zach parise


In this, the second of three installments, I’ll give you my take on Eastern Conference teams top six talent and guys that might challenge for a spot this season.

With that role comes ice time and often power play opportunities, two things that are the key to fantasy success. I focused more on who should actually play in the top six and not so much on actual line combinations, so don’t read too much into where I put the six.



Cammalleri – Gomez - Gionta
A.Kostitsyn - Plekanec – S.Kostitsyn

Both Matt D’Agostini and Max Pacioretty will also be in the running for that final top six spot I put Sergei Kostitsyn in. With a new coach and such a large player turnover, much will depend on the chemistry that develops in camp.

A.Markov - Hamrlik
Spacek – Mara

Hal Gill may end up in the top four, but he isn’t here for his offensive abilities. Yannick Weber won’t line up as a top four defender, but his offensive abilities may give him a shot at power play duty. P.K. Subban is likely at least another year away from being with the big club full-time.

New Jersey

Parise – Zajac - Elias
Zubrus - Rolston - Langenbrunner

I don’t see prospects Mattias Tedenby or Nicklas Bergfors making a run at the top six this season.

Martin – Oduya
C.White – Mottau

Matthew Corrente may be ready to make the move full-time to the NHL, but he won’t play in the top four this season. Cory Murphy and Andy Greene are power play specialists.

NY Islanders

Comeau – Tavares - Okposo
Nielsen – Weight – T.Hunter

Will Tavares make a quicker transition to the NHL than Stamkos did with Tampa Bay? I think maybe yes, but Stamkos had Lecavalier, St. Louis and Prospal to help offensively, whereas Tavares has Doug Weight, Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau.

Streit - Gervais
Martinek – Witt

Jack Hillen may have a shot at cracking the top four, but he might need some more experience before being ready for prime time.

NY Rangers

Avery – Dubinsky - Gaborik
Higgins – Drury – Zherdev

Artem Anisimov had 81 points in 80 AHL games last season. The 21-year-old center will have to really impress Tortorella to push Drury to the wing. Ryan Callahan was one of the coach’s favourite players last year and could spend some time in the top six if only to provide some energy. If Zherdev does not return, then one of Callahan or Anisimov will end up on the second line.

Redden - Rozsival
Girardi – M.Staal

Bob Sanguinetti might be set to debut on Broadway after scoring 42 points in 78 AHL games. Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy and Mike Del Zotto will battle it out along with Sanguinetti at training camp for the final big league spots.  


Foligno – Spezza - Kovalev
Shannon – Fisher - Alfredsson

So much depends on what happens when the Heatley situation is dealt with. I can’t see Heatley returning to the Sens. Ilya Zubov had 52 points in 63 AHL games last season and has a real shot at the Sens top six.

Kuba -Campoli
Volchenkov - Phillips

Depending on how Brian Lee, Erik Karlsson and Alexandre Picard perform at camp, one of them might have an outside chance to play in the top four.

In the final installment of this series, the Flyers, Pens, Bolts, Leafs and Caps will be featured.


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Ian said:

Nifty Mittens
... I cant wait for Toronto, my guess:

Blake - Stajan - Stempniak?
Poni - Grabovski - Kuemin
Hagman - Mitchell - Tlusty

Kaberle - Komisarek
Beauchemin - Schenn
July 25, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

... These columns are great! Foligno really makes me wonder whether he could be a great sleeper. Any additional analysis! I know he wouldn't get alot of PP time (Kovy, Alf, Spez, Kuba), but is a top 6 as you mentioned. Maybe a great sleeper this year? Great oppertunity as I see him a top 9 on a deeper club.
July 24, 2009
Votes: +0

Mackie said:

... Parise - Zajac - Langenbrunner had great chemistry last season, and Elias as the go-to-guy on his own line. Despite a coaching change I'm not sure why they would alter that top unit. Just my 2 cents.
July 24, 2009
Votes: +0

bluejays said:

... Where to start!
No way Sergei (although I really like him) beats out Max IMO. Spacek/Markov to run PP.
Correct on NJ, however Lang with the young guys.
All this NYI talk. Which tandem would you rather have Duch-Stasney or Bailey-Tav?

July 23, 2009
Votes: +1

The Comish said:

The Comish
Y.Weber Fair enough Donny. I suspect you are right about Weber not making the cut this year. I got carried away there for a second, blurring fantasy roster versus NHL roster, especially considering it's now a Jacques Martin coached team. Safety first.

If Weber has a great camp, then he has an outside shot at sticking in the top seven, but realistically Markov and Spacek will run the PP, Mara and Hamrlik are capbable offensively and Gill/Gorges certainly round out the top six on paper nicely.
July 23, 2009
Votes: +1

The Comish said:

The Comish
Tavares & Bailey I'll be honest, I don't know how strong a centre Tavares is. If he is better suited as a winger in the NHL, then great, but everywhere I looked, they list him as centre.

If Tavares stays at centre, then it's pretty easy to envision a Tavares-Bailey, one-two punch down the middle and with Doug Weight's age and injury history, it could happen as soon as this season.
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0

Mark Faber said:

19 Straight
Bailey I think Bailey will center the Isles top line with Tavares moving to wing.
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0

swolfe said:

... I'm really enjoying this series. Thanks! Where do you see Josh Bailey fitting in on the Islanders?
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0

r22yu said:

... I dont' agree with your top line for New Jersey. Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner had great chemistry last year, so I dont' see why they would break that up.
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0

tradejunkie said:

Avery Nice! I like seeing Avery on that top line with Gaborlick...
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0

Donny said:

... I don't see Weber cracking Montreal's line-up unless they have problems on the powerplay. They have Gill, Gorges and O'Byrne all competing for the last 2 spots.
July 23, 2009
Votes: +0
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