Chris H

There are many new faces in the NHL this season. Photo by Chris H.

Analyzing the New Faces on Teams

Anaheim Ducks

Not much in significance for changes with the Ducks. Antoine Vermette was added for depth at centre, and Jonathan Bernier added in case John Gibson should falter. Neither are worth a grab unless we see Gibson go down with injury again.

Arizona Coyotes

Up front the Coyotes are staying with the youth movement, but on the back end they added Alex Goligoski who should settle in nicely on the power play. He does play the same side of the blue line as Oliver Ekman-Larsson so don’t expect them to play together too much.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins entered the off-season looking to strengthen their blue line, and failed to do so. There was rumours that they would table an offer sheet to disgruntled and restricted free agent Jacob Trouba, but nothing came to fruition. Up front the Bruins toughened up a bit with former Blues captain David Backes signed. He’ll fit in nicely on a team known for its edge, and should provide good secondary scoring. With Patrice Bergeron starting the season on the shelf, Backes should see some increased ice time to start the year.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres landed one of the big free agents this summer in Kyle Okposo, who should help boost a lack luster offense from last season, with many emerging young guns. Okposo should line up on the top line alongside Evander Kane and Jack Eichel, which should provide quite a bit of upside. While Eichel is no John Tavares, Okposo should be able to get up near the 70 point mark.

Calgary Flames

The big move in Calgary comes in the net, with the signing of journeyman netminder Brian Elliott. Elliott has always been around the top of the league in stats, but always seems to be battling another goalie for crease time. Expect him to push Chad Johnson aside and take the role with no hesitation. He could be the answer in net that the Flames have been waiting for since Miikka Kiprusoff retired.

Carolina Hurricanes

Lee Stempniak and Teuvo Teravainen were really the only two significant additions that the Canes have made, meaning the team is sticking with the draft and develop strategy. Don’t expect either of these two players to make an impact, in fact expect their +/- to take a big hit.

Chicago Blackhawks

Not much for change happening in the windy city. The team welcomed back old team mate Brian Campbell with a hefty contract. While he won’t boost much for the team, he might be worth a late grab if he can feed the puck to Chicago’s talented core.

Colorado Avalanche

No real changes in Colorado other than behind the bench, so hopefully this young crew can produce more. While Semyon Varlamov is their starting goalie, expect to see Calvin Pickard start taking away starts.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Another team that stayed the course when it came to improving the team, but they did add Sam Gagner to the mix. The former first round pick of the Edmonton Oilers has something to prove, so he could provide a decent depth forward in some deeper leagues.

Dallas Stars

An already powerhouse team, many thought Ben Bishop would be added to the team. Instead of clogging an already crammed crease, the Stars signed Jiri Hudler to add talent to the right wing. Expect him to play with the talented Seguin, and if he can’t stay on the top line than Jason Spezza is no slouch either. Look for a solid year for Hudler after a dip in his production last season.

Detroit Red Wings

Steady was the course, as the masses thought the Wings would make a splash after Pavel Datsyuk opted to go to his homeland and play in the KHL. Tomas Vanek was the only real addition, and Ken Holland and the Wings are hoping he can resurge his career. He’s worth a late flier, word is he’s gotten in shape and is heading into camp with a chip on his shoulder. Expect him on one of the top two lines, playing alongside Zetterberg, Larkin, Tatar or Nyquist.

Edmonton Oilers

While dealing one of their big guns in Taylor Hall, the Oil went out and signed the biggest power forward on the free agent market. Expect to see the Oilers talent have a bit more room to play and Milan Lucic should be the reason why. Lucic should benefit from ice time with Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle racking up the points while getting a healthy dose of penalty minutes.

Florida Panthers

Keith Yandle was the big off season signing in south beach, and should provide an excellent pairing with the exciting Aaron Ekblad. Expect Yandle to be up around the 50 point mark again, and be part of an exciting hard working team led by their leader and inspiration Roberto Luongo in net.

Los Angeles Kings

Not much new in La la land, as the only real addition made was Davin Setoguchi who is hoping he can rejuvenate his career. Stay away, the player who once was a decent fantasy option will most likely be a bust.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild added another bigger name this summer in Eric Staal. Hopes are he will be the top centre in Minnesota, but either way he’ll be in the mix for the top six. He may not be the point producer he was when he was younger, but he should still be good for at least 50 points with the Wild.

