 PTS

41) Jason Demers suffered through an injury riddled 2012-2013 season that really hampered his ability to live up to his potential. Last year he was healthy and he took the step forward folks have been waiting for racking up 33 points over 75 healthy games. At 26 he’s poised to cement himself as a steady rearguard for the Sharks and with Dan Boyle now on Broadway he should step up into the top 4 and play big minutes this year and that includes time on the second powerplay unit. He can be streaky, though, so be patient. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 4 G, 27 A, 31 PTS

42) Jack Johnson isn’t likely to break the 40-point mark this season but he should flirt with it. Johnson gets deployed in all situations for the Jackets, but they are so roughed up I can’t see him doing much more than he did last season. He’s entering his prime at 27 years old and on the heels of a solid playoff run (3 G, 4 A, 7 PTS in 6 GP) he should at least match his modest totals from last season. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 6 G, 28 A, 34PTS

43) Jason Garrison finished last season with numbers that about line up with what you can expect from him this year too. He’s streaky, but shifting from the Canucks to the Bolts will likely boost his goal scoring a bit, and that’s always good! He fired 181 shots on goal last year but suffered from a career low ~4% shooting percentage, which I expect will rebound this season. 2015 Projections: 77 GP, 11 G, 24 A, 35 PTS

44) Andy Greene offers modest powerplay points but in leagues that count blocks he’s a beast having stepped in the way of 129 bombs last year. Despite blocking all those shots he’s incredibly durable having only missed two games over the last few years. He’s more of an all-purpose defenseman than an offensive guy, but he’s going to rack up some decent points on the top pairing for the Devils this year. That said, the Devils aren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse and Greene isn’t going to get much better than he was last season moving forward. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 6 G, 28 A, 34 PTS

45) T.J. Brodie broke out last season with 31 points in 81 games after a few paltry seasons to start his career. He has a lot of upside and can definitely take a step forward, but I don’t know if that happens this year. He needs to beef up a bit so he isn’t so easily knocked off the puck, but he’s a good fourth dman this year, perhaps more in seasons to come. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 6 G, 27 A, 33 PTS

46) Dion Phaneuf is a monster in leagues that count hits, blocks and PIM and recently rejoined the ranks of defenseman that score a bit, too. The days of 40+ points are gone, but he remains serviceable on offense. Last year was a pretty rough year off the ice for Dion with a lot of talk about his inability to lead the team, putting his captaincy in question. The result was a streaky season, but can you blame the guy? He must be suffering from PTSD after trying to lead the defense on the league’s worst possession team. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 10 G, 22 A, 32 PTS

47) Cody Franson will kill your plus/minus and there’s no two ways about it. The Leafs are one of the worst possession teams in the league and Franson was a big part of that sporting a minus-20 on the back of some really suspect D. That’s a problem because, you know, he plays defense. A big part of that poor D comes from his mission to hit anything that moves; he racked up 288 hits (good for 2nd in the NHL) last year, but was caught out of position when he didn’t connect. If you’re in a league that counts hits then he’s worth looking at, but beware otherwise. 2015 Projections: 77 GP, 6 G, 23 A, 29 PTS

48) Nick Leddy had a killer sophomore season posting 37 points in 82 games but has since been lost in the Chicago shuffle, mired on the third pairing with a rotating door of partners. He’s only 23, going into a contract year and the Hawks have cap trouble to deal with so he may get dealt, which would likely be a good thing for the kid. He’s as durable as they come, but I expect he’ll fall back a bit with his season totals this year. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 6 G, 21 A, 27 PTS

49) Tobias Enstrom finally had a healthy season but did less in 82 games in 2015 (30 PTS) than he did in 62 games in 2012 (33 PTS). Ouch. Enstrom has always had the talent but the injuries and the team around him held him back. Now that the Jets are actually looking like a decent hockey team he won’t be able to blame the squad for his lack of offensive output for long. He could be decent this year, and a good value you pick if you’re scrambling to fill out your D in the mid-to-late rounds. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 8 G, 23 A, 31 PTS

50) Hampus Lindholm came out of nowhere last season after making a pretty lame North American debut in the AHL with just 11 points in 44 games for Norfolk. I guess he just needed to adjust, because last season he blew away all expectations with 30 points in 78 games for the Ducks. He led all Ducks dmen in even strength points with 26 which was also good for 15th in the league among defenseman overall. Don’t expect that plus/minus to stay near +30, he was used in very specific situations and received sheltered minutes as befitting his rookie status. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 9 G, 25 A, 34 PTS

