In just his second full season with the Rangers 23-year-old power forward Chris Kreider, LW (1 G, 7 SOG, +1) burst out of the gates strong and quickly faded, often looking lost on the ice. His decent culminated with a demotion to the Rangers’ fourth line, a destination that Kreider is none too familiar or comfortable with, and following that he was a healthy scratch. The Rangers claimed it was a neck issue, but it was clear to everyone he was just getting scratched. It was clear that the sophomore was listless on the ice at times, bereft of the passion and drive that had propelled him to early playoff success two years ago and a hot start this season. Kreider hadn’t lost it though; he was suffering through the death of his Grandfather, and admitted that his heart just wasn’t in it during that difficult period. Well, that period is over, and he’s currently riding a three game point streak posting four points (2 G, 2 A) over that span. He enters the all-star break riding high, showing every sign of finishing this season with a bang and breaking out in a big way next year.
The New York Islanders have one of the best offenses in the NHL, in fact they have the second best offense in the entire league. Let that sink in for a moment. Yes, it’s true, the Isles sport the second best offense posting 3.2 goals per tilt and they show absolutely no signs of stopping anytime soon. In fact, they’ve been picking up the pace lately and could soon be the best offense in the league. The engine that drives this goal scoring machine is their top line, anchored by the dynamic duo of John Tavares, C (1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG) and Kyle Okposo, RW (1 G, 1 SOG, +1). The wild card has been the coveted third spot that has mostly been used by Isles Head Coach Jack Capuano to stream whoever the hot hand is at the moment, and lately with eight points (2 G, 6 A) over his last eight games that’s been Josh Bailey, LW (1 G, 1 SOG, +1).
I've already covered our top 10 for 2015 and top 20 for 2015 so without further ado, here's the rest the top 50 for our 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey Rankings: 21) Matt Duchene – had his breakout season last year posting nearly a point per game (0.99) posting 70 points in 71 games. I don’t see him ranked this high often and I’m not sure why. He’s the best offensive threat on a team loaded with talent up front. Lucky for him Ryan O’Reilly re-signed so expect Duchene to skate with him again after spending nearly 80% of his time on a line with O’Reilly last year. Don’t worry about the MCL injury he suffered last last season, he’s fine going into camp and should be a top fantasy asset this season. 2015 Predictions: 27 G, 48 A, 75 PTS 22) Nicklas Backstrom – found a new allergy medication in the offseason, or so I hope, because his value is nil if he gets caught with amphetamines in his system again. Meth? Adderall? Allergy Meds? Same stuff! But seriously, Backstrom was the heart and soul of the Caps offense and has been one of the most consistent scorers in the league since 2008-09 (9th overall in points, 7th in points per game). So long as he’s paired with Ovi all is well, but if for some insane reason they are broken up again (it happened for 18 games total last season and Backstrom tallied just 5A over those games), he could have trouble meeting expectations. 2015 Predictions: 16 G, 60 A, 76 PTS