With the 2014-15 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on Yahoo position eligibility, projected lineups, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinions, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.
Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers tops the preseason left wing rankings for the second consecutive season. The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft had a career high 80 points last season and finished in the top 10 in scoring for the second straight season. Hall's 1.08 points per game has paced all left wings the past two seasons and his 0.91 career points per game ranks him fourth among players at the position.
The top 10 is a mix of consistent performers and players coming off career years. Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars was named to the NHL's First All-Star team. Expect his chemistry with center Tyler Seguin to continue. Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens has the most goals from the left side in the past three seasons (87) and hitting the 40-goal mark is not out of the question.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, 19, is the only player among the top five picks in the 2013 NHL Draft to not to see action last season in the League, but the extra development time will pay huge dividends for the talented left wing and leading candidate for the Calder Trophy. Youth is represented throughout the top 40 with Calder Trophy winners Gabriel Landeskog (21) and Jonathan Huberdeau (21), as well as precocious talents like Tomas Hertl (20) and Alex Galchenyuk (20).
Some good bounce-back candidates within the rankings include Joffrey Lupul, Alex Tanguay, Huberdeau and Jiri Tlusty. Each had injury issues last season, but owners can expect them to be back producing at their normal paces in a full, 82-game season.