51) Jacob Trouba is the reason that the Jets could move Dustin Byfuglien to the wing and that worked out well for everyone involved, eh? At just 20-years old Trouba has a lot of growing to do but it seems he’ll grow fast. A strog skater with a sick wrister, Trouba will get top four minutes from Coach Paul Maurice and should spend time on the team’s top powerplay unit this year. 2015 Projections: 78 GP, 12 G, 23 A, 35 PTS

52) Olli Maatta finished last season third overall in scoring for rookie defenseman and second overall in scoring for Penguins defenseman. Not too shabby for a 19-year old that jumped directly from the OHL to the NHL last season. He’s a pass first, puck-moving defenseman with a glittering future, but he’s not quite ready for serious consideration in redraft leagues. He’s more of an all-around than offensive defenseman so don’t expect him to make big strides in point production for a few years. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 5 G, 21 A, 26 PTS

53) Dougie Hamilton was already covered in our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Players to Watch

54) Kris Russell has been around the league and back again, so don’t expect a lot from him this year, though he should be serviceable in deeper leagues. He was limited to 69 games due to a sprained MCL, but even when healthy he wasn’t going to put up much more offensive production than he did last year when he posted 33 points. He’ll need to spend time on one of the Flames’ powerplay units to keep his numbers up, but I think he will get the time and at least reproduce last year’s output. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 7 G, 24 A, 31PTS

55) Seth Jones finished 7th among rookie defenseman in scoring with 25 points in 77 games last season. He can be a defensive liability at times, but what rookie defender isn’t guilty of that now and then? The presence of Shea Weber and Roman Josi will keep Jones off the top powerplay unit, though he may see time on the second unit here and there. He needs to develop his overall game before he can take the next step up, so keep your expectations for offensive upside in check. 2015 Projections: 81 GP, 7 G, 23 A, 30 PTS

56) Morgan Rielly is another one of those Leaf’s defenders so watch out for a bleh plus/minus, but otherwise the 20 year old had a successful rookie campaign posting 27 points in 73 games. He only scored two goals, which makes me sadface, but he could double that this year playing along side fellow budding beastly defenseman Jake Gardiner in 2015, but rumor has it he has a shot to play with Dion on the top pairing. There is tremendous upside here and he could fight for 40 points if that happens, but it’s more than likely he’ll end up taking a step forward and landing somewhere in the 30s. 2015 Projections: 80 GP, 3 G, 29 A, 32 PTS

57) Eric Gelinas scored 17 of his 25 points on the man advantage last season so more time there is going to be critical for Gelinas to repeat his rookie success. He’s a monster at 6’4”, 200+ lbs and he loves to throw it around piling up 99 hits, and I expect with his game and his size that number is going to steadily rise over the next few seasons. Beyond that, I doubt he ever breaks the 30-point marker with consistency, but in deep leagues that count hits he could be a good late round grab. 2015 Projections: 72 GP, 7 G, 18 A, 25 PTS

58) Andrew MacDonald is your man for blocked shots; he led the league last year with a ridiculous 242 blocks. Despite that he laced up for all 82 games and has been, by and large, pretty damn durable throughout his career. He isn’t going to give you much more than blocks, but man, so many blocks! 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 4 G, 23 A, 27 PTS

59) Tom Gilbert is likely to give you exactly what he gave, uh, no one last year. Did anyone own Gilbert outside of the deepest leagues? I barely even knew the guy’s name until a few days ago. Still, for late-round, deep league reaches his 28 points in 73 games for the Cats last season isn’t half bad at all. At 31 he’s long reached his ceiling so don’t expect more this year. 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 3 G, 24 A, 27 PTS

60) Jared Spurgeon isn’t a household name, but folks up in Minnesota sure know who he is, they should because they see a ton of him finishing 3rd in TOI with 22:38 a game. Those aren’t wasted minutes, either, the tiny (5’9”) Torey Krug like rearguard actually pushed Ryan Suter off the top powerplay unit point and handled himself well after gaining the responsibility. In terms of late round, upside defenseman grabs you could do a lot worse than Spurgeon, but for now he’s a low-end 4th dman, high-end 5th. 2015 Projections: 69 GP, 7 G, 20 A, 27 PTS

61) Jake Muzzin ended up in Daryl Sutter’s doghouse for poor positional play and mental lapses and ended up getting the dreaded healthy scratch a few times early last season. He showed mental toughness and fought his way back to becoming a regular after joining Drew Doughty on the top pairing. If you’re looking for hit or blocks, dude has you covered with 162 hits and 82 blocks last year; both numbers I expect him to at least match this season. 2015 Projections: 77 GP, 7 G, 20 A, 27 PTS