Montreal Canadiens

Shea Weber is the biggest name change in Montreal, and should be able to put up points while anchoring the blue line. While he might not get the point total’s that P.K. Subban would have, he will be a top blue liner in the league. Also in town after this summer is Alexander Radulov, after putting up some impressive seasons in the KHL is back to prove he can play in the best league in the world. He is a good gamble to take, assuming he can adjust to the North American game.

Nashville Predators

While Nashville saw its long time captain Shea Weber leave town in a trade with Montreal, they gained a new exciting former Norris winner in P.K. Subban. Subban should spark an offense that has big names like James Neal and Filip Forsberg. Not that Subban would go later in a draft, but he should continue to see steady production in Nashville.

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey went out and answered its big glaring need this summer in a block buster deal with the Oilers, scoring! Taylor Hall was send to New Jersey for Adam Larsson and should provide instant help in offense. Hall himself will most likely see a decline in his numbers due to the simple fact that the talent around him isn’t what it was in Edmonton, but guys like Kyle Palmeiri and Adam Henrique should see a boost in their numbers with a big name talent on their line.

New York Islanders

The big addition this summer on the island was Andrew Ladd, whom Garth Snow and company are hoping can bounce back after a lackluster season in 2015-16. Ladd can score, which he did for years in Winnipeg, but can he get the touch back? Apparently he did have a nagging injury last season, so he’s worth a late flier, as he hasn’t played with a centre like John Tavares before.

New York Rangers

The Rangers were the winners of the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes, much to the shock of many Boston and Toronto fans. While Vesey himself may think he’s a top six forward, it’s hard to tell how he’ll pan out in New York. He was told he’ll be in the top six, so he might be worth adding to see if he can live up to the hype.

Ottawa Senators

Derick is the big change in Ottawa this season and look for him to have a great year being flanked by one or two of Bobby Ryan, Mark Stone or Mike Hoffman. With two points in his opening night debut, he should be able to surpass his career high of 60 points.

Philadelphia Flyers

No real big additions in the city of brotherly love, unless you count Dale Weise who should bring some grit to the third line and could possibly get a chance on the top two lines. If he does, the mix of penalty minutes and points would make him a decent add.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Why tinker with something that won it all last season? No real changes in Pittsburgh other than the recent addition of Mike Condon to back up Marc Andre Fleury while Matt Murray is on the mend. If Fleury falters, then Condon would be a nice grab to start the year.

San Jose Sharks

Mikkel Boedker was the big addition in San Jose, and the hope is playing with a big name centre in Joe Thornton or Joe Pavelski will help Boedker unleash his skill and start scoring as he never really had the talent in Arizona. Boedker is a nice grab for a potential break out year.

St. Louis Blues

What’s old is new again as David Perron is back with the Blues, and both are hoping he can get back to his younger years in the points department. Nail Yakupov, the former first overall pick is also now in St. Louis, and the Blues are hoping a change of scenery and maybe playing with fellow countryman Vladimir Tarasenko can unleash the talent that caused him to be taken first in his draft.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Retaining their top guy in Steven Stamkos was the number one priority for Tampa, along with Nikita Kucherov. Both are locked up and back with the Bolts, but no new faces to think about adding to your fantasy squad.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The only new face aside from the plethora of rookies is in net with Freddie Andersen. Can Andersen prove Toronto isn’t a career ender for goalie careers? Don’t expect him to fare well in the media magnifying glass that is Toronto.

Vancouver Canucks

Loui Eriksson was the big fish landed by the Canucks, and how can you not get excited about a big goal scoring Swede playing with fellow countrymen Henrik and Daniel Sedin. This could be the jolt on offense the Canucks need, unfortunately the depth is lack and Ryan Miller in net is not as solid as it used to be.

Washington Capitals

Washington is another team that decided not to tinker with what they have, and hope another year under some young players belts is the only improvement they need. Will Alex Ovechkin get the Stanley Cup he so badly desires?

Winnipeg Jets

Last but not least the Winnipeg Jets continue to not throw money around and stay with the draft and develop plan. In a bit of a shocking move, long time net minder Ondrej Pavelec was sent to the Manitoba Moose paving the way for one of the young guys (Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson) to take the starting role.