With the pre-season schedule in full swing allowing to roster to slowly take shape, I figured I could unveil my pre-season project; points predictions for each Ranger. I discovered point projection techniques about two years ago via the always amazing behindthenet.com (a must-read SB Nation side if you like to have numbers on your side), and through my research and use of the league translations for fantasy hockey I can say personally that the numbers prove more right than wrong most of the time. At the same time, I'm also a believer that these numbers are still developing in hockey and that a good sense of the game can allow one to tweak the projections when necessary. Below are my projections with a 6 point range for each player and it also should be noted that the point ranges are based on 82 games played. By totaling the points and discounting said number for injuries, we can also take a stab at the Rangers final goals per game number - which in general is one way to rank an offense within the league.
Follow after the jump for the "Core Forwards" projections.
Part I includes the projections of the "core" forwards who barring any injury before pre-season are all-but guaranteed a roster spot:
Better than 09/10: Alexander Frolov, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov.
Frolov, to me, is due for a points raise from last season due to the simple reason that he will hopefully play the year on a line with Gaborik, thus mooching assists off Gabby and additional power play time as well. Callahan is entering the statistical prime of his career over the next two seasons, and its quite possible that we might see his best season ever in term s of PPG (if he peaks early). Anisimov, meanwhile, should see a quiet bump as he enjoys his second full year with the Blueshirts and rarely does a player of his size and talent (along with playing third or fourth line competition) dip below his rookie season performance.
Same-ish as 09/10: Marion Gaborik, Chris Drury, Derek Boogaard, and Sean Avery
Gaborik played 76 games and scored 86 points last season. So, even if he scores 90 points this season - where I have him pegged - he will most likely do it with another couple of games. Even though Frolov was brought in to help Gaborik, it will most likely be the reverse effect for Frolov (hence his "better" status above) and there's the mere fact that only 25 percent of top-20 scoring players improve on their previous seasons. So, I'm just playing the numbers on Gabby - we will see.
Drury, meanwhile, should put up 30 point seasons for the next few years and if Derek Boogaard scores more than 12 points all season I will just snap. Avery is a bit of a case here because of the unclear role Tortorella will allow him to play on the ice. From what we've seen so far in pre-season, he will not fight as much which in-turn means he will be scoring more. As long as he doesn't go overboard while he yaps (meaning penalties), there shouldn't be a problem with him putting up around 35 points.
Down from 09/10: Vinny Prospal and Brandon Dubinsky
Prospal is the easy one because of many not-currently-solidified reasons so I'll just keep it simple: if Prospal doesn't end up playing with the Gaborik line then his point totals will slip. Throw in his age, streaky play, and the chance (however large or small it may be) that Stepan takes the first-line, and you're looking just a five to ten point drop.
Dubinsky will see his overall points increase from the 44 he put up last season, but with missing 13 games due to the broken hand his PPG number should fall. Dubi, like Prospal, can have consistency issues and isn't the most natural of goal-scorers. He's a year younger than Cally and is also prone to a dip from what I've seen before he heads into his best years.
Let's hear it in the comments. I plan on re-visiting each part of the series definitely at the end of the season and possibly mid-season as well. Part II (Other Forwards) will be posted tomorrow and Part III (Defense/Team Scoring) will be posted on Friday. Also, if anyone wants me to explain any of my logic or where any numbers come from, just ask and I'll respond in the comments.