62) Nick Holden managed to pot 10 goals and tally 25 points in just 54 games last season. For serial? Serial, y’all! He has some upside, but not nearly as much as some of the other young rearguards I’ve covered so far. That being said, he’s going to pair with Tyson Barrie again this season and while he’s not going to become a 45-point guy anytime soon, high 20s to help out folks in deep leagues is totally doable. 2015 Projections: 74 GP, 7 G, 21 A, 28 PTS

63) Kevin Bieksa will only give you about 25 points on the high side; yes those days of 40+ are gone. His value is mostly derived from the 90+ PIM, 130+ HITS and 120+ Blocked Shots he’s going to give you. 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 6 G, 19 A, 25 PTS

64) Marc-Edouard Vlasic will get more room to stretch his offensive legs with Dan Boyle gone, but I don’t think they stretch much more than they already have. His legs, that is. He blocked a whopping 150 shots last year and you can expect more of the same again this year and the 24 points he posted last year, his highest total in the last five seasons, is likely what you’ll get beyond those hits, and nothing more. 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 4 G, 20 A, 24 PTS

65) Patrick Wiercioch plays for the Sens so keep your expectations in check, but the deepest of the deep league managers might want to consider that despite 29 health scratches last year he still managed to put up 23 points in just 53 games. He’s big, fairly quick on his feet but lacks acceleration and tends to find himself out of position far too often. He’ll either take a step forward this year or fade into oblivion. 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 5 G, 21 A, 26 PTS

66) Daniel Girardi won’t give you much offense, but that’s not his job. What he will give you is elite hits and blocks. Last year Girardi laid the boom on opposing players 191 times and blocked 174 shots. Lawds, those are some some stellar defensive numbers, right? Points? Notsomuch. 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 5 G, 20 A, 25 PTS

HONORABLE MENTION:

67) Johnny Boychuk 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 4 G, 21 A, 25 PTS

68) Matt Carle 2015 Projections: 82 GP, 3 G, 24 A, 27 PTS

69) Dan DeKeyser 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 5 G, 20 A, 25 PTS

70) Trevor Daley 2015 Projections: 79 GP, 8 G, 19 A, 27 PTS

71) Andre Benoit 2015 Projections: 75 GP, 4 G, 17 A, 21 PTS

72) Ryan Ellis 2015 Projections: 77 GP, 7 G, 25 A, 31 PTS

73) Niklas Hjalmarsson 2015 Projections: 81 GP, 5 G, 19 A, 24 PTS

74) Fedor Tyutin 2015 Projections: 72 GP, 3 G, 17 A, 20 PTS

75) Marc Methot 2015 Projections: 70 GP, 2 G, 18 A, 18 PTS

  1. Skywalker says:
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    Kris Letang is not listed in the top 75? or did i miss it?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      You didn’t! I was futzing with the rankings and cut his blurb to move it down a few places and forgot to paste him back in. Good eye and thank you! He’s a somewhat risky 12th overall with optimistic projections of a return to glory.

  2. Khen says:
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    No Edler?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      You mean -39? Yikes, yeah. Honestly I’m torn on whether he’ll bounce back or not. I suppose a new coach and system will help him, but I don’t know he looked pretty terrible last year even when healthy. He’ll probably end up in the 30 point range so I suppose he should be in there, but he slipped my mind. Or maybe I just blocked him out after that black hole of a season he had last year.

  3. SMLV1 says:
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    Drop Justin WIlliams, Flippula or Zuccarello for Loui Eriksson?

    • theearly90s says:
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      zuccarello

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Definitely not Flip. Zucc, Williams and Loui are likely to all end up in the 50 point range, give or take a few lucky bounces. If you want goals, go with Loui. If you need helpers, go with Zucc. Williams/Loui is basically a push, you can go either way and get about the same numbers but Loui has dual eligibility on the wings and Williams doesn’t, so that gives his value a slight bump above Williams.

  4. theearly90s says:
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    watch out for DeKeyser!

  5. Randy BoBandy says:
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    Brent Burns moving back to D – where would you rank him?

    I’m in a keeper league and I’m keeping a D-man, it’s either Burns or Letang. Letang’s recent history doesn’t leave me entirely confident.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      You’re right to be tentative with Letang, but I think the stroke thing is done and gone and he should be healthy. So far in camp he’s doing great and going full speed without any problems, he should be elite again this year.

  6. Militant Vegans says:
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    Great information! Do you know if there are any Razzball Commenter Hockey Leagues?

    Thanks!

  7. ashtray says:
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    Any particular names of note to be added to this list or emphasized if HITS are a category too?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Luke Schenn, Radko Gudas, Brooks Orpik, Ben Lovejoy, Robyn Regehr, Ladislav Smid…

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @ashtray: grossman (PHI), blocks too with him. these are also (along with blocks) the easiest thing to stream in fantasy.

  8. Rambo says:
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    Should we be worried with Giroux’s rusty preseason or his recent Lower Body injury?

    Would you take him in a draft before a D like Subban or Karlson? (I have two keepers and I am keeping Crosby and Corey Perry)

    • Rambo says:
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      @Rambo:

      7 Team 6×4 ^

      • JD

        JD says:
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        @Rambo: I would absolutely take Giroux before any defenseman and I’d do so with confidence. He’s going to be just fine and should finish in the top 5 in scoring, his injury wasn’t that serious and the preseason means squat.

  9. Lenard says:
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    In a 16-teamer with standard cats, am I looking alright with OEL, Shattenkirk, Erik Johnson, and Maatta as starters with de Haan on the bench? Thoughts on de Haan’s upside?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      That’s a real nice D for a 16 team league for sure, you did well. Ah, Calvin de Hobbes. His biggest problem is staying healthy which he hasn’t done with any consistency basically ever. That problem culminated in a effed up shoulder that required surgery to repair, but he showed some chops last season in 50 some games. He has the skills there’s no questioning that so he could hit 30+ points if he plays more than 50 games, but whether or not he can stay healthy long enough to do that is a huge, huge question. Not a bad guy to grab late hoping for some cheap upside in a 16 teamer, though!

  10. Sherm says:
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    Hi, JD, I’m new to fantasy hockey and I auto-drafted so believe it or not, my best D is Justin Faulk according to your rankings (Trouba, Boyle, Edler, Hamilton are the others). How important are D in fantasy hockey? Should I be looking to trade up? I have no D on my bench either, just F (M Richards, Hudler, Filip Forsberg). It’s roto 7 offensive categories and 3 goaltending. Thanks.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Faulk, Trouba and Hamilton have breakout potential, but they could go either way. Defensive development is slow, it tends to (of course) focus on defensive maturity before focusing on getting the offensive game going. It’s always good to have at least one elite defenseman, so you might want to consider trying to trade for a Weber or Hedman type, yeah.

  11. Hula Hoop says:
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    How many forwards from one NHL team is just too much?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Tough to say without more info. What’s your league like? Settings, size, type, etc. You could have, say, the entire top line for the Oil and be just fine in roto, but that might not work very well in H2H. There are dynasty leagues that you literally start with an NHL roster, so you’re going to have an entire team in those leagues. In any event, It’s never a safe bet to put all your eggs in one basket. Give me some more details and I can give you better answers.

  12. QuickShot says:
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    I need to keep two of these in a 8- 6X4.: Joe Pavelski, Patrick Sharp, Logan Couture, or Matt Duchene.

    Which 2 would go along nicely with Carey Price, Stamkos, and Tyler Seguin?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Duchene and Couture.

      • QuickShot says:
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        @JD:

        Thanks. Love the site and the help.

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @QuickShot: No problemo, thanks for reading!

  13. Nate M says:
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    Yahoo still gives Dustin Byfuglien D elig, but are you only considering him in the F convos? If you had to place him on this list, where would you put him?

    • JD

      JD says:
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      Mostly as a forward, yeah, because he doesn’t have D eligibility in other formats and frankly it seems like his days as a rearguard are over. That said, he’s an elite guy at D because of the points and shots he’ll put up, but that +/- of his is likely to be pretty ugly again this year. I’d say you can consider him in the upper echelons of Dmen while his eligibility lasts, just after Karlsson and Subban.

      • Nate M says:
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        @JD: Well that is awesome to hear, considering Yahoo had him ranked so low its ridiculous, even with D-elig. in my 12 team league I have him, goglioski, giordino and burns as my 4. Couple that with Seguin, N. Backstrom, Hall, and MacKinnon, I think I will have a good chance at winning my weekly scoring categories.

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @Nate M: Yeah, they’re ranking him as a forward too. It’s just how everyone is doing it because he’s done at D. As a forward he’s a middle-tier guy, nothing super special. On the blue line, he’s an elite source o’ points.

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